First let me say I hesitated to write this review. I do not often write reviews unless there were truly exceptional - generally positive - reasons for it. This is my first negative review. I use TA consistently and always base part of my decisions on reviews by other travelers. In the end, it is because we were so disappointed and ultimately our vacation was ended abruptly and under very difficult circumstances that I feel a responsibility to fellow travelers and decided to write this review.
We traveled as a family of 3: myself with 2 children aged 10-12 and with my elderly parents (5 total). We were very nicely greeted at the airport by a staff member and driver. The car was comfortable, the driver courteous. The lady manager offered to call ahead and have dinner at our arrival which was very nice.
The road to the villa was very long, probably close to two hours drive, and very curvy. So do not expect this to be close to anything: it is not. This in itself was what we were looking for after a week in Bali, so all good. But be warned, it is secluded, remote and pretty 3rd world.
Our first issue was on arrival: it was around 9PM, the house had obviously been closed for a while and the air conditioning was not on, so it was sweltering. It was promptly turned on. Unfortunately, there are electrical issues in this house – beyond the sometimes power outages which are endemic to these remote areas - that cause the air to trip the breakers continually AND when they run for too long, an automatic feature turns the units off as well. So unless you wake up at night to turn them back on, they will be off.
The first (lower) floor has two bedrooms/baths and sliding glass doors which could potentially be left open for air flow, but there are numerous wild and domestic dogs roaming around so not only can you not let the doors open (we were also told not to), you must remember to bring in your shoes if you want to still have them intact in the morning. We love dogs are the kids were thrilled to play with puppies but it was a problem at night. We will not even mention the constant barking. The top floor has another bedroom with doors that can be opened and hence this room is potentially cooler. But careful: there are tons of mosquitoes. There are bed mosquito nets, but they are inadequate and too small so they do not cover the whole bed and mosquitoes do get in.
The house is located maybe 10-15 meters from the main road, in fact the only local road. So it is NOT, by any means quiet. There are vehicles of every kind, from horse and donkey cart and bicycles to trucks and most commonly, as is generally the case in remote areas such as this, motorcycles in every state of age and repair, therefore in every decibels. To say that you can actually sit on the front porch and enjoy the view is possible, as long as you don't mind the constant noise (you cannot have an uninterrupted conversation). To say that this is an enjoyable "view of the local life" and somehow enjoyable is a HUGE stretch. It is not.
There was no landscaping at the time we were there, they were actually building a fence in the front, and the back of the house was completely neglected and a convenient place for garbage deposit (as in many remote places without well organized garbage pick-up/removal).
Another problem was the kitchen: there is no kitchen. There is a counter with dishes inside and a sink, a small refrigerator, a toaster and we requested a microwave oven because all the meals arrived cold or lukewarm (a Bodum coffee plunger was also offered). You must depend on the staff for all your meals. There is no grocery or convenience store in any proximity. There is a limited menu offered at the house that you must order from - restaurant style - and all meals are cooked in a facility at the back of the property. They are then later delivered to you by the staff ladies who walk over carrying the dishes. The food is not of particular quality, the variety is poor, it is not appealing, the kids were even less impressed. Although the staff is so nice I hate to say this, but it is true.
Unfortunately, this is where our vacation took a turn for the worse. About a day and a half after arriving, we all got extremely violent food poisoning. We re-visited every meal for the past 48 hours and concluded the only time in the recent days that we had all eaten the same foods was the dinner on arrival at the house – nasi goreng prepared by the staff.
On our second day, I informed the staff of a peculiar problem with the ceilings on the first floor which seemed to be caving in, with large gaps appearing at the seams of the hard-wood floor looking ceiling (for lack of the correct term for this) while at the same time requesting help from an electrician to fix the air conditioning. We were left waiting for a technician to come and fix the units without a/c all day. He was helpful in that the units stayed on part of the night. But the next morning, we noticed the ceiling of one of the bedrooms on the first floor was definitely caving in; now with huge gaps between the seams, and at the meeting point with the walls, definitely much worsened overnight (I do have pictures if anyone doubts this). My parents were so worried we immediately gathered everyone’s belongings and called management. The manager immediately offered to move us to another house on the property, thankfully available at that time. This was useful and solved at least the immediate safety issue. Unlucky for us, that night the area experienced a several hours area-wide power outage…
My husband joined us a day after we arrived in Lombok. He was there the night before the ceiling cave-in just as we were all starting to feel ill from the food poisoning. After the move to the sister property, followed with the local outage, the poor food – he was hungry! – and all of us now violently ill, he made arrangements with the help of the staff to move us for the night to a hotel and put us back on a plane home within 48 hours of his arrival. The owner subsequently refunded the rental fee in full.
Needless to say, this was not the restful week I had promised and not the wonderful – albeit still once in a lifetime :( – experience promised as a birthday present to my visiting 75 year old father..
Lastly, I must address the beach issue: There is no beach. It is a rock patch between the road and the ocean. No trees, no shade, not a place to go for any reason. If you walk for 30-45 minutes to the right, there may be an opportunity to swim, with water shoes, but it was really dirty with all kinds of rubbish and sea grass, mud etc when we were there. There are, however, lots of seashells. We did not swim at all.
On the bright side, the pool is fabulous. Very nice and no one is using it – at least during our visit. We spent our last day there away from the warm house, in the shade of lovely traditional type huts where there seems to always be a nice breeze, and no noise from the road since it is set at the far back of the property of 3 houses.
|How easy was it to book the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
I stayed in this villa with my family during the school holidays. It was not our first trip to Indonesia as we had travelled to Bali before a couple of years ago and wanted a quieter place to stay so thought we would try Lombok and I'm glad we did. My kids loved the swimming pool and the beach and me and my husband spent our time in the evening on the verandah enjoying the amazing views. We went sightseeing as well to the pottery and craft villages. The best days we had were when we took a picnic to the nearby islands on the boat and spent the days snorkelling and swimming. We went to the surf beach but it was abit too big for my children - just be careful of the coral on the beach.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How easy was key pickup/access to the property?|
|Overall condition of the property||Bedding & mattresses|
|Kitchen & utensils||Bathroom cleanliness|
|Other facilities & amenities||Service|
|Friends getaway||Older travelers|
|Families with young children||Large groups|
We stayed 3 nights as a couple. The Villa is new, well build and well equipped. You will not find easily a better one in this undeveloped beautiful quiet area of Lombok. Staying in relatively luxury a something in an environment which is poor, with no restaurants near but is absolutely very beautiful.
Mind that the perfect transfer is a 2 hour ride from the airport which goes for the last 1.5 hour through great landscape. Don't do this however directly after a long international trip.
The view from the wide top gallery over the bay with all its islands is beautiful. If however you are easily irritated by traffic the many motors with the local adolescents parading their youth spoils it. After 7 PM the road goes quiet but from 6 AM on their is traffic just 20 meters from that great gallery. One would expect a quieter place on such a remote spot.
There is no beach in front of the Villa. The sea starts just over the road and a sandy beach can be found a 100 meters further on with very shallow water of the bay. Good for children but not for swimming for grown ups. There is the swimming pool which is far enough from the road not to be heard but for good swimming one prefers the water of the Indian Ocean.
For good swimming, deserted great beaches and good snorkeling there is a good boat available at about $ 30 a day with guide and boatman. The boat rides are beautiful.
In the description it says "the villa has a large swimming pool". It is true but it is behind the adjacent villas, about 100 meters walk away (see overview picture of the bay) and it is shared. Now that it is shared is later mentioned in the list of amenities ('Shared outdoor pool"), but that's easily overlooked when you have read the general description. The pool is beautiful but they should clean the cussions in the gazebos which left me with bites of insects.
The musquito nets over the comfortable beds are no good. They are hanging from one point so they are almost hanging in your face and what is worse the four parts of it overlap insufficient so the net does not close well. We had mosquitos in the bed at night and that is worrying in a malaria area.
The Villa is in a coconut groove and yes that is not a garden but also not a just stopped building site with lots of sand. I would have expected a nice garden there but I suppose that will come later.
There is no kitchen but a pantry with a very slow cheap small toaster, no microwave (it came later after complaints) and no kettle to boil water for tea and coffee which one has to make yourself. There is also no coffee or teapot. You have to take the hot water from the water cooler which also provides hot water and put a tea bag or coffee in your cup.
The meals including breakfast are made in the Villa 60 meters down the road and all though they are not bad (medium like in a road restaurant) they arrive cold or medium hot on your table. You can heat them up again in the microwave. OK that all is not a feast of cooking and since there is nothing much else to do then outdoor activities one likes a good hot meal. It would be so easy to equip the kitchen with some essentials to cook a good meal by the staff on the premises or at least a proper breakfast with a pot of tea or coffee.
There is a flat screen TV with DVD, but the international news programs are halved ( less subscription paid) so BBC Worldnews, TV24 France and CNN are not there. Its Euronews and Alqaziraz which provide your news.
The staff provided us with 24 hours internet on their own computer so mails can be send and reviewed. Internet was not in the description. They were nice a tried to give us good service. Don't forget to tip them.
|Check in / front desk||Service|
|A romantic getaway||Families with young children|