After two weeks of surfing we finised our trip at the Hamza resort.
It was the closing we needed. Good en clean accommodation, nice food, friendly and helpful employees, best of all a great view from the pool onto the ocean!
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
We had high expectations but they began to fade one we came to the road going up to the resort. 2.5 KM of steep road with potholes... The gate was closed upon arrival up the hill, the guard that came after us had to honk the horn several times. He did not speak any English and had essential problem to let us know where to park the car. Welcome drink was a non-chilled coconut. We did travel almost 5 hrs to get to the resort so we were hungry and ordered food. The spaghetti were, if you want to try to see it positive, extra extra extra al dente which was a surprise as we had to wait for them for 45 minutes. The "amazing" hamburger was a 50-60 gr. cold patty on an also cold bun with 2 slices of processed cheddar cheese and some salad. The ketchup wasn't on the bun but used to draw a smiley face on the plate. Didn't work out to enhance the taste though. At least the cold bun made the hunger disappear. Both dishes went back to the kitchen (except the bun), Henry offered us to replace it with Indonesian food. Still hungry we went with a safe bet, Mie Goreng. That took another 45 minutes to arrive. Meanwhile the dogs had a constant barking duel around the restaurant only interrupted by walking in and out of the kitchen. Once the food was on the table so were the dogs (not on but at). The bungalow was clean but with strong chemical smell from the bathroom and the light switch in the bathroom was hanging out the wall. (1st bungalow right hand side from the restaurant). The bedsteads were black dyed bamboo frames and creaky with every move. Maybe we had a bad luck day but all in all the first 120 minutes up the hill made us wanting to leave asap. To make our day complete we were offered the dolphin trip for 2 pax for 500,000.00 IDR. The going rate at the hotels near beachside is 160,000.00 IDR for 2 pax, just for comparison matters.
Just fair to say that the manager agreed to cancel the reservation after the first night and not to charge for the food. His staff on the other hand tried to charge the food upon check-out the next morning but accepted that we did not pay for it.
What did we learn from our Hamsa experience? Be careful with a dozen "amazing" reviews from people that have posted just "one" review. (and I am fully aware that this is just my second) Be careful if most of them just have joined Tripadvisor for that review and be even more careful when most of them come from a particular country the people run the establishment also come from. I won't say a thing here, could all be coincidence, you decide take your chances.But after traveling Asia for 9 year for business and a fair share of hotels in every country it is beyond my capacity to understand how this place can get a higher rating than 4-5.
Yes, the views are amazing and the garden grounds look neat and pretty. The rooms would be great without the "chemical bathroom" and a bed that does not creak with every move even from a person of less than 50 KG. The restaurant would be ok with decent food, without dogs in the kitchen and dog hairs on the sofas. That's something you can decide to allow at home but not in a hotel.
Maybe the whole "with love" thingy wasn't for us, we decided to go with "professional attitude combined with smiles" in a small resort run by an Indonesian family and that did it for us much better. Good luck for the Hamsa to get their game on track. It would be a pity if the pretty setting they have suffers from under performing / untrained staff, non attention to small details and practices that are not acceptable when it comes to hygiene in public places.
First of all we are verry sorry for your dissapointed experience with our resort.
We sure are no Hilton or other big hotel, we are working with only local people which we educate in pursue of creating prospertity to the local community. Thats why not everything is so strongly and strictly organised as in a big brand Hotel.
In our personal meeeting we had, you came forward that your partner had booked the resort and you had different expactations...we try to be very honest and manage expactitons by branding ourself as we truly are...a small boutique resort with attention to environment and people.
The booking websites not always, can get this message across!
Because we do care about our guest experiences we have made changes in our policy's and systems and are sure to have a better guest experience.
So we would like to offer you a free 2 day stay at our resort and are sure you have a better experience this time!
From bali WIth Love
The Hamsa Management
The hamsa is located on a hill, 2,5KM from the sea (30 min walk) and 8KM from the city center (a 2/3 hours walk).
The hotel itself offers a nice swimming pool (from with we can seen the sea below) and 6 lovely bungalows.
++++ The view from the hotel is simply amazing and unique.
+++ Food (mostly vegetarian food, with local ingredients (some even from the hotel garden)
--- Impossible to pay via credit card or even foreign currency making it a nightmare to pay the bill (in Baly most ATM will not allow withdrawals of more than 1 000 000 ruppies, imagine if you have to get 8 000 000 ruppies for the bill...). For this reason i dont advise anyone to spend more than 2 nights... perhaps the owner will be more open minded in the future.
-- There are a few dogs which i believe belong to the owner of the place, Not that dogs is a problem in itself but constantly earing barking at almost every meal and every night (2AM, 5AM etc) is making the Hamsa a not quiet at all relaxing and quiet place. Also its always anoying to have them at your feet while eating and sometimes seeing them entering the kitchen...
-- Incomprehensible list of things to do from the hotels: there are more than one list of activities, with different prices and different things to do, for one organized trip in particular I was mentionned three different prices...
- Lack of service from the staff: often have to get the menu ourselves, placing orders directly in the kitchen (the cooks are however lovely and very good at cooking!)
- Prices not including vat and service tax (for food and spa)
In a few words, lovely site (best in Lovina), lovely food (and amazing cook), but a place that badly lack management (ruppies cash only policy, no service, Incomprehensible trip list and prices, noisy place with dogs).
Thank you for your compliments and your stay at our resort!
We are happy you gave us your feedback and we will take your points of criticism at hand to improve the guest experience in The Hamsa Resort.
Hereby we would also like to take the opportunity to explain the reasons behind some of your points of improvements.
For all points: we just opened and still there are some small things that need tweaking... we try to make the Hamsa a nice and peaceful as possible.....
- The Card payment system we have applied for but the process takes a long time with the banks here, we hope to have the system operating in August 2012.
- The Information about excursions are now available in menus in each room, our apologies for the mix up.
- The 2 dogs Buddah and Bunny are normally not so "vocal" as during your stay but during the Ramadan the small amount of muslims in Bali have ceremony.s early in the morning which alarms the dogs as it is unusual.
- Regarding the service: we are working with local women from the village the Hamsa is situated in ...to give these people a job in the tourist sector...they are not yet so well trained as big city balinese...but the yard great cooks which makes sure our kitchen has that home cooked taste you don't find so much anymore...! we are training them every day..and hope to generate a new batch of professionals in this small village.
I hope to welcome you to The Hamsa one day, and provide you with a better experience!
Sorry for the inconveniences!
During my travels in South-East Asia I stayed here for almost two weeks and I loved it! What a beautiful place and the views are amazing! Tip: watch the sunset from out of the swimming pool, its stunning! The food is great and the staff is very nice as well... When you need time for yourself you can find many places in this beautiful garden to hideaway, relax, read a book etc. Hire a motorbike and explore the area, there many things to do in the north of Bali! And im sure the staff will tell you everything about it! Enjoy! ;-)
I stayed here for 5 nights during my 4 month travel through South-East Asia. It was for sure on of the most memorable stays during my travels. The views are absolutely stunning, the food is delicious and the staff is really friendly!
This place is highly recommended when you want to avoid mass tourisme on Bali. Considering I am everything BUT a mass tourist, I am definitely going back to this place when I visited Bali next time! ;-)
The Hamsa, the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or serene retreat. Although the last few km of the road leading up to the resort are pretty bumpy, it's well marked and definitely worth the trip.
The view overlooking Lovina is amazing. Not 1 but 2 infinity pools, all rooms, the Spa and superb Yoga area are facing the sea.
Welcoming friendly staff & Manager Henry (aka the friendly Dutch giant) will walk the extra mile to make your stay into a perfect holiday experience.
The food menu is delicious and a good mixture between healthy, organic and scrumptious options.
Don't miss out of the, free of charge, sunset session of Asthanga Yoga, definitely worth the early rise and shine.
To go to the beach is just a 5 min ride, to Lovina town about 10min.
We will be back again in the near future for sure!
Thanks to all staff for making our stay into a great experience and see you soon!