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“The Real Bali”
Review of Villa Flow

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Villa Flow
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 8, 2013

I have lived in Bali for more than 6 years and live in the south where the development is never-ending! To visit Villa Flow is to go back in time and have a truly authentic Bali experience. The staff are lovely and the villa is peaceful and relaxing. It is a perfect get-away and I look forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank NHH21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 7, 2013

We booked three nights at Villa Flow during our holiday in Bali for some relaxing. We loved it from the moment we entered and were delighted.

The reception by Ms. Kirstin was very cordial, and we got the feeling of being at ease. The lovely decoration in the hotel was surprisingly nice; so many small and big items one cannot stand to give attention. The buildings on the compound give the impression of reflecting a true modern Balinese atmosphere with an architecture so different from so many hotels in the tourist centres in the south. The view from our terrace was magnificant, and in the morning we could see the fishing boats returning from the ocean.

The food was excellent and healthy; absolutely nothing to complain. The service in the hotel was of good standard and the personnel was relaxed and most helpful. The room was tastefully decorated, very clean, and had a nice terras. We highly enjoyed a good massage (by a very sympathatic and experienced man).

Our stay in Villa Flow gave us a special feeling of real happiness and the idea that we had really seen Bali in its purest form.

Room Tip: All rooms have a beautiful view on the sea.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marianne0134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

First the good:

- Beautiful grounds, view, pool, and decor
- Friendly staff, although most don't speak English
- Awesome spa treatments/massage and yoga class/teacher - we LOVED the massages given by the local priest and his son and LOVED the yoga classes given by Kawi. Truly highlights of our trip
- Good juices

Now the bad:

- The buildings and rooms have a few odd flaws - the most obvious one being that the bathrooms don't have doors. I honestly cannot understand this. For couples, friends, etc. - this is just uncomfortable. Please put doors in. Also, the shower was always cold. There was never warm water through the taps. It's ok in a hot place, generally, but showering cold in the morning can be a little painful. This also makes the bathtub a waste of space. It takes at least 30+ minutes to fill (I'm guessing, since I stopped trying), and then it is cold water.

- We were plagued by very loud, bass-heavy dance music from the neighbors in the village the entire time we were there, starting at 6 AM (not an exaggeration). We complained, they tried to fix it by going to the community leader, but nothing happened. It was the exact opposite of relaxing.

- Speaking of the local area - the road up to the villa goes through a community, and unfortunately there is a lot of garbage on the road and around the area. Additionally, you'll hear a *lot* of road noise, which in Bali means motorbikes and honking.

- There is no beach access - really very few sand beaches in this part of Bali, so that's not a criticism of the villa, just something to know. You can walk down the village road and they have a fenced off place where you can sit and watch the ocean, which is nice - but it's not a beach. Lots of garbage down by the rocks.

- The food is almost aggressively healthy. I like healthy food, but some meals were nearly inedible or lacking completely in protein, meat or non-meat. Meals made completely of vegetables are not very filling in the long run. You will probably like this place if you are a very healthy vegan or vegetarian.

So - very mixed bag. I wish they would address the issues they can control directly, and find a way to positively impact the village and surrounding area.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaFlowBali, Manager at Villa Flow, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear Knuspermuesli,

Thank you very much for your honest review, which we very much appreciate.

First of all, we are glad to hear that you were amazed by our SPA treatments as well as the Yoga lessons with Kawi and that these were highlights of your Bali trip - this makes us feel special and very proud!

Villa Flow's building concept combines traditional Asian aspects with modern design and where some people find it special having an open plan bathroom we do understand that this may not cater to all tastes. The hot water should indeed have been fully functioning, and we do apologize that this was not the case at all times. We have taken corrective measures and are having this
fixed immediately.

Villa Flow stands for healthy and organic food. Our menu, which serves vegetarian dishes also including fish and chicken, has been extensively researched and information about Villa Flow's food concept is provided on our website. Our menu offers proteins levels that fulfill the daily needs of your body, however after having received your review we have decided to include an alternative lunch and dinner dish to always allow our guests a choice.

The music from the neighbors was admittedly disturbing during your stay, for which we sincerely apologize. This has been addressed collectively by the community, and has been resolved.

Waste management is a big problem in Bali. Travelling around the island you will unfortunately find garbage everywhere, where Seraya-Barat is no exception. Finding a comprehensive long term solution is proving difficult, however various initiatives are taken, where a.o. Villa Flow has arranged placement of a container in the village and organizes a bimonthly pick up in
the village.

Villa Flow's staff is sourced directly, and purposely, from the small village where we are located. While the staff receives English lessons, it has proven difficult for some to master a language that is unfamiliar for this region. We have urged our staff once again to do their best to improve
their English.

Thank you again for staying with us and sharing your opinion of your stay and we hope we will have a second chance to welcome you back at Villa Flow.

Best regards,

KIrstin Kumpf
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

We booked two nights at Villa Flow for our anniversary and we haven't been disappointed.
Everything was perfect, the setting, the room, the food, we just loved it all.
The resort manager Kirstin has been really helpful with our special requests and organized everything with lots of care.
Their private beach is absolutely lovely and their staff are very kind.
We had a wonderful stay, I would recommend it to any one and would love to go again myself.
The only minor "downside" to us were the children of the owner who are very young and were a bit noisy when around.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sylvie m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

Thru Tripadvisor's positive reviews, we booked 2 nights stay at Villa Flow for our family trip to East Bali in Sep 2013. Indeed, we made the right choice. Villa Flow did not disappointed us and we really enjoyed our stay at this heart-warming villa.

The beautiful villa is built on hillside, amidst the lush greeneries and overlooks the ocean. Rooms are well furnished and decorated with nature theme. During our stay, we started our days early indulging in the healthy choices of delicious breakfast.

Thanks Kirstin, the Resident Manager and all the crews at Villa Flow whom made our stay enjoyable and memorable.

We will definitely recommend Villa Flow to friends if they travel to East-Bali.

Ling & family.

Room Tip: try out Coconut House
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Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
Thank CHLING
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

We wanted to love Villa Flow but...we ended up just liking it.
Perhaps our expectations were too high but it isn't quite the organic specialist retreat it is billed as. We stayed in the Coconut House for 6 nights. It is a lovely little cottage that offers privacy and more living areas than the other rooms. On the other hand it needs a bit of maintenance and feels a bit rickety. A word of warning - the steps are VERY steep and outside the building, you could not stay in the Coconut House if you have any mobility issues. I did look at the other rooms and they are very elegant and comfortable, and have wonderful views from the shared terrace.
The views are lovely but as it is so high the noise carries up the hill from neighboroughing properties (roosters crowing day and night) and the constant stream of traffic and is almost unbearable. After a while you get used to it.
The food: This was probably my biggest disappointment. Having advised them months in advance of an allergy to coconut (which can be a problem in Bali) almost every meal we were served contained at least one or two courses with coconut in it. That seems like a small gripe but the reality is that they were only cooking for us so how could they get it so wrong every day? When it was pointed out at every meal they took the dish away and then served something that tasted like it was salvaged from the back of the fridge. It was very aggravating particularly as we had such high hopes for detoxing and enjoying the organic produce from the garden. Perhaps it is seasonal but the reality is very little of what was in the garden was on the menu. The food is very expensive given the lack of care, the lack of choice and the food costs. Very disappointing indeed.
The pool is lovely and we enjoyed relaxing there a lot.
The spa treatments are some of the best I've had. I had a regular massage, a facial (unbelievably good) and the special massage given by the local priest - absolutely a must do. Incredible.
Overall, Villa Flow is good just not great. It is lovely to visit for a couple of days but don't expect a structured and holistic health or spa retreat. It doesn't offer that level of service, facilities or menu.

Room Tip: The coconut house is lovely, very private. Just be aware the stairs are very steep and not suitable...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Whatkatiepdid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaFlowBali, Manager at Villa Flow, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear Whatkatiepdid,

Thank you for having taken the time to post your feedback on Trip Advisor.

Villa Flow is a small luxury specialty lodging accommodating 5 guest rooms tucked away in a rural area of East Bali at affordable prices. Healthy food, sincere service and natural settings are the driving forces behind the concept we are offering.

Our healthy menu, extensively researched and fine-tuned over time, uses the freshest and most beneficial ingredients and inevitably comes at a slight premium to regular staple foods. And while we strive to source our foods as much as possible from our own gardens, scale and seasonality will always be a mitigating factor here-in. In addition, the boutique style of Villa Flow, where we have deliberately chosen for quality rather than quantity, is reflected in our focussed menu offering. While most of our guests are decisively positive on the food served at Villa Flow given previous testimonies, we do understand that for some this could be limiting in choice. In preparing the food, our kitchen aims to take into account all guests’ dietary requirements when preparing the food, and we do sincerely apologize that during the beginning of your stay this was not being properly looked after. We have discussed this internally with the team to ensure that this will not happen in the future.

Villa Flow does not market itself as a holistic health retreat. For those looking for such a retreat we would rather be honest than have to disappoint our guests. What we do offer is a specialty lodging in one of the most authentic parts of Bali offering accommodation with high quality standards, healthy food and where unique SPA treatments can be enjoyed (your compliments on the high quality of our SPA treatments you enjoyed is very much appreciated!).

Your compliments on the Coconut House and its views are well received. We have given deliberate attention to maintaining this particular building in its most natural state given its setting on the premises and its views over the ocean. That does indeed mean that it can feel rickety at times, however with coconut wood used throughout the building that is in fact the charm of it. You are indeed right to observe that for people experiencing difficulty with mobility this may not be the most suitable accommodation to choose from within Villa Flow.

I do hope that this experience has not permanently tarnished your opinion of us and that we will have a second chance in the future to win your confidence in Villa Flow.

Best regards,

Kirstin Kumpf
Resident Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

We stayed at Villa Flow for a week to unwind and what a good choice! The staff were great and Kirstin's advice on places to go and things to see was faultless without being intrusive. We really enjoyed the food based on their organic garden. Exquisite flavours and we were delighted they were happy to share their recipes. We were impressed that Villa Flow supports the local village community that they are a part of.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Warwick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Flow

Address: Seraya-Barat, Karangasem 80851, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Karangasem
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 83 Specialty Lodging in Karangasem
Price Range: $160 - $216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Flow 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the quiet and peaceful coastal town of Seraya in East-Bali, Villa Flow offers a unique experience to those looking for something special. An intimate boutique hotel of high quality standards and service. Villa Flow offers an excellent healthy cuisine,5-star spa treatments, daily yoga classes, private access to secluded beachfront and tranquility. Villa Flow is the perfect low key exclusive luxury base from which to explore East-Bali, the Gili islands just off Lombok and Bali’s best diving locations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Flow Bali/Karangasem

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