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“Mixed experience at waveguru”

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Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp
Baiona, Spain
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Mixed experience at waveguru”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

I must say I relate more to the negative reviews than to the positive ones, especially the last one from that poor unfortunate girl, which I can totally understand.

Maybe my first mistake was to go there with my GF since waveguru offered "non-surfer" rates, I expected that at least they would be welcoming and friendly with the non surfers. Not quite.

Nick wasn't really helpful at all, and it feels everytime you ask him something, you're just being an annoying brat.

I actually have more or less the same pros and cons as the "Caveat empor" review, that is:

The good:
-"The villa itself is spacious"
True
-"My room had solid A/C and was well-lit and large".
Well, we took the fan room and the fan didn't work. The mostuito net was full of holes, so rather a downer here.
-"Putu, the Indonesian guide, is a sweet guy."
He's friendly indeed.
-"2 surf trips a day most days"
True again, but I expected Nick would go the extra mile to find less crowded, better spots. If the surf is bad, you're just offered to stay and relax. No "Search & Surf"
-"Food is good".
On this one I must quite disagree. While the taste is alright, it was definitely nothing close to "surfer sized" meals. I was always hungry during my stay, and you'd better eat food outside - what most guests do - if you don't want to starve. Also, the food was long to come. Dee would great us after coming back from a surf session asking if we wanted to eat. At 2 pm. No kidding. So while I would have expected food to be warm and ready when coming back from a session, you had to painfully wait for up to an hour for food. And wait, if you made the mistake to go for a nap, somebody else might grab your food, and you'd be good for another hour wait.
I was really disappointed here, and my non surfing GF always wondered how could we handle it surfing all day, while the food was barely enough for her already.

Quibbles:
-"Late airport pickup when I arrived (I waited at a café for a full hour)".
Haha. I had to laugh on that one. They simply forgot us at the airport. It was midnight, and no news from waveguru. No phone picking, nobody. Great start. Hopefully they apologized and offered to reimburse the first night we stayed in a random hostel.
-"The rupiah equivalent of $90 USD disappeared the second night from my wallet which was on my bed in the room when I went out. "
didn't see this happen to me hopefully
-"Location. You are looking at cabs or a 15 minute walk to get absolutely anywhere."
Completely agree. This could be fine if the villa had it all, but for instance if you wanted some extra food you couldn't get anything from the surroundings. Sucks.
-"No hot water and mediocre water pressure (long hair beware) "
Didn't even shower there much, plenty of options at surf spots.
-"Bathroom shared with 5 other bedrooms. (wasn’t a huge deal until I discovered other people using my toiletries…)"
Again not really an issue for me, but I agree the bathroom wasn't really inviting.
-"Meals and trips are at inconsistent times. Obviously the surf has to do with tides etc but sometimes we’d come in after a morning session, eat breakfast, then were served lunch 2-3 hours later before being sent out again…of course we weren’t hungry for the second meal so soon and it made for a heavy belly in the surf"
100% agree
-"Loud late into the evening"
True, noisy neighborhood.
-"Inconsistent Internet from the main lounge; nonexistent Internet from the bedroom "
True.
-"Shoes off in the house, an edict with which I grew up with and absolutely agree…if the floors are clean. Invariably, 5 minutes’ barefoot walking yields dark sooty soles"
Haha, that's true.
-"Cheapest possibly sheets…imagine zero thread count"
True
-"Cash only"
true, Actually, when I told nick I wanted to shorten my stay because of all these reasons, he kept cool, saying it was alright. I was surprised that he wasn't actually. Says a lot already. But then, on the day of departure, I asked him to check me out, he started scribbling some numbers, and told me it would make 4M IDR for a 4 days stay (including some extra lessons and board rental). Ok, that' a lot, but fine, let's have a look. I couldn't really understand it, and Nick was obviously pissed that I start looking at it closer. Then suddenly we had to go to the ATM and pay him Cash. Right now. With no other real choice, I started talking to him about it, what he thought, told me that was the cheapest rate already. In the end he gave me back the 20$ from airport pickup... Since it didn't occur, it was welcome...


I have the feeling the surfer dudes here are rating Bali surfing. No doubt it is 5 stars. But guys, open your eyes, waveguru isn't such a great place, there is so much better places to stay. I wouldn't recommend any other surfcamps though, not that we stayed at any other, as they all tend to be ridiculously overpriced. You'll be much better on your own with a rental bike or car. Especially if you have non surfers with you.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank anonfr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2012

My son and I spent two fantastic weeks at the surf camp, Nick, Dee and Putu couldn't have been more helpful. Two chilled out, laid back surf sessions every day, one early doors before the sun came up and the other mid afternoon. Food is as good as any resturant in Bali with large surfer poportions to match, the Friday fish BBQ is world famous. Use of the internet and connection speed was never a problem, the atmosphere in the house was relaxed, no aggro and the other surfers were great. Everyone got along famously even though we were all from differnt parts of the world, UK, Norway, Dutch, Potuguese, USA & ozzy Nick. Thanks Nick and Dee for a wonderful time.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Vudusurfer-Mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
utrecht
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Me and my brother planned to stay at Wave Guru voor one week during our three week holiday. We ended up staying our whole holiday.

When we planned our trip the main goal was to surf as much as possible and we did!
In my three week stay I surfed Medewi, Balian, Changu, Batubulan, Kuta Beach, Airpoort Left, Balangan, Dreamland, Ulu's Tempels and Ulu's Secrets.
These guys will wake you every moring at 5:00 to be in the water when the sun comes up. And in the afternoon they take you again for a second session.

When the waves where big and heavy we would spilt up in two groups, one group would go for the biggest and heaviest waves out there. The other group would search for more mellow breaks.
The best thing is I was really challenged, surfed the best waves I ever did and my surfing has improved big time.

I had the best time ever, met cool people from all over the world and most important of all I surfed everyday!

Nick, and Dee thanks for inviting us to your home and all the great times!
Putu! Wouldn't be the same without you!

Owww and the food! The food is good!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank travelstar1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castricum, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 16, 2012

I went for 4 weeks to Bali for the first time. I really wanted to stay somewhere where there is a friendly & family atmosphere. I found it at Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp!
Nick , Putu and Dee have given me a great time and hospitality. Every day a good selection of surf locations where the locals surf. Good food and every Friday the amazing fish BBQ!
Hope to be there soon again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SurfdudeArran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heemstede, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I checked in end of march 2012 in Wave Guru Bali. From the start on it was like coming home. Nick is a very cool, laid back ozzy with very good knowledge and understanding of Bali, his surf and people. His wife Dee is very cool too and together with the households they make proper surfers food and lots of it!

I've been to Bali before with a few mates (5 weeks). But in the 2 weeks (original plan 1 week, but extended my stay) i stayed with Wave Guru i've surfed more waves (by far!) than in those 5 weeks a few years ago. It has been truly amazing! 2 sessions a day with Nick and a few other guests who came to feel as friends in few days. After a week i trashed my board in a huge barrel on spot X, a bit of swim back i tell you.. Nick sorted me out with a fine board to borrow. I liked it so much i used it for the rest of my stay, I only paid a few bucks for it (mainly cuz he had to get it repaired because i trashed this one almost again ;)

I have seen some negative reviews on this site. Personally, i think 1 of them is from a competitor and the other one seems to me like it's a bird who's is just a bit of handfull anyway. She might have been a bit unlucky, sure.

Anyway, it would recommend anyone with an open attitude, who wants too escape the crowds and ridiculous luxury (which is destroying Bali anyway) and most important, looks for good surf, to go with Wave Guru.

Nick, Dee and kids. You have been absolutely truly wonderful. I have been all around the world, but next year i'm back at yours bro. With my wife and little kids, see if we can find some 10ft+ waves for our little bra boys !

Cheers,

Fausto 'Dutchy' Albers
Heemstede, Holland.

Room Tip: i'd go for the normal fan room. Aircon rooms might be only 10 bucks more expensive, which is sti...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fausto A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tairua, null, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed August 4, 2012

Im a surfer from new zealand, stayed for a month with wave guru and had an amazing time. Nick the host is your surf guide, stunt driver and all round good bloke. Alot of my time spent there it was just nick and I twice a day hunting out the best waves bali has to offer

Food was great, quality western and indo food and nick often gives you the choice of whats on the menu for the day. Evenings would consist of chilling out at the house and having a few beers and games of pool after feeling knackerd from a hard days surfing! nick even took me out and showed me the bright lights in kuta one night. The house vibe is very chill and dee and the rest of the staff make you feel super welcome and looked after.

Highly reccomended if you want to score the best uncrowded waves in bali and after seeing a scooter driver splattered on the streets youl be glad you have nick and putu driving you to the waves!
Cheers to nick ill be back before the end of the year!
Scotty.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2012

What are the chances the one negative review in a glut of glowing accounts will be the most accurate depiction of your forthcoming stay? I immediately filtered out the sole 1-star rating that existed at the time of my trip research and dismissed it as an egregious outlier to the otherwise positive chatter. I booked my stay. Over the moon excited, I planned to stay a month.

I lasted one week –only because I succumbed to Bali Belly on day 3 and, given that I was traveling alone, I was too sick to pack up, find a new place and leave immediately. Also, in retrospect, it was so strange to find myself in a sort of role reversal twilight zone, in which the proprietors played the role of moody, unreasonable guests around whom I walked on eggshells so as not to incur their ire – eventually to the extent that I was worried about the safety of my things and my being. It was so bizarre that I almost could not believe it was actually happening.

Dear readers, I want to forget this “holiday” but before flushing it out of memory, I am compelled to commit my story cyberspace in the hopes of saving others from the same demise.

Naturally, reviews are subjective by nature; some attributes I will cite at the end of this post will be nonissues to some readers. However, I think it’s safe to say that every guest, regardless of demographic, desires and deserves to be treated like a guest. A vacation, that time taken off work to spend one’s hard earned money, is by definition a time to relax and enjoy oneself in a courteous environment.

I arrived at the villa with a pep in my step, box of fine Swiss chocolate in tow for Nick & Dee from my stopover in Zurich. At first, both were welcoming and engaging. Nick particularly was helpful and encouraging in the water. But it didn’t take long to meet Mr. Hyde. In the van one day, Nick began to chastise me – in front of a handful of other guests – about not being precisely on time to go. I fully support timeliness; the first two days I was a slow to go, as often happens with jet lag and getting settled in a new place. The message, albeit ironic given his own lax scheduling and the hours we would all waste waiting for the rest of the group to leave the house or the surf spot— had it been delivered privately and in a calm tone, would have been well-taken. It was the delivery that lacked any modicum of tact and propriety. Nevertheless, in the interest of keeping peace, I swallowed it and let it go. Soon after, during the same van ride, we 3 guests collectively mentioned we were ravenous. I politely suggested Nick call the house to let the kitchen know we were arriving soon so that they could perhaps begin preparing lunch. He again snapped at me and began to lecture me, still in front of 3 other guests. His tirade: “there is such a thing as being too efficient”. Which of course doesn’t make sense, but irrational people say things that lack reason, by definition.

He apologized for this the following day, citing a sleepless night. The outburst was inappropriate, of course. There is no excuse for a grown man and business owner to lack emotional self control when dealing with customers; however, again in the interest of keeping peace, I accepted the apology.


The next day, he embarked upon a lecture directed at me to “stop stressing out, man” when I asked him what was going on with the internet. It was out, for the umpteenth time. He had insisted prior to my arrival that it worked solidly when I emailed and asked as I knew I would have some work to do during my stay. I specifically asked as shoddy wifi would have been a deal-breaker at the outset.

The dynamic spiraled downhill, him becoming more passive aggressive by the day. After I was better post tummy troubles, it was clear I had to leave. Part of this was due to some of the subjective negatives I will list below, which may not matter to some of you reading (things like the lack of hot water, raucous frat house vibe and the isolation of the place). Had he been hospitable rather than hostile, I could have dealt with cold water, etc. It is, after all, a pain to re-pack two months’ worth of things and find a new place to stay after traveling across the world. One is naturally inclined to stay put and work things out if possible.

But a paying guest should not be the one making concessions. A guest should be happy and serene, not constantly rebuffing capricious, childish behavior. It’s the job of a good proprietor to see to it guests are having a nice time.

So, I decided to check out. As a woman traveling alone, it had been at times alarming to have a grown man blow up repeatedly per the downswing of his mood that moment. I had little recourse if he really got out of control. So I told him diplomatically the morning of my checkout that I would be leaving. I made no mention I was unhappy – just that I had to get home. I did not want any drama. It was a Friday and I was paid up to Monday. I just wanted to leave, safely.

His initial reaction was laid back. Okay, he said, we’ll take you to the airport. Bless, no landmines, I thought to myself. At least I could have a nice last day.

I should have known better. After the morning surf session (when we were taken to a blown out break unsuitable for anyone in the group save Putu), Nick pounced when I walked in the door, stating I owed much more money. He said there is a weekly rate that is higher than the monthly rate we had established. I pointed out that, in fact, I had paid exactly that weekly rate, plus an extra sum which covered the drinks. He scratched his head as I offered to show him a spreadsheet of the math. Then he yelled “don’t patronize me!”. Minutes later, he said bought a surfboard just for me and expected me to buy it (?)…a convoluted statement which was instantaneously revised to “you need to pay me for board hire”.

Now, in any normal hotel situation, if a guest is so unhappy as to want to leave after a fraction of time, customer service implies an attempt to assuage the situation. A reduction of the bill offered, perhaps. At least an apology. This being the Twilight Zone, not only were he & Dee not conciliatory but they kept trying to add on more charges and became increasingly sour and rude, culminating in a rescindment of the ride to the airport offered that morning (and should have been included anyway per the website). “You haven’t been that easy to live with either,” he sputtered. “You’ve been…on skype early in the morning!” he whined (again, ironic, considering the evening volume level of male bluster and music - I would have happily made calls from my room had the internet worked from there but because it did not, was relegated to the common area).

In a final vulgar move, they made a show of serving dinner to all the other guests and deliberately not me. It was so ridiculous I probably would have laughed had I not been so hungry. A fellow guest kindly shared his sandwich.

It was with a giant sigh of relief I got into a taxi that night. Stress, rather than serenity had been the theme of my stay. But it could have been worse than overpaying and not having fun. I was safe, at least. I don’t think Nick is cognizant of his bipolar ways. I’d like to think he is fundamentally the nice guy I met the first day. He talked a lot about drugs and alcohol he’d taken, which perhaps have muddled his mind. Dee I interacted with less but she too went from sweet as pie to rude, and didn’t even say goodbye when I left. Birds of a feather.

Below I will list the + and – observations mentioned in the beginning .

The good:
-The villa itself is spacious
-My room had solid A/C and was well-lit and large
-Putu, the Indonesian guide, is a sweet guy
-2 surf trips a day most days
-Food is good

Quibbles:
-Late airport pickup when I arrived (I waited at a café for a full hour)
-The rupiah equivalent of $90 USD disappeared the second night from my wallet which was on my bed in the room when I went out.
-Location. You are looking at cabs or a 15 minute walk to get absolutely anywhere.
-No hot water and mediocre water pressure (long hair beware)
-Bathroom shared with 5 other bedrooms. (wasn’t a huge deal until I discovered other people using my toiletries…)
-Meals and trips are at inconsistent times. Obviously the surf has to do with tides etc but sometimes we’d come in after a morning session, eat breakfast, then were served lunch 2-3 hours later before being sent out again…of course we weren’t hungry for the second meal so soon and it made for a heavy belly in the surf
-Loud late into the evening
-Inconsistent Internet from the main lounge; nonexistent Internet from the bedroom
-Shoes off in the house, an edict with which I grew up with and absolutely agree…if the floors are clean. Invariably, 5 minutes’ barefoot walking yields dark sooty soles
-Cheapest possibly sheets…imagine zero thread count
-Cash only

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank USAReviewer11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp

Property: Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp
Address: Jl. Giri Puspa blok D. no. 12 Taman Griya, Jimbaran 8036, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Jimbaran
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 116 Specialty Lodging in Jimbaran
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awesome surf guiding and surf homestay! We have 11 years finding the best waves in Bali. Don't come all the way to Bali and get dropped!! We introduce you to the locals so they won't drop in! We will also find you the best suited waves to your ability. We will block, snake, drop (other people) and we will even push you on waves. Anything to make your Bali surf holiday awesome..Surf guiding now..Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp Villa is open for the complete surf holiday . ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wave Guru Bali Surf Camp Jimbaran

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