I nearly didn't stay in this hotel because of all the reviews on this site.
Firstly I'd like to say, yes the poor dolphins are in captivity and it is sad that they are not in there natural habitat, but then you must realize that these 3 dolphins have actually been rescued from a cruel animal show where they were severely mistreated. They have now been rehabilitated to good health and as far as I know a dolphin can not be returned to the ocean once living in captivity so what they have now is loving environment with caring trainers and are well looked after. No one seems to car about lions in a zoo or birds in an aviary, so what's the difference.
Now as for the hotel, I am extremely fussy. Like ridiculously fussy. But I looked on the website photo gallery and seen some of the rooms looked nice. So I took the gamble. My friends who weren't as brave because of the reviews on this site backed out at the last minute and choose a nearby hotel.
I felt sick in the stomach the whole 3 hour trip up to Lovina about what the hotel was going to be like but it was great. We were pleasantly surprised. We booked a presidential suite which is $110 a night. Very cheap for a family of 5. So maybe all the other complaints were about the cheapest rooms you can get. But hey what can you expect for $60 a night. I mean really if your going to pay so little then your going to get rubbish.
I've attached photo's of our room. it was huge. We have 3 children and they slept in their own room. We had our own room too and then there was a dining room, kitchen and massive bathroom with a spa. Our room looked out onto 1 of the dolphin pools and sometimes in the evening you could hear the dolphins swimming and splashing about. it was beautiful.
Everything was very clean. The towels were all different colours and quite thin but they were clean. We had a proper bath mat too, not sure what that over review about the bath mat was for.
We looked in quite a number of other suites as they open them up everyday for cleaning and airing if they are empty. It was really good cause you could walk in and check them all out. And they were all nice. I got a glimpse of a standard room and it didn't look too crash hot, but as I said before, for $60 you can't expect something nice.
Our friends who didn't end up staying here loved the rooms too. We got the kids club for free and the kids enjoyed it as they had lots of toys to play with. I don't think they conduct any activities tho.
The breakfast was not very good. But all the staff in restaurant were so nice and eager to get us any extra's we wanted. The breakfast consisted of freshly made omelette's, cold pancakes, watermelon and pineapple (I was put off by the flies that kept landing on them tho) toast and some dodgey looking nasi and noodle dishes.
Dinner one night was great, but the next night not good at all. I think because we were there in their quiet season, and we rocked up about 8pm for dinner and they didn't have anything prepared as they weren't expecting anyone.
I met the owner of the hotel who seemed nice. He gave us free pony ride for the kids which they loved.
You can't use the playground any more as some of the animals now wander in that section, which was a bit disappointing.
Our massages in the hotel were only 70,000 rup for 1 hour, and they were the best massages we had for our entire bali stay of 3 weeks.
We only stayed 3 nights in Lovina and that was enough. nothing really much to do there. The beaches are horrible. You can see the sewer drains going out into the water. would never swim there.
I'm glad I did the swim with the dolphins as it's a very unique and privileged experience but it wasn't as nice as I thought it would be. The dolphin was very strong and it was a little intimidating having this big strong creature coming up to you quickly and rolling on you and twisting you around. Also he had his penis out most of the time and would try to hook it onto your leg. If however you want to pay double the price, you can swim with the calmer dolphins in the therapy pool. this is what my friend opted to do after she heard about our experience and her kids loved it. It was nice and calm. We paid about 830,000 rup for a family of 4. which is quite cheap when you consider everywhere else in the world is $200 odd for 1 person. this worked out to $100 Aussie dollars for 4. And my friend paid i think about $170 for the therapy dolphins for 2 people and it included free pony rides too.
If you can't afford to swim with the dolphins you can always pay 25,000 rup and after the dolphin show (3 times a day) which is about $3 aussie, to pat the dolhpin's and feed them. we did this first and it was great to feel these magnificent creatures.
All up I loved the hotel. I would only recommend the suites tho. The grounds were lovely and the staff great. The poolside bar and restaurant were both new and they are in the middle of building a new massage room too. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anybody.
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- Also Known As:
- Melka Excelsior Hotel Kalibukbuk
- Melka Excelsior Resort Hotel Bali/Singaraja