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“Excellent room, overall average”

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Bale Sampan Bungalows
Ranked #6 of 179 Gili Trawangan B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 21, 2012

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. 

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank CoCo188590
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 5, 2012

We stayed at Bale Sampan for just 1 night in June at the end of our Bali and Lombok holiday. The accommodation was ok. It was basic, and the room and decor were quite tired but it was clean and had a hot freshwater shower (outside bathroom which probably isn't my favorite thing on reflection after having them at 3 of the places we stayed cut to Mozzies at nights when you want to go to the toilet!)
The location of Bale Sampan was perfect for us, close enough to the main bars and restaurants but a bit further north (only about a 10 minute walk to the harbour). The snorkeling was great, you walk up to the north part of NHL island, get in a the current helps you come back! I didn't realize til after I got out that there are apparently turtles just in front of Bale sampan in a roped off area!
The beach on Gili T is awesome - breathtakingly beautiful. This is why we came here. The vibe of the island is very relaxed and chilled out. If you wear moren than a bikini or boardies during the day you feel a bit overdressed! It is a very young crowd - we barely saw anyone over about 35 and most ppl reembled backpackers in their gap year! We are a 28 and 31 year old couple and almost felt a bit old at first but we were still young enough! There are plenty of cafes and bars and little 7/11 type shops. We didn't go to the other 2 islands but I would have loved to check out the differences. You can do a snorkeling trip for the day and visit the other 2 islands for about $12AUD!
We got to Gili by speedboat from Lombok which took only 15mins and cost abou 375000 IRP. However the Lombok airport is 2 hours from where you get the boat so it would be much quicker and cheaper in total to catch a boat from Bali if you weren't already planning to fly to Lombok to stay there (which is what we did but on reflection would have just caught a boat from Bali and not bothered with Lombok and stayed at Gili a few more nights.
The staff at Bale Sampan were very nice. We had complimentary breakfast but our pancakes were unfortunately barely cooked and thus indelible!

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank JodiScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

You cant go wrong visiting Gili T. It is a beautiful oasis away from the hussle and bussle of Bali. Some people refer to the island as a Party island, but compared to somewhere like Phi Phi in Thailand this place is very tame and relaxed. There were travellers of all ages and countries on the island and it was really laid back. The staff at the Bale Sampan are great, Rudi is very helpful and makes sure everyone there leaves a friend. The rooms are basic but great air con and lovely outdoor shower. Right out the front is beautiful clear water where you can snorkel with sea turtles. what more could you want!

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Rhys T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

I stayed at Bale Sampan for five nights and when I left, I was sad to leave this place, that's how at home I felt. I was traveling alone and I felt safe, secure, and taken care of every moment there. The owner, Miriam, and her staff are friendly and accomodating beyond belief and the hotel is just out of range of the busy section and yet a five minute walk. The breakfasts were fantastic, with french pressed coffee, fresh fruit juices and full breakfast offerings, and my room was clean, fully air-conditioned and with a comfortable bed with immaculate, crisp linens every day. You walk across the street and there is your own little beach area with snorkling that rivals the snorkling trips that are offered on the island. I swam with many fish and even sea turtles by just walking down the beach a hair.This is a great place to stay, particularly if you want to be close to the action but not in the middle of it. At night it is completely quiet and peaceful.
Having said that, there are a few very minor things for travelers to be aware of, if they matter to you, and they are minor. The wifi reception is spotty if you are traveling with a tablet. It seems that folks with a lap-top had an easier time getting online, but I could not most times since I have a Nook tablet. This may not matter to you if you want to disconnect from the usual for your stay,
The breakfasts are just great but they could stand to have a few fans moving the air around because I spent a lot of time swating flies from my breakfast. After a while I adjusted to this minor irritation, but fans would be an easy fix and there would be no swating while eating. I would return to Bale Sampan if I went back to Gili T. It is a wonderful place.

Room Tip: The garden bungalows are set back from the road and extremely quiet.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank dgfwk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2012

The hotel is at the northern end of the main stretch of Gili T. It is still walking distance from where the boat dock so no need to take the horse buggie. There are plenty of restaurants and shops around so you are still very much in the midst of things, which could be a positive or a negative. The room is very big with lovely outdoor shower. Not extremely clean but that's OK in Gili since there is sand everywhere anyway. There is a pool on premise. Like all other hotels, beach chairs are provide on the beach for guests. The beach is separately from all hotels by the main path. The staff is very nice and friendly and helpful. However, if you are looking to get away from the crowd, sit on a much more tranquil section of the beautiful beach, look for a hotel north of Bale Sampan (on the north shore or northwest shore). The dining option would be more limited but sufficient and proximity to the dock and perhaps activity meeting points would be farther but they would only be a short buggie ride away. Well worth it I think - wish I had known.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank chandeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

We stayed here for 9 nights with me, wife and 2 year old son. The room was clean and comfortable and we loved the outside showers.
The location is great it is very quiet however only 5 minutes walk to the busier area. The staff were amazing, super friendly with our son and very helpful and fun.
Breakfast was great and good sized, My wife prefers the pancakes from there over mine....
Ruddi (i have totally spelt his name wrong) and Miriam (owner) were a great laugh and made the place very personable, we were sorry to leave as it had started to feel quite homely. Would totally recommend!
Only minor gripe...the safe in room 7..

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank ScottLNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Well as you can see from a number of people Rudi and the gang are "TOPS" they could not do enough for my wife and I,small hotels just seem to do it so well they treat you like family.I've stayed at a number of places in Bali and have had good service but at Bale Sampan well its just something else,clean,quite and personal now let me tell you if you are serious but relaxing this place and I mean Gili T as well as Bale Sampan is the place to to it.You can ride around the island by bicycle around the stopping away where to snorkle ( buy the way the snorkling here is fantasic)grab something to eat or drink from may of the warangs lay on the beautiful clean sandy beach then ride a little further and stop again and you will a different snorkling area there are so many different coral formations and types of fish,just come and see and relax.I'am sure Rudi and the gang won't let you down just go with the flow and relax and take in this beautiful place.My wife and I will be returning got to have more of Bale Sampan life style.

Room Tip: The garden villas are very quite for sleeping at night.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bernard O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bale Sampan Bungalows

Address: Gili Trawangan, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Nusa Tenggara > Lombok > Gili Islands > Gili Trawangan
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 179 B&Bs / Inns in Gili Trawangan
Price Range: $48 - $84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bale Sampan Bungalows 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Bale Sampan Bungalows Hotel Gili Trawangan
Bale Sampan Hotel
Bale Sampan Bungalows Gili Islands/Gili Trawangan

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