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“Been there 6 times and counting”

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Padang Padang Surf Camp
Ranked #5 of 61 Specialty Lodging in Pecatu
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Been there 6 times and counting”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

This is a place I just keep coming back to! I started going about 3 years ago and find it hard to justify going anywhere else in Bali.

With regards to surf guiding and instruction, i would recommend it to anyone from true beginner to experts who just want someone to surf with and don't want to worry about tide charts and swell conditions. I basically learnt to surf at this camp 3 years ago and now just go for surf guiding. The local instructors are a great bunch of guys, all excellent surfers and good teachers too. They are lots of fun to be out in the water with as they banter together and try to tease you as well :) I have seen a massive improvement in my surfing since coming here, and on each trip, get more tips and help from the coaches.

The accommodation is very comfortable, grounds are lovely with good sized pool and relaxation areas with hammocks. There is friendly staff and good chefs serving up a mixture of local cuisine and more western food.

The thing I love most about this place is the people. Both the people who work here and create a great surf holiday atmosphere, and the fellow travelers I have met. Every time I go, I make new friends, a lot of whom I meet up with again.

I'll probably be there for my 7th trip again soon :)

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tam4747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I was staying on the Bukit with some friends and was unfamiliar with which breaks & tides would be appropriate for me as an advanced beginner/intermediate. I taxi'ed to the camp for a surf guide, which was basically transportation to a suitable break at the right tide with a guide to show me where to paddle out and to help position me in the lineup for suitable waves for my level. They took me to Uluwatu which from internet research I would have never thought safe for my level, and it was amazing and perfectly safe in certain conditions. If you have not surfed in Bali before I would highly recommend going with these guys at least once to learn the local reef breaks.

I originally thought the camp prices were a little high to stay there, but after looking at my bank statement after the trip I realized I would have SAVED money by staying at the camp, since taxis around the Bukit are pretty pricey (unless you moped yourself around which I was too scared to do). The camp and look are also GORGEOUS, even better than the pictures. Plus when I went out to the same break by myself the next few days, I caught a lot fewer waves because I did not know where exactly in the lineup to position myself.

If this is your first time surfing, I would hesitate to commit to staying here. Some people try surfing and don't like it. Also surfing is incredibly tiring as a beginner and on days that you are too tired to surf and just want to do things around town, this is pretty far from Kuta - 50 mins $12 taxi. As a beginner, I would probably stay in Kuta/Seminyak and just book a few lessons.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank dilemmalyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I was incredibly disappointed with my time at Padang Padang. The camp itself is beautiful and the rooms clean and comfortable. The food served as part of the package is also good. The surf instruction was where my experience fell down. Before my first day surfing no one asked me what level I was (complete beginner) and my tuition didn't start until we hit the beach and suddenly I was taught to 'pop' up on to the board. Next thing I know we're heading into the water with no instruction on how to get in, how to paddle or what to do to catch a wave. I was given a local instructor who spoke very little english and gave me no pointers on what I was doing right or wrong. The swell was really big that week which didn't help and I spent more time getting slammed by waves trying to get back out into the channel than I did trying to catch them and had no knowledge of how to cope with bigger waves. To add insult to injury whilst I'm struggling with the waves my instructor was catching them. This was the case with all of the local instructors. I even witnessed one of the local instructors surf into one of our beginner group. When I was too tired to carry on my instructor sent me in but didn't come with me and if it hadn't been for more experienced members of the group showing me how and where to paddle in I would have drifted out to sea (the intermediate group almost always surfs the same waves as the beginner group). This actually happened to another member of our group who had to be saved by another surfer. My second day of surfing improved slightly when I had tuition from one of the western instructors Brendan who was great. The camp's photographer was on hand that day to take pictures of us all to show us what we doing right or wrong. Sadly, we never had our pictures analysed and despite asking 4 times to be shown the pictures I was always told that the photographer was too busy and that it would happen later or tomorrow. I tried speaking to a number of people at the camp to ask for additional tuition on things I hadn't covered and if the beginner group could visit other beaches with smaller waves but no one responded to my requests. In the end it took the whole of the beginner group (approx 10 of us) to say that we all felt extremely uncomfortable surfing in big swell and wanted to visit a different beach with smaller waves for them to listen. Ultimately it felt as if the western instructors were organised but that there was only 2 of them and that the local instructors did what they wanted no matter what they were asked. The set up of the camp works if you know your way around a surf board and breaks but I would not recommend it for anyone who needs coaching.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank kristy c
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, July 22, 2013
The reviewer attended surf lessons with us on June 25th, 26th & 27th. Unfortunately the swell size was big and on 2 of these 3 days the photographer went with another group. Our website http://www.bali-surf-report.com/ archives each of these photo sessions. While we are disappointed the reviewer was disappointed, at no time did she mention to either western or local management any issues. It is not the photographer who reviewed the photos but the western instructors and the reviewer was unlucky that only 1 of the sessions was photographed and reviewed. We regularly review surf photos as a group and will happily respond to any requests to analyse an individual's surf photos.

We will be changing our policy next year for a minimum stay of 7 nights to mimimise chances of short stay guests being unlucky with surf conditions for a period of 2 or 3 days as happened in this case. However, many things written by the reviewer such as Whole of the beginner group..... are simply not true. All requests were responded to in a friendly professional manner and we provided an excellent instructor and while the reviewer stated this only led to a slight improvement, our record is different.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the surf camp for one week in early April and didn't want to leave! It was one of the best experiences I've ever had!!! We took surf lessons for the first few days and had a ball in the water with the guides who are relaxed happy and friendly! My surfing improved monumentally compared with other surf camps I have taken (largely due to guides impeccable timing and pushing me onto waves). However I think it is important that you are already comfortable with being in the water as all the surf spots dont break directly on the beach which I personally enjoyed as a paddling challenge and incentive to improve. If you aren't a good swimmer or a complete beginner, this may be difficult for you.
The structure of the camp is flexible enough to provide for those wanting to surf twice daily and those wanting a more relaxing stay- one day I wanted to join the afternoon session at Balangan so the guides made sure they brought my board in the morning for when I was dropped off later on.
The food is amazing- one lunchtime surprised us with a mountain of fresh grilled prawns and the breakfast options from muesli to omelettes were great!
We travelled as a couple and the other guests at the camp were friendly and relaxed and it was a pleasure sharing the experience with them- and we had some awesome shared meals at Buddha Soul and Uluwatu.
Overall, I think the attitude that the guides have is what makes the camp so special! They're relaxed, friendly, always joking yet getting things done efficiently and cheerful even at 5am wake ups!
We're hanging out to get back- its a special place!

  • Stayed April 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Woods0692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We visited the Padang Padang Surf Camp and it was hidden back from the road, very relaxing and secluded. The rooms were nice and the pool area was lovely especially teaming having a massage with their excellent masseuse. We got breakfast and lunch included and both were enjoyable, with different options for breakfast....the kitchen were very accommodating. The main purpose was for surfing, the Balinese instructors were great - especially Koyok, Made, Edy, Tumbling, Gun ung and Tino.....they were fun and helpful and put you in the right spot to catch the waves. As a learner it would have been good to get slightly more guidance especially when out with the main English instructor Damon, we found he concentrated more on himself catching waves rather than the focus being on the paying guest. The owners were really nice especially Ina who couldn't be more helpful. It was a great trip and I would definitely recommend visiting if you want to relax and be transported to surfing spots every day....all in all a fab trip : )

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ILOVETRAVELLING8384
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
144 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

I didn't stay there but I did go surfing with them. But I wish I did stay there! Looks like a great place, close to Padang beach. The staff were very friendly to me. Had a couple great rides I will not forget soon! Thanks!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank danasbox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coolangatta
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2013

The perfect surf camp! Two surf trips per day to some of the best breaks around the island. Every day we surfed perfect waves at a variety of different locations, all the while under the watchful eyes of the guides. The surf guides are all excellent – superb surfers and watermen, very welcoming and friendly, and great teachers – all local surfers who know their home breaks like the backs of their hands. Surfing with these boys you will never go short of waves! The new addition to the crew, Damon, offered his immense experience and knowledge in the form of pre-surf talks (with videos, etc.), during surf corrections and tips, and post surf analysis based on observations, photos and videos - he literally opened my eyes to all the mistakes I had been making over the years and, with a few carefully tailored corrections and tips, after only 12 days I felt that my surfing technique and style had improved more in those few days than in the previous few years – I was truly amazed at the rate of progression. I often surfed with the owner, Andrew, too and he also gave me many extremely helpful tips which undoubtedly helped my surfing progression. Aside from being a great help in the water I found Andrew to be a very welcoming and highly entertaining and humorous host back at the camp, and extremely generous too – all in all I felt that he went far beyond what could have reasonably been expected of him – it is no wonder that so many of the visitors to the camp were not staying there for the first time. Andrew’s wife, Ina, was also extremely welcoming and kind – a superb host who really went out of her way to make sure that the guests were comfortable in every way – as an example, my brother was sick while we were staying there and Ina prepared special meals for him throughout the day and even prepared him special teas.
The camp itself is like a paradise – beautifully landscaped tropical gardens set around an infinity pool and an outdoor chillout area where I spent many a blissful hour relaxing in a hammock! For solo travellers it has to be one of the easiest places to meet great people I have ever been to.
The rooms are great too and the food is delicious (½ western, ½ Indo) – you will not go hungry as there is always more than enough for everyone and then some spare! The seafood bbq nights are a feast of delicious dishes!
I will return for sure – the only bad thing about the camp is having to leave at the end of your stay!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kit B
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 #5 of 61 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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