Gorgeous island with all the ingredients to be a real five star venue (or at least compete with Nikoi or Cempadek whose price point is similar). Yet there are so many niggly simply things that they get wrong. All could be easily solved and I am writing this review in the hope manAgement (and its billionaire owner) will pay attention.
Mosquitoes - everywhere in south east Asia of course but no need to Deliberately attract them. Lovely terracotta pots all over the island filled with water to wash your feet- however these become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We got 30-40 bites each despite covering ourselves in deet 24/7. They really just need some rinsing taps instead.
Run down Water sports - 4 of us went out paddle boarding. Couldn’t work out why two of us went around in circles - the fins were broken off! When we pointed this out to the staff they said they hadn’t noticed (!). Also the mechanism to adjust the length of the paddles was broken on all the paddles. Staff couldn’t really explain which way the tide was going. To be fair though they do have a rescue boat which goes out on the water whenever guests are out on the water. You need this as ————
CARE- there are no proper life jackets at the water sports hut. Tiny toddler ones which are broken and won’t fit older children. Adults ones are no more than polystyrene slabs covered in ripped cheap orange tarp that you would expect to find on a local fishing boat. Fit so badly you can hardly paddle in them. In the water they float up to the top of your head. I know it’s Indonesia but water safety is an obvious one to be scrupulous about. you really expect More for your money.
Food - hit and miss. I think the cooks are talented but speak no English so what is possible to create is lost in translation. Every day when we asked the front of house staff what was on the menu for lunch and then dinner they didn’t know. Couldn’t then describe things beyond “fish, chicken etc”. Desserts were poor quality. they served some beautiful dishes (particularly any type of curry or fresh fish) but also some random ones. When we asked for something different for the children they struggled to come up with options (and my kids pretty much eat anything). chicken was very poor quality but the fish and beef were lovely ...
Conservation - the saddest thing is that there is zero focus on the environment or conservation on the island. Cigarette butts lie strewn around. There is visible rubbish around the sides and backs of villas. Rubbish washing up on the beach is not cleared. In fact the beach could have been cleared of sharp stones and shells or at least a path made so you could walk around it more easily but it wasn’t.
Rubbish is burned on the island. Underground pipes are
visible through the soil everywhere. They are overrun with monitor lizards who inhabit the swimming pool throughout the day.
Staff - lovely, sweet, obliging, great at entertaining the kids , really trying to do their best but slightly hapless (Ie poorly trained) except for the two front of house staff. They have barely any English. It’s hard to make yourself understood. They are so obliging - will do anything you ask. But I guess my point is at S$800+per night you shouldnt have to ask. Breakfast buffet (which is lovely by the way) is laid out in the open for hours. It was covered in swarms of flies. When I asked them to cover it they came out with sheets of paper which blew away in the wind. When I asked them if they have any food nets, they started unwrapped new ones and hey presto all the food was on lovely baskets covered in nets. But it didn’t occur to them to put it undercover in the first place. Loads of flies at breakfast tables and finally on day 3 they agreed to put candles on table which immediately solved the problem.
Housekeeping staff were hit and miss. They didn’t remove dirty coffee cups from the room, and failed to replace glasses despite being asked.
Despite all of the above, it’s still an idyllic hideaway and the niggles didn’t spoil our trip (even the lack of vip service at the ferry terminal that Nikoi and Cempadek provide). the villa was lovely. The pool area divine. The staff put on a dinner on the beach for the last night with a private fireworks display which was stunning. They played ping pong and games with my children all day long and would do anything you ask. two wonderful massage ladies. These lovely kind Indonesians actually deserve better than the owners are currently giving them relative to what
guests expectations might be - and with owning a super yacht that cost USD18m you would think Anto Marden could deliver ...
Beautiful island – rooms and swimming pool are just idyllic. However, service was really lacking. The resort desperately needs a good manager/front of house who knows what they're doing and can train the rest of the staff. Every time we asked for something the staff just giggled back as they don't speak English.
First impressions were not great. The booking process was a painful experience. You wait 48 hours for a response over email only to receive an email that doesn't answer the questions you've asked. And then they'll send you a spreadsheet to fill out. For a hotel charging this much there really isn't any excuse for such a poor booking system.
At check-in we were told the room wouldn't be ready until 2pm so they would serve us lunch first. Then we were left waiting around for another 45 mins after lunch until we asked someone if the room was ready. When we were finally taken to the room the previous guests were still vacating it.
Food is very simple Indonesian cooking. Okay fish, meat and rice for mains – not particularly well cooked though – we've eaten much better dishes in Indonesia. Desserts were terrible – either cheap, sugary cakes out of a packet or bizarre concoctions! We were served what can only be described as a glass of Pepto-Bismol with chopped up fruit and avocado floating in it. On another day we were served canned fruit with yoghurt and a sprinkling of cheese on top.
This hotel is charging the same as Cempedak island which is just opposite. However whereas Cempedak is pure luxury with fantastic service, beautifully cooked, home-made food and an impressive wine list, Pulau Joyo does not offer a menu – you eat what you're given – and the limited wine on offer has not been stored properly so it's totally ruined and undrinkable.
On this beautiful island you will be lucky enough to see the wildlife wondering about the grounds – it's a real treat! But the staff really need to be trained to look after the wildlife otherwise it won't be around for long. This is not an eco-friendly resort! The staff cover your plate in cling-wrap before removing it and serving it to you. The cling wrap is then discarded in bins that are on the ground and open. We unfortunately watched a monitor lizard pull the cling wrap out of the bin and eat it. There's no need for having lots of little bins around the resort – just one in the bar area that's raised off the ground perhaps?
On departure we were kindly gifted a snack 6 donuts and 2 bottles of water to take away with us. The donuts came in a plastic box with plastic cutlery in their own plastic wrapper. Really hope the hotel will rethink its choice of packaging to eliminate the amount of disposable plastic it sends guests off with.
Island – fantastic
Rooms – fantastic
Cleanliness – not great
Service – terrible
Food – terrible
Swimming pool – fantastic!
One of the most amazing islands I have ever been too! It has a lovely and unique vibe to it- and staff could not have been nicer and accommodating. They really go the extra mile to make sure you have a fantastic experience. Food and cocktails really great and fresh, lots of cute and fun games to play. Beaches and water games all around- the island offers a fabulous mix of chill by the pool and activities. All amenities 10/10 and it's a true paradise. My partner and I loved it!
Spent a few days here this week. What an amazing experience. The place is divine and the staff could not have been lovelier. Food is excellent, as are the pool facilities etc. Cannot recommend highly enough!
This place is just amazing!!!
We have just spent 2 weeks on the island... 22 people ranging from 2-70yrs old for a 70th and 40th bday party. We had the whole island to ourselves.
We are a big group of friends and family who like to have fun, party and of course relax! The island was absolutely spectacular.
William, Anton and the rest of the people on the island are more like a family than staff. So helpful, happy, caring, loving and desperate for you to have the best experience ever. I can’t quite tell you how amazing the whole team on the island are! Beautiful, happy people.
It was a long trip from the UK but worth every minute of travel. We all had very high expectations, everyone of us had them all totally exceeded. I was extremely worried about sending them money by bank transfer before we went however I shouldn’t have worried, they are so relaxed and you can trust them. They are just wonderful people.
Anton and William helped us create party nights, theme nights and in fact, anything is possible. I have never ever known service like it.
The rooms are amazing, the island itself is so authentic, every detail including all the furniture is so cleverly thought through. The pool is beautiful, diving board is the best we’ve ever seen!
We went snorkelling off the beach, they took us out on the boat as well, we even went to another island to do some snorkelling in different areas. We went fishing and we also did a sunset cruise, absolutely stunning. This was all arranged for us. We also had England v Indonesia football matches, so much fun when we had the guests versus the island team.
The food is good, we have VERY fussy children and if you are clear about what you want they will cater for your needs, nothing is too much trouble.
There is so much to do on the island. We ran, kayak’d, SUP’d, walked and swam around the island. We had dinner in different places every evening. The locations just stunning. Fireworks are epic and highly recommended when you have dinner on the beach!
We organised table tennis, darts, beach volley ball and pool competitions! We also had lots of rest, massage and chill time.
It was the perfect holiday, I can not recommend it enough.
Whatever you want to do, if it’s be active, party, do nothing or just chill, this island is the place for you..
Thank you again William, Anton and the whole team, we love you all. We had the best time and I hope we can come again soon...