Might be mistaken, but some of these reviews seem to be talking about the Pondok Baruna Guesthouse and Pondok Baruna Garden which, although part of the same setup, are NOT the Pondok Baruna Frangipani (illustrated in the photo).
The Pondok Baruna Guesthouse, Garden and Warung (restaurant) are pretty much all directly linked to the excellent World Diving set up, whereas the Frangipani is a good ten minutes walk up the main road from all of these other places.
Frangipani is situated right next door the house of the local owner of these establishments and is, as shown, a real beauty to look at; but that's where my experience stops.
On arrival our taxi driver searched long and hard for anyone in the grounds or reception ("tutup": closed) to receive us, and we had a booking way in advance. reluctantly he had to give up his search as he had another delivery to make, so we were left sitting in the sun at 1100 am in Frangipani's deserted pool area. I went searching for signs of life and found that the door to reception was open, shouting "hello" brought nothing, so as I turned I noticed a foot projecting out from behind a counter and there, playing with his phone was an employee (he had the Pondock Waruna T shirt). When I said that we had a room here, he looked bored and walked over to the nearest villa, opened the door (all the rooms had keys ready on the outside) and left again. No words, no asking for reservation details.
Settling in, I wandered over to "tutup" (my new name for reception) only to find this time the door was locked. Straining through the window I saw the same guy engaged with phone behind the counter again. Banging loudly on the glass, he couldn't ignore me, so slowly came and opened up and said,"yes".
When I explained we were to check in to World Diving, he asked if I wanted to dive and saying that's why we were in Lembongan, he was on the phone to his "friend". Minutes later the manager arrived who did all the right things a manager should. So, I let phone guy's attitude go, it was, maybe, a cultural thing!
The diving and the little village we were on the edge of were great. Only over the coming days it was clear that nobody had a real grip on Frangipani. The four people staying there had 40 minutes to wait for the coffee and scambled eggs on toast to arrive. And whilst the rooms were made up, there was certainly no cleaning, the sachets of tea, coffee and creamer (all past sell dates) were not replenished and, for whatever question one might have, there was literally nobody around from 1000 to 1500 every day. Tutup!
Different story when the owner turned up. He was always around at 0900 and he was certainly given semi-regal service by his staff - including being served first at breakfast. Not really the way to do things for customers, or perhaps it's another cultural thing. Or maybe an enema is required.
Hopefully these things will be gotten a grip of so that things get better. As it stands, though, this resort certainly isn't worth the hassle. Go somewhere else...even God's other two establishments down near World Diving (referred to at the start of this) where that company's staff and the God's wife seemed to be in charge and knew how to run things...or might it be because there are more resorts down there and thus a bit more competition to do things properly?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pondok Baruna Lembongan offers a range of tasteful Balinese styled accommodation on the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan, Bali. Pondok Baruna offers three different accommodation options to guests: Pondok Baruna Frangipani is our Premier Resort offering luxury bungalows for those wanting to relax in peaceful tranquility. Our Garden Rooms offer mid range facilities in the heart of the village and just 35 meters from the beach whilst our Sea View rooms, located just 5 meters from the beach, are perfect for those on a budget. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pondok Baruna Guesthouse Hotel Nusa Lembongan
- Pondok Baruna Hotel