To most readers, Bucu Guest House (pronounced as boo-chu) will probably sound alien and to some, it might not sound like an appealing place to stay in. However, Bucu Guest House has consistently received great reviews by many travellers and this gives a good indication that there is something there worth checking out. In fact, Bucu Guest House is what home stays have evolved into, and such a choice of accommodation is commonly available in a place like Ubud, Bali. In the past, many locals would open up their homes for tourists to stay at for a small fee. Bucu Guest House is somewhat similar, but the owners have developed a large piece of their family-owned land to house numerous guest rooms equipped with modern facilities and amenities, taking the traditional home stay to a new level. For this review, let’s find out how Bucu Guest House compares to a typical hotel accommodation and see if it is indeed as wonderful as people put it to be.
Jl. Hanoman Anila Lane 17
Padangtegal Ubud 80571 Gianyar Bali
Ubud, Kab. Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Ubud is a place in Bali well known for its nature oriented attractions. It is a place that has a culture more focused on the arts and the natural sights that the town has to offer. Unlike the more happening places like Kuta, Ubud offers a more serene and tranquil environment that is perfect for older tourists or just those who seek a relaxing getaway. While there is an abundance of guests houses around town, Bucu Guest House is one of those that is pretty decently located, providing guests easy access to numerous local attractions.
For those who wish to experience the best of Ubud, there are several must-see attractions such as the Monkey Forest, the Don Antonio Blanco Museum and the Tegallalang Rice Terraces all of which are proximate to Bucu Guest House. In fact, guests can save on transport fees as the famed Monkey forest and Don Antonio Blanco Museum are all within walking distance from the guest house. At the Monkey Forest, guests can look forward to interacting with monkeys, feeding them and observing them live their daily lives while at the Don Antonio Blanco Museum, guests can take a glimpse into painter Don Antonio’s opulent mansion which now serves as a display area for his numerous art pieces. Then, head on conquer the Campuhan ridge walk where you will be treated to an amazing view of the local scenery.
Another attraction not to miss is the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, where tourists can get the opportunity to hike up the rice terraces and witness the local farmers in action. Just visiting the place opens your eyes to a magnificent view and taking the hike up gives you an insight to how the rice that you consume daily is planted and harvested. After challenging yourself to hike through the terraces, there are numerous shops along the road that sell local products and souvenirs that you can pick up. The only issue that some might face is getting to the rice terraces. It is located a distance away from the guest house and walking would be a severely arduous task. Fortunately, if you do not already have a driver booked, you can arrange for one with the staff at Bucu Guest House as they offer their own transport service as well.
For the adventurous, white eater rafting can expeditions can be organized, as Bucu Guest House is located rather close to Ayung River, the longest running river in Bali that stretches 75km long. The river is a 30 minutes drive from the guest house and you will be able to locate numerous companies offering rafting services. A tip would be to book a rafting experience trough a local, perhaps through the guest house, as they will often be able to get you preferential rates and a complimentary two way ride to and from the river.
Ubud is also an arts and cultural hub, as most of the shops in the area are centered around such items. Guests can take a drive to the Sukawati Art Market and pick up souvenirs and traditional craft work all at very affordable prices. Along the way, you are bound to pass by a plethora of workshops where skilled craftsmen transform wood, concrete, stone and glass into beautiful display pieces. As these shops are somewhat like supply factories, interested tourists will probably be able to purchase the ornaments and even statues at prices below market rate. For those who wish to import the items for business purposes, just head into the shops and try to start a discussion with the in charge.
There are also shops and eateries located within a stone’s throw away from the guest house. Though Bucu Guest House is not located on the main street, a short 5 minutes walk will take you to the bustling street of Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Dewisita. Over there, you will find numerous cafes, warungs and restaurants that will satisfy all types of palate. Guests can ask the guest house staff for food recommendations and they will be helpful by providing a map of the local area.
One famous recommendation that guests should try will be the Bebek Bengil Restaurant, which is also known as the Dirty Duck Restaurant It serves up delicious Balinese crispy duck and the best part is that the restaurant is a mere 5 minutes walk from the guest house. However, do take note that Ubud is more of a scenic tourist location than one centred around night life and parties. Thus, the shops tend to close slightly earlier at around 9pm at night.
One major complaint about the guest house’s location would be its accessibility. Public transport is non existent and the only way to get around is by foot or by car. Though there are numerous attractions within walking distance, getting to the guests house from the airport or from other cities will require you have a driver. As such, I would recommend you to have a driver to take you around, or book one through the guest house. Also, Bucu Guest House is located along Anila Lane, which is an extremely small and narrow alley home to many other guest houses and home stays. To first time guests, it might be hard to locate Bucu Guest House and even local drivers might miss the turn to get there. Although there is a sign along the main road that shows the way to the guest house, it would still be helpful to have the contact number of the guest house on hand should you require further clarification or road guidance.
The entrance of the guest house is marked by a large old gate that the staff open upon your arrival. To be honest, the gate looks aged and rusty and it sure does not make a good first impression. However, take a few steps in and the lobby area is a much nicer place relative to the entrance of Bucu Guest House. Over there, the furnishings are very traditional, showing forth the traditional Balinese designs and structures. In fact, the lobby area feels very rustic and many will feel as though they are about to experience an authentic experience into Balinese life. Take a walk around the entire area and you will see that there is a healthy amount of greenery and this is surprising as it looks as though you have been transported to the countryside, even though the main road Â is just 50 metres from the hotel entrance.
The lobby also gives a sneak peek into how the accommodation rooms will look like, as guests might be able to catch a glimpse into the hosts’ living quarters which all look pleasant to the eyes. Also at the lobby is a traditional floor seating area with floor mats. Though it is where the staff sit and rest, guests are welcome to utilize it as well while waiting to check in or out.
The check in process is fast and hassle free. Should you have made prior bookings online or through phone, the hosts will already have your rooms prepared and no time will be spent waiting at the lobby. Instead, an amiable host, most probably Niyoman, a soft-spoken young man will immediately guide you to your room and assist you with your luggage at the same time. Only upon reaching your room will he collect your passport for registration purposes. At the same time, he will brief you about your room amenities and meal arrangements. In fact, this process is much more efficient and comfortable than that at many other hotels and this is only possible due to the scale and size of the guest house. I must also commend the level of service as it exceeds expectations in several ways. One worry that many guests will have is the possibility of a language barrier, as Bucu Guest House is not an international hotel with well trained staff. Even so, the staff can all speak and understand English well, with the head host, Niyoman having an above average command of the language. Also, all of them are extremely friendly, never failing to put on a wide smile and greet guests at all tome of the day. The lobby is not a useless place to have, as guests can make numerous arrangements at the lobby, such as planning tours, booking adventures and calling for a driver.
Also, guests can pick up chilled drinks from the lobby at affordable prices that are comparable with making the same purchases at convenience stores. This comes in handy should you wish to grab some drinks late at night when shops are closed, or when you are just lazy to take the 5 minute stroll out to the main road. Finally, the staff are also all extremely accommodating and they will try their best to fulfil any requests you have. For instance, should you arrive too early and wish to leave your luggage there while you head out to explore, the staff will keep watch over your belongings even though they do not have a secured room to store them.