The description and nice pictures of Bloo Lagoon matched our wishes of a relaxing end station on our Far East round trip. This was our first time on Bali and we, two adults and two small children, prioritized Bloo Lagoon as our base due to the quiet surroundings and uphill location.
There was just one problem: The description and pictures lied!
“Tropical style” village:
Yes, we did notice the description as “tropical style”, but don’t get fooled about the pictures of a nice and clean place. It looks glorious but despite the gardeners are struggling to keep up with fallen leaves etc. it’s almost like a jungle. Especially our backyard; just to get to the shower was annoying as we had to pass several plants blocking the passage. Twice we saw a mouse in our bungalow, and apparently not much, if at all anything, is done to fight e.g. ant colonies. Some of the wooden piles in our bungalow were literally turned into an ant main road… Now, I know that Bloo Lagoon encourages the guests to try and live with the animals and quote: “become friends.” Perhaps a good idea to include the animal and reptile activity in your description in the future? The first night my eldest son met a cat unexpectedly on his way to the loft and got really scared as it hissed at him in the darkness. Adding the presence of the highly unwanted mouses, he needed a lot of mental support especially the first days. The cat by the way turned out to more or less reside there. I guess that makes it a house cat.
The water for the shower is heated with gas. Well, the idea is good but it just doesn’t work. Either you get steamy hot water or cold water. There is nothing in between. So you have to make quick use of the short transition from hot to cold and vice versa.
The open environment generates “natural dirt” outside. This is part of the concept and apparently the staff tries their best to cope it. However, the enclosed bedroom was unacceptably dirty. There is no excuse; the managers should know that their guests expect a higher degree of cleanliness when considering the daily charge. Also the towels in general could need chlorine cleaning, they are not exactly inviting. After four days we requested the towels replaced as they had become rather dirty, and for some reason the housekeeping found this request rather odd but complied.
One curtain was torn. But that’s not the worst; the mosquito net was holed. It’s just unbelievable that such a thing is not fixed when considering this open environment concept. Finally the sliding doors couldn’t shut completely allowing the mosquitoes inside.
We had no idea that the bungalow was so open in the sense that practically anyone - if they really want to - can walk into your property even with all access ways shut. This made us worried about the security of our children, and either my wife or I chose to sleep on the couch in the children’s bedroom as there were no connecting doors between the two bedrooms.
Another important security issue: there are no phones. What if a guest needs to call security and his/her cell phone doesn’t support roaming or they haven’t purchased a local SIM card? Besides the GSM network is unstable. There should definitely be a phone in each bungalow, and as there is already what I suppose is Ethernet installed, why not utilize it? Besides I learned that the brochure with relevant phone numbers was outdated, so where is the help anyway when the listed names vs. phone numbers are incorrect?
When people are holidaying there is no unified way of relaxing. I am among the group of persons who are dependent of the web for practical and social reasons even when I spend my holidays. That’s why I always book where Wi-Fi is available. But to say this straight: the internet connectivity via the two Wi-Fi routers was unacceptably bad. For sure I was far from the only frustrated guest. I can’t believe it rests with general broadband problems in Padang Bai, the weather or whichever excuse the staff came up with. If it says Wi-Fi in the description, there should be Wi-Fi. Period. This is not a cheap place to overnight, and the guests could at least expect a reliable internet connection.
The bar area is really boring. During our stay all lightning around the bar area was switched off latest 10 pm. I used to work a couple of years in West Africa and I could find places much more fancy and cozy than the one in Bloo Lagoon. If the bar area undergoes a light upgrade and a bartender is deployed whose sole purpose is to mix drinks, keep the music running and take orders on behalf of the restaurant, I think these are simple means to create a really nice atmosphere along with the great sea view.
Three out of four times the food was served min. 45 minutes after the order placement. In my optics that’s way too much, but it’s really difficult to blame the staff. I think it partly grounds with the small kitchen area. Sometimes I saw up to six people working there at the same time. A better layout would improve the performance, and so would a dish washer and a decent oven instead of this mini oven which is justified in a college room, not a restaurant.
Regarding the breakfast more bread variants and cold meat should be included like ham and also cheese and strawberry jam. And the juice shouldn’t be diluted with water. The place doesn’t serve soft drinks as they want to contribute to good health by serving juices instead. But frankly the juices we had at Bloo Lagoon were among the worst we had during our whole Bali trip. Finally the fruits should be covered with mosquito nets as the food is otherwise uninviting. My children usually eat lots of fruit but they didn’t want it here.
Finally I think the staff should all wear name badges to personalize the service. And don’t forget to get the guest signature before closing each bill (as they forgot in 80% of my bills).
Actually the pool area was nice. One thing though: why not patch the air mattresses? They were mostly punctured which was kind of annoying. I mean, when having purchased simple air mattresses they should at least maintain them. Is it too much to ask for?
The staff tries… It’s obvious that they want to provide a good service. They do however have no formal education. Why not invest in the staff? No question it would improve the service quality. It’s been made known to me that a tourist college exists in Amlapura. Six months’ salary plus education. It’s affordable given their tiny wage.
And in my point of view it’s a bad signal to send when the foreign owners of Bloo Lagoon are occupying a table during breakfast and dinner in front of the guests.
Following the concerns about especially security, we inquired if at all possible to shorten our stay well knowing that I had “blocked” the bungalow for the pre-booked period (which itself turned out to be too long). The cold answer was that if I wanted to check out earlier than booked, then I would still have to pay for the whole booking. Well, this didn’t surprise at all, but frankly what I hoped they would say was that if somebody called Bloo Lagoon to check availability then they would bear me in mind. But no, not even the slightest flexibility – until I raised it personally at the reception desk.
Even in the high season 200 USD/day is massively overrated for this place. I’ve stayed at numerous hotels in my lifetime, and I deem that in the region of 110-120 USD would be more reasonable. For sure we regret our choice but tried to get the best out of it. The only thing making my rating climb to two out of five is the spectacular view from our bungalow over Teluk Amuk Bay (view to Candi Dasa) and the mostly friendly staff who after all tried their best to cheer up the guests.
However ecology, sustainability, whatever… It’s just too much. No more Bloo for me ever again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An international village, a combination of home, studio, and shared resort. Each of the 25 imaginative, distinctive and elegantly designed villas which make up this hill top resort enjoy panoramic views over Blue Lagoon Bay and Mount Agung and have been personalized by their individual owners so that time spent here is like staying in someone else's home. All are within easy reach of the free form swimming pool. Each home has been designed to help guest rediscover nature with open spaces flowing from outdoors to indoors. The village has been created and is operated with environmental sustainability dominant. The underlying aim of Bloo Lagoon Village is to improve the lives of all participating individuals, the guests, local villagers and life on our planet through an intuitive understanding of nature and a cooperative environment of mutual exchange from which all parties benefit. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bloo Lagoon Village Hotel Padangbai
- Bloo Lagoon Village Padangbai, Bali