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Dark Under-Belly of Bali Small Hotel Operations

Bali Press Exposes Use of Locally-Owned Hotels for Short-Time Assignations.

(2/13/2010) Bisnis Bali says that many of the locally-owned Melati-hotels in Bali's capital city of Denpasar resort to "short-time bookings" of only two-hours duration in order to maximize the return on their investment.

While many of the hotels, such as some found on Jalan Pidada, Gatsu Barat and near the main bus station of Ubung have a steady flow of family and small groups of domestic travelers that, according to the Bisnis Bali report, only sustains an occupancy of around 20-40%. And, while a 24-hour rental of a modest room with en-suite bathroom and a television can net between Rp. 150,000 to Rp. 200,000 per night (US$15-20), a short-term rental of only two hours can net between Rp. 25,000 and Rp. 35,000 (US$25-35).

When the hotel Melati staff were asked about the nature of two-hour business staying at the hotel the receptionists initially insisted that some guests were simply seeking a short rest in the middle of a busy day. Questioned further, the hotel staff relented, admitting that the "short-time" visitors were also comprised of young unmarried couples or older couples involved in an extra-marital liaison. The hotel staff is unable to enquire at check in for fear of being impolite, while the profit motive also plays a role in the hotel's acquiescence to what might otherwise be considered in some circles as immoral shenanigans.

BisnisBali reports that there are 176 Melati hotels in Denpasar, 80% of which are certified and registered.