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“Worth the trip across half the planet”

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Padang Padang Surf Camp
Ranked #5 of 61 Specialty Lodging in Pecatu
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
55 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Worth the trip across half the planet”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2014

Excellent gem: lovely grounds, beautiful setting, awesome atmosphere: Padang Padang Surf Camp is simply a wonderful place. The camp and its staff and guests live for surfing and you can breath the surf air around you.
Couple of tiny small improvements would make it even better:
little more effort to the cleaning, little extras like a face towel would be nice and costs close to nothing and free sodas for lunch would make it hassle free.
I would not recommend the surf camp and its classes to beginners - the guides are high quality and not best suited to explain the very basics and don't seem to be fitted for that. However, should you be a bit advanced or advanced, this is the best surf guiding you can get.
I appreciated that they looked out for waves, dragged us across half the island to get us the best waves of the day and on some occasions, provided feedback from photos. Those photo sessions should perhaps be part of every single day, it was super helpful.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Barbora_11
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, February 27, 2014
We are delighted the reviewer thought it was worth travelling half way around the world to stay with us and we kindly thank her for the positive suggestions:

We provide free fruit juices with breakfast & lunch and try to promote a healthy diet. We realise how important it is to listen to our customers and continually improve our offering so from April when we implement a weekly surf camp we will also provide free sodas with lunch. Sorry we will not provide free sodas for breakfast - you have to draw a line somewhere!

We provide a room towel but not face towels.

Totally agree with how helpful the photo reviews are. It's not practical to do every day but we will be doing them more regularly and also more talks on surf etiquette, safety, surf science. A weekly surf camp gives us a better platform to deliver a more structured program and we are working hard to finalise our preparations for our new format. We will also be providing a free CD of all the surf photos for the week, and working on other aspects to improve our services.
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226 reviews from our community

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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 (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

I didn't stay at Padang Padang so I can't comment on the facilities, beyond to say that from what I saw, it looked really nice, with attractive grounds and pool. However, their classes were poor compared to other surf lessons I have received. First, their price is a bit higher than anything from a locally owned business. I paid 450,000 IDR for 4 hours of group surf, while I have paid 450,000 IDR or less for 3 hours of private tutoring from other places on Bali and Java. However, what is worse was the terrible instruction. Before starting, the instructor gave my friends, who were totally new to surfing, few safety tips (how to carry the board, for example was not covered). Then, while we were surfing, the instructors totally took off and more or less ignored us. They paddled out a good 30m ahead of us and just paddled around on their own, looking back to us and waving us to follow them, but never actually helping us get out past the current. In the 1.5 hour morning session, I was given no help catching waves at all, and ended up only catching and getting up once. During the afternoon session, I was finally given some help pushing out to the waves, but even then, once we all got frustrated with them holding us back and not letting us try many waves, we all went in, and the instructors just stayed out surfing for another hour on their own. I was truly appalled by their lack of attention to us.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JakartaExpat79
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, March 2, 2014
The reviewer came here with a totally unarealistic expectation of being able to ride a short board. While she has taken a few surf lessons previously she is still at the ability of a beginner and it is impossible for her to ride an advanced level surfboard. Not wishing to be rude, she does not have the body shape or level of fitness required to get anywhere near meeting her expectations.

We have discussed this with the reviewer after she posted her review and while she acknowledges she is overweight and lacking upper body strength, she thinks this has 'little to do with my ability to stand up or catch a wave'. She is totally wrong. The laws of physics apply in the water. Being overweight and not having much upper body strength makes it very difficult to propel the surfboard at the appropriate speed and makes it much more difficult to stand up.

We can teach anyone of any age and body type but they should have a realistic expectation. The reviewer will never be able to ride the board without drastic lifestyle changes and while we can understand her disappointment, the fact is surfing is a difficult sport to learn and if you start late in life and are out of condition, it is that much more difficult.

In our follow up discussions, in addition to asserting that weight and strength are not a factor, she also claims she can surf. Our assessment is that she is still at beginner level and if she wants to continue in this sport she needs to be realistic about her ability and what is possible to be achieved.

It is also a factor that the surfing conditions were very poor that day. Clearly the reviewer was disappointed and we have offered her to come back again on a better surfing day when we will give her a free lesson.

Our instructors worked very hard to encourage and physically push her but there is a limit to what we can do and what can be achieved in 1 day. We do not feel this is a balanced review as no account has been taken of the surfing conditions and the reviewer seems to think that the laws of physics do not apply to surfing.
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Oslo, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

Had an absolutely brilliant time with these wonderful people, probably the best in my ten weeks traveling! :)
The guides are great, service staff forever friendly and accommodating and the people you meet at camp is top notch. Fantastic common area and solid rooms and the location out by Padang/Uluwatu is a great breather from the inner city pressure of Kuta/Seminyak - would have stayed another week if I could, but I'll be back for sure!!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank toblu567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Talbot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

I have stayed at this surf camp a few times now and i thought it was about time to share my experiences.If your a surfer or a traveler visiting Bali for the first time and don't want to waste time and money finding where to surf or stay, the surf camp does it all for you.I arrived late evening and was picked up as arranged by the surfcamp bus and taking to my accom at the camp which was very clean and spacious.The pool was awesome and the lounge area cool in the shade.Also i loved the food which was very healthy and as good as any i have had at some quality hotels.As a surfer i wanted to get to best waves in the shortest time which i did with the camp surf guides.The surf guides made sure i got into the best waves of my life even in some crowded places.Also some people i met at the camp who were learning to surf found the lessons and guides second to none and are going back time and time again.Thanks Andrew and Ina for memory's that will be with me for a life time.

Room Tip: Maybe i will pay that bit extra for aircon next time.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lewis594
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

I've been to this lovely little oasis 20-30 times in the past 3 years (I'm not kidding). The camp itself is a luxurious haven, and i feel like this giant weight lifting off my shoulders by just setting foot in its pristine harmonious settings.
Everything is taken care of for you right from the get go - you're picked up from the airport and shuttled straight to camp. Large portions of breakfast and lunch are provided, conjured up by excellent local chefs. Accommodations range from basic fan rooms (which are perfectly comfortable with lovely decor. Freshly picked flowers everyday add a nice touch to the interiors) to air-conditioned rooms with hammocks, TVs, refrigerators, etc. What's really convenient about this camp is that they take you out twice a day to the most appropriate breaks, catering to the surf levels of the guests.
Perhaps what i love most about Padang Padang is the fact that it is pretty self-selecting. It attracts regulars from all around the world, but all like-minded individuals - people who are fun-loving, adventurous, genuinely interested in other cultures, sporty. I've made many many good friends from all around the world and continue to stay in touch with them. It's rare for me to go for a weekend trip to Bali and NOT find someone i know staying at the camp.
Thumbs up for the great effort Andrew and Ina have put into this place.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank liwenho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Terranas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2014

I only took lessons for one day but it was enough. I've been in Bali 4 times and this surf school has more or less the same proficiency as the cheaper ones at the Kuta beach.

When I called and asked to join the camp for one day, the person in the phone insisted me to drive to the camp from my hotel and pay deposit of the 450k rupees before he can confirm. When I went there nobody was at the camp and hostel/hotel personnel sent me back... great start.

Quite expensive for 2 surf sessions in a group when you can get a personal lesson with 200k from many places in Kuta, Batu Bolong etc.. their rash vest are old+dirty and they didn't even had a size medium for me. Boards are heavily used and if you prefer minimal/long board between 8 to 8'11 they don't even have one.

We went surfing to nearest spot which was Padang Padang, although day before they say we would go to Nusa Dua, which was one of the reasons to try their service.

Instructors was basically nice as Balinese are. Monot was very good and gave us a good brief before surfing and was only of 4 instructors that actually gave me some tips about my surf. Others were not so keen on giving feedback or making anyone a better surfer... these guys are maybe good surfers but not great teachers.

One of the instructors (couldn't catch a name but with a long hair) was the whole day extremely rude. This guy interrupted rudely while doing some stretching led by Monot and tried to make fun of the situation. Same guy kept his show going on whole day... he picked me several times from my ear behind of me and acted like it wasn't him... he aggressively acted like hitting one student... at the water he was the opposite of surf etiquette.

First session all good but I couldn't understand why we had to do second session on same place because it was flat and when started to work it was immediately closing out.

Basically good and nice with all the great people from other countries but after some issues with their "customer service" I felt treated like a piece of meat with a fat wallet.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Henrik A
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, February 13, 2014
We are very disappointed that we did not achieve customer satisfaction but we are of the opinion that 450,000rp (US$38) for a day’s surf instruction is very good value and a very competitive price for a ratio of 2 students to 1 instructor. If it does not seem credible that many operators in Kuta and Batu Balong offer private surf lessons for 200,000rp (US$17) and can afford to pay their staff, overheads such as transport, office, equipment, marketing, taxes etc it is because it is not credible.

The reviewer was informed we would take him to the best surfing location and on the day the best location was Padang Padang. We posted photos of the session on our website http://www.bali-surf-report.com/2014/02/03/ and you can clearly see that the surfing conditions were excellent. You can also clearly see the reviewer wearing a clean well fitting rash vest with a surfboard in excellent condition. While we sympathise with the reviewer being agitated at not going to Nusa Dua the fact is that the conditions on the day were not suitable and the other guests were all delighted with the surfing conditions at Padang Padang which were excellent. We did go to Nusa dua the previous day and there was a possibility we would go to Nusa Dua on the date in question (Feb 3rd) but the wind conditions were not suitable there. It should be noted that wind predictions in the tropics are not as reliable as you would expect in higher latitudes which is why final decision is made on the day depending on actual conditions (not forecast). The reviewer received excellent instruction from Monot and while he seems to have expected the other 3 instructors also to have helped him, they were assigned to other guests. We appreciate he was annoyed with 1 of the instructors joking about and this is something we will attend to.
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ireland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2014

The surf camp is great. It's a very social place so ideal for anyone travelling alone wanting to try out or develop their surfing skills.

The bedrooms do not have locks so seems to be based on trust. I’m a little uncomfortable with this and would prefer the security of being able to lock my door. There are safes in each room to store valuables.

The instructors are very friendly and well informed in trying to teach the most amateur of surfers. The ratio while I was there was 1 instructor for 2 guests.

There are several beaches groups are brought to which is great for travellers to not only surf but getting to see more of the country.

The food at the camp is a little basic and ants in the eating area are a little bit of a turn off. There are plenty of restaurant options in the area as an alternative.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sinead668
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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