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“True Bali!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp

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Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp
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Jalan Giri Puspa Blok D. No. 12 Taman Griya Jimbran | Kuta, Jimbaran, Bali 8036, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“True Bali!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Bali is an amazing place, and the Waveguru surf camp is far-and-away the best way to get to know the surf breaks. Prepare for a wild ride. 5:30am -- knock knock... surf! Scarf down a couple bananas, your board is already on the car, 5:45am you're hauling biscuits down windy Bali streets to get to the best break possible, at optimal tide, before the crowd is on it. 10am, driving back. You will think you're going to die. Repeatedly. The motorcycles and trucks around you are inches away -- the craziest traffic you've ever seen, but you don't care because you're so blissed out from the surf you just had. 10:30am -- breakfast, bacon and eggs done how you like them. Then, sleep for an hour, or maybe a trip for an epic $7 massage. (The afternoon nap is when it's especially nice to have an AC room.) Then lunch before you're out the door again for the 3pm surf. Get the waves of your life, then enjoy the sunset, before being driven back home, where there's dinner and a comfy bed. Maybe you'll shoot a game of pool with the other guests, look over photos, post to facebook, or read two lines in your book before conking out. You'll need your sleep, because you're doing it all again tomorrow, but at different surf spots.

This place is awesome. You have to worry about nothing. Food is healthy, tasty, and copious. These are home cooked meals, not salty restaurant fare. Laundry done if you need it. Side trips for ding repair or shopping if you need it. But, really, this place is all about surf-eat-sleep, repeat! What Nick and Dee are doing here is pretty amazing. Don't get me wrong, all the negative complaints in other reviews are true! The place is kind of noisy. (Bring headphones.) And the internet is kinda spotty. This is not a hotel -- it's a large house. No hot water. No restaurants within walking distance. Not super luxurious. Not a good place to bring your wife (or non-surfing partner), unless they're extra cool (like mine). But, what you're getting... you get to surf Bali like a local!

Even if you are a competent surfer (and you should be competent if you're going to surf Bali), there is little hope of getting to even half of these breaks and figuring out where to park and paddle out. Nick's local knowledge is gold. We mostly went to known spots, but also went to a few epic breaks that are in no books or websites. He and Putu also drive like maniacs. All to get you to the best surf breaks possible, at the optimal times. I honestly don't know how long Nick and Dee can keep surfers coming through their home this way, taking them for two sessions a day and keeping them well fed and happy. People don't usually do this sort of hosting, anywhere, because it's so much work! You will be forking over a decent stack of cash for this service, but, really, what you're getting is something you usually can't get at any price -- the company of knowledgeable and friendly people who will treat you like special guests, take care of you, feed you well, and paddle out with you into some of the best surf on the planet.

So.. bottom line... if you want luxury, or a view, or fancy food, or need pampering, book elsewhere. But if you want to be fed and driven around to surf all the best breaks with a cool local, this is your spot. Maybe stay two weeks here and two weeks elsewhere, once you've been taken to most of the spots and know Bali better? Or maybe, if you end up thinking about it like I did, you'll just decide to come back to Nick and Dee's, because it's so awesome to have to worry about nothing, and just surf.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Baiona, Spain
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

I must say I relate more to the negative reviews than to the positive ones, especially the last one from that poor unfortunate girl, which I can totally understand.

Maybe my first mistake was to go there with my GF since waveguru offered "non-surfer" rates, I expected that at least they would be welcoming and friendly with the non surfers. Not quite.

Nick wasn't really helpful at all, and it feels everytime you ask him something, you're just being an annoying brat.

I actually have more or less the same pros and cons as the "Caveat empor" review, that is:

The good:
-"The villa itself is spacious"
-"My room had solid A/C and was well-lit and large".
Well, we took the fan room and the fan didn't work. The mostuito net was full of holes, so rather a downer here.
-"Putu, the Indonesian guide, is a sweet guy."
He's friendly indeed.
-"2 surf trips a day most days"
True again, but I expected Nick would go the extra mile to find less crowded, better spots. If the surf is bad, you're just offered to stay and relax. No "Search & Surf"
-"Food is good".
On this one I must quite disagree. While the taste is alright, it was definitely nothing close to "surfer sized" meals. I was always hungry during my stay, and you'd better eat food outside - what most guests do - if you don't want to starve. Also, the food was long to come. Dee would great us after coming back from a surf session asking if we wanted to eat. At 2 pm. No kidding. So while I would have expected food to be warm and ready when coming back from a session, you had to painfully wait for up to an hour for food. And wait, if you made the mistake to go for a nap, somebody else might grab your food, and you'd be good for another hour wait.
I was really disappointed here, and my non surfing GF always wondered how could we handle it surfing all day, while the food was barely enough for her already.

-"Late airport pickup when I arrived (I waited at a café for a full hour)".
Haha. I had to laugh on that one. They simply forgot us at the airport. It was midnight, and no news from waveguru. No phone picking, nobody. Great start. Hopefully they apologized and offered to reimburse the first night we stayed in a random hostel.
-"The rupiah equivalent of $90 USD disappeared the second night from my wallet which was on my bed in the room when I went out. "
didn't see this happen to me hopefully
-"Location. You are looking at cabs or a 15 minute walk to get absolutely anywhere."
Completely agree. This could be fine if the villa had it all, but for instance if you wanted some extra food you couldn't get anything from the surroundings. Sucks.
-"No hot water and mediocre water pressure (long hair beware) "
Didn't even shower there much, plenty of options at surf spots.
-"Bathroom shared with 5 other bedrooms. (wasn’t a huge deal until I discovered other people using my toiletries…)"
Again not really an issue for me, but I agree the bathroom wasn't really inviting.
-"Meals and trips are at inconsistent times. Obviously the surf has to do with tides etc but sometimes we’d come in after a morning session, eat breakfast, then were served lunch 2-3 hours later before being sent out again…of course we weren’t hungry for the second meal so soon and it made for a heavy belly in the surf"
100% agree
-"Loud late into the evening"
True, noisy neighborhood.
-"Inconsistent Internet from the main lounge; nonexistent Internet from the bedroom "
-"Shoes off in the house, an edict with which I grew up with and absolutely agree…if the floors are clean. Invariably, 5 minutes’ barefoot walking yields dark sooty soles"
Haha, that's true.
-"Cheapest possibly sheets…imagine zero thread count"
-"Cash only"
true, Actually, when I told nick I wanted to shorten my stay because of all these reasons, he kept cool, saying it was alright. I was surprised that he wasn't actually. Says a lot already. But then, on the day of departure, I asked him to check me out, he started scribbling some numbers, and told me it would make 4M IDR for a 4 days stay (including some extra lessons and board rental). Ok, that' a lot, but fine, let's have a look. I couldn't really understand it, and Nick was obviously pissed that I start looking at it closer. Then suddenly we had to go to the ATM and pay him Cash. Right now. With no other real choice, I started talking to him about it, what he thought, told me that was the cheapest rate already. In the end he gave me back the 20$ from airport pickup... Since it didn't occur, it was welcome...

I have the feeling the surfer dudes here are rating Bali surfing. No doubt it is 5 stars. But guys, open your eyes, waveguru isn't such a great place, there is so much better places to stay. I wouldn't recommend any other surfcamps though, not that we stayed at any other, as they all tend to be ridiculously overpriced. You'll be much better on your own with a rental bike or car. Especially if you have non surfers with you.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

My son and I spent two fantastic weeks at the surf camp, Nick, Dee and Putu couldn't have been more helpful. Two chilled out, laid back surf sessions every day, one early doors before the sun came up and the other mid afternoon. Food is as good as any resturant in Bali with large surfer poportions to match, the Friday fish BBQ is world famous. Use of the internet and connection speed was never a problem, the atmosphere in the house was relaxed, no aggro and the other surfers were great. Everyone got along famously even though we were all from differnt parts of the world, UK, Norway, Dutch, Potuguese, USA & ozzy Nick. Thanks Nick and Dee for a wonderful time.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Me and my brother planned to stay at Wave Guru voor one week during our three week holiday. We ended up staying our whole holiday.

When we planned our trip the main goal was to surf as much as possible and we did!
In my three week stay I surfed Medewi, Balian, Changu, Batubulan, Kuta Beach, Airpoort Left, Balangan, Dreamland, Ulu's Tempels and Ulu's Secrets.
These guys will wake you every moring at 5:00 to be in the water when the sun comes up. And in the afternoon they take you again for a second session.

When the waves where big and heavy we would spilt up in two groups, one group would go for the biggest and heaviest waves out there. The other group would search for more mellow breaks.
The best thing is I was really challenged, surfed the best waves I ever did and my surfing has improved big time.

I had the best time ever, met cool people from all over the world and most important of all I surfed everyday!

Nick, and Dee thanks for inviting us to your home and all the great times!
Putu! Wouldn't be the same without you!

Owww and the food! The food is good!!!

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castricum, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I went for 4 weeks to Bali for the first time. I really wanted to stay somewhere where there is a friendly & family atmosphere. I found it at Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp!
Nick , Putu and Dee have given me a great time and hospitality. Every day a good selection of surf locations where the locals surf. Good food and every Friday the amazing fish BBQ!
Hope to be there soon again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heemstede, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

I checked in end of march 2012 in Wave Guru Bali. From the start on it was like coming home. Nick is a very cool, laid back ozzy with very good knowledge and understanding of Bali, his surf and people. His wife Dee is very cool too and together with the households they make proper surfers food and lots of it!

I've been to Bali before with a few mates (5 weeks). But in the 2 weeks (original plan 1 week, but extended my stay) i stayed with Wave Guru i've surfed more waves (by far!) than in those 5 weeks a few years ago. It has been truly amazing! 2 sessions a day with Nick and a few other guests who came to feel as friends in few days. After a week i trashed my board in a huge barrel on spot X, a bit of swim back i tell you.. Nick sorted me out with a fine board to borrow. I liked it so much i used it for the rest of my stay, I only paid a few bucks for it (mainly cuz he had to get it repaired because i trashed this one almost again ;)

I have seen some negative reviews on this site. Personally, i think 1 of them is from a competitor and the other one seems to me like it's a bird who's is just a bit of handfull anyway. She might have been a bit unlucky, sure.

Anyway, it would recommend anyone with an open attitude, who wants too escape the crowds and ridiculous luxury (which is destroying Bali anyway) and most important, looks for good surf, to go with Wave Guru.

Nick, Dee and kids. You have been absolutely truly wonderful. I have been all around the world, but next year i'm back at yours bro. With my wife and little kids, see if we can find some 10ft+ waves for our little bra boys !


Fausto 'Dutchy' Albers
Heemstede, Holland.

Room Tip: i'd go for the normal fan room. Aircon rooms might be only 10 bucks more expensive, which is sti...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tairua, null, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

Im a surfer from new zealand, stayed for a month with wave guru and had an amazing time. Nick the host is your surf guide, stunt driver and all round good bloke. Alot of my time spent there it was just nick and I twice a day hunting out the best waves bali has to offer

Food was great, quality western and indo food and nick often gives you the choice of whats on the menu for the day. Evenings would consist of chilling out at the house and having a few beers and games of pool after feeling knackerd from a hard days surfing! nick even took me out and showed me the bright lights in kuta one night. The house vibe is very chill and dee and the rest of the staff make you feel super welcome and looked after.

Highly reccomended if you want to score the best uncrowded waves in bali and after seeing a scooter driver splattered on the streets youl be glad you have nick and putu driving you to the waves!
Cheers to nick ill be back before the end of the year!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp

Address: Jalan Giri Puspa Blok D. No. 12 Taman Griya Jimbran | Kuta, Jimbaran, Bali 8036, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Jimbaran
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 65 Specialty Lodging in Jimbaran
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awesome surf guiding and surf homestay! We have 11 years finding the best waves in Bali. Don't come all the way to Bali and get dropped!! We introduce you to the locals so they won't drop in! We will also find you the best suited waves to your ability. We will block, snake, drop (other people) and we will even push you on waves. Anything to make your Bali surf holiday awesome..Surf guiding now..Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp Villa is open for the complete surf holiday . ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp Jimbaran

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