It's been a couple of months since I had my last staycation at Salse Bandung, and to be honest, I wanted to write a review of my stay since last month, but I was so swamped up with work since the past few weeks that I just didn't have the time to do it, so here we go!
Salse Bandung has two types of accommodation in total. One is VillaTel, which is a hotel-type accommodation that comes with some different types of rooms, from Deluxe to Premium. The other one is the one that I'm going to write about, because that's where I stayed for one night: the VillaCamp!
Dubbed as their exotic cultural resort experience, the type of the accommodation is inspired by Central Javanese joglo style, with a gazebo-type accommodation that is more affordable than the VillaTel Salse. If anything, VillaCamp feels more like glamping with a twist, since it's not exactly a camp, since half of the accommodation was built with bricks and all, but then again, you can zip out the “window” to get the view around your accommodation.
If I gotta be honest, I wasn't planning to have another staycation in my hometown after I had such a terrible experience at Horison Green Forest Bandung.
However, Salse's Marketing Manager, Gema, who's also my business partner, posted an Insta Story when they had a special deal during the school holiday in July. And it was a good one because the rate for VillaCamp was only IDR 125,000 (around $8.75 USD) per pax-per night. Well, one of the terms and conditions was that it was for a minimum of 2 pax, so in total, I paid IDR 250,000 (around $17.5 USD) as I stayed there only for one night.
Since my grandma was in town, and it was during the worst period of the pandemic in my hometown, I didn't have a staycation with my family this time as I had a solo staycation instead.
Salse Bandung might not be popular, but its sister company, Lawangwangi is known as one of Bandung's hottest spots. Located in Dago Giri, it offers the best view and weather to hang out around the northern part of the city. The location is also relatively close to the city center.
Both Salse Bandung and Lawangwangi are under the same management. Owned by an Indo-Dutch couple, both have some similarities in which you could definitely tell that the owners really appreciate arts in any kind of form. While Lawangwangi is also an art gallery as well as a restaurant, you can see the form of arts in Salse Bandung through the architecture of the complex in general.
There's also an amphitheater around Salse that is instagrammable, even though I'm not exactly sure its function beyond one-shot for the ‘gram.
Well, for my staycation this time, I got a chance to visit both Lawangwangi and Salse, but I will focus more on the latter since it was the first time I literally had a solo staycation. Not only because I went there alone, but also because I was the only guest staying at that night.
Since I constantly communicate with Gema due to our business, I asked him to book a VillaCamp for me on a low season as in I didn't have to deal with other guests in the swimming pool since I was already planning to go swimming there.
It was a Wednesday, and during the night, it was literally only me and the security. And even the latter, he was waiting somewhere that I didn't even notice his existence except for a stray cat that accompanied me at night.
My First Impression at Salse Bandung
As I mentioned that Salse Bandung isn't as popular as its sister company, while I had been to Lawangwangi years ago, I didn't know the exact location of Salse before because it was my very first time going there.
I took a GrabCar from my house, and it was probably one of the most expensive surcharges for a GrabCar for a staycation in Bandung. Normally, it wouldn't take more than IDR 50,000 to book a Grabcar from my place to the hotel. But since the location is a little suburb with a quite challenging track, I paid around IDR 70,000 to get to Salse from my house.
And mind you, unlike Lawangwangi that is location on the main road in Dago Giri, the location of Salse is a bit tricky if you passed the intersection to get there. Once you get past it, it isn't too bad.
The parking space is quite spacious. If anything, if you book a premium room, you will also have your own parking spot close to your room.
Check In Process
The receptionist is on the mezzanine floor of the main building. Only one person was waiting at the receptionist's desk, and he noticed me as soon as I arrived since I was the only guest checking in that day.
Gema said that the guy was an office boy, but due to the efficiency of the management during the pandemic, he is now also assigned to welcome the guests and proceed with the booking when the receptionist is off. Honestly, he did a really great job as I couldn't tell if it wasn't his main job.
He asked for a cash deposit of IDR 100,000 and then assisted me with the booking quickly. He was also accompanying me to my “camp” since it's around 100-200 meters from the main building. Mind you, he also did a one-man-show when he helped me for the check-out process and he was the runner to check in case I left something in the camp.
Review: VillaCamp at Salse Bandung
Now that you know you can opt for either VillaTel or Villacamp for the accommodation at Salse Bandung, what are the common facilities that you can get from staying there?
Well, you'll get access to the pool and also the resto. Gema said that there's also a jacuzzi facility available for the VillaTel guests, although it was inoperative at the time.
The rate difference isn't a lot. For example, the standard rate for a night at the VillaCamp is around IDR 325,000 (around $22.75 USD). For VillaTel, the night rate for a deluxe room starts from IDR 500,000 (around $35 USD). But since I got the special deal for VillaCamp plus I wanted to try glamping as well, VillaCamp was a great option for me at the time.
I got the camp that is the closest to the swimming pool and the resto. As mentioned before, it has a Central Javanese joglo style with an attached bathroom for each camp. Nothing fancy about the room, they only have a proper sofabed, and that's about it.
But they also have a couple of cabinets above the bed where you can keep your belongings. I brought my trolley bag at the time, and the cabinet was big enough to keep it there. If you can't find any amenities in the room, you may also want to check the cabinet since normally they prepare a basket with towels for you there.
The room also comes with an intercom where you can easily contact the receptionist or the resto in case you want to order room service. Just note that the restaurant is only open until 6 PM though.
Everything in the VillaCamp is quite modest, so it's good enough if you only look for a new experience for a staycation. The sofabed isn't the most comfortable bed per se, but I suppose it wasn't so bad for one night.
There's only one electricity plug at the VillaCamp, but you can also find another in the bathroom close to the sink.
I know I can't compare this to the real glamping experience since I've never done it before, but overall… I think VillaCamp Salse Bandung is quite as good as I expected.
The rate also includes breakfast for two. When I checked in, the receptionist asked which menu that I would opt for breakfast. They only have two options, which is either fried rice or fried noodle. Since I was alone but I paid for two pax, I initially picked both just so I could try each one of them and write a review of which breakfast menu is better at Salse Bandung.
However, when my breakfast came in the morning, I got fried rice in both boxes, so I gave one of them to Gema when he arrived at work.
Although they have a restaurant, your breakfast will be delivered to your room. Upon check-in, the receptionist will also confirm what time you want it to be delivered.
Joglo Salse Resto
I mentioned that now the resto, Joglo Salse Resto, is only open until 6 PM in the morning. But how good is the food there?!
I got a chance to try a few of their menu during my staycation, and I wasn't disappointed! If you're an Indonesian, you know too well that it's rare to find Indonesian food that is actually tasty in a high-end restaurant. It's almost like the best Indonesian food is served on the street when it's unhygienic. LOL.
But it wasn't the case at Joglo Salse Resto, because their Indonesian food is authentic and reasonably priced!
After I went swimming when I arrived, I ordered a few things on the menu. I had tutug oncom for the main course, while I also ordered cireng for the finger food. Nothing fancy for the drink, as I only had the hot tea in the teapot for the latter.
Sure the fried chicken could've been bigger, but other than that it was delicious! And again, the taste is also authentic… Not the kind of Indonesian food that tastes more like a fusion to be acceptable for the Western tongue. 😛
Well, I forgot to take a pic of the cireng, but it's only because I liked it so much and I just went straight to enjoy eating it.
I got a chance to use some of their facilities like wifi and swimming pool, and both work well. For context, I stayed there during EURO 2020 and I got a chance to stream a few matches there with no problem. But mind you, I was the only person staying there at the time, so I'm not sure if it had something to do with it.
Well, the pool was clean for me to jump in playing with water… But, when I went outside at night to play with the cat, I saw that's where the frog went swimming too. So I'm not sure if you feel gross with the idea, but I was just okay with it so I went swimming again in the morning.
The hotel area is quite big, and it was nice for a morning walk as well. As I told you earlier, there's an amphitheater that I'm not sure what its function is beyond just being instagrammable.
And if you get a chance to stay there all by yourself like I did the other day, it was quite a blast if you're not superstitious. LOL. For example, I went to the big gazebo next to the swimming pool to work on my laptop at night. I was alone, but then a cat approached me that made me quite special for some reason. LOL.
Final Verdict: Staycation at VillaCamp Salse Bandung
If you choose VillaCamp Salse Bandung, you should be aware that there's nothing fancy about the accommodation since it was quite simple with the camp and all. But what you should know that it's definitely worth the price!
I mean, IDR 250,000 with the access to the swimming pool and delicious food… Plus, the wifi works fantastic too that it's good enough to stream a football match! It's definitely a great deal, I suppose.
For me personally, since I was really disappointed with my last staycation experience at Green Forest, my staycation at VillaCamp Salse Bandung was quite a blast!
I would say, 8 out of 10 I would recommend Salse Bandung… And it's not because I'm friends with Gema, but it's because I had a good experience staying there!
- Affordable night rate, starting from IDR 300,000 per night only!
- A nice place to stay for a semi-glamping experience.
- Breakfast is included, and it's also delicious!
- The menu at the restaurant is incredible, and the price is also reasonable, with a lot of options for authentic Indonesian dishes.
- Not a fan of the location, since it's almost like in the middle of nowhere. Don't be surprised if some Grab drivers refuse to pick you up unless if you agree with their offline rate!
Phew… So that's the story of my last staycation at Salse Bandung. Did you get a chance to have a staycation somewhere in your hometown during the pandemic? How was your experience?
Or… Do you have a recommendation to have a staycation in Bandung and its surroundings? Mention the place in the comment, I may be there soon! Stay safe, and cheerio! 🙂