The Casa Padma Suites is one of the countless "boutique" hotels that have sprouted in the tourist enclaves of Legian/Seminayak, Bali in the last 8 to 10 years. Our first encounter with the Casa Padma Suites was in 2007 when my husband and I stopped by for a thirst-quencher after walking over from Kuta Beach Road. Padma Street, where the hotel is located, is the boundary road between Kuta and Legian beaches. My husband later stayed at the hotel in 2008 with a couple of fellow surfers in a ground floor superior suite at the unarguably reasonable rate of U.S.$60/night (all inclusive of tax and service charge plus daily breakfast). Therefore, when I booked us at the hotel on this 10-day trip, he endorsed my choice recalling the room as comfortable and spacious and the proximity to Legian Beach as unbeatable. What boosted my anticipation of a good stay was the upgrade that the hotel gave us from a standard twin room to one of its Mini Suites at the standard room rate of US$60 + $25 high season surcharge.
The Casa Padma Suites' location is faultless. But with over 2 million vehicles crawling Bali's streets and highways and a majority of that vehicular population concentrated in the southern towns and regencies, suffice to say that Padma Street is a constant cacophony of motorcycle/scooter engines, car horns and permeated with diesel fumes and dust. The one-way street –– more a lane nowadays –– is narrowed even more than before with sidewalk construction that takes up a good two feet on either side.
The hotel's public exterior areas namely its Drops Restaurant, the reception lobby and pool and architectural blend of dark wood framed bay windows, white concrete and slate tiles appear sufficiently chic and contemporary on its website and in reality to deceive one into believing that the design is carried through into the guestrooms.
Our Mini Suite was Room 306 and one of only two in the hotel. I had requested for a quiet room away from the street and lobby as I knew noise from the traffic and nearby pubs will surely be heard in the front rooms. We got what I asked for –– a third floor room facing the back neighborhood of Balinese homes. However, the quiet was only one of the very few redeeming features about the room. It was spacious, had its own split airconditioner and ample wardrobe space for a 10-day stay. But the cleanliness leaves quite a lot to be desired. The tiled floors, while appearing clean, had a dusty feel to it and was unswept in corners. The bed linens, although clean, appeared yellowish and faded with use. The stained curtain on the single bay window was obviously unwashed for who knows how long ago. The love seat at the window was upholstered in black chenille material as was the single chair at the corner table. We didn't sit in these furniture as their hygiene looked dubious. I had to wipe the closet shelves and dressing table before putting our belongings on them as there was a layer of dust on the surface. The hotel had these fixtures in black paint which made the dressing area rather dim even with the lights on.
The worse feature was the bathroom. It had a large vanity with one of those clear glass bowls for a sink. But after a night's use, the water and soap scum stain the sink immediately. The Mini Suites are the only ones with bathtubs and shower overhead. Our bathtub was stained with mould and mildew. The shower curtain had missing rings and the curtain rod sagged in one part with electrician's tape holding it together. Water pressure on the third floor was low and in the mornings, it takes several minutes for hot water to come through the shower. The amenity that turned me off was the bath and hand towels –– they were grey and worn from years of guest use. I immediately asked the front desk on our first night to change out the towels to a newer set and for housekeeping to scrub down the bathtub the next day. The hotel staff was apologetic and accommodating and tried hard to remember our requests during our stay.
I was in two minds to switch to another hotel but my husband was partial to the location. We spent a couple of afternoons by the poolside –– which did not look inviting with its dark tiles –– and were assaulted by diesel fumes and noise from the passing traffic over the wall. It was a glaring contrast from our last stay at the Alam Kulkul on Kuta Beach Road in 2007.
On our eighth night, our Mini suite was invaded and infested by a swarm of termites –– the kind that's common in the tropics when the weather gets hot, humid and heavy before a rainstorm. But there was no rainstorm and the weather at this time in Bali is comfortably cool. The termites swarmed in the bathroom and crept into the bedroom attracted by the lights from the flatscreen TV. It appeared the invasion was isolated to our room as I didn't see any of the winged creatures in the hallways or in the lobby when I went to report the situation. (We learned the next morning that the termites came in from the corners of the roof outside the bathroom). We were evacuated to the next room –– a superior suite –– quickly. It was a bigger suite overlooking the pool. Some street noise did penetrate but not loud enough to disturb our sleep. However our sleep was disrupted at 1:00 a.m. by the guests in the next room who had a fight. The walls were thin enough for us to hear them yell, shove each other, doors banging and heavy footsteps on the floor. We had to call the front desk to intercede as the noise went on for a good half hour.
The Casa Padma Suites is at best a budget hotel that tries to project itself as a superior class establishment. There are newer hotels and residences up and down the Legian/Seminyak coast that possibly give better value for approximately the same rate. So traveller/buyer, beware. You do not necessarily get what you pay for.
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Padma Hotel Legian
- Casa Padma Hotel And Suites
- Casa Padma Kuta
- Casa Padma Bali
- Casa Padma Hotel & Suites Bali/Legian