My partner and I stayed at Ananda Resort for eight hours in June this year. We had to check out of our lovely villa in Seminyak at noon; but our flight home was at 11.10pm that night. So rather than hanging around in bars or whatever until it was time to go to the airport, we’d decided to find a cheap room nearby – somewhere to dump our stuff, have a rest and shower, etc, before we left. We had passed Ananda Resort every day on our trips to Jalan Laksmana (“Eat Street”) for dinner or shopping. The hotel is located on what I call the “jinxed” side of Eat Street – the one full of empty restaurants, as opposed to the other side of the road where the restaurants are mostly full.
A crumbling wreck of a place with a grim-looking café/bar at the front (always empty), Ananda featured a bright yellow banner out the front that said “Rooms from $US35 a night”. Perfect! I went in and enquired; the nice man at the desk said we could have a room for 400,000 rupiah for the eight hours, taxes included. That’s just under $50 Australian. I asked to see the kind of room we be having. He took me down the path and showed me a big bungalow kind of affair with a bedroom, kitchen, living area, bathroom… Primitive but OK. There weren’t many people around – in fact the only people around were some young European surfer dudes returning from the beach.
Next day, after checking out, we got the short taxi ride to Ananda. A guy helped us to our room with all our bags. Unlike yesterday, the room was two storey, with the bedroom, bathroom and a balcony up a very steep set of creaking wooden steps. The door to the bedroom had big cracks in it so that you could pop your eyeball against the door and peek in. There was no security safe in the room. Downstairs was a vary dark dining area with table and hard wooden day bed, and a kitchen that just had a cold tap and a fridge. That’s it – nothing else. No kettle. No cup. No glass. No knife or spoon. No lock on the front door, either. At least the fridge worked well and was a decent size. Maybe they gave us this room as we weren’t staying the night, who knows? But it would have been nice to be able to make a cup of tea.
Upstairs – you would not want to be drunk and taking these stairs – the bedroom was decorated straight out of the 1970s, with peachy-pink sheets and a lumpy mattress. My partner had planned to have his usual afternoon sleep but was foiled by the crowing chickens in the motorbike-filled Balinese compound beneath our room. The TV only picked up fuzzy Indonesian TV. The bathroom had a dank, mouldy smell and the threadbare towels smelled mouldy too. There was a little wrapped tourist soap and a sachet of shampoo. Having a shower was the best part. At first there was no hot water – actually no water at all, in bathroom or kitchen – but after a trip to reception, on came the water. Unfortunately someone else in the building was also bathing at the time, so the shower alternated between a boiling hot spray and a pathetic boiling dribble. It also sprayed all out into the bathroom and over the floor but not inside the bath. You had to soap yourself up and wait for the water flow, then hose off the soap quick smart before the boiling spray returned. Meanwhile, a large puddle of water had formed on the floor. You had to step in it to get out.
The grounds were… devoid of life, but with numerous swampy sections of turf. By the pool there was evidence of other guests in the form of an abandoned pair of ladies’ sandals, an empty Bintang can and an empty Coke bottle. The pool had a wet bar that had obviously not been used in years, with a pavilion on steps above it, home to an abandoned dresser. The main bar area was derelict, with a mishmash of crappy old tables and chairs and a pool table that had seen better days. The pool itself was in full sun and pretty good – old-fashioned but clean and deep. I went in a few times.
The hotel is located smack in the middle of Eat Street, opposite Trattoria where we had a yummy last meal of pizza and steak before leaving.
I enjoyed our stay at Ananda. I think this hotel would have been a happening place in the years before Seminyak became all poshed-up. All the evidence of wild parties is there. It’s now a has-been. But it sure is affordable, and I think we MUST have been given the worst-possible room. I’m glad it was just for eight hours, though. I wouldn’t want to go on a holiday to this place, but if I was 18 again, perhaps European and a surfer and on a very strict budget, I would be happy to – for the adventure factor if nothing else.
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- Also Known As:
- ANANDA RESORT Bali/Seminyak