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“Medewi surf camp”

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Brown Sugar Surf Camp
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Best suited to people wanting to learn to surf or still beginner status. Accommodation is ok but restaurant was just ok. A fairly cool place to hang out but a long way from restaurants, shops etc. The beach is fairly rocky so you need booties. It works out reasonably expensive after you pay for accommodation, surf guide, board hire etc. If your in your 20's, not on a budget and want to learn to surf it could be for you.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Phillip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 - 39 of 54 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013

This is the place when you like to learn surfing, i did. When i was planning this trip to Bali i was dreaming about a tranquil place at the ocean where i can focus on learning how to surf without wasting too much time in the car each day on the way to the beach. And this place topped my expectations, its like an oasis plotted in ricefields with their own beach in front.

They make it comfortable from the start, its so nice to be welcomed with a namesign at the busy airport on a tropical island where you not yet been before. The drive goes along the scenic coast of west bali through countless ricefields.
After arrival i found myself surrounded by a tropical garden with numerous butterflies flying around palms and flowers. My personal surfcoach was Soleh showed me my room in a beautiful arranged authentic bungalow with lots of carved coconut wood, towel on the comfy bed and my name already on the laundrybag made me even more welcomed. Each room has its own bathroom with shower and toilet, clean and well maintained. They clean the room on a daily base and breakfast is also provided in the lovely restaurant at the front facing the ocean.

Supposed to stay one week i extended for two more as surfing the waves really got me and i enjoyed to be able to just grab the board and jump into the ocean on a daily routine. This place felt better than home. In the first week Soleh showed me the basics how to paddle and stand up correctly and from the second week on i was even able to make my first turns in the green waves. Thanks to the ever smiling surfguides and the great waves in the front now i am truly addicted to surfing and cant wait to be back.
Overall the surfguide made me feel safe in the water and especially the duck dive training in their pool was improving my skills to get faster out to the sea. The weekly videoanalysis helped a lot to see your individual mistakes and to do it right the next session, the guides seems to have a lot of experience as they always give good solutions to each surfer wether beginner or more advanced.
Although if i have to change one thing than it would be their english skills, they spaek a fair but not the best english.

What more can i say, you definetely have to try the chefs (Ibu Made) papaya pancake its by far the best way to start the day after a morningsurf. Thanks to Agus, Dan and Soleh to make my stay so wonderful.

Room Tip: Rooms on the higher floors have more light and better views
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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5  Thank Henrik M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at the surf camp for a week in July/August 2012. I also did got surf lessons twice a day. I started as a complete beginner so the beach directly in front of the camp was perfect- beachbreak with plenty of whitewater to practice on. However after a few days I felt I could have advanced to keep things interesting as I was often in the same place/same board size etc and it wasn't a challenge and I felt the surf guides (who instructed from the beach) could have changed things up a bit. They did have a great video service to analyse technique but my footage was from my first day out and there really wasn't much to see except a lot of falling.
Food at the camp was decent, nothing special but there was a nice BBQ one night (at extra cost).
Between morning and afternoon sessions were quiet- people hanging out, reading, music as a good chance to relax- but it's a pity the pool hadn't been finished because swimming in front of the camp isn't recommended because of currents and lack of supervision.
This camp is probably better for experienced surfers-who can take full advantage of the Medewi break.
Also- myself and a few others in the camp got sick towards the end of the week. It seemed like a stomach bug- either from surfing after heavy rain or the food, I never found out but 24hrs of being sick meant we left early..
Overall it was a great experience but could have been improved.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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3  Thank Woods0692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrownSugarMGMT, General Manager at Brown Sugar Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Dear woods0609, thank you for taking your time to write a review about us, we appreciate your lines and we like to read that you enjoyed your stay with us.
Every saturday we invite our campguests to a free beach BBQ. If you order a fish BBQ on any other day for your own or for a group this comes as an extra thats true.

The pool is already finished and the first sessions for improving the duck dive are already held.
As all natural beaches we advise our guests to take special care if swimming in the ocean and to always have someone to watch from the beach as the tides and currents are always changing. Our surfguides are teaching also how to "read" the waves, use rips as a channel and avoid strong currents. As soon as your take off is firm and you are starting to catch green waves our surfguides are keen to take you to the famous Medewi left and other intermediate spots around to give you that extra challenge.

We are sorry to hear you get a so called bali belly on your last day of stay. If you are new in Bali this is likely to happen in the first 2 weeks due to the tropical climate, hot spices or it can also be from drinking too much seawater next to rivers after heavy rainfalls.
We are proud to announce that our restaurant has abondened the use of MSG in the fusion of western and asian dishes, both are made from fresh and natural ingredients.

Thank you again for your lines, it helps us to even improve our service to our international guests, surfers and not yet surfers.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

Read the full review on our website: http://bit.ly/brown-sugar-surfcamp-medewi-review
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To summarize this review of the Brown Sugar Surfcamp Medewi I would say that all in all the only surfcamp in Medewi wouldn't be that bad - if it was half the price.

The location is actually quite amazing. Beachfront with a working beachbreak in front of it. And without any other surfers on it. BUT the bungalows are small and very basic, showers are almost not working and the food is far away from good (in general). Therefore, US$20 instead of US$40 for a night (2 persons, no surfschool) in a double room and it would be a fair value for price. If you are just looking for accommodation in medewi, then there are better options to choose from, if you need wifi then you might need to stay at the Brown Sugar Surfcamp Medewi, since it is the only option in Medewi with WIFI, at the moment.
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We found out later, that there actually is a decent option with wifi - I didn't find it in the web, tough. Ask around for Nukks Villa. It's a 10 minute bike drive away from the main break
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How to get to the Brown Sugar Surfcamp Medewi

The only surfcamp in Medewi is not in front of the famous point break, but a 20min beach walk away. Just move in direction of the fisherboats, cross the small stream and walk until you see a building, actually the first building on the beach - this is Brown Sugar Surfcamp Medewi.

By car or motorbike you need to go back on the mainroad and turn left. Drive until you see the blue mosque on your right side. At the mosque turn left, in direction of the beach. There is even a small brown sign where Brown Sugar is written on it. When you get to the beach turn right until the first building - this is the Brown Sugar Surfcamp Medewi.

What are Brown Sugar's bungalows in Medewi like?

We stayed in three different types of accomodation in Medewi. But since this is a review, it's all about the Bungalows you get at the Brown Sugar Surfcamp.

If I had to compare the bungalows with similar small huts I stayed in, I probably had to compare them to the ones we got for US$10 in Kuta, Lombok I'd say the US$10 option would win by fair, unfortunately.

Well, the brown sugar bungalows were small, more or less just enough space for the bed (which was in both cases well sized, I would guess 160x200cm) and your luggage. The bungalows had 2 storeys, there was one flat per story. I think there was another option with A/C, but we didn't check that, since US$40 for the cheapest option was already quite a lot considering our tight budget.

The bathroom had a bamboo stick as a shower dispenser. Unfortunately, there was more or less no water coming out of it. The best shower in the camp was the outdoor shower at the beach, there you managed to actually get wet hair before the rest of your body was dry again.

Next to that some bungalow rooms smelled stuffy, others had mice as casual flatmates.

In the back of the camp was a new pool with a view out to the rice fields. There were a total of 3 deck chair to hang on next to the pool. To pool would be amazing but we could use it only for 1 of the 5 days we've been staying there. The water did have a strange color on that first day we were using it. I think that was one of the reasons they blocked access the following day and had 3 days to empty, clean and refill it again. They were still filling the pool when we left. But to be fair, the pool would have been great and would have added some value to the camp.

In the front of the beach is a good hangout area and as already mentioned, the only properly working shower. There are a couple of hammocks, a table and some shelters, that help creating enough shadow to sleep in the hammocks without getting sunburned.

Just behind this beachfront hangout area and on the other side of the pathway is another hangout area, having a couple of cosy sofas and a big table that seats at least 20 persons. I have to admit, this social area was good and did help to socialize with other people from the camp. Mostly swiss or germans.

More affordable options closer to the main surfbreak in Medewi (the point) include luxury flats at the "Medewi Beach Inn" for US$20 to US$25 (including a small breakfast), the "Medewi Beach Inn" offers cheaper rooms for US$10 as well. Easy to find, just follow the signs - well actually follow the painted surfboards.

Next to the kiosk, further down the road to the surfbreak are some shags for US$10 a night, as well.

How is the food at the surfcamp?

The included breakfast as well as the ready to order food for lunch and dinner haven't been that delightful - in general. There where some exceptions, tough. Like the kong sandwich or the soup.

The food portions were way to small for me. It rarely happened that I was well-fed after one plate of dinner. This isn't particularly bad in a warung (traditional, small restaurant) where you pay US$1 to US$2 for a portion of seafood mi goreng.

It isn't that great when the plates cost you US$6 or more, it starts to feel wrong when you start paying US12-20 for a full meal. And exactly that was the case at the surfcamp. Small portions, no flavour (since it's probably cooked to suit european camp clients) and quite expensive. Or in case of the in the accommodation included breakfast - just not enough to be satisfied after (or even before) surfing. Other surfcamps (Kima Surf Bali) have a huge all you can eat breakfast - the least a surfcamp should offer with such a price tag!

Brown Sugar Surfschool Medewi - worth it?

We didn't join the surf school, so it is hard to judge this one. But here is what we've heard from people within the camp:

Friendly and very good surfers - That's it about the surfteachers. But not trained nor proper surfteachers at all. I guess it is hard to find a good or well-educated surf teacher, everywhere in the world. It was the case in Imsouane, it is the case here. They may surf well, but this helps not a lot when trying to get others to know the basics of surf. So what we've heard is, that there is no theory, quite strange take off procedures and questionable teaching methods.

Staff at Brown Sugar Surfcamp Medewi:

Friendly and helpful staff might compensate for the high pricetag - might. It seems as if every local here in Bali (well besides Kutal maybe) is friendly, always gives you a smile back and speaks a decent english, too.

As for the surfguides, they are very nice, too. The camp owners should send them into a surf teaching class and I the service quality of the surfcamp would actually increase a lot. But well, they get the job done anyway.

Conclusion Brown Sugar Surfcamp Review

The surfcamp is definitely close to a great wave for intermediates, in front of an empty beachbreak and surrounded by countless other empty waves. Hard to find those spots nowadays in Bali. The camp couldn't be greater located than it is and should try to benefit from this opportunity. Unfortunately there are a few drawbacks that might hinder the experience of the surfcamp.

On one hand there are overpriced bungalows, tasteless food and (in our opinion) a stupid and out of context branding (Starts with the camp name and goes on with the url eatmoresurf.com) on the other hand there is the distance of the surfcamp to Kuta, the shopping and the touristic stuff Bali offers.

Since they can't change the location but can place it as an advantage to other camps due to the already mentioned reasons, the distance might be not a drawback but an opportunity.

Therefore they need to increase the service quality and teaching or the pricing.IF they adapt a little to their camp I think it could be a successful and amazing place to stay, eat and surf.

BUT as long as they don't change anything, I wouldn't stay there again and wouldn't even suggest it to friends.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank baguslife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrownSugarMGMT, General Manager at Brown Sugar Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 4, 2013

TRIPA
Dear baguslife or Armin and Bea,

thank you for taking your time to write a review about us, we would like to take the chance and write also about our experience with you.
The first and unfortunately only thing we heard from you was demanding a discount as you intend to write about us. We denied this discount as in our opinion to write about a hotel/restaurant/surfcamp should be free and independently from any money involved. We understand now how you come up with this cheesy review. You are also writing about our surfcamp but you never took part in any! way: you not joined a surflesson, theory, take off practise, guided surflesson, videocoaching, photosession...
Because you insisted of having just the accommodation, which you thought would be the cheapest option for you. By the way it comes with daily breakfast (western or balinese), shared basic- (fancooled) or deluxe (AC cooled) doubleroom with private bathroom, wifi internet, beachfront, swimmingpool etc.
Once again we are a surfcamp with weekly packages as stated on our website and these packages include services like free airporttransfer plus return, 11 surflessons/guided sessions per week, videocoaching, surfmaterial, spottransfer, surfpictures, accommodation etc.
So if you just looking for cheap accommodation of course go to a hotel not a surfcamp. If you like to learn how to surf and or like to improve your surfskills to the next level than join our surfcamp.
During your 4 days stay with us we never heard any complaints from your side, not about shower, food (we buy our food at regional food markets and our restaurant with a fusion of western and indonesian dishes is free of msg. We have 4 balinese chefs and despite of you our guests love their cookingskills and healthy ingredients).

If you just asked one question instead of making your own unlucky theories about our pool, surf lessons, branding we could already clear your mind during your stay but you kept hiding behind your laptop and iPad in our restaurant for free internet and not even try to communicate with our team.

We work hard to match all expectations of our guests and we are keen if you choose our surfcamp instead of hotel in the future to fulfill even your widest expectations. Terima kasih and Thank you

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Reviewed April 30, 2013

Before "Eat, Pray, Love" was a Bali not overrun by tourists, and it still exists in Medewi, a rural farm town with amazing waves for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers alike. Brown Sugar Surf Camp staff offer lessons for all levels, with an incredible eye for technique. The photos and videos enhance the coaching. And it's impossible to say enough about the surf pros. They're as talented as they are caring, looking after you and making sure you're as safe and comfortable at all times. (They're also some of the most fun-loving people I've ever met.)

The staff overall are extremely friendly and attentive, from the cleaners to the kitchen staff. (BTW the menu could not be better - vegetarian to normal diets, American to authentic Indonesian cuisine.) Finally, the excursion day is well-planned.

MATUR SUKSMA, Brown Sugar <3 I will be back soon :)

TIPS: Bring lots of mosquito repellent and be ready for basic hostel-style accommodations.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank asamson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Finally we found a great place to stay the night. After some time trying to find a suitable place for us all to stay the night we found Brown Sugar. It was so welcoming, right on the beautiful surf beach. Black stoney, sandy beach with amazing views from point to point on the beach itself. Delightful resatarurant with traditional foods, for our kids and us adults, looking across the track to the beach, was calming and relaxing after a busy day. Small track into Brown sugar makes it a quiet place to stay. Early morning walk along the beach to nearby river mouth, after watching sun come up over the rice padi, what a way to start the day. Yummy breakfast of fresh fruit juice, nasi goreng, banana pancakes, coffee. Accommodation was great for all of us, including the kids for their first hotel experience. Love to come back again to visit our newly found friends ie. staff.

Room Tip: Robyn and I stayed in the twin share Villa with air-con, very comfortable and affordable. Lovely out...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Cheryl P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

As an over 40 yr woman travelling on my own, I had a great time at Brown Sugar. I had never surfed however before I knew it I was actually standing up on my board, not very elegantly, but still standing. The accommodation is definitely not a 5 star resort however with the beach out front and the rice paddies surrounding the camp, to me it is better than. The rooms are very simple, I had no hot water and did not need it. The food was good and I thought it was reasonbly priced at between $2-4 (Aus). Maybe not as cheap as some of the warungs but where in a western country can I have a healthy filling meal for that price ? The staff are all very friendly and welcoming, the massage is fantastic (best massage I've ever had). I found exactly what I was looking for at Brown Sugar, a relaxing, peaceful, chilled out time learning to surf.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank Wendy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brown Sugar Surf Camp

Address: Medewi | Bikini Beach Road, Medewi, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Medewi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Medewi
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Brown Sugar Surfcamp is located right at the beach next to Medewi at Balis westcoast. We have basic bungaoew with fan cooled doublerooms and deluxeerooms in the villa SUMBA with AC and hotwater shower in ensuite openair bathrooms. You have the daily choice of western or indonesian breakfast and wifi internet is cmplimentary for each guest. We also offer you beginner and more advanced surfclasses. ... more   less 

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