I have mixed feelings about my ten-day-stay at Balé Sampan. The room is excellent (I would not call it 'basic' as some other reviewers do): a very comfortable bed with good linens and good pillows, two big closets, a tv with dvdplayer, aircon and good lighting. Nice looking as well, with (working!) bedlamps and some woodpanneling and spotless white walls. I would not recommend staying in these rooms with three persons, because an extra bed would make it a very cramped room, but with a maximum of two people it is roomy enough. The partly outside bathroom is nothing special, but perfectly adequate. I stayed in one of the two rooms at the pool and thus had seaview and could hear the sea at all times (except when the mosque took over, see below).
The terrace outside my room was spacey. To bad though they only provide a daybed to sit/hang on. I was alone, so for me this was ok, but if you are with two people it would be nice to have one or two chairs and a small table as well. The breakfast, which many other reviews rave about, is in my opinion just ok. The coffee is good, the other breakfastitems are pretty standard (except for the yoghurt and muesli here, so if you're into that, you may be happy) and not better then what I had at other places in Indonesia. Not worse either. The staff is usually friendly, but could also behave quite proccupied with other things and would be quite slow or unattentive at those times. Furthermore it bothered me some that some of them would switch from exulting friendliness to that preoccupied uninterest in no time. It made the contact feel somewhat artificial... The same goes for the owners: there are 5 of them, I believe and I saw 3 of them, amongst whom only one bothered to introduce herselve. They would give me the standard 'how are you today?', but never actually made contact. So if you are looking for a warm and welcoming environment, this is not it. If you just want plain friendliness, this place is fine.
The beach in front of Balé Sampan is ok. It could be cleaner (there are a lot of cigarette buds in the sand) and some of the sunbeds appear to be nearing their end. And, contrary to what other reviews stated, there were not nearly enough of them! Partly because some of them may have deceased already and partly because Balé Sampan now has ten bungalows (and about eight sunbeds left). The stretch of beach is quite narrow as well, and a lot of people that are not staying here, also make use of it, so it felt quite overcrowded. Bear in mind I was there in the Peak season, though!
Last, but not least: as other reviews mention, this place is very close to a mosque. Normally that would not bother me, I usually get used to the calls-for-prayer pretty soon. Part of my stay was in the Ramadan though and then it is really quite overbearing: the singing in the evening could go on for hours and hours, with other people then the imam participating, really loud and intrusive. There was an extra call atbthree in the morning that lasted quite long as well. And even after the Ramadan there would be a short call at three in the night, next to the usual very early morning call (5 at the time I was there). So all in all I did feel that the mosque was a bit to much!
Summarized: mixed feelings. Certainly not bad, but not very good and certainly not really warm and welcoming either.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity, Agoda, Orbitz and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Bale Sampan Bungalows reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Bale Sampan Bungalows Hotel Gili Trawangan
- Bale Sampan Hotel
- Bale Sampan Bungalows Gili Islands/Gili Trawangan