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“Excellent for what we wanted!!”
Review of KIMA Surfari

KIMA Surfari
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Surfcamps and Surfaris in Bali - from Surfers by surfers - with more than 15 years experience and local knowledge
Robina, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent for what we wanted!!”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

I met a mate of mine in Bali at Kima Seminyak and stayed in the aircon room (single beds) in Apr 2013. Actually, I just noticed that he has posted a review ... I basically agree with Ryan Budden's post.

Mostly people were there to surf which fitted perfectly for what we wanted ... usually 2 surfs a day and the guides were awesome at finding locations that picked up the swell and matched our expertise. The people at the accommodation were really cool and down to earth which made for a fun time.

I guess one thing to be aware of was that it was more of a 'luxury' style backpacker resort and I wouldn't necessarily take my wife and son there. Most of the guests were younger (18's to mid 20 year olds) as Ryan and I are late 30's ... but we didn't mind and actually enjoyed the younger crowd. This could've just been the time we were there too .. it depends what you want.

Bali is a magic place and the surf is insane however it was disappointing to see the pollution in and out of the ocean which did affect our surfing. More love needs to be invested in the infrastructure and environment in Bali as it would be sad to lose it's beauty!

Thanks guys ... thoroughly enjoyed my trip!!! You are awesome!!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jason A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Paradise of Seminyak”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

The accommodation was like an oasis in the middle of an urban area. You felt like being in the middle of the green. If you compare it to the surroundings it was like a paradise.
More important were the people there! The surf guides were so nice and relaxed. They assisted you improving you surf skills as much as they could do. The staff of the camp helped you always and answered all kind of questions you had. The waiters of the restaurant were really kind and funny. The food was delicious! The chief of the cooks named Toni made sure that you got all you want. So if you have any complaints you should go to him.
It was organized well and there are surf trips from beginners to experts everyday! You’ll be able to surf on your level! The more you got the cultural trips on Saturday, which are really nice to see something other of Bali than waves ;-)
All in all this camp is really recommendable! Enjoy the swell and the warm water temperature!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank MrIsrael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic staff”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I have never written a review before, but I would definitely like to share my experiences and views on Kima Seminyak.

Overall, the staff are what make this place. The surf guides are all fantastic people, really love what they do and are entertaining from start to finish. There have been some negative comments made by others in these reviews, that I found to be completely and utterly incorrect. One of our guides actually came 3rd in a Bali surf contest while we were there, which is testament to the skills of these guys. The staff at the surf camp also go out of their way to remember your name, ask you about your day and the surf, really genuinely fantastic people.

Regarding the accommodation, you get what is advertised. Do not expect a 5 star resort, if that's what you want then book elsewhere (at far higher cost). the location is within easy walking distance of the local beach, pubs, restaurants shops etc. The shared rooms are comfortable, the bathrooms are really nice and the staff clean the rooms every day. I will say though, that if you don't like the heat, you DEFINITELY need to book the Deluxe room with airconditioning!!! We were there in April/May and had it running all night. The general facilities are great, there is a nice little restaurant/bar area, a chill area and a pool/cold water Jacuzzi. Lots of comfortable beanbags to relax on as well all around the place. It is, in my opinion, just what you want after a long day in the surf.

If I have to have one issue to raise, is that I believe that Kima needs to take some more time to advise potential guests to the skill levels of the various camps. Although we did surf the "big" spots on occasion (like Uluwatu, Balangan etc), the majority of the trips were to closer breaks, which were more of an intermediate or beginner level. If you are an experienced surfer, you would be better booking into the Balangan surf camp which has easy access to these spots (On the flip side, DO NOT book here if you are a beginner!!)

However having said this, even as an experienced surfer, I had such an incredible time here that I have no regrets and recommend it to anyone who wants a surf focused holiday.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ryan_Budden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Surf, sleep, eat, Bintang!”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I stayed at Kima Seminyak for just over one week and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

To start with, it was my first trip to Bali and going alone I was somewhat nervous about arriving at the airport. Turns out I had no need to worry because my driver, organised by the camp, was waiting for me with a sign upon arrival and drove me straight back to Seminyak. When I arrived at the camp a guide was on hand to show me around and explain the surf lessons and the board system, including how to register for classes during the week.

I purchased a week in the Bungalow at a special rate - cheapest in the camp I believe - and was fairly happy with the room considering. Although I did think it wasn't as clean as it could have been, it was still great for the price I paid. Any requests were quickly attended to, i.e. new towels or sheets. My room was also air conditioned and had a fridge in the kitchen which was a massive bonus in Bali's humid weather! I think some of the other rooms were probably too expensive so I'd definitely recommend the Bungalow option to anyone looking to save a bit of cash.

The surf classes ran every weekday while cultural trips of your choice were reserved for the weekends. Guests wanting to book a cultural trip simply had to write their destinations on a form on the wall and organise some extra passengers. Drivers were paid for petrol and any entrance fees etc, which always worked out to be cheap anyway. The guides are all local too so have excellent knowledge of the area and are a great bonus to have on board.

The others at the camp were mostly German speaking but thankfully could also speak English as I am Australian. I actually had an amazing group to hang out with and really enjoyed their company when they spoke in English... ;)

The guides were so chilled out and full of personality; great company to have around. Their surf knowledge was astounding and they helped us improve so much, taking us to the best spots for our skill level and helping us with our technique.

The food / drinks were also great and ran on a tab system, so you didn't have to carry money around with you which was handy. Buffet breakfast and fresh juice was included in the price.

All in all, I've made some great friends around the world and some cherished memories. I'll definitely consider coming back.

:)

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Juzzy05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Not Worth It”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

This place isn't worth the price you pay. I stayed at Kima's Seminyak camp for 3 weeks from Feb-March. It's not the peak season, which means the trade winds haven't kicked in. This makes the weather and waves real hit or miss. I wish I knew this before hand. While I was there, the waves were below average, just like the instruction at the camp.

I was told I'd be picked up from the airport. I wasn't. A $15 taxi later, I arrived at the camp at 1:00am. The night security guard didn't have me listed. He couldn't/wouldn't call the manager to sort it out. He assured me the rooms were all full, though it turned out they weren't. So I ended up wasting another $30 for a hotel down the street. Nobody from Kima ever offered to pick up the tab.

I then got stuck paying $40 for booties, which are essential as lots of the spots are reef breaks and renting them isn't an option. This isn't mentioned on the website. Just another charge to an already expensive bill.

The camp sounds good in principle. They list 7 or 8 spots per day, rated 1-star (beginner) to 5-star (expert) and you sign up based on your ability. The way it actually works is something else. I signed up for a 2-star spot and got taken to a reef break with overhead sets instead because that's where the guides wanted to surf. I signed up for another 2-star spot the next day and got roped into paying extra for a boat ride out to Hyatt Reef, which again was overhead and had such a strong current that some of us couldn't even paddle back to the boat. There was no instruction or description of the spot beforehand which was pretty dangerous considering the ability levels and situation. It was literally just throwing everybody in the deep end. The first 4 days I was there, I spent more time stuck in Bali traffic than I did in the water, and I didn't catch a single wave. I was left thinking, "I paid for this?" Only after guests complained to the head instructor did things improve.

The main problem is that you have no idea where you're going when you get in the van each morning, so the whole sign up sheet is a joke. You might sign up for a small beach break on the west coast, but you end up at an advanced reef break with a rip on the east coast. You mostly end up going where the guides want to go, often with little or no explanation. I ended up at one place on the east coast called Serangan 5 times in the 20 days that I was there. I never signed up for it. Not once. It's a spot that's about a 300 meter paddle out to a reef, with a strong current. Most beginners have no business being there, but for some reason the guides love the place.

As you can probably imagine, most of the guides don't actually do that much guiding. Instruction is minimal, they mostly just surf on their own. It's too bad, because most are pretty good surfers, and their English is half decent. Maybe they're self-conscious or maybe just selfish, but either way, there's not too much instruction. I could count the good instructors at the camp on one hand, and they fired one of the good ones while I was there.

On the plus side, most of the people that work there are actually pretty friendly. The facilities really nice and so is the food. The vans are fine and the equipment is plenty good enough for beginners/intermediates. But the quality of instruction is pretty poor, either because they don't make enough of an effort, or because you end up at spots where you have no chance to learn. For the price you pay it's not worth it at all. You'd be better off spending your money elsewhere. If you know what you're doing, rent a scooter and travel around to whatever spot is working on the day. If you're a beginner, you're better off renting a room on Jalan Benesari walking 5 minutes to the beach each morning and renting one of the thousands of surfboards they have there. You'll save tons of money and get better practice on beginner friendly waves anyway.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
13 Thank Robert P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kima22, General Manager at KIMA Surfari, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Dear Robert,
herewith I use the chance to defend ourselves against your bad review.
Airport pick- up: The reason nobody was picking you up was that you never gave us the requested arrival pick up details! We even have sent you a reminder about this a couple of days before!!
Our security guys always have a guest-in-the-house list . Although they mostly don't speak english very well, they know about new check-ins and call me or our camp manager (even in the middle of the night) if there is something wrong. Don't know what happened there actually!
You never mentioned anything about that to our camp manager or team leader, so even if we would have agreed to reimburse you, we simply did not know about your stay in another hotel.
Booties are not for rent, that's correct, but you can buy them for a discounted price at our camp...by the way, this IS mentioned on our website under "equipment" !!
We are happy to explain everybody about the surf and wind conditions during rainy season in Bali, by email or the phone before booking. You as well can find information about this on our homepage: http://www.kimasurf.com/bali-life.html
Several times we spoke about you in our weekly team meetings. It seemed that you were very isolated, never smiled, never talked to anybody, never listened to advice from our surf guides, team leader and manager about the best surf spot for your level. Our surf guides tried their best to communicate with you and to integrate you in the whole camp life. Without much success. Surfing wise you always knew it better and even had an argument with our head coach on a session to Serangan (best choice of the day), where everybody caught good waves while you where waiting on the beach complaining.
The one session you mentioned with the boat: on that day even the Rip Curl school of surf where out there with beginner surfers on their second day surfing!
In February we had some heavy storms hitting Bali and wind of 50mph with a close swell...there where simply no easy beach break waves for a couple of days...this can happen, it's nature! Thats why we often had to change the scheduled surf sessions on short notice. Reason: we just reacted on daily conditions to surf the best spot possible....what every good surf camp would do!! And our surf guides always informed our guests beforehand or decided to go to another spot after checking the original one scheduled. Furthermore, if you would have asked, our surf guides would have explained you everything about the surfspots in question! Our trainees (clearly separated from our senior guides by a "trainee- t-shirt") need to learn and some of them don't speak good english (yet) but they never go alone with a surf group anyway! Our senior instructors will always give a spot introduction and will give advice in the water. Maybe some of our trainees did not perform that well but thats why they are trainees, right?
Anyway, I am sorry that we could not make you happy, although I believe that we did everything we could to get at least a little smile from you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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