Cute as a button
If you are after a budget sleep in Bandung, Buton Backpacker Lodge is our top pick whether you’re looking for dorm bed or your purse strings stretch to a private room.
This friendly, funky and comfortable guest house also scores an excellent downtown location on a quiet suburban road, less than ten minutes walk to Braga Street. From the street, Buton Backpackers appears to be a modern residential cottage, with minimal signage to announce its presence, but the smart and modern interior is bright, airy and spacious with terrific communal areas opening to two small internal leafy courtyards, one glass enclosed for smokers, with the surrounding guest rooms arranged in a U-shape over two storeys.
Two eight-bed mixed gender pod-style dorms are located on the ground floor each with a spacious and clean ensuite bathroom, as are two spacious doubles, also with private ensuites. Stairs on either side of the building lead to smaller twins, doubles and one tiny single (the single with a separate, but private bathroom). All but the private single room are air-con cooled, with tiled or wooden floors, high ceilings and are spotlessly clean.
Pods dorms are built as one solid wobble-free unit, arranged with access to each pod by the narrow end, the top bunks reached via sturdy ladders. Roomy enough for most tall folk to sit, individual pods are curtained for privacy and sport a comfortable mattress, clean grey-coloured linen, personal lighting, power outlet, hooks for hanging and a spacious locker below. A thin blanket and towel is provided, but no top sheet. Ensuites are toilet and shower combos, separated via a shower curtain with modern western thrones and strong pumping piping hot showers (they’re really good). An additional toilet is available in the common area, but you may have to queue for the shower on a busy morning.
One of the downstairs double rooms is glass fronted, opening to the courtyard, regarded as “the best room” (although it can be a little noisy), and the other is off the kitchen with a small external window. This room has the disadvantage of occasionally being inundated with cooking smells. Upstairs rooms offer a little more privacy and provide mostly smaller windows, but are still light and bright.
Non-smokers may wish to request a room, not overlooking the “smokers courtyard” so they can enjoy fresh air with the window open. Private rooms are tastefully decorated with modern wooden furniture, which counts a desk in all, but lacks bedside tables and bedside lighting in most. Firm comfortable mattresses sport clean linen made up with a bottom sheet and doona. Additionally, mirrors, flatscreen TVs and ample power outlets and good overhead lighting have most needs catered for and add to the comfortable homey feel. Private ensuites, as with those in the dorm, are squeaky clean and enjoy fab hot showers. The basic single room is only a step up from the dorm, and is more like a converted storeroom (also note that this room houses a large hot-water heating unit which may be noisy).
The common spaces are terrific for meeting other guests or just relaxing with a book. The funky decor displays collections of local crafts and utensils offering a traditional Javanese flavour to otherwise modern styling and the open living spaces include a lounge with comfy couches, table football, darts and a noticeboard chock full of local info; a spacious dining area and an open-style kitchen where guests can help themselves to coffee or tea anytime, included breakfast or cook for themselves.
Breakfast offerings include a local dish, usually nasi goreng plus cook-it-yourself eggs, bread and cereal. The fridge is filled with soft drinks (including juices and yakult) as well as beer and a table offers chocolate, snack foods and sundries such as toothpaste all sold on an honesty basis. You are able to store your own drinks and food in the kitchen fridge too.
A gang of very friendly young staff, mostly speak good English and are full of insightful local info (they’ll even pick up takeaway for guests too). They also offer motorbike day tours to all Bandung’s sights for very competitive prices (the best we found), but request one of the better bikes as some lack enough guts to climb the hills.
All up Buton Backpackers is an excellent choice, but if you’d prefer a less “backpacker” style flashpacker place, consider Summmerbird or the stylish Hummingbird Guesthouse, or if you just wish to be close to the train station dorms at Pinisi Backpacker Hostel and Bandung House are a little more old-school, but both are good and friendly options.
Address: 14A Jalan Buton, Bandung
T: (0224) 238 958; (0877) 1474 2756;
Coordinates (for GPS): 107º36'55.52" E, 6º55'6.97" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 150,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm air-con||120,000 rupiah||120,000 rupiah|
|Sgl fan share bathroom||150,000 rupiah||150,000 rupiah|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||230,000 rupiah||250,000 rupiah|
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Bandung