I thought I'd post a note about the guesthouses I am staying in:
Sawah Sunrise Guesthouse, Ubud
This is a very nice guesthouse set in the rice paddies. It is a 5min stroll down a lane, which can be quite dark at night but thanks to my trusty wind-up torch this was never a problem for me. One of the things I judge a guesthouse on is
the quality of the bathroom and Sawah Sunrise had quite a nice one. The bed was the right firmness and the pillows weren't too fat (unlike Thailand where you get hard, thin mattresses and very fat pillows). They had decorated the place with nice little flowers and there were two soap dispensers in the shower.
True to guesthouse fashion tho' the place wasn't perfect. After a day or two the handtowel rail fell off the wall (I didn't touch it, I swear). And I didn't know whether the two soap dispensers were dispensing soap or shampoo. Whatever it
was, it was a nice-smelling cleansing agent so I used it on my body, anyway.
Puri Mango Guesthouse, Sanur
Things didn't start great for this guesthouse as they weren't expecting me. I took a fan room with cold water only. Why is that fan rooms are so much lower in quality than air-con rooms? The room didn't rate highly as it had horrible pink paint and funny pinkish bed covers and seemed a little mouldy. The bathroom wasn't great either. But the sheets were clean and the bed was comfortable. The staff were extra helpful too (possibly because I was ever so slightly grumpy when I turned up) so thumbs up for that. Here's hoping their air-con rooms are a bit nicer than their fan rooms.
The Beach Club, Lombok
Aah, heaven. My bungalow is a few metres from the beach. It has a very stylish semi-outdoors bathroom, a hammock on the balcony, a comfortable bed. It is very relaxing, the beach is clean and not as developed or crowded as Bali. Later I will have a massage on the beach. Down side - I tried to use the safe and ended up locking my passport in it and then not being able to open it as the batteries for the safe are low. Hopefully, that is all being sorted while I am here. It is also noisy at night - with noise from the road and a call to prayer at some unseemly hour of the morning, even for me.
New Pondok Shinta Guesthouse, Senggigi
Well, it has nice balconies and the staff are friendly but that's about all going for it. The rooms are dingy and fan-cooled little cells. Not that great value either.
Crocodile Ecolodge, Lombok
Very nice, but then you are paying for it. The room is large, the bathroom is clean. There is a tv and lounge area in the room and a sitting out area on the balcony. The setting is nice by the river and cool from the trees. The staff are friendly and helpful and the food delicious. Definitely a great place to stay.