This is a training school for local underprivileged children. Yes, your stay will be contributing to a worthy cause, perhaps that alone will encourage your booking. However, for someone looking for relaxation and privacy, this is not the place for you. The staff organise everything in a great way, but there are too many of them and there is LOTS of teenage chatter and singing early in the morning and throughout the day. I used the spa, where a young lady awkwardly watched me undress and then proceed to practise her English during my relaxing massage (which it was not).
The resort itself is in a beautiful setting, yet rice fields mean a lot of flies, also typically Ubud does not enjoy the good weather of the Balinese beaches as frequently. The pool is not heated, and mostly freezing cold (no one used it during my stay) and the second pool was out of use and looking very murky.
I chose to stay here even though the "resort" was miles out of Ubud centre as another reviewer had said there was a free taxi shuttle. It's worth noting that this does not apply to Balinese holidays (where you are marooned for a day without transport, restaurant or cafe) and the taxis do not go into town early enough to catch the coach tours (that leave at 8:30 am). Drivers will offer you tour services but won't encourage other guests to join or organise a whole tour, prices should be negotiated, as they will ask you for as much as they dare.
I picked this hotel as it was a mere $50 for a spa resort! I realised this was hugely overpriced and left early (check cancellation terms!!) The only hotel I have ever left early!
Thanks for choosing our resort and we apologize for any inconveniences you might have had.
We took your feedback as a mean to improve our service and we'll make sure this never happens again
I was fortunate to stay at Suly for 2 weeks, volunteering as a teacher every afternoon. Even though a month has passed I still miss it! Some reviews of Suly seem a bit confused by the program so I would like to explain it: Suly Resort was founded to give rural Balinese children a chance to get an education, get good jobs, and improve their lives. The founder grew up without much, but her family raised itself up through education. As such, she always dreamed of bringing education to others. The hotel supports an adjacent high school which feeds, uniforms and educates nearly 150 students each year. (In Bali, high school is incredibly expensive so most rural children never attend.) After class each day the students run the hotel reception, restaurant, laundry, housekeeping and spa to learn hospitality skills. They study English, Chinese, Japanese and practice Indonesian and Balinese. Although competition for jobs in Ubud is high, the school has a nearly 100% placement rate and the founder gives college scholarships to top students. As a result, Suly has more applicants than it can ever accommodate.
Suly is not for the traveler looking for a 5 star resort hotel experience; it is for the traveler who wants an authentic connection with Bali and is willing to ignore some small inconveniences to get it. I personally was looking to escape the touristy environment in Bali and interact with real people. Working with my students I was moved by how hard they worked and studied - imagine being 17, never having eaten in a restaurant yourself, and trying to waitress and manage customer needs in 4 languages! On the first day of class, I asked each student what they wanted to do when they grew up. Many wanted to manage restaurants or hotels but they all said "I want to make my family proud." It was touching to say the least. Of course, they are also very funny and LOVED to laugh, act out little scenes in English, and play games. I miss them.
In regard to the hotel itself, it is not perfect, but having stayed in high end cookie-cutter hotels many places in the world, I actually think its kind of awesome. The grounds of the hotel are large and wild, with big stone fountains and statues, huge green plants, and old Balinese architecture. I stayed in the volunteer dorms which were brand new, clean and lovely (I am not sure how the other rooms are). The pools are clean and well kept. One of my favorite memories was going for a swim out by the rice fields and talking with one of my Buddhist students as he cleaned the little Buddhist temple beside the pool where he and several others meditated daily. It struck me that this was really home for them.
Anyway, you can tell I am a big fan because I feel like I had a wonderfully unique experience I could never recreate at any other hotel - but I do have to warn you that things do not always run smoothly so if you have to have things perfect it may not be for you. The service will be slow, the van may forget to pick you up, the kids may not be able to understand you and may look at you with wide-eyed confusion when you try to complain. But if you are patient and open, you can have an experience unlike any other while putting your tourist dollars to work directly for an unbelievably effective cause. Its not often that any of us can do that.
If you want to feel the spirit and depth of Bali, this is the place to be. I HIGHLY recommend this hotel. It's affordable but livable. I really love this place. Friendly staff. Good food. I'm surely coming back!
The first thing to notice was how beautiful the grounds are. Stone carvings, lush plants and trees, gorgeous buildings... The grounds are set far enough back away from any roads so there is no noise from the loud beeping traffic.
The second thing to note, if you didn't already know, is that the resort is staffed by children. From reception to the spa to housekeeping, children will be ready to help you with a smiling face. They are extremely polite and are always a pleasure to deal with.
We were a little unfortunate in our timing to stay here (Late August 2012) as one of the two pools was emptied out and out of order for most of our stay, and there was some construction taking place in our block of rooms. This meant we could hear drills and hammers banging away throughout the day. This hopefully won't last too long and others won't have to be woken up with such noises. I suppose it has to happen some time...
The room overall was fine. The bed in our standard room was great (room 203). AC was a little noisy but the cool air outweighed the noise. The room was tidied daily with two bottles of water provided for free. Basic things such as a fridge, tv (with HBO, Nat Geo, Disc etc.) and kettle. The bathroom did smell a little bit, as well as it being really small. Body wash and shampoo were provided. We had free breakfast included with the room.
There are two main wifi routers (free) around the resort and overall the internet was great.
The location is about a 10 minute drive from the centre of Ubud and there are free shuttles throughout the day. If you fancy a walk it is doable if it isn't too hot, and a taxi at any other times outside of shuttle hours is fairly cheap.
There are two restaurants; a main large one and a smaller one to the back of the resort. Our experiences with the second smaller restaurant weren't very good. They never had any change to give us when we paid and this resulted in them running around the resort looking for some while we stood and waited. The larger restaurant proved to be great overall, some of the dishes being great, some not so much but still edible.
The spa was a little overpriced (a massage costing 200,000 compared to in town where it can be 70,000). Especially when you consider that it says they are trainees, it should be cheaper.
There is a nice restaurant directly next door, and another restaurant and a deli/shop the opposite way (about a 3 minute walk).
There are meditation and yoga classes every day for around the same price you'd pay at home (UK, Aus, US).
Overall the place was a great stay. You can make it a relaxing retreat with massages, yoga etc. The staff are amazing and are always smiling and polite.
I'd stay again and recommend others to stay (providing the construction is completed, but this won't last forever so I'm trying to be unbiased and not let this affect the review too much).
We stayed there for 1 night on August. First, most parts of the building look old. The hotel lobby and rooms are at the back while the front building is tourism school. From parking we have to walk a couple minutes to get to lobby. The hotel is sorrounded by garden, and ricefields view at the restaurants, that makes it nice.
Check in was quick, they gave us a voucher of 10 minutes free massage for 1 person only ( but we did not take it). We stayed in room #308, the standard one, the floor is spotted and it is really not looking nice. They should remove the spot. Our room view was like overlooking the garbage disposal, nothing to see but the old building across. It's really terrible.
The hotel had 2 restaurants and 2 swimming pool. We chose to book the hotel because we saw a nice swimmingpool on its website, but unlucky the pool was under maintenance. A bit dissapointed. But it's OK they have another one.
The hotel location is about 5-10 minutes from the heart of Ubud by motorbike. If you stayed here you better have your own vehicle/motorbike so you can explore Ubud on your own, though the hotel provide free schedlued shuttle to the town,like 4 times a day.
We did not like the breakfast menu,it was buffet breakfast (Indonesian food) and the food were yellow rice, bean sprouts cooked with carrots,fried chicken. IT is good that they had toast/bread,sliced steam potato and scamble eggs so we had that for breakfast instead.
The summary is : the building is old need repairmen, the hotel furniture also old, they should also pay attention to the back of the hotel as it is very dirty and full of garbage. Also the staff should at least have uniforms or at least dressing tidy and good appearance.
If you stay for 1 night, it's good but if you intend to stay up to 3 or 4 nights with budget $40-$50 better go explore other options which are so many in Ubud.