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The Damai
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Reviewed December 1, 2007

Stayed at the Damai Lovina for 5 nights as part of our honeymoon to Indonesia. We booked this hotel after reading the recommendations on Tripadvisor and we must same that this was one of the best parts of our holiday. As stated by others, Lovina is not the best place to stay in Bali, but it is a good starting place to explore the north and west of the island. The Damai is an excellent hotel and should definitely be part of your itinerary.

There are so many good things to say about this hotel. The staff are exceptional, the food is top class, the view and pool are relaxing and heavenly, the room was clean and well decorated (nice outdoor bath and shower). We ordered the dinner and dolphin bliss package which included breakfast, dinner for one night and a sunrise dolphin boat trip. The boat trip itself was a bit tacky with what seemed like a 100 boats desparately chasing dolphins in the bay. We went on some very good tours organised by the hotel and would like to personally thank our tour guide Ketut. His english, knowledge of Bali and its culture and helpfulness throughout our stay was fantastic. On out last day we were going to Java via ferry to meet our next hotel pickup. However, Ketut not only drove us to the ferry port, he went with us on the ferry to take our bags and meet our next car. Thanks again Ketut.

To sum up, go to Lovina as a base to explore Bali and stay at the Damai Villas. You wont be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Doc_Jon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2007

My husband and I stayed at Damai for 2 days and one night during our honeymoon in July 2007. We chose to spend one night in Lovina, knowing well that it is the place to do nothing. The Damai did not disappoint us, and spoilt us rotten with their exemplary service.

The Damai is located far from civilization, perched on top of hill, with beautiful vistas overlooking lush green valleys. The lulling view of the indian ocean beyond the hills is a treat. (please note that the ocean views are not dramatic, as the ocean is quite far away).

Other reviewers have described the place pretty well. Let me start with a few instances, substantiating everyone's reviews.

When we were waiting in the lobby to sign up, we were offered a refreshing drink. We just confirmed with the wait staff if there was any alcohol in the drink. The waiter asked us if we did not drink and we confirmed. For the entire length of our stay, not once were we offered an alcohol menu by any of the wait staff.

The first time we went to the restaurant, I had casually mentioned that I was vegetarian. I never needed to mention that to anyone again, and was always given the vegetarian menu to choose from. The sambal spice paste, which usually comes with shrimp paste, was even specially prepared for me without the shrimp!

They have a free shuttle to Lovina. Every time you return back to hotel from town, the manager is running outside to greet you and making sure you had a good time. The one time we decided to eat dinner outside and returned back, they knew that we had not eaten in the hotel and made sure that we had dinner.

The room is quietly and quickly cleaned when you are out of dinner, with the bed made for the night. The coordination with which they work with each other to understand each and every guest is simply astounding.

The food! I heard this is one of the best restaurants in south east asia. The food tastes great. Even better is the way it is arranged on your plate. Its so beautiful that you actually end up making an effort to eat so that you dont spoil the beauty.

The hotel is expensive. Everything is charged in US dollars. Sometimes, you do end up spending as though you were in the US. You doubt you are in Indonesia. However, we highly recommend splurging in Damai for a day or two at least! Service of this kind needs to be experienced.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank NiruSwami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2007

Amazing hotel, beutifully decorated, great service and delicate details.

We stayed for three days during our holidays in Bali and just loved this place. The rooms are tastefully decorated and very confortable. The shower and jacuzzi in our room were really nice.

The pool is great located with views over Lovina sea, very quiet and lovely just to relax between our trips to see around.

The Lovina area is very quiet and relaxing too so we just enjoyed the hotel and the spa.

Really nice breakfast and one of the best restaurants in Bali, we really loved the dinners.

It´s so easy to loose track of time in this hotel, just enjoying your stay by the pool, or by the fire in the night, with one or more of their mojiteas or other cocktail of your choice.

The staff is very nice and they facilitated everything we needed.

They have a shuttle service which is very useful, since the hotel is 3km from Lovina, up in a mountain which is not a inconvenience but a plus for the hotel.

For us is a sure choice to stop and relax during your visit to Bali.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank warholita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2007

The second 5 night stop on our three week honeymoon to Bali was the Damai Lovina. We were supposed to fly to Sulawesi but last minute scrapped the trip due to the weather and had the Amankila transfer us up to Lovina. It's a long drive (4-5 hours) from East Bali to Lovina through the treacherous cloud-filled mountains crowded with livestock and sheer cliffs. But when you arrive to the arid north, it's like you've finally found true Bali. We saw how the Balinese really live and it was incredible.

The Damai is a little 8 room bungalow resort on the top of a mountainside surrounded by farmland and views out over the ocean with Java in the distance. It had by far the most beautiful views of all our stays. The sunsets could bring tears to your eyes. And for 25% the cost of the Amankila, it couldn't be better. Honestly, this was our favorite hotel of the trip and by far the cheapest. There's not much to do in North Bali except go snorkeling / scuba to Menjangan Island and visit the little town. But the snorkeling was the best of my life and the little town is filled with great little restaurants, bars and shops. Avoid the beach at all costs - you'll be one of the only tourists and will get hammered by the hawkers.

The Damai was like a little Shangri-La. Sitting on the top of a ridge, they've planted gardens all around the hotel filled with flowers and organic produce. The restaurant selections are limited but are all top notch. Drinks are strong and the bartenders are very cool. Your villas all have their own outdoor shower and hot tub, and the sitting area is very cute. We had massages almost every day - a married couple runs their practice (trained in the same school as the Four Seasons and the Como Shambala resorts) and they are absolutely incredible. Best traditional massage we got in Bali. Plus they were like $25! The service was great - like you were staying with a friend. Anything that you want you will get instantly, but they just won't be standing next to you the whole time waiting to provide service. We liked it better this way - accessible but out of sight.

We spent lots of time just hanging around the property, reading books, swimming, getting massages and occasionally venturing into town. There is a great Thai restaurant in town called Jasmine, and the Khi Khi seafood spot is a local favorite where you absolutely feast on seafood for petty change. The waitress was awesome and we ended up getting motorbike rides back to the hotel after dinner (up the windy roads in the dark to the Damai - it was memorable). The local bars all have live music at night (most American rock & roll cover bands) and cheap drinks. Definitely wander down to town at night to bar hop and meet some local Balinese. Not many tourists were in town when we visited - we felt very special to have experienced this place. One day we went to swim with the dolphins at the Melka hotel. Avoid this at all costs. The male dolphins need female company and take it out on the guests - that's all that needs to be said. Another highlight for us was the Warung Bambu's cooking school - it was awesome.

Overall, this hotel is amazing. It's definitely more rustic than our other hotel choices and you'll need to get used to the roosters that wander through the yard, lots of lizards and geckos, the motorbikes buzzing up the road, occasional mosque music floating through the air and some dogs barking. But in many ways this made it charming. How can you travel around the world and not experience life as they do? If you go to Bali for more than 2 weeks and don't make it to the Damai Lovina - you've done yourself a disservice. This place is a gem that we will treasure forever.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank petercasella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2007

My husband and I are currently staying in Damai. (We came here on July 2nd and will be leaving on July 6th.) This is the last part of our Bali vacation and we are so pleased with our choice in accomodation. Damai is a wonderful place for a bit of “splurging” in Bali. Actually, for $165 USD/night [+ tax/service charge = ~ $185 USD/night], the price is very reasonable for what you get. Included with the accomodation is a fabulous breakfast [with a wide variety of choice between Continental, American or Indonesian food). The hotel has 8 detached villa-type rooms (each consisting of a bedroom with a sitting/dining area, and a washroom with an outdoor shower and jacuzzi tub). There is a spa onsite, a beautiful pool, and wireless internet access at a fee [with option to use a hotel laptop in your villa]. The hotel is also well-known in the area for its fantastic restaurant (check out photos on their webpage). Service in the restaurant is comparable to a fine dining establishment in any cosmopolitan city.The design of the villas and hotel grounds is gorgeous. It is a wonderful showcase of Balinese/Asian design (interior and exterior). The staff are fantastic – professional, hospitable and friendly. A lot of thought has been put into making sure each guest’s experience is the best (ie: fabulous welcome drink, a welcome flower arrangement, the personal note in the room, and a small library of books/videos and board games at reception). The hotel has its own organic garden (growing much of its own vegetables/fruits and herbs). Every morning, the hotel provides a rotating variety of fruit grown in Bali for guests to sample in their rooms (with complete description of the fruit and how to eat it). In the interest of complete safety, all water used in the hotel (ie: for ice, food and drink preparations and for washing vegetables/fruits/salads) come from bottled water. This is an added bonus since we’ve always refrained from eating raw fruits/vegetables in Asia because of the water! Damai is located up on the mountain (with a beautiful view over the hill and of the ocean). It’s about a 5 minute drive down to Lovina (a smaller, quiet seaside village compared to Kuta/Seminyak and Ubud). The hotel provides free transport to Lovina/the beach, and also offers a variety of activities for guests (at various prices). Activities include excursions to various villages and areas of interest, as well as water activities (ie: snorkelling, diving) and sport (ie: golf, trekking) activities. With any activities arranged through the hotel, the hotel ensures guests are provided with the BEST service and are “taken care of” professionally throughout the entire experience. For example, my husband and I arranged a dolphin viewing experience in Lovina Bay on a traditional boat in the early hours of the morning (~ 6 am) today. The hotel arranged for us to have coffee and biscuits 15 minutes before our departure. We were driven down to the beach and arrangements were made for us to be on a traditional boat (owned by Damai). This would be a great place for a lovely honeymoon [or just a nice quiet opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and relax in a great environment]. Currently, the hotel is in the midst of expanding. There are 6 new villas being added (with their own private pools). They said the villas will be ready in 2008. The only thing to make note of is that all prices listed through the hotel is in USD. (Prices are comparable to North America and Europe.) I feel confident recommending this hotel to all travellers considering a high end hotel in the northern part of Bali. I’m just sad I will be leaving in 2 days. :(

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank EdmontonGypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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