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About KIMA Surfari
Surfcamps and Surfaris in Bali - from Surfers by surfers - with more than 15 years experience and local knowledge
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KIMA Surfari
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Verity N wrote a review Apr 2020
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Do not trust this organisation with your money. I had booked a two week holiday to come here in April but am unable to travel at this time due to covid - 19. As stated in their terms and conditions, if I cancelled 28 days in advanced and requested a refund, I would only have to pay a 10% non-refundable charge of my room package price. I thought this was fair, and although they were still taking a small sum of money I would receive most of it back and thats what I expected due to their T&Cs. All of this was finalised and I received an email saying what I will be refunded and this is all okay and the money shall be sent back to me. Only to receive an email the following day saying that they have gone back on their word and I will be receiving none of my money back (not even the add ons such as water and a cooking class, all of which cost around £500 by themselves!!) and offered me a voucher instead. I expressed how I cannot afford to have such a large sum of money kept in their possession in form of a 'voucher' as that is a broken agreement and its ridiculous to assume that anyone will be able to pop to Bali again in the future! This dispute has been going on for a month, and as of this moment I have received no money back or the voucher that they seem to promise. I remain robbed of my money and irate at this organisation. DO NOT EVER BOOK WITH THESE PEOPLE! THEY ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED AND WILL COMPLETELY RIP YOU OFF! I put some faith in this company and was excited for my travels but I have been completely let down.
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Date of experience: March 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from KimaSurf1995, General Manager at KIMA Surfari
Responded Apr 9, 2020
Dear 687verityn, Thank you for sending in your review. We know the review is not based on an excellent 5-star experience that you would have had at our camp. Unfortunately your review is based on a situation that we have given our best, to work with guests around the world in a way that would be fair to them all. This situation is unheard of in all our 20+ years of running surf camps. Kima Surfaris, like many companies worldwide have had very difficult decisions to make. These were forced upon us due to a worldwide Pandemic that was totally out of our control. We are totally 100% dependent on tourists, with none, we have no income. How do we refund our guests? Actually we cannot, with many guests like yourself facing the same situation and not being able to travel, we quite simply are not in a financial position to give everyone their money back. How do we pick and choose who gets their money back and who doesn't? Again, we cannot do this, it would not be fair for us to pick and choose which guests would get their money back. We have created one set of new Terms and Conditions for all the guests asking the same questions. By doing what we have, we have given all of our guests a company to come back to, and given our 300+ staff a job to return to also. We have taken a number of steps to ensure this happens, with some volunteers and staff that are working for free to help our company overcome this. We researched how we could make these Travel Vouchers the best we possibly can for our guests; a) You will get the same value back that you paid and we will offer a like for like change. Meaning instead of losing part of their money/holiday based on the old Terms and Conditions, the guests would get exactly what they have paid for. b) We will remove the 12 month expiry date so that guests can use their voucher when they feel comfortable to travel again. c) Remove the 50EUR administration fee for any changes to the bookings. d) Our vouchers are not season sensitive, this means that they can be used at anytime of year regardless of when your original booking was for. e) All Travel vouchers are transferable. We understand that this will not be to the liking to all of our guests, and we expect there will be some negative responses, we are not asking for our guests to feel sorry for us, we are asking for some understanding during a period that was not expected. The decisions that we have to make are to be fair on every one of our guests. We can see that you are angry with our decision and we are very sorry for that. We hope that you will return with your Travel voucher in the future so we can show you a 5-star surfing holiday. Please accept our apologies on the delay to send out your travel voucher, we have checked, you're on the list and we are working our way through that list so it will be sent to you very soon. We do hope that you, your friends, your family are safe and healthy. Stay positive, stay strong. Your Kima Surfaris Team.
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Jesse E wrote a review Mar 2020
Sydney, Australia3 contributions
Had a really good time at Kima camp in Seminyak. I spent two weeks at the camp & surfed everyday. The surf guides are all Indonesian locals who are really friendly & helpful & you can tell they love their job. They will call you in to waves, which is great when your a beginner surfing in crowded lineups. They will help by pushing you in to waves if needed & are always focused on the group when surfing, giving tips & feedback to improve your surfing & they become your mates when your hanging out at the camp. The guiding was well organised, with an easy system that helps you choose your skill level on a 5 star rating system & then book surf trips for the next day/days according to your level with a maximum of 6 guests per group, to ensure you get the attention required to be safe & improve. They run morning & afternoon surfs & also day trips, all available every day. The staff working at the camp are awesome, really really friendly, remembered my name almost straight away, which makes you feel nice & adds to the feeling of being part of the group early on. The camp itself is really nice with two pools, plenty of lounges, chairs, shade, food/water/beer at hand. Air con in every room. They are always organising activities, nights out at the good bars/clubs etc for those in the group who want to attend. Had a great time, was really impressed & was sad to leave. Highly recommend.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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KIMa surfer wrote a review Feb 2020
1 contribution
KIMA has wonderful accommodations- clean rooms, delicious complimentary breakfast with many options, swim up bar, yoga, massages, and more. I’d never surfed before and after the thorough step by step instructions of my guide I was up in the water within a handful of minutes. By day 2 I was surfing confidently, making turns and taking on bigger waves. Unfortunately, I missed out on my 3rd and last surf session of the Learn to Surf camp, but I would definitely say that this team of instructors is efficient at what they do. If you’re a beginner and you’re determined to learn the basics of surfing, you’ll find that at KIMA.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Escape221749 wrote a review Nov 2019
7 contributions
Lovely place! Surf, food and the people - everything perfect! Best surfcamp I have been on so far. Will be back
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Carsten S wrote a review Nov 2019
Cologne, Germany3 contributions5 helpful votes
I never actually write reviews, but since Kima used to be something of a home for me, I have to vent my disappointment. I visited Kima about 14-15 times. Originally it was a small, intimate camp, which was not only attractive for beginners, but also for intermediates and really good surfers. The 5-star system served all levels and the guiding was excellent. Every year one could meet familiar guides who have become friends which knew on which level regular guests were surfing on. The Kima asset used to be value: high quality guiding provided by a limited number of guests and continuity of motivated guides. Unfortunately, Kima has developed into a low-budget camp and mass operation, which still is certainly a great experience for beginners, but imo increasingly has become less attractive for advanced surfers. The biggest negative development (not only in my opinion) are first and foremost related to quantity of guests: the constant expansion - from (if I'm not mistaken) originally 20 to now 80 (!!!) beds. Of course this is about financial interests, but unfortunately these are at the expense of quality. For me, three factors determine the quality of a surf camp: Comfort, guiding and atmosphere. COMFORT: here Kima has improved over the years. Cleanliness, food and staff leave nothing to be desired. The prices are a bit overpriced for Bali conditions, but if you don't like it, you can eat or drink beer out. Fully recommended! GUIDING: the guides have always been good, of course some more, some less. However, the expansion took a very negative effect in the quality of guiding – clearly related to greedy management, NOT the guides: a) Due to the now unbearably high number of guests, no guide has the chance anymore to know the skills of each individual and to respond to individual needs. Individual care and consultation (also after sessions) is almost impossible. One constantly goes surfing with different guides, who then have to take care of up to 6 (unknown) guests. b) In bad conditions, several Kima buses from Seminyak and Canggu are more or less forced to go to a few same spots - Kima crowds the lineups. And makes (big) surf camps increasingly unpopular. Spots like Padma are no longer visited for an obvious reason. Sure, surfing is increasingly commercialized, but on Bali Kima clearly plays a big part in this development. C) The fluctuation of guides is obviously high (dissatisfied / underpaid / dismissed because of nullities?); apparently Kima has a hard time hiring locals as guides. Many do not (anymore) come from Bali. You can't blame anyone for not knowing every spot (and how to get there). However, I think Kima would be more attractive as an employer for locals this would be different. E) In addition, the person responsible for the spot selection cannot possibly make any more mistakes anymore. With the high number of daily tours on offer, it is simply impossible to create a perfect plan for every tour. Up to 80 guests need to be spread to different spots. One motivation to visit a camp is convenience: apart from not driving myself I don’t want to check swell, wind direction and tides all the time. Now I am forced to do so. And if I’m unlucky, the well selected spots are fully booked. Again, this is NO criticism against the session planner, this goes out to the management. It is impossible to create a perfect session planner for the amount of guests. All in all, I learned a lot more here in the past than I do today. The spot selection used to be better thought out. Because it was possible with a manageable number of tours. But now it's not like that anymore. This is not due to the guides, but to the economic orientation and capacity of Kima. Now also Canggu should grow. There are rumours it will be doubled. Soon there will be 8 buses in spots like Halfway. At some point the level of manageable guests and surfable spots is simply exhausted. You the management doesn’t seem to care. Too bad. ATMOSPHERE: with up to 80 - mostly German-speaking - guests the atmosphere has changed from intimate to anonymous. Guides are not allowed to spend time in the camp which now doesn’t have an Asian atmosphere anymore. Bali only takes place outside the camp, not inside. Kima is no longer a cosy camp with a soul, but an overcrowded youth hostel that could also be located in Berlin or Zurich. I think the majority of Bali travellers are looking for something else. At least not mass processing. And not a Western lifestyle with movie-nights and popcorn. In the past, the guides were the spirit of camp life. Kima used to be embodied by the guides. One used to make new friends from Indonesia here and gain insights into the culture, and one could also do things together outside working hours. Since the guides are no longer allowed to stay in the camp, Kima has lost his soul. I understand that excessive alcohol consumption and certain other things done in public are not acceptable. Neither with guests, nor with guides. Or between them. But it happens in every camp. Every ski instructor does it. That's just the way it is. Somehow it's part of it. And just because it's not allowed doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. It’s naive to think that rules like prohibition make it unhappen. But now there is almost Prussian order and Vatican chastity here instead of Balinese serenity. I come to Bali in order to escape European order. Now you hardly meet any Indonesians in the camp (except in the restaurant), there is German smugness and strict rules. Unfortunately, you only see the guides during sessions. "Social activities" are organized or outsourced (movienight, bonfire, bbq) and don't arise out of themselves anymore. All in all, Kima has unfortunately lost a lot of spirit and quality due to the expansion efforts. The focus is clearly on beginners who can hardly judge whether what is happening here is good. Another drawback is that you are now forced to assess the guides. Otherwise you cant sign in for sessions. It is obvious that the judgments of the majority of beginners cannot be well-founded and valid. And in the end it is only opinions that can have a negative effect on the salary. I also do not want to be forced to make a judgement. It is not democratic. Quite honestly, I prefer to give everyone the best marks, because I have more sympathy with the guides than with the management, which I don't know in the meantime. Good quality management requires a different feedback culture than the one practiced here. In addition, the camp manager likes to confront guests in public who have given not very positive feedback. And then he even claims that the evaluation system is anonymous. It seems that even the slightest negative feedback provokes skipping reactions among the management. It feels like colonialism btw. Anecdote by the way, which specifically concerns my stays here (2017 was already similar): What disappointed me most recently is that a well-known long-term guest here obviously has VIP status. Where and how often you go surfing in ****-star sessions is obviously forced and determined by one person. Obviously, an instruction from "above" to follow this person's wishes. Anyway, I didn't sign up for **** sessions, because I don't always want to go to the same desired spot of Mr x and I also want to go into the water twice a day, but want to return to the camp after the morning session. Other guests also avoided the **** sessions for these reasons. Of course, the man brings money, but the others currently make about 60 guests but also. A special treatment at the expense of others does not work at all. Too bad Kima, it was once super with you. I observe this development now for years and must honestly say that I have decided this year ONLY because of the 50% discount in favour for you. I don't care about your economic interests, but I regret very much that the old, good Kima will never exist again. My full respect goes to those who really make the difference here: the old and new guides and the staff.
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Date of experience: November 2019
2 Helpful votes
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