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“32 family & friends for a 60th - Heaven at Serene”
Review of Serene Villas

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Serene Villas
Ranked #11 of 417 Specialty Lodging in Seminyak
Certificate of Excellence
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“32 family & friends for a 60th - Heaven at Serene”
Reviewed May 3, 2010

Last month my husband turned 60. To celebrate family and friends from around the world convened at Serene Garden Villas for 2 weeks - we took over the whole complex and it was absolutely brilliant.

Families were housed together (Hibiscus, Frangipani and Palm 1); friends shared (Serene Garden Villa (ours!), Palm 2 and Acacia) and one couple had their own private place (Lotus). All were the highest standard both in terms of fittings, bedding, gardens, service, pool, daybeds and usability.

Because of the privacy of each villa, each group had breakfast together (great for those with kids as well as friends suffering hangovers) and could then meander in and out of each others villas throughout the day.

On the second night there we had a "welcome mixer" BBQ in our villa (Serene Garden) and it was terrific. Beautifully decorated, fantastic food (almost too much), gorgeous setting and big enough space to house everyone very comfortably. The staff have obviously done this many times. We also had everyone over to watch some Balinese dancing on the actual birthday(with the most divine Chocolate Birthday cake provided internally) and then again for a Suckling Pig night - lots of fun and recommended.

Being close to the heart of Seminyak (5 minute walk) there are any number of great restaurants (Cafe Bali; Sip (great french food ridiculously cheap except for the wine); Trattoria etc) close by. Also lots of shopping if that's your thing. Kuta - well, its there, noisy, trashy and a taxi ride away. I was moved to see the Sari Club memorial but otherwise would give Kuta the big miss.

For my husband's birthday dinner we had a booking for 35 at Sarong - the restaurant owned by Will Merrick of Jimmy Liks (Sydney) fame. Great setting. Great food (although a little too spicy in a couple of dishes); great drinks. For the amount I paid for the night (including open bar) I could not have come close to something that exquisite had I stayed in Australia.

It had been 27 years since I went to Bali - yes it is way more commercialised than it was when I enjoyed the gentle place I knew as a 21 year old, but the people are still lovely and Serene Garden Villas is definately the oasis that allows you to enjoy the best of yesterday and today.

I think our stay was best summed up by a friend of ours who became known by our group as "Big Al". When I had first posed Bali as a destination for my husbands big celebration Big Al was very disappointed. He'd never been to Bali, didn't want to go, couldn't think of anything worse, and limited his stay to 4 days. Hmmm.... now he and his partner are planning on buying a villa there. Yep, Serene does that to a man!!!

Thank you to all the wonderful staff who looked after us and were gentle and caring with us all.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank yayainoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
190 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2010

Have just returned from a 6 night stay in the Garden villa room. It was a lovely villa with excellent service. Looks exactly like the pictures!. Nothing was too much from ordering taxi's, swapping pillows, getting us ice and limes or making bookings for us. The bed was really comfortable but the first night the pillows were too high and hard so the next day all seven of us requested softer pillows and they had been swapped by the time we returned later that day. Our butlers were great for making our breakfast or making us cocktails in the evening and answering any questions we had.

If I was to be picky my only issues would be that there are some dogs next door that bark alot. On the last night they barked continuously all night and then if they wernt barking they were howling. Not the villas fault of course but our driver said we should just tell management and they would go see dog owners. The other thing would be the lack of choice at breakfast....was a little sick of eggs by the end of our stay.

Overall an awesome experience and would definently reccomend

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank TravelEatExplore64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2010

Went to Bali for the first time with the family in January 2010. We found Serene on TripAdvisor and chose it because it was voted #1 for families. Our kids were 5months and 3 yrs old.

The villas are fantastic, we stayed in Acacia but they all look incredible. The place was huge. 2 large bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, both very separate from eachother. There is a great pool well situated in the corner of the garden so it's easy to keep an eye on small kids. The dining area and lounge are both open air which is great but can be annoying when it is really warm or when the mosquitoes are out. Everything is supplied so no need to take anything.

The service was incredible, the people in Bali and at Serene are warm, welcoming and beautiful. Every morning we had breakfast cooked at the villa which was great, pancakes are exceptional. We ordered food to the villa many times from local restaurants or the kitchen. If you stick to the Balinese/Asian food you will not be disappointed. Avoid western food if you can. We had a great babysitter every night for about $8 an hour who helped make this a real getaway for us.

Traveling with young kids is not easy at the best of times so some things to be aware of :

- Serene villas are not right in the heart of Seminyak i.e. on a main street. To get the kids to restaurants, shops etc required about a 2 minute taxi ride. That said, you can get a taxi in 1 minute directly to your villa and they cost about $1.50 per trip. There are no real footpaths in a lot of Seminyak so I wouldn't recommend walking around too much with prams etc.

- Bali is hot and very very humid. You can't stay out too long with small kids. The pool was a lifesaver and we spent half the day in it with them. Only count on making small trips together or split up.

- Mosquitoes - they're everywhere so make sure you have good repellant for all and a net for any babies. The showers and living space are both open air at Serene so be prepared at night.

Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank daddiotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MELBOURNE
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2010

This was our return visit to Serene Villas in Seminyak (we last stayed in 2008) and we were once again pleasantly surprised by the attentive (but discreet) staff, the beautiful surroundings, the rooms (fully airconditioned and generous sizes), the wonderful appointed kitchen and of course the wonderful pool, where much respite from the March heat was sought.

We took 3 of our 4 children this time, a 15 year old girl and twin 10 year old boys and we stayed for 14 days.

We arrived at the Villa at approximately 11.00pm and were immediately calmed by the serene surroundings, the pool lights were dimmed, the bedroom lamps were on and the rooms were nice and cool - we fell into bed exhausted (after our flight) but happy and peaceful that we felt we had once again arrived at our 'home away from home'...

We woke to the sound of one of our boys saying 'mum,mum, breakfast is ready...' we walked out to the dining area where the table had been set (formally), fruit was on beautiful platters and we were asked how we wanted our eggs done...oohh, bliss...and I was offered a pot of my very absolute favourite, ginger tea....(I'd forgotten how lovely it was to drink this wonderful tea, in these beautiful surroundings, all calm and soothing), there were croissants and toast with preserves etc....the kids were happy, they dived into the pool after breakfast and my husband and I sat, drew breath and began our discussion of what we were going to do with our time whilst in Bali....there were tours to fit in, visits to the obligatory 'Waterbom Park', shopping in Seminyak, Legian and Kuta to be done and many spa treatments and massages to be had....how would we start this holiday...???

We asked for the driver to take us to 'BaliDeli', an amazing providore of all things required foodwise..stocked up on snacks, cold meats, bread, pastries, pastas, sauces, meat, fruit and vegetables - not too much, but just in case we decided we wanted to eat in - the kitchen is great - if you like to cook - for a change) we'd be covered - also went over to Bintang Supermarket on Jl. Seminyak to stock up on further bits and pieces, mineral water, beer and everything else I'd forgotten at Balideli - CarreFour (I think this is the spelling) is another fantastic supermarket worth investigating - great meat, fruit and veg, and grocery items, all well priced) ... okay we were now totally organised and able to look forward to out fortnight of relaxation...

I experienced an 'in-house' massage, the woman arrived promptly, the massage was taken in the bedroom and was absolutely wonderful - later I soaked in the huge bath in the outdoor bathroom, reading a book - kids were entertained by the pool, snacks and...nickelodeon on the TV... relaxation was starting to kick in...

The staff are discreet, the pool staff and gardeners come by in the morning and do what they have to do (testing water and tidying up garden) - they are pleasant and gone in about 15 minutes. The Butlers are professional without being 'in your face', they organise your breakfast and any tours/activities you want to book or need assistance with. They seem to organise the housekeeping as well...each evening staff come by to turn down the beds, spray for mosquitos (important due to Denghi Fever) and off they go...

We found the Villa to be kept in a very clean state, we'd tidy up if we cooked (this is not an expectation) and we'd bring in the towels if we thought it was going to rain - other than that the staff took care of everything.

The attention to detail was great, even if you needed the staff to make a booking at a restaurant for you they'd ask you if you wanted them to organise transport as well - they take the effort out of everything, a wonderful way to relax....the location of the villas is great, its about 3 minutes away from the restaurant strip in Seminyak - about 4 mins to Seminyak Street where you can go nuts with shopping - about 5 mins away from Oberoi beach in one direction and about the same away from Double 6 Beach - where more surfing is to be had....it's about 3 mins away from our favourite hang out - The Corner Store - great for coffees/teas, breakfast when you don't want to eat in at the villa and lunches.....this location is central to all the tours, they mostly end up being day trips - and coming home to Serene Villas after a big day out, slightly sunburned and exhausted, knowing you can whizz up the street and choose where to eat from many, many restaurants (favourite being Trattoria) or whether you choose to eat in via cook for self or room service...you know you'll be happy....and then the beds....huge and comfortable...oh I wish I were back there....

Whilst our stay at Serene was great we had a mishap that could have turned the whole trip sour - one of our sons had to have an emergency appendectomy - whilst this is not what you want to happen ever, let alone whilst on holiday the compassion and empathy shown to our family at this time was lovely - the staff were so helpful, first when we needed a doctor (Bali Clinic), they attended and suggested we go to hospital (BIMC) - the driver was instantly available to take us and waited with us to hear the outcome - they enquired about the other children and showed absolute kindness to us - this is something that one never forgets, especially when you are in another country and your child is requiring emergency surgery....so a big Thank You to Serene for all their help and assistance during this dreadful time - but.....what a place to convalesce...the rest of the trip we layed low, read lots of books, took in some spa treatments and went back and forth to the hospital for follow up visits....we cannot recommend Serene Villa (Palm 1) highly enough...we love it!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank INTOTHEBALISUNSET
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2010

I stayed at the Serene Villa Hibiscus after reading the reviews on the Tripadvisor website and I was definitely not disappointed.
The villa looked just like the photos on the website. The service from the staff were great. I never quite knew who our butler was since no one came to introduce himself to us, but we were just a dial away to the operator and everything was arranged promptly (even last min requests for in-house spa).
Breakfast was ok, although the local food request costs more than what you'd get at the good cafes outside.
The rooms were nice and big, but we did have an issue with the air-conditioner the 1st day we were there and we had to spend over 2 hours trying to get that fixed - they finally understood us when we told them they have to pump new gas.
There was a mini heat wave when we're there, so it was a pity that the living/dining area was not air-conditioned (open air concept), but I guess it's just the Balinese decor/concept.
We did all the in-house massages, cream baths and food reflexology. Great value and great service!!! The best part is the convenience and we do not have to step out of the spa.
The place would be a little inconvenient if you have a child at a crawling stage as the living and dining rooms were split level, and we ended up having to keep the baby in the stroller constantly.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pcess_jo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
Reviewed January 28, 2010

Have been to Bali many times, and have stayed in numerous types of Hotels, Villas etc. stumbled across Serene Villas whilst looking for Villas in the Seminyak area. Stayed in Hibiscus Villa and would have to say it is one of the nicest forms of accommodation I have stayed in any where. The Villas are extremely well maintained, the staff extremely friendly and service deserves an 11/10. Big thanks to all the staff for helping make our holiday such an amazing and memorable experience. I would definitely not hesitate to recommend Serene Villas to friends and family and will hopefully stay there again later in the year.... Wonderful Villas

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MelbourneBuddah1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 12, 2010

This was my second time to Bali, the first time I stayed at a large hotel one room television you could touch from the bed Yuk, I vowed never to return to Bali from the bad experience being talked into going again,the Serene Villas were recomended to me I was not disappointed, the staff were more than obliging in all they did from your breakfast in the morning where it was served and cooked in your room at your convenience, to having fresh laundered sheets every day to making sure at night your bed was tuned down mozzie coils lit and oil burners lit ,it was absolutly delightful.nothing was a problem,I was most impressed with the honesty of the villas where on my return home I discovered I had left some jewellery behind I e-mailed them and recieved a response immediatly to say they had found it and they would post it to me. I stayed in the Villa Lotus which was quite sufficient for one person the dipping pool is just that a dipping pool so don't expect an olympic size pool good emough for one person I would recomend the Villas to my friends..

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank empress58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serene Villas

Property: Serene Villas
Address: Jl. Drupadi 22, Seminyak 80361, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Seminyak
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 417 Specialty Lodging in Seminyak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Serene Villas 5*
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Serene Villas Hotel Seminyak
Serene Villas Bali/Seminyak

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