Specifically, it was the lovely Dewi Antara Homestay (+62 361 976072) on Jalan Sugriwa in Padang Tegal.
Walking through the picturesque stone arch (with a motorbike ramp incorporated into the front steps, a common feature here, as most families don’t need driveways), visitors to this homestay east of Hanoman Street are greeted by an oasis of calm that stands in contrast to the already quiet local streets.
Fortunate enough to be housed in the first room, which was basic and clean, I had the good fortune to enjoy the included breakfast and aromatic coffee while seated before a koi pond near the entrance, ringed by religious statues and stocked with plump goldfish.
The family who operates Dewi Antara Homestay consists of a father who takes part in the village’s cultural activities, a mother who serves up memorable banana pancakes, a grandmother who places the regular canang sari (offerings) around the property and a son who will rent one of his several bikes cheaply.
Improbably, they were all smiles most of the day.
Best of all, the room, with two queen beds and a Western-style toilet, cost a total of 100,000 rupiyah a night. Or about $10.98.
It’s easy to see why one recent Japanese tourist lodged here for an entire year.