We recently spent a week at Sunset Villa with two other couples and three small toddlers. The villa itself was very nice, lovely pool with a nice view, and an ok location - slightly off the beaten track, but close enough to everything you might need.
Upon arrival however, things began to go downhill. Our butler hounded us incessantly. Firstly for passports - six of us gave our passports, but one was asleep after a long journey of almost 24 hours. He would not accept that we would get her passport as soon as she woke up, instead demanding we go in and wake her, which was ridiculous. We understand the need to take copies of all passports for their records, and were happy to oblige, but his behaviour over the last person was unnecessary and inappropriate.
Over the following days we were hounded several times a day for tiny amounts of money for petrol, carseats, a chef etc... And I mean tiny - sometimes $4 or $5 (carseat). It quickly became clear that the villa is advertised with a chef, a boat and driver, a car and driver etc... but it's only when you read very carefully that it becomes clear that all these elements are charged for in other ways. The chef is $35 per meal (excl any ingredients which you have to buy yourself) - pretty steep to say the least. The car, is excl of petrol, which is fine - except when we compared what they were charging for the petrol it soon became clear it would have been considerably cheaper to take a taxi. Only when we questioned this a couple of times was the price suddenly amended, to what it presumably should have been all along. The boat costs for petrol were so ridiculous that we didn't bother, and actually didn't see the boat move for the duration of our stay so I can only assume other guests had the same thoughts.
The incessant hounding for money became very tiresome. Our suggestions to either give them a lump sum up front which they could deduct from, or add everything up for a single payment at the end fell on deaf ears. After three days we were all feeling stressed, and were looking for excuses to stay out on daytrips rather than return to the villa.
Eventually our butler arrived, announcing the villa manager was flying in at 5pm that day to speak with us and demanded we "had" to be in the villa at that time. This was the last straw. For $5500 a week I am certainly not going to be ordered around. We went to the beach instead and spoke to her the next day. She was as helpful as she could be, and promptly replaced our butler. Our new butler, Adin, was amazing. He did everything he could to make the last few days of our stay better and we finally got closer to being able to relax.
Throughout the stay there were some minor problems - one of the rooms had a major sewerage smell in the bathroom. We flagged this up every day but it was only on the third day it was addressed, which wasn't really good enough as there was a 12 week old baby sleeping in the room amid pungent sewer smells, and strong chemical smells from the quick fix they had attempted. Our bedroom had a lovely outdoor shower but the drain was completely blocked so it overflowed in seconds and flooded the bathroom. By this point we were all so tired we didn't even bother to report it and simply used the regular indoor shower.
The next few days were better as we were at a wedding and only spent limited time in the villa.
On the last day however the problems returned when their card machine broke down and they demanded we head into town to get cash to pay for our extras. I suggested we use the very efficient online payment system we had used to pay for the accommodation before we arrived, but was promptly told this was not an option, which seemed ridiculous. Only after refusing to make the trip into town, did they miraculously get the machine working again.
All in all a lovely villa with a lot of potential, which was utterly spoilt by the staff and processes. After this villa we moved to another (Mahatma House in Seseh Village), which was the absolute perfect example of how a villa should be run. Discreet, accommodating, and nothing was too much trouble. I still can't get over how amazing they were in every respect. I shall be writing a glowing review about their villa, as will the other members of our party.
With this kind of competition out there Puri Tirta Villas need to make some drastic changes if they want to keep up.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Report response as inappropriate
We are sorry to hear that some things that happened during your stay with us upset you so much that they made your experience not as good as you expected.
We take your comments very seriously.
We investigated the situation and we found that you were mostly concerned about the butler's behavior during the first few days of your holiday. He got very anxious because firstly you refused to provide passports when you arrived (which is regulated by the local authorities that we can't ignore). Every accommodation provider in the world requires this upon arrival. Then you refused to pay your outstanding bill for one extra night (provided at 20% discount with two free baby cots and car seats). You were well informed by the reservation team that your bill was due on check-in as this is the rule of the villa. Your butler got stressed because in Asia culture people follow the rules. We understand that you were tired after your long haul journey meanwhile you knew about the terms & conditions of your reservation that you just ignored.
We're very sorry that that an expat management person couldn't meet you and resolve these issues immediately. I was overseas on business and the general manager was in hospital with a very serious illness at that time. Our staff tried their best and provided all the services you ordered. Please understand that the local staff cannot deal with people not following the rules.
Your booking confirmation contained sufficient information about the services included in rentals such as daily breakfast, free WiFi, housekeeping staff, personal butler service and car with driver. We have the capacity to provide you with more services if you wish like motor boat rentals and professional chef but there is an extra fee with the prices clearly stated and we never push our guests to order additional services if they don't want them. A 7-seater car is provided and petrol is the only additional cost. This is stated clearly in our advertisements.
We took seriously your comments about the sewage and drainage problems in the bathroom and we have now fixed this issue. Unfortunately this happened during your stay. Please remember that a private house is pretty unique and we don't have another similar villa next door to move you immediately to eliminate an issue.
We appreciate that finally you settled all the bills properly. And again, we apologize that during the booking procedures you didn't clearly understand villa Sunset booking terms & condition. We're working on the possibility to be able to pre-authorize guest's credit cards on arrival but because of complicated bank regulations it takes several months to open this special function on our credit card machine.Please understand that telephone and electronic services in an ever changing Bali are very irregular. This is why the credit card machine can be erratic at check out.
Yours sincerely, Vasily & Oxana
Puri Tirta villas management
on behalf of our crew and villa owners
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.