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“The Real Jakarta”

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Evy's Benhil Homestay
Ranked #34 of 341 Jakarta B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 10, 2014

The Homestay was built relatively recently, so it’s in good condition and an oasis if compared to its surroundings. Eveline Chandra is a great host, speaks good English and makes sure you are well looked after. She has worked professionally with western expats in her past career and now runs the Homestay with her son and daughter with the additional benefit of 2 grandchildren running around to keeping the place lively. She will take the time to answer your questions and enjoys socializing with her guests. I fell sick one day and Eveline was able to arrange food delivery to the room. There are actually two properties that are 100-200 meters apart one is managed by a son and the other by the daughter. The one with the rooftop deck is a more open style and more suitable for backpackers and with relatively less privacy. The rooftop acts as a common area place to socialize.

The place is kept sparkling clean. There are various types of rooms and it is advisable to call in advance for information on room sizes, windows and amenities. I took the largest room with A/C, flat screen TV, desk, chair, closet, attached bathroom (no wash basin though) and a window. Most rooms don’t have windows. The biggest disappointment was the poor Wi-Fi. It mostly did not work with Apple products for some reason – old router maybe? You will feel at home staying here.

I chose to stay at Evy’s based on Tripadvisor reviews. From the reviews I gathered that this would be a clean, comfortable place with a welcoming host. It turned out much better than that. This is an area where you find the struggles of Jakarta daily life unfold before your eyes, all compounded by the fact that the neighborhood got flooded twice during my stay. I was provided a boat by the host -- cool. The immediate neighborhood village of Karet Pasar Baru is poor, but have very friendly decent people, who will welcome you to their homes and share food with you. Don’t be intimated by the area and surrounding poverty. The surrounding area of Benhil is generally poor that sits on potentially the most expensive land in town. There are a few expensive homes across the river within 300-400 meters from Evy’s Homestay. This area is one of the older parts of Jakarta that lies within the Golden Triangle not too far from some Luxury apartments and hotels. A walk around the neighborhood’s narrow alleys suggests that people watching, cleaning house floors, washing clothes and petty trading is the dominant activity here. The daily grind of Jakarta commoners can be seen and felt here. This is great neighborhood to capture real life up close with your camera. Bring your sense of adventure, as these homestays are not for everyone.

Now, there is no direct access by car to the homestay. One must walk about 200-300 meters on narrow lanes and an equally narrow walking bridge to reach the Homestay. I suggest you call-in ahead for the housekeeper to pick you up from the main road. For novice travellers the first approach to the homestay can be a bit intimidating, especially if you arrive in the evening. Once you are over your first impression, the neighborhood starts to grow on you. You want to know more about everyone who lives around here. I am sure their life stories would make for good reading. As I walked to my homestay every day, I would find a number of fishermen trying their luck - not a hobby but a necessity. People started to recognize and greet me.

The neighborhood sits on the side of a filthy river. That seems to function as the Mother of all trashcans. The government seems to be least concerned.

The neighborhood is generally safe. As a homestay, you cannot wrong with this place. You will have a super clean comfortable place, a very helpful host, a neighborhood and atmosphere that is never boring and above all, life of real Jakarta up close.

One of my favorite activities was to capture life on pixels as I walked around the neighborhood with kids in tow shouting Mister Mister Mister Photo Photo Photo.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank Mirza A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 11 of 23 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2014

This dorm-style hotel is located south of the city centre in the middle of a very interesting kampung. You can get lost (in a good way!) in this neighborhood. When we were there, the main street was closed for an evening "market" where everyone young and old comes out.

Evy is a wonderful host and will give you all the necessary tips for sightseeing, eating and shopping. Like in other dorm-style lodging in the area, there is a common kitchen so that you can prepare your own meals. Had we stayed longer, we would have made our own breakfast with items bought at the IndiMart 5 minutes away.

The accommodations are simple but adequate. Recommended if you wish to bask in Jakarta's kampung life for a few days.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank Pierre Charles D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013 via mobile

Wow this place is so hidden! Our cab driver spent an hour trying to find it. He finally dropped us off on some street to find it ourselves. Locally the locals in this neighborhood are so sweet and amazing. The interior is seriously amazing - doesn't seem like you're in Asia anymore. The rooms are a bit small. We paid 150.000IDR for a double. The bed seems smaller than most doubles, but if you're a backpacker it shouldn't matter (or by yourself and need only one bed). The toilets and showers are outside. The only complaint that I have is that it is right next to a mosque that does prayer and 5am SO loud. We couldn't believe it - sounded like someone put a megaphone up to our ears. I'd still recommend it though :)

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank DrizzyDreV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Staying in this place was our best choice. A good place to stay, Evy was so friendly and liya too. The suburbs is so quiet, people very nice and you will stay in benhil village in the middle of Jakarta. I really advise you to have a look to this family place. Thanks for the coffee luwak, the cake taste, the breakfast taste.... A lovely place!!!! I know in which place I will stay when I come back to Jakarta. Many thanks!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank fatihette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

i was stay for a week in Evy's Benhil Homestay for a training in Jakarta,
it was very nice place to stay and i was meet a lovely family there..
the owner is very friendly and such as my own family..
on the afternoon we can relax on the roof top of the homestay, and enjoy the moment together..
i really recommended this place for everybody.. not only the nice, clean, comfortable room but also the persons who stay at that place.. next trip to Jakarta i will stay at this place.. thank you Evy's benhill Homestay :)

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank AngelRahma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We stayed here a few days in August during our visit to Jakarta and it was definately the best place we ever been to! Evy and her family are so sweet! The rooms are very nice and clean. The roof top and the view are amazing! We still miss this place and Evy and her family and will definately go back one day. We would really recommend this place!

Charlotte & Lotte

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank Lotte-Charlot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Last year i went twice to Jakarta, and both times i went to evy's place and from the first arrival they became family to me,such friendly and loving people.The location is also great not far from bus access and other public transportation points and close to the city centre of Jakarta. Last time this lovely family took me and other guests to a tropical Island not so far from jakarta which i have really nice memories of.And last but not least the rooms are very clean and has everything you need when you go traveling,Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank noval t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Evy's Benhil Homestay

Address: Jln. Karet Pasar Baru Barat II 18 | Rt 09 Rw 05, Jakarta 10220, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Java > Jakarta > Tanah Abang
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 341 B&Bs / Inns in Jakarta
Price Range: $15 - $35 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This homestay is not a hotel but it's like a dorm so most of the tenants come from other cities or other counties who work in Jakarta. Our location is in the middle of Jakarta urban village, it's on an alley, so you must walk around 50 meter from the street. Here you can see and learn the real Indonesian lifestyle. ... more   less 

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