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“A slice of paradise”

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Secret Garden Bungalows
Reviewed August 11, 2012

My girlfriend and I have just spent 5 nights staying at Secret Garden Bungalows also diving with Big Fish Diving. We were only planning to stay for 3 nights but ended up staying for 5. It was really hard to leave and we're looking to maybe return at the end of our trip. The bungalows are set around a lovely little pool in a beautiful garden about 50m from the beach behind a little local seaweed farming community. There are always staff (all from Nusa Lembongan) on hand to help with whatever you need and they are always more than happy to help providing service with a smile. The rooms are cleaned everyday (unless you leave out your 'do not disturb' sign) and are spacious with oversized beds, a hammock across the porch and an open-air bathroom which is quite a novetly. Breakfast is not included but the rooms are a great value for money and the breakfast menu is also cheap with a selection of fresh fruit, jaffles and pancakes the staff will serve to your porch as you start your day.There are yoga classes with Emily everyday in the yoga shack where at the moment (i'm not sure if it's an ongoing project) there are really interesting free talks on marine life and manta rays a couple of nights a week by two very knowledgable conservationists who are currently working on the island. I honestly couldn't find a fault with Secret Garden Bungalows as a place to stay when visiting Nusa Lembongan and can't recommend it enough. Whether we return to stay here at the end of our trip or not, we will certainly be making our way back to this little gem again in the future.

We did 6 dives with Big fish Diving (the dive operation at Secret Garden Bungalows) over the 5 days we stayed. Each day they do a 2 dive trip leaving early or late morning depending on the diving conditions which means you get back to the island with enough time to do something with your afternoon or just relax by the pool or snooze in your hammock. We had heard a few stories of severe currents in Nusa Lembongan and, as my girlfriend was fresh out of her open water training, I was a little worried but I made our divemaster, Oli, aware of this on the evening before our first dive and she made every effort to ensure she received an easy introduction into her first ocean dives, buddying up with my girlfriend herself for the first 4 dives and making sure she was confortable with every dive. The dive operation here is very professional with decent equipment, sensible daily dive site selection (for when the currents were strong), a decent lunch and plenty of water. Unfortunately we saw no big fish as the mola mola were hiding in the deep and the mantas' playground was no go due to a big swell which was a little disappointing but the marine life here is great, the reefs are huge and healthy and there were tons of fish at every site we dived so I really couldn't complain. Visability never seemed to drop below 20m and the water temperature averaged around 27 degrees. The guys will kit you out with a 3/5mm wetsuit, boots and a hood if you get cold as it can drop down to around 21 degrees which isn't all bad as we were told the colder temperatures bring the mola mola up from the depths. As with the bungalows, I highly recommend diving with Big Fish Diving. Oli, Jacqui, Mark and the crew are all great to dive with, have a great knowledge of all the dive sites and have plenty of time and patience for divers of all levels and make you feel really welcome.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Fotza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 89 of 156 reviews

Reviewed August 3, 2012

Our stay in Secret Garden was absolutely perfect. Great atmosferen, nice bungalow, very good and easy diving. The garden with bungalows is beautifull and yoga classes and informative sessions on the underwater world are organized on the premises.  We also enjoyed the new pool which was not yet mentioned in the guide books. 
We came to Secret Garden (and Big Fish diving) to also do some dives but we travelled with a boy of seven. Tim, the owner, organised company and care for our son on the boot and in this way he also saw a Manta while snorkling. All great.

Room Tip: Room nr 1 had a very big round bed. We easily fitted with three persons in one bed.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Nicole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

A good value, fairly low budget place with attached Big Fish dive operation. A quiet, pleasant garden setting with comfortable rooms. Outdoor bathrooms are basic but fine as long as you're not expecting anything fancy. Breakfast is extra but given the cheap room rates this is OK - great omlettes, huge fruit bowls and lovely fruit juices. A very laid back place to relax (though make sure you've got your mosquito repellent handy after dark). Less than 5 minutes walk to the beach and several decent bars and restaurants nearby. Staff friendly and very informal. Very diving orientated - you'll definitely get the most out of your stay if you're a diver and join in with the dive crowd - however it's a very pleasant place to chill out if you're just a humble snorkeller like myself - several nearby places can arrange snorkelling trips (D&B just across the road is recommended).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Niall C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

We stayed here last month.
We are no diving fanatics and unfortunately we didn't feel very welcome here.
The pool is sometimes used for lessons and you get the impression they don't really like you to be there.
Rooms are clean and big. Nice poach.
Breakfast is not included in the price, which makes this place rather expensive.
Personnel not very friendly and one girl is constantly trying to get commisions for all sorts of services (rental of motorbikes, boats etc)

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank clemence2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

What an amazing place! This was our second trip to Secret Garden in the last 3 months. We returned because it was so amazing the first time. The accommodation is fantastic for the price. £10 per night gets you a fab little bungalow with your own veranda (which is where your breakfast is served in the morning), with a huge round double bed and your private open air bathroom just behind. You even have your own hammock hanging in your veranda and the swimming pool is gloriously cool when you need to cool down. With only 50m walk to the beach, what more could you ask for?

There is a wonderful yoga shack on site and Emily runs classes every morning and afternoon, which are just amazing whatever your ability. You feel so relaxed and refreshed after one of her sessions.

The food is amazing! Can highly recommend cheese & tomato jaffles and the fruit bowl. All the staff are very friendly and helpful. They go out of their way to make your stay that much more special.

Secret Garden is perfect if you want to experience some of the wonderful diving on Lembongan. Big Fish Diving, which owns Secret Garden, has a great operation. The wealth of experience at their hands means you have an amazing time which ever site you're diving/snorkelling. Donnie is an excellent captain and can spot Mantas even in the heaviest of seas. However, their real secret weapon is the amazing duo Hillary and Matt, who led all our diving. A million thanks go out to them for making our second trip even better than the first.

We will be back,
Mark & Nilgun

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2012

Adequate budget accommodation for backpackers and/or diving enthusiasts. On the plus side, the vibe is very relaxed, with covered porches and hammocks in front of every bungalow, and an outdoor lounge and covered picnic table in the central courtyard. Rooms are spacious, but reflect the very affordable price: most need some repairs - screens are torn, no a/c, paper used to fill the gaps between walls and window panes, etc. Outdoor "Bali-style" bathrooms are stained, don't drain properly, and have low water pressure. However, if you are on a budget, all these issues are tolerable (just bring plenty of bug spray to keep away the mosquitoes). There is also a yoga yurt on-site, popular with many of the... longer-term residents. And this is rub: the owners, Tim and Reece, are nice people that also own Big Fish Diving. It is pretty clear that they rely on the divers from Big Fish to subsidize the accommodation at Secret Garden (guests are supposed to include at least one diver). Unfortunately, this may lead to undo pressure to dive more than you want, or are able to do: both Mr Maiko and a friend were ill during stages of our stay, and couldn't dive all of our planned days; Mrs Maiko and another friend were new divers, and didn't feel comfortable with the fast currents of the local sites after the first day of diving. Both situations were made known to the owners as soon as they occurred, but instead of recognizing and respecting these issues Tim pressured us many times to dive. However, during this same time, there were many other guests at the bungalows who weren't taking diving courses, never went on a diving boat, and didn't seem to do much other than relax in common areas all day. These guests did not seem to receive multiple visits by Tim to convince them to go on more dives. Unfortunately, this attitude - divers pressured to subsidize backpackers - needlessly ruined our stay (well, that and Mrs. Maiko's aversion to dirty bathrooms), and eventually one friend quit their diving course, and we offered to move to new accommodation. However, Reece went out of her way to try and restore a feeling of welcome, and we completed our stay. Bottom line: this place is probably best for budget divers who will take advantage of the awesome sites, or backpackers who like yoga and think they can get a hook-up for cheap accommodation. The affordable price and laid-back nature of Secret Garden is great for lazy and extended stays, but if you want comfort and amenities while on Nusa Lembongan, I would try someplace else.

Room Tip: Email Reece with any questions or arrangements - she was very responsive to all inquiries.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MaikoG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2012

The facilities are really good. The ratio quality/price is excellent. The environment is relaxing and all the service is very friendly and helpful. Taste the banana pancake or the fruit bowl. More over, you have plenty of things to do: swiming pool, diving in Big Fish, taking yoga classes in Yoga Shacke,... all in the same facilities. And everything is really clean.

I hope to see you soon!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Bungalows

Address: Jungutbatu, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Nusa Lembongan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 144 Specialty Lodging in Nusa Lembongan
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As its name suggests, The Secret Garden is the perfect hideaway for those wanting to really relax and make the most of their time on Nusa Lembongan. Set amidst a beautiful tropical garden, with palm trees, mangoes and frangipani creating cool shaded areas, the bungalows offer great value budget accommodation, only 50m from the beach.Our nine fan cooled rooms are clean and spacious and have unique semi-outdoor bathrooms. Both double and twin rooms are available and each has its own veranda out front.In the garden there is large swimming pool complete with sun loungers and shady areas. Spend the afternoon in a hammock or chatting with friends, or ask our local staff for tourist information and take a ride around the island. Twice weekly Marine Talks in the Yoga Shack hosted by the resident Manta Rays researchers. Also situated within the Secret Garden Bungalows are Big Fish Diving and The Yoga Shack Lembongan, offering daily fun diving, scuba courses as well as daily yoga classes. The Secret Garden can be found in Jungutbatu village. From the beach we are 50m directly inland from Pondok Baruna and from the main road, find us just behind the black temple. Please note we only take direct bookings from our guests. No agents. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Secret Garden Bungalows Hotel Nusa Lembongan

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