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“Beautiful accommodations, world class surfing, mediocre instruction” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Padang Padang Surf Camp

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Padang Padang Surf Camp
Ranked #6 of 62 Specialty Lodging in Pecatu
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful accommodations, world class surfing, mediocre instruction”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

I stayed for just over a week during Winter 2012.

Hotel: Well-decorated rooms, clean facilities, reliable amenities (hot water, wireless internet), beautiful pool. Certainly more expensive than anyplace I stayed in Bali, and much nicer too.

Food: Healthy and varied. Lunch was consistently wonderful, always with vegetables/greens. Dinner was always easy with several restaurants within walking distance. We often ate with other guests, sharing a cab to places a bit too far to walk.

Hotel staff: Ina was our host (Andrew was away in Wales). I enjoyed her direct communication style; I knew the rules and when to be where.

Surf destinations: As promised, we visited several different beaches and breaks. Even on the flatter days, the staff tried their best to keep up good spirits and make the day fun. The camp has arrangements with vendors at every beach so we could leave our stuff (camera, flip flops, change of clothes, wallets) and be sure it was safe. Some days we were divided by ability level; some days we went as a big group. There were always waves suitable to our different levels -- first-timers, mid-level just getting used to surfing the green faces (like me) and accomplished surfers looking for big waves. Sometimes the drive would be 90 minutes due to traffic, road construction and the general hassle of driving in Bali.

Surf instruction: All great surfers and all friendly enough, but the 'instruction' was limited. It was two people to one coach, which was a great ratio in terms of attention and safety. The guides would get you situated in exactly the right place to catch a wave, tell you which to go for and which to pass and give you a push if you're paddling wasn't strong. Beyond that, I got almost no advice about trimming my board, my pop up, my stance, what I did wrong when I missed a wave, what to work on next, etc. Of course I learned a ton just being in the water that many hours a day, but I would have loved some real coaching.

A few more notes:
- Great environment for kids & families, we had a few kids around and they seemed to be having a blast
- Other reviewers are correct about the possibility of very early start times -- and be aware that during the hour-long drive at 6-7 AM you'll be listening to very loud music from the instructors' ipods
- Bali has its challenges -- don't bother coming if you can't deal with insects, trash all over the beach, broken water pipes, etc.
- Photographer was out with us several times and made a real effort to get at least a few good photos of each and every one of us

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
balisurfing, Manager at Padang Padang Surf Camp, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
We are grateful for all honest objective reviews as this gives us good feedback to work on and incorporate into our program of continuous improvement. It seems the reviewer had a great holiday and most aspects were excellent.

Typically the water and beaches in our area and surfing locations we visit are very clean but depending on wind conditions trash can be blown onto the beach. It is impossible to know the source of the trash - it could come from anywhere in Indian ocean as plastic will not decompose and can travel long distances. Surfers more than most people will recognise such problems and while we have in place a program at the surf camp to reduce, reuse, recycle the issue is a worldwide problem which is best tackled through education. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes. If the wind is blowing onshore, and the beach is cleaned thoroughly, the next day will bring more trash. Typically we will be surfing offshore conditions where the rubbish is blown away but human behaviour is the root cause.

There are sometimes broken water pipes in Bali as the infrastructure is not great but this typically should not have any adverse affect on your holiday. Yes Bali has problems, but it is still an excellent holiday destination. Personally I have never had any problem with insects and I think this is the first time this has been raised. There are ants in the grass so if you want to avoid insects then best to stay inside - large compound concrete structures are much less friendly to insects and it is true we have a large tropical garden. We do not have any program in place to eradicate insects and this policy will not change.

We have the best surf instructors in Bali who will get you up and riding very quickly with our accelerated learning program. It is true that we are more focused on the practical aspects i.e. up and riding the waves having fun, rather than the classroom theory, but we have recently recruited a western surf instructor who has excellent communication & technical skills.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

Stayed here in February 2013 due to it's outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor. My girlfriend and I wanted to surf and spoil ourselves a bit and I believe this was accomplished. First, the accomodations are quite nice. Rooms are a good size, clean and nicely decorated. We had two giant geckos in our room, which wasn't a bad thing, but they were sure loud during the evenings. The common areas are great. Really nice pool and hang out area, which made meeting the other guests and staff really easy. Loved this space. The camp feeds you really well while you are there as well. No complaints about the food.

As for the surfing, you should know that it may start as early as 5:30 am. Haha a real early start for people on vacation. The instruction at this camp seems to be much better than the other surf camps at the same beaches. If you get Tino or Koyok as your guide, you are in for a great day. These two are just excellent, both as instructors but also as people. If you get Wayan Smiley or Putu, it will be a funny day, but not the best. Anyone else and likely you won't enjoy the surfing that much. We surfed for 5 days and really learned a bunch. By the end, we were riding some pretty good sized waves, which felt great.

The people at the camp (particularly Ina) are excellent. Ina helped us with planning the rest of our trip and was also friendly when we stayed at another hotel but surfed with Padang.

Overall, PPSC is expensive but likely worth it (if you get a good surf guide). We didn't see another camp with the instruction quality that this one provided. Also, you are going to meet some great people while staying here. One final tip, just pay for it in advance via credit card, rather than with Pay Pal. There were some issues with this, which was a bit of a frustration.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jay G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2013

I stayed here in February 2013 after reading reviews online. While this wasn't my first time in Bali, it was my first time at the camp.

Prior to the trip, I had some reservations about what to expect: it had been a while since I last travelled alone and the Bukit is hardly the most lively part of the island, not least during the rainy season. I wondered about how easy it would be to do anything other than surf and how easy it would be to meet people. All those fears were allayed within the first few days.

The camp's layout and day plan allows for close interaction with the other guests and Ina (hostess and owner of the camp) is keen to ensure her guests are kept happy- suggesting interesting day trips and spots to visit, on top of the usual logistics related to foreign travel. If you feel like you'd prefer to skip a day of surfing, there are alternatives on offer and the drive to Seminyak or Kuta is neither expensive, nor imposingly far.

I met a wonderful mix of people from right across the world and have left with a number of new friends.

The guides are local and knowledgable of all the breaks and offer pointed guidance on areas of improvement. At times they can be a little playful, but I never felt unsafe or neglected. They will also spare you from some of the guff you can get from lairy goons in the water. Post-surf, the boys are always happy to share a few beers and jokes too. Good lads.

Can't really fault the trip and I'll be back again in September once the European sunshine starts to disappear. Looking forward to it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MinahasaBule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

I stayed here one year ago and I wish I could find this same of type of place on my next world adventure. It is beautiful and clean, the staff is friendly, the instructors patient and helpful and encouraging, food delicious, and the other guests were amazing. I travelled on my own but made friends 5 minutes after being there. I've travelled all over and this was probably my favorite vacation so far. I highly recommend. LOVE :)
Moni

Room Tip: I had the private room with no a/c but slept just fine.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Monica E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

This was our 2nd year of staying at the Surf Camp, we stayed New Years eve and everyone had a great night, there is a brilliant atmosphere here and all te team work really hard ensuring you are made welcome, including Ina, Tina, Petu, Koyok, to name but a few. The cooks prepare lovely meals and always have a welcoming Smile. We have met some wonderful people who have become good friends. I went as a very poor surfer and feel so much more confident now thanks to Koyok, he is one patient man. My Husband decided to bring his own surf board this year and on route it was damaged, this was repaired at the camp for a very little charge, and the repair was very professional. We will definatley be back this year... Rooms are clean and spacious, pool is always warm and inviting when you get back, there are also a couple of local launderettes that was and press your clothes to a very high standard, for those that dont want to pack to much or go home with a ton of dirty washing. Thanks for a great holiday and we look forward to coming back soon :-)

Room Tip: All rooms are lovely, if you are looking for a bit of Romance choose one of the upstair rooms.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Piotrowski1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

This was my first time to Bali and I cannot express how beautiful and relaxing the entire trip was. The Padang Padang Surf Camp is truly wonderful!
The environment: Off the main road (1.5 lane jungle street), you take a secluded (drivable) path to the resort. The grounds are luscious and green with a swimming pool and “hammocked” reading area in the middle.

Each bedroom (individual fan room to family air con villas) complemented the surroundings and the experience. If you want a TV and fancy rooms, you better go back to the city. I asked others who had travelled extensively throughout Bali since the 1980’s and this was their favorite!

Included are early morning snack (before surfing), breakfast, and lunch. The meals were supurb! Home cooked, all natural delicious meals!

The surf instructors were excellent! All incredible surfers in their own right, it was a really just a pleasure to just watch them surf. But they took their time, taught, helped and were really friendly. For all levels, they were there for you - helping, instructing, coaching!

I will definitely be back. Thank you Padang Padang Surf Camp!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank reidkerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queenscliff, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

I traveled twice to Padang Padang surf camp, the first time in august 2009 and the second time in January 2011.

Both time i had an awesome time , the surf guiding is great , always at the right place at the right time.
The room are good, clean, the food is good and spicy.

The staff, both surfing and house staff are friendly.the pool is clean. There is a great mix of people there, family, solo travelers, couples, friends traveling together. To be honest I never got bored there.

I managed to improve my surfing and visited some of the best on the Buhkit peninsula. Good choice of boards if you don't bring yours

There are some good places to eat and drink around the area, just get yourself a scooter, or a taxi. Post surf Balinese massages are great too.

Some people says it is pricy but in my opinion it worths every cents. It just depends on what you want as a service and what you want to pay.
I am looking forward to go back home, not to see my family but to stop there on the way for a good surfing holiday.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robbo I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Padang Padang Surf Camp

Property: Padang Padang Surf Camp
Address: Padang Padang, Jl Labuan Sait, Pecatu, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Nusa Dua Peninsula > Pecatu
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 62 Specialty Lodging in Pecatu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Padang Padang Surf Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Padang Padang Surf Camp offers quality accommodation near some of the best surfing breaks in the world. Surf guiding for advanced surfers and surf lessons for beginners. We cater for all levels of surfers and offer full services including airport transfers, meals, accommodation, surf lessons, board rental. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Padang Padang Surf Camp Hotel Pecatu
Padang Surf Camp Pecatu
Padang Padang Surf Camp Bali/Pecatu

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