We spent 6 nights in Life over the New Year period. We had been to the Amed area previously at the next beach, Lipah, (1992 & 2002) for extended stays and loved it. We selected Life as we are a family of 4 and the cottages have a mezzanine for the two children which was more economical.
First positives. Beautifully appointed cottages, conveniently overlooking pool, bottled water provided, friendly discrete staff, great snorkelling straight of the beach in front, Sails restaurant walking distance on northern headland (torches help).
Negatives. The whole compound is so cramped. After a few nights we found it incredibly claustrophobic. You are separated from the beach by a big wall running alongside the pool and two big 2 storey villas. On the other side of the pool/wall is a huge residence. I'm guessing the cottages were built to face the sea but lack of room forced the expensive accomodation to be placed right on the beach? We wished we'd gone back to Hidden Paradise or Coral views on the next beach at Lipah with their expansive grounds.
Biggest downside of cramped area is the restaurant. Previously we have stayed at Amed in places where the restaurant is placed on the beach side with a view. Since there is not much to do at Amed beyond resting, snorkelling and eating, leisurely meals with sea breezes and a lovely outlook are vital. They chose to put the dark depressing restaurant on the roadside entrance to the property with constant road noise and no outlook. We spent speedu breakfasts fighting off flies. We had a couple of nice dinners there at first, but when we discovered Sails up the hill same prices (if not cheaper) with great views along the beach, breezes and great service we didn't go back.
We were there when the place wasn't packed, but it's so small I would think the common/pool area could be very unpleasant if full.
A couple of points to consider too; no bar fridge in cottages - you are forced to order drinks from restaurant. We arrived with our supplies and were disappointed but compensated by using ice from the bar.
The airconditioning in the cottages no way reached the mezzanine upstairs- it was stifling. They provided a desk fan, but we had to use boxes to lift it off the floor to make a difference. Also the stairs are very steep and open and the upstairs banister very low so I wouldn't recommend putting very small kids up there.
Our room (1?) had the worst bed we've every had. Not the mattress (comfy) but it was a local box constuction that creaked and groaned it a puff of wind blew in its direction, every small movement on it woke us up - not conducive to romance!
Lastly comment on the location, which can't be a criticism of the hotel but you need to know.
Besides Sails there is nowhere else to eat unless you have transport. The walk during the day to Lipah is long and hot, but on that beach there are lots of warungs and resorts with restaurants on the beach if you want variety. At lean there is a warung on the southern side which is very stark and food was very ordinary and slow (nice views!) There is one local warung that didn't look loved or patronised that we just didn't want to risk problems with the kids. There is a new resort at the southern end with a lovely restaurant on the beach (very minimalist and modern) but with scarey ++ prices too.
Many have commented on the hassling on the beach. We found it here worse than other places in Bali and really annoying (and counter productive for them). We couldn't stand on the beach and watch any aspect of life without going through long repetative sales pitches (I couldn't stand inside the property and look out without them coming running!). It was ridiculous, they would line up and take turns with the same pitches even though we had just (politely) declined those who were first in the line. The touting was incessant and although we hired a boat for fishing and gear for snorkelling it real put us off. Hence with the small property and the difficulties of the beach we felt a little trapped and claustrophobic at times. We spent a pleasant morning snorkelling on Lipah beach and had no hassles.
So, Life is a lovely place, but for us there would be better value places in the Amed region to go for an extended time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wow, as we are now in December 2012 I thought it would be a perfect time to answer your long review. Thank-you firstly for choosing us, as yes we are a great place for families with our cottages being a perfect way to save on expenses and keep your children close to you in loft area in the comfy twin beds. At no time are you forced to stay 6 days with us, you are welcome to leave if you felt uncomfortable. I designed Life in Amed after traveling for many years, and felt the cottages around the pool gives the opportunity for people from different countries to meet , it is really a success and lovely to watch people from far corners of the world becoming friends and children playing even though they do not speak the same language. We are on 30 are of beachfront land, the hotels you mentioned are alot older than ours , so therefore have more space plus double the amount of rooms than we do.
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Apologies for not liking the design of my restaurant, some of my favourite colours, plus mango wood tables, a bale with bright comfy cushions...you did have some nice dinners though, the food is excellent with many options for all palates, vegetarians and children, ...always in Bali during Dec/Jan is Mango season flies gather in the daytime, I've tried everything and have been using essential oil scented candles for the table that helps.
I take great pride in the design and details throughout the hotel and I'm continually updating the rooms and communial areas. I built the stairs and railings to American code, as I was well aware a child can get into some tricky situations, and having a child myself wanted them to be safe and not stick their head through the railings and the staircase is the correct height too...
We are in a small village, the local people do sell boat trips and massages, there are approx 4 people doing this so not like being on Legion Beach with dozens of vendors, the best way to deal with it is having a little chat, and say SUDA meaning already..or TIDAK TERIMA KASHI...No thank-you..and always a big smile and walk away..no one ever goes out in the late morning/afternoon as it is too hot for the Balinese, and you can walk up and down the beach with a soul not talking to you. The snorkeling is superb. At around 4 pm the local children swim and splash close to shore, it is a delightful and relaxed way to meet our neighbours.
On a good note you ended your review with "Life is Lovely " we think so too, thank-you for sharing your thoughts with us.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC