Accommodation options in popular destinations like Bali and Jakarta range from cheap backpacker guesthouses to some of the most opulent (and expensive) five-star hotels and resorts imaginable. Off the beaten track, however, your options are more limited. Probably the most common accommodation option for backpackers is the losmen or guesthouse, also known as wisma or pondok. The basic losmen, which often cost less than US$15 per night, are fan-cooled and have a shared bathroom, usually consisting of an Asian squat toilet and a bak mandi (water storage tank) from which you draw your own water (do not enter or use as a sink). For a longer stay, a kost (boardinghouse) is recommended – with perempuan/wanita/cewek for the ladies and pria/laki-laki/cowok for the men, with similar facilities if not better.
Next are the cheap hotels, which can usually be found in even the smallest towns, often near transportation hubs and tourist areas.These may have small luxuries like air-conditioning and hot water, but are otherwise often rather depressing, with tiny, often windowless rooms. Prices can be quite competitive with losmen and kost, starting at USD10/night.
Hotels of sufficient quality and facilities are berbintang (starred), a room can cost as little as 30 USD. Hotels of lower rank (but not always inferior quality) are sometimes given a rating, e.g. melati (jasmine) with minimal sufficient facilities and simple breakfast.
By law, all hotels must display a price list (daftar harga). You should never have to pay more than what is on the list, but discounts are often negotiable, especially in low season, on weekdays, for longer stays, etc. Book an appointment in advance if possible, as walk-in prices are often higher.
Nowadays, almost all big cities and tourist areas in Indonesia have at least one budget hotel or can also be said as bed & breakfast hotel (usually breakfast is optional). It is usually new, not more than 3 years, but the room is rather small, no bathroom but has a good hot and cool shower, no pool, no business room but WiFi is available for pay or free, no café but maybe has a small mini market inside. Generally used by modest business people or local tourists, but foreign tourists are welcome. Prices range from $30 to $40 per night, almost comparable to those of 2-star hotels or some 3-star hotels, but budget hotels are usually cleaner, have comfortable beds and seem modern. The most aggressive group is Kompas Gramedia Group with its Amaris Hotel (budget hotel), Santika (3 or 4 star hotels) and Anvaya (4 or 5 star hotels). Amaris Hotel nowadays builds hotels in areas for local tourists spread all over Indonesia such as Bangka, Banyuwangi, Bengkulu and of course Bali with about 40 hotels, some of which are owned by the group while the others are only operated by it. The other groups of budget hotels are Fave (also known as 3-star with small rooms), Whiz, Pop and 101, while in Papua there is the Matos group.