I chose Sri Phala for two main reasons: excellent value for money and my preference for a smaller resort with a distinctive Balinese character. It delivered on both fronts. The location and service however, were somewhat indifferent. If you like the beach and want to be close to the centre of Sanur - then this is NOT the place for you. However if you have your own vehicle or are happy to pay for taxis or a driver everyday, then Sri Phala will work out fine, as it is located at the very north of Sanur on a busy 3-lane "bypass", away from the beach.
The staff were very prompt and courteous in responding via email to answer my many questions. So I was surprised upon arrival to be the one to initiate a greeting, even though there were 2 male staff on hand, who barely looked up from behind the counter. However, we were 1.5hrs early checking in, so I put it down to the fact they were busy. My first impression however, turns out to be the general assessment of the Reception staff. The Restaurant staff appeared to be more friendly, commendations to Nyoman, with whom we had interesting chats, and provided a friendly face during our breakfasts. The breakfasts provided are quite decent, just not exceptional. There are 5 menus from which to choose: Continental, American, Indonesian, Japanese and Cereal/Pancake. (From all menus, the Bubur Ayam from the Indonesian was my favourite.)
We stayed in a downstairs Bungalow room for 5 nights. The first room we were shown to had a very musty smell and two beds pushed together to form a double bed - not what we asked for. The second room was fine (proper queen bed) and was somewhat less musty-smelling. The smell faded towards the end of our stay - not sure if it's because we had the A/C switched on all day, or we just got used to it. The Bungalow rooms are in an older-style building, with rattan-straw ceilings. This may have been the source of the damp smell. Or perhaps it was the A/C units which work fine, but are a tad noisy and may need to be updated.
The room had a standard bathroom with a narrow bathtub - watch out for the high step! Dimly lit, like most public Indonesian bathrooms (I don't know why!). If you hate cockroaches, cover up the round grate in the bathroom floor and you'll be fine. Try not to flood the bathroom floor though...
Basic bar fridge, but we got 2 x free bottles of water daily. There is also free wi-fi in the restaurant. Internet is available from their business centre, but we found it cheaper to use the many Internet places along the main drag. (Try Ronald's on Jln Danau Tamblingan). The same went for the Spa & Massage services, it was cheaper to use the businesses in the surrounding area than the in-house services.
The pool is a good size, and beautifully surrounded by lush tropical shrubs and stone settings. It can prove popular though, so we mainly used the pool at night to soak in after a long day. Cocktails can be served right by the pool as well.
The best thing about Sri Phala is its generous sized rooms, set in Balinese-style buildings scattered amongst beautiful lush greenery; creating a harmonious, relaxed atmosphere which I came to associate with the peaceful side of Bali. It is a beautiful resort, probably a bit past its prime, but still well-known by locals and bemo drivers.
On an interesting note, I received a scam phone call from someone from another resort, who claimed to be working with "the government" and Tourist Arrivals. They wanted to provide me with "free accommodation" for a resort in Nusa Dua, and were happy to send a car to pick us up so we could check out the resort for ourselves. It sounded harmless enough, but I sensed a catch and never took them up on the offer. When I spoke to the Sri Phala hotel staff of this, they recommended that I ignored it as well. What was surprising was the length that this other resort went to in order to contact me. They knew my full name, where I was staying AND room number, which was kind of scary, but nothing further came of the call.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sri Phala is a tastefully furnished resort hidden away in a quite part of Sanur offering an intimate setting and the personalized service you look for in holiday resort. The ambience is restful and relaxed surrounded by tropical gardens. Every room is spacious and has a private balcony. The area of Sanur has long been a popular destination for guests seeking a stylish, laid-back beachside getaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sri Phala Resort & Villa Hotel Sanur
- Sri Phala Resort And Villa
- Sri Phala Hotel
- Sri Phala Boutique Hotel
- Sri Phala Resort & Villa Sanur, Bali