Photo: A home away from home.

Tom’s Homestay

Homey and old-school

32 Jalan Selot, Bogor T: (0877) 7046 7818  toms.homestay@yahoo.co.id
http://tomshomestay.com/

Tom’s Homestay

Our rating:

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If you are old enough, cast your mind back to before internet, perhaps even before guidebooks were commonplace when travellers learnt of places to stay via word of mouth, when basic friendly losmen were the only option for budget travellers in Indonesia, and you may start to picture Tom’s Homestay.

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Tom’s house is a hop skip and a jump from the botanical gardens, and was originally built as the home for the director of the gardens, and later given to Tom’s father the founding director of the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), Prof. Ir. Dr. Soetomo. If a truckload of cash were to be thrown at Tom’s place we could imagine it as a historic boutique hotel, but Tom doesn’t have said truckloads and instead presents large and simple rooms in his spacious colonial-style bungalow with the original floor tiles, high ceilings and shared bathrooms.

No shortage of character.

No shortage of character. Photo: Sally Arnold

Rooms are clean and comfortable, but don’t expect pristine—Tom’s will not suit everybody. Not all rooms provide windows that open and they can be dark inside, which keeps the tropical heat at bay, further assisted by a standard fan. Two shared bathrooms, with a hot-water shower and separate western style toilets are ample for the five rooms, with some rooms decked out with private washbasins. Amenities are old and stained, but kept clean.

Toms’s lounge/dining room is stuffed with memorabilia, books on Bogor and all of Indonesia, and the wide verandah offers a lovely spot to relax, meet fellow travellers and enjoy the wild jungle of fruiting trees and the animals they invite in Tom’s backyard. A kitchen and laundry facilities are also at your disposal. Simple breakfast of coffee or tea and bread are included.

Rustic yet welcoming.

Rustic yet welcoming. Photo: Sally Arnold

What really makes Tom’s Homestay special is Tom himself—he is a walking encyclopaedia of the history and biology of the gardens, hospitable, easy going, super friendly and speaks very good English, just like having a knowledgeable uncle in Bogor.

As well as being close to the botanical gardens, train and bus stations, a local food centre is directly across the street from the homestay. We think Tom’s is an excellent character-full budget option, but may be a little ramshackle for those with more pristine taste.

The man himself.

The man himself. Photo: Sally Arnold

For a similar colonial feel, the botanical gardens itself offers a couple of midrange guesthouses within the grounds (contact the garden for bookings) as well the more upmarket, (not yet opened when we visited), The Melchior. If a clean and comfortable flashpacker is more to your taste, our top pick in Bogor is Jeng Tini Guesthouse.

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Walk-in rates at Tom’s Homestay

Type of room
Low
High
Type of room, low and high season prices
Dbl fan share bathroom
100,000 rupiah
100,000 rupiah
Room: Dbl fan share bathroom, low season: 100,000 rupiah, high season 100,000 rupiah. Notes:



Where is Tom’s Homestay

Tom’s Homestay
32 Jalan Selot, Bogor
T: (0877) 7046 7818 
toms.homestay@yahoo.co.id
http://tomshomestay.com/
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º47'34.78" E, 6º35'52.4" S
Room rates: Under 150,000 Rp

Map for Tom’s Homestay

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