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“A hide-away but could be better”
Review of Phil's Place

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Phil's Place
Ranked #129 of 426 Specialty Lodging in Seminyak
Reviewed April 22, 2014

1. Poor signage: the Gang Melati sign at the junction with Jln Plawa is grey print on a grey background and hardly 1 m above the ground – poorly visible, especially at night and my would-be visitors often could not find the entrance to Melati. The big 40 at head of the 50 m long lane leading to the villa from Melati needs an additional sign that says Phils Place with an arrow – a similar sign at the junction of Plawa and Melati would also help.
2. Smoking: as one of the 82% of Australian males who does not smoke I found the level of smoking in Bali appalling (estimated at 66% of Indonesian males). It was distressing to have to deal with staff at reception who were smoking while on duty (breakfasts and drinks are prepared from there as well) though, in the absence of laws that prohibit smoking in public areas, nothing could be done about guests who also sat at reception and smoked. My problem is I had to pass through the area to get to my room (the doors to 2 and 3 are located within 2 m of reception) and smoke wafted into my room when the door was opened. In all my years of travel I have never before been served by smoking reception staff.
One of the staff alerted me to Moka’s Café in Jln Seminyak where the main section is air-conditioned and therefore smoke-free. The meals were good quality and prices reasonable (just the iniquitous 10% tax – surcharges (in all countries) should be included in the quoted price and not added at the end to mislead you what you will pay) and if you ordered an entrée instead of a main course you had room for one of their fancy cakes! The Japanese Restaurant (Suishi) is also air-conditioned. No doubt there are others at the more expensive end of the market.
3. Rooms: I paid US$81 for Room 2 with garden access through Bali Friendly (April 2014) – it seemed the only way to get a price apart from contacting PP directly. I was a bit surprised when the manager of BF appeared the morning after my arrival expecting me to pay the 75% owing for the entire 14-day period, since it is usual practice to pay at the end of one’s stay. The room was fine though the chair and table were not comfortable for my many hours of sitting at my laptop. There was no fridge or tea/coffee making facilities – tho there was a fridge in the lobby and the staff readily made me tea on request. I did not like the way water from the shower just flows out onto the tiles and there was no shower curtain. The garden is lovely though a source of mosquitoes that invariably found their way into my room – an evaporative insecticide device was provided but I did not try it.
I was obliged to stay in one of the upstairs rooms for one night – US$45 from BF. There was no rail on the stairs and the steps are widely spaced so that made the stairway difficult to use with my arthritic legs. The toilet-bathroom is downstairs opposite reception and past the eating area making visits there very public! Since the water from the shower flows past the toilet bowl to the basin diagonally opposite the floor was flooded and it soon became a sauna. The staff did towel the floor after morning use, however, which meant you could get to the toilet without getting wet feet later in the day. Needing to urinate at least twice a night with my prostate problem I resorted to using empty cans and bottles to relieve myself rather than negotiate the steps in the middle of the night. If you like billiards, you might note there is an old table upstairs that at least has a full set of balls.
The garden is a delight. The lieback chairs are in the sun and I never saw them used while I enjoyed the large chair in the shade. There is a charming freestanding massage room in the garden that doubles as a drinking/rest area at other times but I never saw it used for that – the massage I had there in a pleasant setting was excellent.
4. Unsafe access by foot: Plawa is dangerous to traverse by foot – there are no footpaths, parked cars and bikes jut out onto the road (typical of Indonesia generally) and you are often forced to walk in the middle of the road. I found walking the 400 m to Jln Seminyak and then a further 100-400 m to a decent restaurant quite a chore, especially during the heat of the day. Nevertheless at least one of the boys at reception was happy to take me to my chosen restaurant on his motorbike (I tipped him 10000 rp though he did not ask for it).
5. Meals: No food is available other than a (full fry-panned based) breakfast, though a limited selection of soft through to hard drinks is available at reasonable cost. You can order food through reception but it can take 45 minutes to arrive and is hardly warm (I did that twice from different restaurants). I bought sweet corn cobs back from my visit to Ubud (6 for 10,000 rp!) – the corn was growing behind the stall – and one of the staff boiled them for me on two occasions and reheated in the microwave as required – delicious!
6. Final bill: my laundry (dirt cheap) and drinks came to 250,000 rp at the end of my stay. I handed over my credit card to be told PP only took cash – I was flabbergasted! I had carefully worked out cash for my departure tax (200,000 rp), tip for the taxi driver and food at the airport – who wants to take rp home?! So I had to use my precious cash to pay for my final PP bill – if I did not have the required amount I would have had to go to an ATM, assuming a staff member was free to take me there, make sure it took Visa (the first ones I visited later on the way to the airport did not) – I had not used my card at an ATM during my trip as I had taken cash for the entire trip – except for my accommodation as noted above, so there was the risk it would not work, and get back to PP and not be late for the booked taxi. I pointed out to the manager that it was a) a reasonable assumption of mine that the villa would take credit card as I had already paid my accommodation that way (but BF is separate from us, I was told); if that was not so, then b) there should be a card placed conspicuously at reception (or, less satisfactorily, in the room information file) that noted PP took cash only.

Room Tip: See my comments under 3 above
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank Protea L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philsplace, Owner at Phil's Place, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2014

Thank you for your extensive description of your recent stay in Bali at Phils Place.

As you have noted, street signs and footpaths in Bali are not the same as in Western countries. As guests in Indonesia, there’s not much we can do about that. Fortunately Jalan Plawa is a quiet street without much traffic and, as you’ve noted, our staff are happy to take guests on the back of a motorbike if they’re not too busy with their other duties, and we’ve placed our street address on a prominent sign at the entrance gate.

With regards to your feedback about payment, any guests who have not already paid fully in advance are required to complete payment on check-in. This is a standard policy for villas in Bali and is essentially the same as large hotels which require your credit card on arrival.

We have directed staff to improve two matters that you raise.

1. First we have reinforced to staff that they are not to smoke anywhere in the villa. We do have smokers as guests from time to time and, fortunately as the villa is “open air” there are places for them to smoke with minimum disturbance to others. We do not allow guests to smoke in rooms on any occasion.

2. Second, we have taken up your suggestion of placing a card in the kitchen bar area noting that room bills need to be paid by cash unless arranged with staff the day before checkout

Many thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (88)
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39 - 45 of 88 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2014

I am currently half way through my 10 night stay at Phil's Place. I cannot recommend this place enough! All the positive reviews are justified. We are in the premium room which has its own bath and shower and it's own private terrace. The villa is peaceful and a great place to relax, and if you care to, socialise with other guests. But what makes this place really stand out is the staff. They are exceptional, I have spent time chatting with the staff and have had great fun being taught Balinese. They are all charming and have great personalities. Their smiles are infectious. The stay here has made my visit to Bali so fantastic I will genuinely be sad to leave.

Room Tip: Premium room - the largest of 5 rooms
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank mwt7161
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Just back from a week at Phils Place. I could not find fault at all. I stayed in the Garden View room with ensuite. Good sized room with a large comfortable bed. The room was spotlessly clean. The staff are 10 out of 10 !! Great breakfast everyday with a good variety offered. It has a real home feel and quality to it.

Just a 5 minute walk to the town centre and the bars etc. 15 min walk to the beach. I'll be back for sure !

Room Tip: The Garden View rooms are nice and open up to a quaint little garden. Good sized rooms. My friend b...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Titan44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We have just had the fabulous opportunity to stay at Phil's for two weeks , this much needed vacation became a completely unexpected delight thanks to Phil's place and the guys that run it!
The location is excellent, close to beaches, restaurants, shops and all the best gay bars , but with out any doubt what really makesit fabulous is the actual villa itself and the guys that look after you there. The rooms are well appointed, comfortable and maintained daily to an extremely high standard. The pool is bathed in dappled sunlight and is fabulous to just relax by wih your favorite drink, or enjoy with the new friends you'll meet at Phil's. The guys that look after your stay, create a whole new meaning to "hospitality". What ever your looking to do , either an in house massage(fantastic and great value ) ,or a day tour , shopping or whatever. ..........nothing is to much effort or trouble for these friendly helpful guys! I have worked and run resorts/hotels and tourist accommodation around the world and really understand how much effort it takes to keep guests happy and satisfied, these guys do it with ease and a warm smile, 24 hours a day!
our hearty thanks to Phil and all the guys for the unending help and assistance they gave us, it turned a tired old holiday into one of the most enjoyable, relaxing and satisfying vacations that we have had in many years ! We can not recommend this place enough, but more importantly we can not wait to come back! Guys there is no need to wait any longer, book Phil's place now , it is great value for the money and you'll love it!

Room Tip: Pool room with en suite, was fabulous!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Russel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2014

The husband and I stayed at Phil’s place this February (2014) and we’re so pleased we did. Phil is a gracious host who genuinely wants to make sure you have an outstanding time in Bali and at his place.

Not only were we within short walking distance of the gay clubs, shopping and the beach - additionally Phil’s Place is located minutes away from two of the best warungs in the area. (Warung Mimpi and Waring Taman Bambu.)

We found the staff to be just delightful - super courteous and helpful. This was my first time in Bali, and drinks can be a bit expensive, so I’ll say that the mini bar prices at Phil’s are very reasonable.

I was so thankful for the indoor pool to cool off from those hot, humid Bali days - BONUS - the daring can skinny dip.

The bed in the room was wonderfully comfortable with a picturesque view of the indoor pool. The only down point was something Phil had no control over - mosquitos. I’m one of the lucky many that mosies love to bite - we didn’t see the plug in repellant until the 2nd day there (shame face on my part) - but the staff does spray and light coils to keep them at bay.

The breakfast menu varies during the week and both the "American" and Indonesian offerings were super tasty. (They graciously gave me all watermelon for the fruit platter as I'm not a big fan of papaya or honey dew melon.) In other words, if you have a food preference don't be afraid to ask!

We enjoyed the area and the accommodation and would definitely book again - say hi to the turtle when you stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank leighsal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014 via mobile

I was staying in Sanur for a wedding and had a couple of days to fill in before returning home so I thought I try a couple if nights on the wild side of Bali . After a quick look on tripfinder and other sites I contacted Phil's place via email from a net cafe in Sanur and received a clear response within minutes .
My room was booked at a great rate and they also organized to pick me up from Sanur for a very reasonable price.
Right on time the next day I was greeted buy a cheery young guy in a clean air con van and delivered to Phil's place . Although at first I was not to sure about the location ( down a narrow road into an even narrower lane and the into a smaller entrance way ) I was greeted at reception again with a smile and no prob attitude and although not big the place did have a nice sort of homely feel about it .
After a few walk s to the main shopping strip and restaurants and bar area in the daylight I felt quite comfortable walking to and from , night and day but it is handy to find a landmark so you know were to turn .
The bed was good , the breakfast was great , pool very refreshing , the staff were all very friendly and helpfull . great in house massage and great location .
Phil's place is a small cozy quiet place , easy walk to shops and restaurants and night life . Not to far to walk to the beach either . If I am ever in the area again I would stay here again and would recommend it to friends.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank GBeno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

Phils Place is just a delight to stay in. Close to bars and shops and restaurants. The Hotel is beoutique clean tidy and the stsaff are outstanding at every level. The breakfast is felxable and nice. The bar is small and the pool is warming and perfect and has a louge area next to it. NOW the massage is the best I have ever had and is professional form start to end. We stayed there last year when next door construction was under way and it made no differnce at all. We are nbooked in again to stay In APRIL 2014. Excited as this place is perfect for a relaxing holiday and close to Bars we same sex people like, some quiet some crazy but within five minutes walk. Its safe and its secure.

Room Tip: All rooms are very nice, to choose one means you miss out on the others
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MOORYwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phil's Place

Address: Jl. Plawa, 40 Gang Melati, Seminyak, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Kuta District > Seminyak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #129 of 426 Specialty Lodging in Seminyak
Price Range: $60 - $125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gay guest house in Seminyak, Bali - 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Close to gay bars (10 minutes by foot), restaurants, shops and beach. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Phil`s Place Hotel Seminyak
Phil's Place Bali/Seminyak

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