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All reviewsfishing boatsprivate poolwestern cuisinedeep poolwi fiamed beachstayed for nightslocal kidspeace and quietshort stayhigh tidebalinese foodopen air bathroomsnorkeling spotshour drivenice gardenincluded breakfast
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Reviewed December 25, 2012

We've spent 5 days at the Palm Garden resort in Amed and had a wonderful time. The owners are very friendly and they're always reachable for questions and advice and the hotel is intimate and cosy. Just in front of the hotel is a wonderful coral reef, highly populated with the most beautiful fishes, where we went snorkeling with the kids several times a day. The rooms are beautiful, the outdoor bathroom is great, the food is delicious, the staff is very friendly,... Highly recommended!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Lander W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

There’s so much I want to say about Palm Garden Amed Beach & Spa Resort that I’m not sure where I should begin, so how about first impressions?

On the approach to Palm Garden Amed Beach & Spa Resort, we drove past other resorts and hotels, all in various stages of disrepair and I was forming the impression that Amed as a whole was a grungy destination at best. But once our car pulled up outside our resort, however, we were suddenly in a whole new world where the buildings and their grounds were fresh, clean, modern and with an appearance suggesting that the resort was just weeks old rather than its actual age of 2 years. The entrance was superb with its colourful plants and sandstone walkways.

We were greeted by eager Balinese staff who whisked our luggage away to our room as we checked in, and then invited us to relax in the resort’s open-air foyer while enjoying our arrival drinks. It was then that the resort’s Swiss owners, Anna and Orlando, walked over and introduced themselves, welcoming us to their little piece of paradise. (At this point I need to mention that in all our years of travels, we have never been greeted by a resort/hotel’s actual owners; we chatted with them for some time and they explained the history of the resort, how it was built – and why – and what we could expect during our stay. The fact that they made the time to greet us only contributed to this perfect first impression of their resort.).

Walking from the reception foyer through to our oceanfront villa, this ‘first impression’ carried through; the resort was stunning, with thoughtfully presented statues and of course manicured gardens featuring swaying palm trees, all set amongst the open-air restaurant, and infinity pool complete with its large dolphin statue fountain feature. All of this looks out onto the spotless adjoining beach with its colourful array of fishing boats used by the local fishermen next door (more on this later). The beach is carefully maintained and is a world away from adjoining beaches sadly littered with rubbish.

We were led to our villa by the resort’s owner, Anna, and the ‘first impressions’ continued to flow… the private infinity pool that adjoined the villa; the private deck chairs and the views out to the ocean. Walking into the villa, the first word uttered is, “WOW!”. The villa (and this is the case with the other villas too) is beautifully decorated with local art and features an amazing outdoor bathroom that looks up to the surrounding hills and palms. The shower includes a large ornate granite feature (see photos), all illuminated with modern feature lighting that shows off this standout ‘room’. Nighttime is magical! Every feature of the villa, right down to the tap-ware is outstanding and leaves a strong impression that no expense was spared. The villa includes modern remote-controlled air conditioning as well as a ceiling fan; a bar fridge, wardrobe and electronic safe are also included. The villa was stunning in every way imaginable.

What made our villa a standout was the adjoining private infinity pool. During our stay (17Nov-24Nov 2012) there was little sea breeze at night so the pool was most welcome after we returned from dinner each night; relaxing in the pool, looking up at the stars and listening to soft, breaking waves; Palm Garden Amed is a magical place at night!

The resort’s restaurant sits within a large, open-air area complete with traditional Balinese thatched roof, ceiling fans, water features and feature lighting. The menu includes local dishes as well as European dishes, plenty of drink options that include beer, wine and spirits and local fruit juices/Lasis to keep thirsty guests satisfied in the humid Balinese climate – in fact, I think I consumed my own body weight in Mango juice drinks (blended Mango and ice) and Banana Lasis! All superb!

I’ll breakdown the restaurant’s menu as best I can. In nutshell, you could eat in the resort’s restaurant every day and be satisfied; the food is good and of high quality and the menu varied enough to keep you from getting bored. The Indonesian dishes include the usual choices you’d expect such as Nasi Goring and plenty more, all of which are excellent and surprisingly inexpensive for what you’d expect from a typical resort. In fact, the items across the menu were all reasonably priced although obviously more expensive from the other ‘local’ restaurants close by, but this is to be expected. Regardless, we ate at the resort’s restaurant without ever feeling we were being ‘fleeced’ of our cash; the meals we had were always good value.

The European menu options were mostly excellent (the owners are Swiss, and Anna is also a chef so it’s understandable that there’s going to be Euro choices here); I tried the Wienna Schnitzel and the numerous pasta dishes, all of which were excellent and well priced (living on local dishes every day for every meal may seem like a fun thing to do at first until you realize you’ve been eating rice and chilli every day!). So, European dishes are welcome; thank the Gods that this is a resort who gets them right.

If you want to get out and explore the other restaurants dotted along the road outside, there’s plenty of options depending on how far you’re prepared to walk. We walked for just 15-20 minutes to good restaurants so don’t feel like you’re ‘trapped’ within the resort. It’s safe walking around the surrounding villages close by at night. But honestly, we kept going back to the resort’s restaurant because of the good selection and quality of the food. But it’s good to know that there are other options if you feel the need to explore a little.

The staff here are employed from surrounding villages and do their utmost to ensure that you have a happy stay. Everything from bringing meals or drinks to enjoy at your villa as you rest ‘pool-side’, to arranging dive trips and snorkeling, is all handled with professionalism and delivered with enthusiasm.

But it’s now that I drop in a small disclaimer about the local staff.

It’s important to remember that Amed only received electricity around 10 years ago, and that the locally employed workers are, for the most part, farmers/fishermen (or from farming families) who have lived in their respective farming communities for many decades. Therefore, for the staff to step into a world of luxury where they’re expected to speak any number of languages including English, German, French, and deliver customer service in positions unheard of just a few years ago, it’s not unreasonable to expect that things may go awry from time to time during your stay.

For example, ordering something from the menu (although your order is repeated back to you each and every time you dine in the restaurant or order ‘room service’) may not always go to plan as we discovered on a few occasions. But to be frank here, this is to be expected and doesn’t place this otherwise spectacular resort under any different light (as some reviewers are quick to criticize). Training these local staff is a challenge and then some, so my advice is to “cut the local staff some slack” by understanding that they’re not only delivering service in a language/s that’s rather new to them, but working jobs that are quite foreign to them in so many ways. These people aren’t used to this type of work, so it’s going to take time for them to get this stuff right and to a standard enjoyed by resorts in places such as, say, Hong Kong, Singapore and so on. What you will find at Palm Garden Resort, however, is eager staff who smile, laugh and want to practice their language with you. I’ll take this any day over non-plussed staff working in resorts in other countries who’d rather be at home watching TV.

The amenities at the resort include a spa treatment center (also beautifully designed and decorated), a small shop selling sarongs, local art, etc. (and reasonably priced, by the way), and, of course, a fantastic reef for snorkeling in both low and high tides (and perfectly safe). If you’re into diving, the staff can help you book a dive expedition (we used Euro Dive and they were brilliant – don’t look elsewhere). If you’re not into diving but simply want to enjoy snorkeling, the resort can hire to you snorkeling gear for a small fee. Beach towels and a complimentary sarong for use during your stay, are also provided on request.

So, bad points? To be honest I couldn’t think of anything I’d care to mention and I guess that’s where the resort excels. Small detail is this resort’s strong point. Things such as daily room maintenance and fresh towels, complete with frangipani flowers placed amongst new towels and decorated bedding. I guess that if I tried hard enough I could find things to criticize but there’s no need. Some reviewers complain about the lack of wi-fi, the lack of television or the local staff who don’t do something expected from staff in such a high-end resort (which hopefully above I explained why). Wi-Fi isn’t available because of an Internet bandwidth issue that the resort owners are working hard to rectify with the local service provider (in short, wi-fi simply wasn’t viable but this could change at any time). No television is in my view a plus, and the lack of Wi-Fi was also nice because it kept us away from being glued to our phones and tablets (there is, however, a common PC with internet at reception if you need to access email, etc.). There’s no charge for using the resort’s computer.

Finally, as we checked out and settled our bill for the 7 nights we stayed here (the restaurant bill was surprisingly low especially as I drank enough fresh banana and mango juices to last a lifetime), the owners came to thank us and to wave us goodbye as we climbed into our car for the trip to the airport; a local staff member placed flowers into our hair. I’ve never been seen off by a hotel’s owners in all my years of travel, and as ‘common’ as this may be in Bali, it’s not a given.

To say I’d recommend Palm Garden Amed Beach & Spa Resort would be an understatement. From the moment we pulled up outside to the grateful farewell as we left 7 days later, our stay here was as perfect as we could have imagined. My advice is to arrive here without expectation, and to simply relax, switch off and get into the local atmosphere provided by the adjoining fishing village. Virtually every morning you’ll be treated with the spectacle of the fishing boats coming into shore with their catch of Mackerel and the hive of activity as each fisherman’s family helps to drag their boat up onto the sand. This is life, Amed style, and you get a front-row seat when you stay here! Almost forgot: order the banana pancake with honey for breakfast. We’ll be back!

Room Tip: The beachfront villas (there are two) are superb and include a private pool and deck chairs. We didn't look inside the other villas but all appear to be presented in much the same way. But the beachfront villa #9 was exceptional. Our aircon was noisy but once reported to the owners (day before we left) they promised to rectify.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Tim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stayed for 5 days in one of the small attached bungalows at Palm Garden. Initially I was disappointed that we didn't have little extras like a safe, internet, tv etc. However, we soon learned that the benefits of Palm Garden and Amed far outweighed those minor details. This was the first beach in Bali where we could walk without being constantly harassed by hawkers, swim in the beautiful warm ocean a few steps from the property, and laze around the pool and watch the fishing boats come back with their catch (never got up early enough to watch them leave). The Swiss owners live on site and keep an eagle eye on the operation so everything is spotless, food is delicious, and the property constantly maintained. Amed Beach isn't very touristy - there are only two resorts on the bay and in between them is a typical Balinese village with friendly people going about their business. We mostly ate at Palm Garden, but did try Sails and Life in Amed - both were good.

Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
2  Thank covecutie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

After 10 days at various places in Bali, we spent 5 nights at the Palm Garden in Amed. The last days of our vacation. We could not have hoped for more. The Palm Garden is a wonderful small resort with all amenities for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. We initally booked a small bungalow, but switched to a villa upon our arrival. Although the bungalows are very nice, we preferred the more spacious villa, where we had our own terrace with sea view. The bathroom alone was worth it with the unique shower set in the half open. The beach in front of the resort is public, but this is definitely not a minus. Except for the local fishermen, hardly anybody else is on this beach. In the morning, one can observe the fishermen returning from fishing with their colourful boats. Snorkeling is also a treat. It is enough to step into the water right in front of the hotel and endulge in the underwater world with corals and a myriad of fish.
While for some the lack of WIFI or a strong mobile signal might be a problem, we enjoyed being truly on vacation at least for a couple of days. The staff is very friendly and helpful and the owners very welcoming. They are proud of their resort, and rightly so. I will definitely recommend this place to my friends.

Room Tip: Go for a villa if you stay for more than 2 nights. It's worth it.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank NL_Suisse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Palm Garden is probably at the higher end of Amed's accommodation tree, price-wise, but the fastidious attention to cleanliness, fit and finish here make it feel worth it. PG is only small (bonus) but with a genuine on-the-beach location, difficult to beat. Staff are well trained and, although supply of raw materials here is apparently problematic, the cooking is very good. I would like to see WiFi at this price. If, like me, you enjoy meeting others en vacance, this is probably not the right place. The restaurant/bar scene is not convivial to mixing. The daily life of a fishing village might sound like brochure hyperbole, but you cannot escape the boats that sail in each morning with their fresh mackerel. Just don't ask Palm Garden to serve it... They don't seem to think their guests will be interested in this particular fish. Odd.

Room Tip: We booked at reception fleeing a lesser place, but Agoda seems to be the way to go for best deals in Asia.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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