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“Consistent excellence” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Damai Villas

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The Damai Villas
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Jalan Damai | Kayuputih, Bali 81161, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Lovina Beach
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Consistent excellence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

This was our second stay at Damai, and we were delighted that the amazing standard of service had not changed in 4.5 years. It was also lovely that so many of the staff that we remembered from the first time were still there. The location is exceptional, you feel as if you are in your own haven of seclusion and beauty. Our villa was spacious and beautifully decorated. It was difficult to choose between staying in or going out to the restaurant and communal pool, as all choices were so gorgeous. On our first trip we did the tour to the market, and would have loved to have done the cooking course but were there as a family the second time, so it was not feasible. The meals on offer are quite delicious, we especially liked the Japanese and Indonesian breakfasts. The staff are wonderfully warm and friendly, attentive but not-overbearing. Our daughter got ill and we had superb help with regards to care and obtaining medicines. From the first day our daughter was calling various members of staff her 'friend'. I had a massage which was superb: perfect pressure, tempo and timing. If we head to Bali again, this would be one place we would definitely return to.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank Susan_Oli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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595 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (98)
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English first
New York, NY
Level Contributor
132 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

At some point a few years ago, the Damai must have been the trendiest luxury new hotel in Bali, in an unusual location near Lovina, with a foodie appeal, and all the latest amenities. I spent one night here, and it was clear to me that this was no longer the case.

Room: we stayed in a deluxe villa, with a rear garden. As is often the case in luxury hotels in Bali (and southeast Asia more generally), the garden was walled -- this provides a lot of privacy, but there is no view, and after a while, it begins to feel claustrophobic. Perhaps the pool villas shown in some of the photos, with their expansive views of the distant ocean, don't feel as cramped, but we did not opt to spend a lot of time in our rear garden. Moreover, the jacuzzi that you see in some of the photos is manually filled. While this sounds like a fancy amenity, in reality, it requires you to provide 3 hours' advance notice to the staff if you wish to use it; it is otherwise a very pretty pool of standing water in which mosquitos make a lovely home. On the topic of mosquitos, our room had direct french doors to the rear garden from the room (unlike the other rooms, in which the entrance was through the shower area), and these french doors was beautifully carved (see photo); however, the carvings essentially mean big holes in the doors directly to the outside (where the big standing pool of water is, as mentioned above). In front of the door, the hotel had installed a pull-down shade, but this shade did not seal the openings in the carved doors, which meant that upon nightfall, our room was filled with countless mosquitoes. This thoughtless design was further exacerbated by the fact that the mosquito netting around the bed had big holes in it. The staff did their best to remedy the situation, and even thanked us for providing them with ideas as to how to permanently seal the carvings in the french doors (by gluing screens onto the doors on one side, so as not to let mosquitoes into the room -- pretty straightforward). Nonetheless, we were puzzled by the fact that after years of operation, this obvious issue had not been addressed, and that at the very least, the mosquito netting around the bed was not kept in good repair.

Also note that the deluxe villas are also quite close to reception, and as noted on the Hip Hotels website, people are constantly walking by, so there is not a lot of privacy, as the only windows in the villa look out onto the walkway and other villas (which are very closely spaced together).

Grounds: as noted in some of the other reviews, the main pool is quite small, and every night is converted into a poolside dining area, so use of the pool in late afternoon is quite limited. Perhaps the pool was a sufficient size if when the hotel first opened, there were fewer rooms; at the hotel's current size, it does not seem sufficient. The rest of the grounds, including the herb and vegetable gardens, are beautiful and had wonderful nighttime lighting and lots of interesting flora and fauna.

Food: the Japanese breakfast was the best breakfast I had in my month-long trip to Indonesia, but the dinner service was not as impressive. Yes, the food is great when compared to other hotels and fancy restaurants in Bali, but by global standards, it was ok at best. The salad had much too many bitter herbs in it, and the udang goreng main course I had was simply chicken slathered in red galanga sauce -- good, but nothing mindblowing. Since this hotel was opened, it seems a lot of other restaurants and hotels in Bali have begun offering this type of cuisine, so it is not as special as it may have been 16 years ago. The food certainly does not rise to the level of making the restaurant a destination in and of itself.

Service: staff was genuinely trying to solve the mosquito situation in our room, though in the end, it is unclear what steps they took, and we ended up sealing the holes in the mosquito netting with towels and hoping for the best. Also, the staff told us that ours was the only room with this design, and thus, with this issue, but that there were no other rooms available that night. Food service was very good. Upon departure, staff was very accommodating in helping us book our next hotel.

Location: the hillside away from the ocean was not on a particularly beautiful hillside. One could still hear the mopeds around the hotel, and at some point in the late afternoon, loud music came blaring up the hillside from somewhere outside the grounds. The ocean is distant, but beautiful. Lovina is a 10-minute shuttle ride away; the rest of the activities are further afield. The hotel seems to attract many European, especially Scandinavian, guests who hole up in the pool villas for many days, even weeks, without venturing out. During our our cooking class, we met another couple who had not left the hotel in 5 days. If one is in an ocean-view pool villa, that may be exactly the right thing to do, and a wonderful experience. However, in a deluxe villa as described above, this seems unimaginable. For more active travelers, this is not the best location, as the snorkeling in Lovina is not particularly recommended (try Menjangan Island or Amed instead!), the dolphin watching nearby seems like a made-up gimmick, and as noted above, other interesting sights are at least an hour by car away.

Overall, there are better places in Bali to spend your time than Lovina and the Damai.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
6 Thank yaneh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMDamai, General Manager at The Damai Villas, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Thank you for this feedback and guest experience at The Damai. I do like your fair and non bias comments and allow me to respond to some of them in a truthful manner.

The Damai has always been a 4 star boutique hotel but position by many guests as a luxury product. So if you do come with a perception of luxury product, then certainly we may not be that. We do try and meet luxury standards which maybe the reason for this perception. The rates you pay at the Damai are certainly much lower than a luxury product down south.
The room in particular you stayed #3, is the biggest of the Deluxe units. I must say, you did rightly point that there were gaping holes in the doors, which I must admit being here in Damai for a year, seeing guests check in and check out on a regular basis this was the first time someone rightly pointed this to my attention. I assume that maybe during the earlier period, the weather did not encourage that many mosquitoes. Your information on this made me change this door for which I thank you.
Also on the Jacuzzi, this have been there for 15 years, we do plan to convert this to plunge pools or maybe have a bath tub in its place. This will not be so fast as changing the door…but we will reassure that the Jacuzzi is not a breeding ground for mosquitoes as it is treated like the pool water.
I also take cognizance of your positive and negative comments on the grounds, the pool, the food and tours and I understand that Lovina did not meet with your expectations.
On the snorkeling in Lovina, we do not sell this, that is why we provide a butler service(without any obligation) to help communicate with guests and help them enjoy North Bali better.
I also must inform you, when compared to staying in the South, the North has shorter travel time access to Menjangan and other hot spots in Bali.
Travel time is common in Bali no matter where you stay and something that will be a permanent feature of Bali.
Also as you rightly pointed out , preferences for hotels is matter of choice and expectations of an individual. We may please some, we may not please others, which certainly we are sadden but continue to strive to achieve excellence.
We are sorry that we did not meet this expectations and hope you can find something in Bali that truly meets your expectations.

Best Regards
Menon, GM, Damai
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alice Springs
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We were very tired when we arrived at The Damai so we were pleasantly to find such a beautiful tranquil resort. Our villa " Umah Tirta" was superbly furnished with everything we needed. The bale (pavilion ) by our pool was where we spent most of our time . The meals in the restaurant were of an extremely good standard (a bit expensive). We loved the Japanese breakfast. Be aware that you are a captive market in relation to evening meals.the shuttle service does not extend past around 6pm. We participated in the Cooking School with Ketut...would thoroughly recommend this...the visit to the market was informative and enjoyable...Ketut's husband (waiter)was also very helpful...they both made our visit very memorable. We shall return

Room Tip: Any of the Villas are good
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank John-Sharon-EXOTIQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012 via mobile

I have been in Damai, at Lovina tree times. Each time I experience an exclusive beauty. The landscape, the garden, the settings and the very good taste of the interiors , are special in Damai.
You could not find a better food in the most exquisite restaurant in Europe .
The owner, a Danish , takes personally care of the service and the standard.
Absolutely worth of the price.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
1 Thank Anna Maria I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

A very unforgettable stay.Beatifull location and garden.The room was very nice. We really enjoyed the whole stay. If one word should cover the whole impression it should be aestetic, everything was like that.If possible we shall return

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank Peer Kildegaard l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012 via mobile

As soon as we got to the Damai we felt depressed - we were already dreading leaving. If money were no object we would live here, in fact id be tempted to work here if it meant I could stay forever !

Yes the Damai is that good. But it does come at a fairly hefty price and its a pretty closed market in terms of restaurants so be prepared.

That said, it was of exceptional standard... The Damai has its own farm which you can visit, they rear everything from crayfish to pigs and grow salads and herbs on the hotel grounds. The food was excellent, especially the japanese breakfast was divine, smoked fish & rice with mini omelette. Dinner was always excellent and the setting in the evening was magical. There's a good cocktail list too and long drinks come with bamboo straws I liked so much I bought some to take home.

If you want to give your wallet a break you can catch the shuttle to Lovina and have a cheap lunch there (I recommend the jasmine cafe) but Lovina itself is a dive where you will be harassed by hawkers and the shuttles are not on demand or frequent enough for a quick lunch then back.

On the plus side there is a really nice diving school at Lovina called "spice dive" and they do day excursions to Balis best diving spot: Menjangen island. This was the very place that lured us north, it's a magical and unforgettable experience to dive or snorkel there. Spice dive do "fun dives" where you are taught and tested on safety procedures and can dive up to 15 meters. Diving here and staying at the Damai were the highlights of our honeymoon!

Another thing that is nice about the Damai is that it's small and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There are only 15 villas, and while the standard rooms seem lovely but quite uniform, the superior villas are all unique and impeccably designed. The architect and the owner are Danish and our villa "uma tirta" was a heady mix of Balinese spiritual and natural elements with sleek, modern Scandinavian design.

The corner of the living area is a group of panelled windows that completely open up so your sofa is an island floating on the edge of your private pool. Nature up here is fabulous and we saw some beautiful birds on our private deck. Our villa was on a jungle-esque hill overlooking the horizon. Did I mention we were upset when we had to leave?

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank pamelajaneabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

The arrival at Damai at night was like a ferrytale: lampions hanging throughout the tropical garden. Very friendly people taking us in a buggy to our pool villa. Champaign and great spring rolls. We have had the best time ever staying in the pool villa for 3 weeks. The service was impeccable. Everytime we came back to our room all had been cleaned and organized. The food was great and important enough healthy and hygienic. We are grateful for the cooks to maintain such a high standard in all aspects of the kitchen. The hospitality of Mr Menon (GM) and his team was outstanding. They really listen and do everything humanely possible to accomodate your needs and all with a smile and genuine friendliness. The fishing trips were magic, catching Mahi Mahi and Bracuda and seeing hundreds of dolphins. The visit to the pearl factory was great as were the strawls in Lovina town.We have felt very privileged to be staying in such a nice pleace with such friendly people and service. The Caipirinhas of the bar master (Tom Cruise) were superb as well. Highly recommended destination. The balinese costume photo session was fun as was the soccer with the resort team. The dancing lessons for the kids in towm were also great. We last but not least like what Damai do to work together with the community and let all benefit.

Room Tip: All great but the pool villas are the best!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Damai Villas

Address: Jalan Damai | Kayuputih, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Lovina Beach
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Lovina Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Lovina Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4 star — The Damai Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Damai is a boutique resort in the green hills above Lovina. 15 Beautifully appointed villas in a lush tropical park welcome you with stunning views over the North Bali coast and the distant volcanoes of Java. The award-winning restaurant serves delicious local and international cuisine with organic ingredients from the resort's own gardens and farm. The Damai is perfect to relax from your daily hectic world, to enjoy the private luxury of a pool villa during your honeymoon, or simply to relax in your private pool after a wonderful massage and before a delicious meal over the hills of Lovina. Of course, The Damai offers you all the facilities to stay in touch with your home world. Your fellow customers believe that The Damai is the best hotel on Balis North coast - let us show you why. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Damai Hotel Lovina Beach
Damai Lovina Hotel
Hotel Damai Lovina
The Damai Villas Lovina Beach, Bali

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