I stayed here with a large extended family group between the 4th Jan to the 12th Jan (writing this review with the wifi as I wait for my plane). I stayed in Villa 1 - it is beautifully appointed, all the furnishings are of interest from the lion statues on the terraces to the beautiful timber furniture and the kneeling statues at the front and all the various paintings - not to mention the gorgeous carved and painted doors! Just mind your step - they aren't flush with the floor. There are 4 bedrooms, we put the kids in the bunk beds & portacot provided in the room adjoining the bathroom downstairs, and that bathroom also adjoins a bedroom - so it's well set up for family groups with young children. The other bedroom on the ground floor has both a spa bath in the ensuite which is also attached to an outdoor shower - everybody wanted that bedroom! And upstairs is a bedroom with private balcony with seats/table for 2 and a view over the pool.
The place is open to the air as was mentioned by another guest, but I should note that all beds have mosquito nets and mosquito coils are replenished every day by the housekeeper. For privacy you can let down the rattan blinds but we generally left it open because the little courtyard was so nice to wander round in at night - there are lots of little orange frogs, some large snails and a noisy lizard of some sort (which startled me first time I heard it). Because we had a large group we took both villa 1 and the lumbung, so we got to meet the lovely housekeepers Butu (lumbung) and Ketut (villa 1). They were both lovely, so good with the children, and cooked us breakfast every day, and took our washing (we made a lot of it!) and also organized an in-villa massage (quite reasonable at IDR 80,000). They also offered to order in anything we wanted food-wise, or even offered to take my mother on the back of one of their motorbikes to the market but we found it more fun to venture out to the night market on Jalan Nakula (about 20min by brisk walk, not, as my 60+yo mother complained, by what she assumed would be leisurely stroll) and bring home our own wrapped parcels of food. There are restaurants catering to Western tastes much closer in Jalan Werkudara (exit complex, turn left and left) but we like to go where the locals eat. Everything that needed tidying was tidied/swept/put away, toilet paper was never allowed to run out (take note!), water was replaced every day and I can't fault the housekeeping.
We came just after peak so there wasn't too much interaction with other guests, but yes, if you are in the beachy part of Bali, you may well find yourself in the vicinity of young people who like loud music and setting off firecrackers. This isn't the fault of the staff - it's the luck of the draw really, who your hotel/tour/villa/restaurant mates are. I did have some qualms about security (there isn't a door you lock, per se, and the doors to the rest of the complex are closed but not barred) but with hardly anybody around inter-villa security is hardly an issue and they have someone on the gate at all times even at night so people can't enter the complex.
We pretty much had the pool to ourselves - there are many shaded lounges in the pool area, and a cabana with a day bed, and in your own courtyard you get some sunbeds... our kids got quite a tan. On our last day the gardeners were doing their 3-monthly prune of the coconut trees (preemptively removing any fruit/branches that could pose a hazard) and we watched as the fellow just climbed up with minimal equipment and started hacking away. The kids were clamouring for a swim (the pool had all the debris from it in it) and the gardener just tidied it up and cleaned up the pool for one final swim. We have an overnight flight back to Sydney and the staff have been lovely to let us leave have our stuff here while we wait for the plane. Nothing was too much trouble, the service we received was lovely.
And on the matter of service - on the second day of our trip, my uncle fell ill and needed to be moved to hospital. He was in the lumbung at the time which is up a flight of stairs. The lovely Pak Wayan who was on security detail that night helped my husband carry my portly old uncle down a flight of stairs and to the ambulance. I can't thank him enough for his assistance.
We did come across a couple of maintenance issues during our stay, but nothing that would stop us from coming back (excessive electricity use caused the odd outage and the plugs for sink and bath in one of the bathrooms were hard to remove).
Stuff you can walk to: the beach is straight through the grounds of the Jayakarta hotel (opposite street leading to complex). If you need to take a taxi home, your best bet is to catch it to the Jayakarta hotel and then walk 10m and you're in the street leading to the complex. Other stuff you can walk to: massage parlours & salons... they're everywhere (exit complex, go to street, turn left or right, either way you'll find one within 5 mins where you can get a massage or facial from AUD6). For street food you might need to ask around (but there's warungs nearby - exit complex, go to street, turn right, and there's one at the end on the right) but we went to the night market on Jalan Nakula (it's a continuation of Jalan Arjuna/double-six street, you'll need to cross a couple of roads). Mini marts are on Jl Werkudara (exit complex, go to street, turn left, left).
An airport pickup is included by departure and travelling around is your own responsibility. Here I would like to put in a plug for an excellent driver, Pak Oka - 085238500148. You hear so much about warm Balinese hospitality - well, here's the phone number. He generally can be hired for 10 hours (negotiate the rate w him directly) with extra hours as needed to accomodate your schedule. You can (like I did) give him a list of places you want to see, and he'll tell you how to fit the most in during your stay. He can fit 7 people in his vehicle but can hire an elf (12 seater) for you if you need one. I initially hired him with the elf because of the size of my group, but after my uncle fell ill, fewer people were in the mood to tour around so we were quite happy w his usual car (late model, nice new car). He came via recommendation and is a very good driver because he is guided by your lead as to how much (or little) conversation you want. I have had some very taciturn drivers where I've had to drag information about tourist attractions and suggestions out of them (granted, this is in Jakarta where perhaps the distinction between a plain driver vs tour guide might be more pronounced?) but he's lovely and easy to get along with - after asking many questions I learned a lot about not just the tourist attractions we wanted to see but the role of Hinduism in the life of Balinese, and he was just the best tour guide. Looking through some of the brochures, if you, like me, don't really feel like being dragged to towns specializing in batik/tea/silversmiths on a predetermined tour schedule but just want to see certain kinds of things then this might be a good option for you (prices are comparable and in AUD it's just great value for having a driver for the whole day). By the end, he felt like part of the family and it is sad to be saying goodbye. I wish him all the best.
All in all, a lovely place where you can do as little or as much as you want. If you went for a hotel you might pay the same (once you include laundry and sundries) for less service and much less space and privacy. The oldies and kids are now addicted to a Korean drama about the prime minister and a reporter (english subtitles). Only in Asia :)
- Also Known As:
- Robins Place Hotel Legian
- Robins Place Bali/Legian