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“just loved the baby elephants........”

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Elephant Safari Park & Lodge
Ranked #20 of 538 Specialty Lodging in Ubud
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“just loved the baby elephants........”
Reviewed June 15, 2011

Had the most wonderful time getting to know the elephants at this safari park. We went late in the day, got almost the whole place to ourselves and had lovely one:one time with the elephants, the highlight was cuddling the baby elephants who were inquisitive and gentle at the same time. We didn't stay there but the accommodation looked pretty amazing. A wonderful afternoon destination for families and 'big kids' alike!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debbiear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Brisbane
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2011

We had a wonderful few days at this resort. It is run superbly, with attention to detail and respect for staff, animals and visitors. The rooms are beautiful and the grounds spectacular, the staff are friendly and very helpful, and the surroundings peaceful and pleasant. But the real highlight - a HUGE one (in more ways than one) - was the elephants. It's possible to ride the elephants, feed the babies, swim with them, scrub them down, and constantly interact with these gentle beasts, which are all rescued animals from Sumatra. Each elephant has its own mahoot, and they are clearly passionate about their jobs. I can't praise this place enough - we loved it, right down to the heart-shaped decoration and honeymoon cake supplied free of charge when I mentioned we were on our honeymoon. I want to go back now!!
if you can afford it, ask for a Park View Room. Also make sure you stay two nights or more to really make the most of the activities on offer.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank cosicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2011

The Taro Safari Park by Bali Adventure tours is one of three companies offering an elephant experience in Bali. The park prides itself in being the oldest, best organized and well kept operations of the three operating in Bali - up to a point that the other parks lure their guests to their own venues *pretending* they are the 'actual' elephant ride in Bali.

We experienced this too - a taxi driver and two tour two operators even denied the existence of an elephant park near Ubud and try to take us to Bakas and Levi instead. We opted for the 'real' thing and went to Taro instead.

Pick up was okay, though we had to wait for a long time for other people at another hotel who did not show up in time - this and the busy traffic had us arrive very late at the park. We lost a lot of time.

The place is well kept, clean and everything feels like a very smoothly run and well choreographed experience. The staff was friendly and professional. The park looks pretty - though not very 'authentic' Balinese or Indonesian. The food was decent - mid-range hotel buffet style with a choice of Western and Indonesian dishes as well as fresh fruit. We did not sleep at the place, only spent a day there for the elephants and the elephant ride. The elephants (30 in total) will take you along a preset path through a well kept park / garden - do not expect to see anything too spectacular or see monkeys on your trip.

The park's owners pride themselves in the may famous visitors they have had and pays particular attention to their 'nature conservationist' nature and other good works they do on Bali. The even have a heart breaking story about how they actually rescued one elephant from Sumatra.

It all looked very nice, but it kinda felt fake. Like how the castle in Disney land isn't a real castle. Elephants playing mock games of football to entertain tourists did not seem like nature conservation or 'the real thing'. This is a circus act designed to lure in tourists and make money.

A little inquiring from a few friends in Bali learned that it's common knowledge on the Island that these animals are not really rescued animals at all - except one (the one in the video they play continuously on the park) they are (illegally?) captured animals from Sumatra. The animals are treated well - but they are kept chained when they are not working and there are only young healthy animals - fit enough for work in the park. I guess the sick, elderly or otherwise 'impaired' elephants aren't worth 'saving' as much.

Before you spend your money here (and you will spend a lot of money, the free buffet does not include any drinks for example) beware: this operation is designed to make money, not to preserve nature.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Bastiaan_van_de_Werk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baliadventurerafting, Manager at Elephant Safari Park & Lodge, responded to this review, June 21, 2011
I’m normally not in the habit of answering comments on ‘Trip Advisor’, as I believe each person has the right to their fair opinion. However this person has got it completely wrong and has literally called us dishonest, which we are not!

To answer his comments. Firstly this company is a registered elephant rescue park and a member of the zoo association. We are NOT a theme park, but as a facility that has no government or private financial support, we rely on paying guests to survive. But what was really offensive about this person’s comments was that he based his criticism on misinformation or hearsay, which is hardly fact.

If he had, (as he says), in fact watched the what he called ‘heartbreaking’ documentary, which is actually the highly acclaimed documentary ‘Operation Jumbo’, which has been seen worldwide on Discovery channel, he would have seen that firstly, it was about rescuing 10 elephants, ‘Not one’ and he would have also seen the official hand over by the government of the legal papers for these rescued elephants. So how does this make them ‘illegal’. Also it must be noted that all 27 rescued elephants at our park were captured by the forestry department, not us, and were captured to save them from being killed by land owners who regard them as pests when they raid their crops. We rescued them from the Government camps where they were dying by the dozens through lack of funds. This is well documented.

The choice of each elephant is done according to whether they are healthy enough to make the 5000 kilometer trip to Bali by the truck, over three islands. Again if this person had really watched the documentary they would have seen this. Secondly elephants are only chained at night, or when on a meal break, to stop them stealing each others food or destroying the park gardens, as unfortunately elephants are destructive in any situation, especially in a man made park. Mostly though elephants are ‘free’ each day with their mahout and we have had 3 babies conceived naturally to prove that these are contented and healthy animals. Obviously a compromise is necessary in a ‘captive’ situation, but our park is regarded as an ‘Eden for elephants’.

Lastly if this person thinks this park is not good value, please look at other comments on Trip Advisor. In our tours you get in the price you pay, return transport, free entry to the park, museum and gallery. Free shows daily, free elephant food for hand feeding and a large buffet lunch. The price of $2.50 for a beer or soft drink is hardly going to break the bank, so I’m not sure where this person is coming from when he says you will spend ‘lots of money’. For what? I would also like to point out that we cannot be blamed for time delays due to Bali’s congested traffic.

It must also be pointed out that the Elephant Safari Park has been praised by numerous Animal experts, including the late Steve Irwin and the park received Indonesia’s Top environmental award for 2010. It also received a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from ‘Trip Advisor’ for 2010.


Nigel Mason

Managing Director

Elephant Safari Park & Lodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

I've been busy back to work etc. so it's taken me a while to write this review.

We were travelling for a month this trip and Taro Elephant Safari Park was our big treat. For months my daughter and I had been looking at photos and videos of the elephants so I was worried we would be let down. I needn’t have worried it was everything we hoped for.

We had two garden view rooms next door to each other. Our children had a twin room and we had a king they were gorgeous, big fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers. Very clean and smart.

They really had no view to speak of and no verandah to sit on. The windows just looked out onto the backs of the Park View rooms. Having said that the path between is very well maintained with a lovely garden so for our one night it wasn’t an issue. I think it would be worth the money for a park view if you could afford it, but we were happy with our rooms. Getting picked up by elephant from our rooms was pretty cool:)

The staff were friendly and helpful, everything is planned for you so absolutely no stress.
On our night safari there was a huge storm which made it rather exciting!

Pool looked nice but we were too busy playing with the elephants to go swimming, breakfast was lovely.

I thought the restaurant prices were reasonable; dinner for four was 333,000RP lunch 361,000RP.

I’m so glad we stayed here and had one of those wonderful experiences with our kids that we will always remember. One night was plenty for us we got there at noon and left about the same time next day.

I booked through Agoda which was much cheaper than direct with the resort.

Tip: We were a upset that we missed out on going for a swim with the elephants, no one told us we could, so after we washed them we went back to our rooms. A guest told us later that we should have hung around as they got to sit on the elephants bare backs while they went swimming, make sure you ask so you don’t miss out.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tannalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

What a fantastic place, if you are thinking of coming here book it now and make sure you book a park view room...after all you are going here to look at elephants not a garden or paddy field!
We stayed for 2 nights and could have probably done 3. Although pricey I feel the honeymoon package was worth the money, and all facilities including the river rafting really were top notch. This is well planned and designed resort with 5 star finishing throughout. On arrival my wife was extremely ill and the lady at the front of house was very helpful...she arranged for a driver to collect medicine from Ubud and fortunately by the evening she had recovered to enjoy a fabulous buffet dinner. We are not big fans of buffet style eating, but this one was amazing. The food included a range of western and Indonesian cuisine with a subtle Asian fusion. Another big mention has to go to Johnnie..the parks main host, he undoubtedly adds that special magic to all of the shows and activities...what a character!
Finally, what stands out for certain is that both employees and elephants appear to be well treated and happy in the park. I would love to fly my sister and her children out for a visit as this is a must do experience for anyone.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stephen_Booth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2011

Dear Nigel, Yanie, Ketut, Jonny, every Mahout and every single Staff Member. Congratulations and thank you for the most magnificent experience of our lives. The accommodation (park view room) was superb in every way and surpassed our expectations by a gazillion percent. (Sorry Nigel but the soap was so divine I did nick 2 cakes!). This is luxury on a fabulous scale. To go to breakfast and know that when you return to your room, it will have been cleaned, to know that your phone will ring at 9.25am to ensure you are ready for your morning safari at 9.30. The same in the evening with the totally enchanting "chauffeur" ride to dinner. We cannot speak highly enough of the sweetness, friendliness, love and pride of every single member of the team. And the Elephants, so beautifully cared for, so smart and funny. To have the honour and privilege of bathing with Bores, being daubed by Debi and relishing every second with baby Riski and her siblings. Being able to watch their social interactions, expressions of personality and to hand feed, stroke and pat these incredible animals was truly a dream come true. To be in an environment where there is a smile on ever face. What a joy. If you love Elephants, luxury accommodation (with great soap!), fabulous food and service, endless sweetness and friendliness this is truly heaven on earth.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank elephant022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TAURANGA NZ
Level Contributor
88 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2011

We had an amazing time and experience.The elephants are truely a great animal. We decided to stay at the park for one night rather than the day trip and we are so pleased we spent the extra money and stayed over nignt. You get to do more with the elephants if you stay at no additional cost, night ride on the elephant through the bush, a morning ride and then wash the elephant and go for a swim with the elephants. Ever washed or gone for a swim with an elephant ?? we both found it a great experience. The baby elephants, there are 3 of them. My wife would have bought one home if she could! we had a great time feeding the baby elephants and every time i lost my wife i found her back down feeding them. The accommodation is very nice, it is as good as any 4 star hotel and better than some 5 star hotels we have stayed in throughout the world. Food is reasonable and given where you are it is understandable. Prices are realistic. A couple of traveliing tips - the park is advertised as being in UBUD, thats not quite right, it is in Taro just out side of Ubud - you need to tell your driver exactly where you want to go - Taro. We were told some drivers will want to take you to another elephant park, probably they get paid to take you there, they will tell you this 1 is closed or road blocked - i suggest you insist on Elephant Safari Park Ubud ,Taro, you will know why when you get there. Summary - an experience we will never for get. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Room Tip: Garden view facing the elephants,
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank MEANDMEX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elephant Safari Park & Lodge

Property: Elephant Safari Park & Lodge
Address: Jl. Elephant Park, Taro, Ubud 80561, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Ubud
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 538 Specialty Lodging in Ubud
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Elephant Safari Park & Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Bali’s “Most Unique Hotel" & Winner of the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards – Best Eco Lodge. Ideal for animal & nature lovers, guests staying at the Elephant Safari Park Lodge arise to the sights & sounds of gentle giants set among lush botanical gardens & jungle. Get up close & personal with Bali's largest herd of 31 Sumatran elephants at the island's premiere interactive & intimate elephant experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elephant Safari Park Hotel Ubud
Elephant Safari Park And Lodge
Elephant Safari Park & Lodge Ubud, Bali

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