The Ketut Madra Homestay, started in 1973 as “a quiet place to learn about Bali,” has always focused on providing simple, long-term accommodation with a remarkable Balinese family in a traditional and spacious garden compound.
Ketut Madra, a well-known painter of traditional Balinese legends, as well as a musician and masked dancer, opens his home to individuals and small groups – especially those who are eager to learn about aspects of Balinese culture. He has taught painting and rebab (the two-stringed lute that accompanies a gamelan) to two generations of guests and has introduced scores of visitors to teachers of Balinese painting, gamelan, wayang kulit, woodcarving, mask making, and much more. Madra’s ties to teachers and artists working in every medium, throughout South Bali and also in the academies of Denpasar, often help connect serious students to the lessons they’ve been seeking.
Over the years, guests have included writers, scholars, and artists, families with young children, and budget-conscious travelers as well as study groups and volunteers in Balinese schools. While the home-stay’s 12 rooms are small and simple, all have bathrooms with hot showers. The luxury of the homestay lies in the warmth of the welcome, the openness of the garden, and the uncrowded peace and quiet that feel so far removed from the Starbucks bustle of 21st-century Ubud.
Madra and his son Made Berata have recently renovated the largest rental cottage in the compound. With one bedroom upstairs and another below, it’s the first to have a kitchen with gas stove and fridge. The downstairs bedroom has its own bathroom and there’s a separate indoor-outdoor garden bathroom for the upstairs room. Either bedroom can also serve one person as a study or office, or the combination works well for a family.
While the home-stay has served for almost 50 years as their “window to the west,” Madra and his family remain deeply in and of their culture. Their guests have the opportunity to attend nearby temple and family ceremonies that are rarely open to tourists. They also easily secure front-row seats for the weekly performances of Peliatan’s renowned Tirta Sari gamelan ensemble.
Reservations and further information:
Ketut Madra Homestay, Banjar Kalah, Peliatan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Telephone: +62-812-3956-1165, mobile and WA number for Madé Berata; berataoffice(at)gmail(dot)com. Reservation can also be made on booking.com; with a search for: Ketut Madra Homestay Peliatan
The homestay has a near 50-year history of connecting guests with Balinese artists and teachers across all genres: gamelan musicians, performing artists, painters, mask makers, wood- and stone-carvers, metal workers, and myriad others with all kinds of local knowledge.
We are also able to help guests with airport connections and vehicle rentals. WiFi connection is available.
Location Ketut Madra Homestay is in Banjar Kalah in the southern part of the village of Peliatan. Ubud and Pengosekan are just to the west and the village of Mas is to the east. Peliatan is about one hour north of the airport, 40 minutes from central Denpasar, and 20 minutes from the regional capital, Gianyar. It is a convenient location from which to visit other parts of Bali.
4 thoughts on “About”
As the first guest to stay in the first pondok almost 40 years ago, I have many fond memories of the Ketut Madra Homestay.
Ketut is a wonderful teacher of wayang painting, sharing wayang stories with delight and imparting his mastery of painting. He always encouraged me to seek out other teachers and points of view as well. All this was augmented by seeing the stories in shadows and from behind the screen, most frequently watching the other well-known Ketut Madra, the late renowned dalang from Sukawati.
On my second stay four years later, it was three bungalows; and I shared the generosity of Madra’s family with students of Balinese music, painters and other long-term guests. It was still a peaceful refuge at the edge of the rice fields, as it was again in the ’90’s, with electricity and still more rooms. And now, though the rice-field views are only a memory, hot showers throughout?!
What more could one ask for? Highly recommended. Especially to those who go to Bali to learn something.
I first came to Bali in January 1974 and found my way to Ketut Madra’s and his new pondok by the sawah.
There was no electricity in Ubud then; and if one needed to make a phone call, it was a bemo ride to Denpasar with the hope the phone office was open and phones were working. There was nary a car in sight and not that many motorbikes. Roads were dirt, life was quiet, and plastic bags could not be found. Ketut would paint his amazing stories on his porch, and kids played games with stones and sticks and leaves.
I was studying dance in Batuan and Pejeng and rode my bicycle to dance lessons. In the late afternoons and evenings I would try to teach myself Balinese and Indonesian by kerosene lamps.
In 1985, Gamelan Sekar Jaya toured Bali. The home-stay had grown by then. We filled it, and had daily gamelan and dance practice there. Amazing artists from all over Bali came to see this bulé gamelan, and Ketut’s family was busy making coffee and fried bananas. I remember the day government officials came to see us practice (was it actually Bali’s governor?) and how Ketut beamed with pride.
Many scholars and artists have stayed here since. It is still quiet, and Ketut still paints wayang legends on his porch.
I first met Ketut Madra in 1973 and lived in the home-stay’s first pondok after Barbara left.
Ketut quickly became my friend and mentor in all things Balinese. He is the best cook of bebek tutu (smoked duck) I have ever known, as well as a gifted painter, and a thoroughly kind, generous and tolerant elder brother. Hardly a day goes by when I do not think of him, as his painting of Surpanakha complaining to her brother Rawana about Laksmana having lopped off her nose hangs above my desk.
Those early stays in Bali opened doors of intellectual curiosity and put me on the road to a previously unforeseen life in university teaching and research on Indonesia. What I learnt from Bali, and from Ketut, in the 1970s stays with me always, and has been taught to my students now for a quarter of a century. Panjang umur, Bli Ketut!
Sorry to hear the rice field views are a memory, but hot showers? That’s progress. Do go visit!
I first stayed at Ketut Madra Homestay in 1987, fresh on a Fulbright, to meet up with another Fulbrighter who was staying there. I was welcomed like a family member. Since then, I have stayed several times; my favorite bungalow is the “lumbung” rice-barn style cottage. I’ve put friends in this homestay many times and they’ve all loved it, as it’s affordable, friendly, and convenient. Twice I had a high-school student group from Washington state stay here, where Ketut arranged for his friends to come and teach the students gamelan, dance, woodcarving, mask-making, and painting which he taught himself. The meals were tasty, the atmosphere a home away from home, a real family friendly place.