Before you read the rest of this review, and in case you are already staying at GG house, make sure you can leave the place on the day you are planning to do so. On Saturdays, the road is closed for traffic down the mountain after 9 am, cause so many people from the cities want to go up! We ordered an early Blue Bird taxi, but at the planned pick-up time, they sent a message saying GG house is outside their limits! We were incredibly lucky to catch a ride to Jakarta with the owner's wife. Otherwise, I have no clue how we could have left (in time). Ask about this matter at the reception!
GG house is a nice place to stay if you're looking for accommodation just outside the busy life of the west Javan cities. In that sense, it was a place where we could get some wanted rest. There is a very nice, well maintained garden with many flowers and butterflies, and the pool is very inviting, despite the rather cold water. Yet, our experience was still mixed.
We booked a double room for 3 nights, and asked for a bit more information on the facilities in an e-mail. We got a confirmation of our booking, but the rest of our e-mail was apparently ignored.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by a very friendly staff member. However, we were assigned a room for only 1 night. After explaining the mistake, we were told we would get a different room for the 2nd and 3rd night.
Our first room completely lacked having a nice view from the window, but more importantly, the bathroom was run down and not clean at all. The little thrash can next to the toilet looked especially nasty, and we both avoided touching it... Also, there were stains on the bed sheets and curtains, making the total feel like a room far below average.
Next day, we discovered that the included breakfast is nothing more than toast (white bread) with jam, or nasi goreng with almost no ingredients but rice and chicken. We avoided the nasi, since I discovered that the local geckos were IN the nasi, stealing the pieces of chicken. Quite funny to see (I love reptiles anyway), but it shouldn't be happening of course...
After breakfast, we picked up our stuff and moved to our second room (the reason for moving was that local people needed some rooms etc. to make a party or something).
The second room was WAY better. It was much bigger, clean, the bathroom wasn't run down, and we had a private balcony overlooking the river and valley. Note: the price for these rooms is the same!
There was no AC in either rooms, but at least in the second room this was hardly a problem, since there is a nice air flow coming from the valley and river. We spent quite some time hanging out on the balcony to see local life on the countryside. Of course the picture wasn't perfect, since the river is quite polluted, and the birds we hoped to see flying around were almost completely absent (besides swallows you can see anywhere).
Well, there actually were some birds in the garden, most of them locked away in cages so small they couldn't even spread their wings...
The restaurant was OK. During the day, you can order all sorts of nice things they will prepare fresh for you. For dinner though, you can only order a rice table, consisting of rice and/or noodles with a few side dishes. In general, the food tasted fine, but they do use a lot of fat/oils! Also, the quality of the chicken varied. They once gave us chicken that was so dry, it was not possible to swallow it without washing it down with a big sip of our drink.
Staff members were all very friendly and smiled at us constantly. Yet, we didn't count on room service early on our 2nd morning (nobody had told us anything), and had a lot of our things spread out in the room. The cleaning guy thus went through it all, including more private things. Not a nice feeling, even though it happened for a nice reason. A similar thing happened in the garden. I found many nice, tiny animals in the plants that are cool to photograph, which I did virtually half the day. A gardener saw me at it and was hanging around to do his work. When a little later he thought rain was coming, he decided to move my camera bag behind me without saying anything. The bag was still open, and he dropped my dslr with macro lens on the concrete floor. Miraculously, everything on the camera and lens seemed to be intact. And again, of course it came from a good heart, but I don't want to think about what I had done if he broke the whole thing...
So if you decide to stay at GG house, make absolutely sure you:
-book one of the nice rooms with a balcony and view on the valley
-can get away from the place on your desired moment
-avoid the gecko nasi goring at breakfast
-don't leave your camera bag unattended in an empty garden - not even 2 meters behind you
-bring ear plugs, cause in some rooms you might be kept awake by noisy roosters in the early morning
- Also Known As:
- Gg House - Happy Valley Hotel Bogor