My first stay at Melati was some time ago now (2009), but I've been meaning to contribute a review ever since then. This place was my first ever experience of Ubud and therefore memorable. It was recommended to me by a friend who swore that I wouldn't find such a nicer place with such a big room at such a reasonable price, anywhere else in Ubud, and I think she was probably right!
I arrived in the wee hours and was greeted warmly by manager Nyoman nonetheless and given a cool welcome drink. A reassuring start! I woke in the morning and enjoyed a great buffet breakfast- a choice of the local banana pancake fare with pawpaw and other tropical fruit, plus good coffee and European food options. I was stuck by the beauty of the gardens with all its sculptures.
Unfortunately, there was no window curtain in my aircon'd room, which meant no privacy while bathing, but this was addressed by relocating me to room 3, a large more private place near the family compound at the end of the complex, for only a small upgrade fee. Fan only but it was fine. I was paying around AU$25/night from my online booking, in low season October, so this didn't bother me. I loved the room, which faces an almost-private stretch of lawn and alos had a spare bed plus a day bed and could have accomodated my toddler and his teenage sister, as well as my partner and myself. A bit of noise through the ceiling the upstairs room, but I take earplugs to Bali- there's no way to escape people noise, scooter noise, buzzing mosquitos and roosters, so futile to try to control or complain about these things, in my opinion!!!
Melati is removed enough from Ubud town centre that you need to be willing to walk a lot or catch taxis, but the most you would pay is around $3 and you can also hop on the back of a local's scooter or motorbike- by far the coolest way to travel in Bali- for $1 or so. Otherwise, perfect for someone who just wants to rest and laze around the pool and to go for occasional, restorative walks through the rice fields.
Penestanan itself is interesting, with a few galleries to explore- it is known as the artists village. Best of all are the nearby rice paddies to walk through. A bit dry post-harvest in October, but I've also been there in April when there was young green rice aplenty. One of my favourite eateries in Bali is Warung Made, which sits like a little oasis in the rice fields, and can be accessed via the path that leads out of the back entrance to Melati Cottages. Ask for directions if lost.
The B&B offers massage, but another lovely option in Penestanan is Cantika off Jalan Penestanan opposite Puri Bukit Sari (also a lovely villa to stay in). At Cantika, they make their own shampoo conditioner and other products such as all natural insect repellent, which I've made a point of buying when in Ubud, even if I haven't stopped there for a massage, so yummy are they to the nose!
You are in the right end of town (north west?) if you need anything from the Bintang supermarket, which is walking distance away or an easy taxi journey. I'm not sure if this has changed, but there was no bottled water supplied at Melati, however you can stock up or buy a large container of water at Bintang, along with any other supermarket items, mobile phone sims, alcohol souvenirs etc. Ditto room fridge- not sure if this has changed but there weren't fridges when I stayed at Melati. There was however free wifi in the luch, comfortable lobby and dining area, so you could blog or Facebook or upload photos over brekky!
I thought Melati Cottages was a great option for a budget traveller, a good mix of comfort and simplicity, with great room service and friendly, helpful, efficient staff. I know doors open for me when in Bali, since I speak reasonable Indonesian, but I think this is a friendly place regardless. If I were to make a snap decision to holiday in Bali on a budget, and didn't particularly want to explore new places, I would cheerfully stay there again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.