This was our 4th visit to Bali. We also lived in Indonesia for over 1 year, so we think we have reasonable expectations about levels of acceptability.
The surrounding local area is of limited interest. On the main road there are very few shops, restaurants or sights in walking distance to attract a family.
The beach is very dirty & unappealing for swimming. In the mornings there was so much rubbish washed up on the sand. This was roughly raked together & left in piles, some of which were buried in a pit in the sand, with other piles left to just get washed out on the next tide.
When driving from Singaraja there is a small sign at the roadside which directs you to an unmade rough gravel track. At the entrance to this driveway is another faded sign lying forlornly on the ground.
When we arrived at the end of this driveway, there is no grand entrance or obvious reception. Our Balinese driver nervously suggested we should check out the room before we unloaded bags out of the car! Even he was dubious about the calibre of this place. We had booked a week's stay through our vacation club, which supposedly offers accommodation of 4-5 star standard. This place certainly fell way below that standard!
We had to find someone to assist us - the local staff & their families were sitting around in the bar/dining area, with their small children at a table eating noodles there.
The young lady who indifferently assisted us took us to "reception" - a basic room with a table & a photocopier & faded notices on the windows. This was on the ground floor in a dilapidated building, with the upper windows missing & the empty spaces covered with torn black plastic.
She then got another young man to show us the "panorama suite", which apparently is the only 1 bedroom accommodation in the place.
To describe it as rundown is just part of the overall general description.
The "panorama suite" is very basic. It is located on the second floor accessed by a narrow uneven staircase. The outside walkway is sloping & the exterior walls in need of repair & paint.
There is a narrow balcony with 2 old wooden bench seats, one of which has a cushion, a small concrete pedestal to use as table + a bamboo clothes hanger. (There is a notice in our room "asking us not to hang items over the balcony rails to maintain the beauty of their resort".)
The kitchen has an old tiled bench with 2 plates, 2 glasses & a few odd utensils on a dish rack. There was also a set of cups & saucers & a teapot. There were some sachets of instant coffee, sugar & tea bags.
There is a medium sized fridge & an electric kettle that takes about 10 minutes to boil 500ml of water.
There is a water dispenser with a 19L bottle of water, which did not get replaced when empty.
The stained sink has a plug that doesn't fit, & there was no dishwashing liquid.
The painted areas of the bench were badly stained. There was no microwave, or toaster.
2 additional beds were installed in the small living area for our daughters, allowing us to still use the lumpy couch as a sitting area as needed.
There is a very small TV screen in this room with some DVDs provided (although none that anyone wanted to watch).
There was variable wifi.
The bedroom has a queen size "4-poster" bed of variable comfort, with bare bamboo surrounds. There are small box type shelves as bedside tables. There were no bedside lamps.
A dingy ancient small wooden wardrobe completes the furnishings. There is a small safe inside this wardrobe, however it is not fixed in place & can be lifted out.
At least the bedroom had a working air-conditioner.
The voile curtains did not cut out much light, so for light sleepers it means you wake early when the sun comes up.
The bathroom was also absolutely no frills, but thankfully functional.
Bath towels were small & thin - 1 per person. No hand towels.
One small guest soap was provided.
We found the main barman, Made, to be very helpful, but he is not responsible for the problems with this resort. The manager was not there at all during our stay. (We were told he was in Thailand.)
For our dinner on the first night, the table had to be cleared of children's shoes & snacks.
When we ordered breakfast, there was no bacon.
When we wanted dinner, half the items on the menu were unavailable - there was no chicken.
We walked to nearby warungs.
In the dining/bar area there is a dartboard, but the darts are all broken. There is a table tennis table, but no usable balls. When it rained, water dripped on to this table.
There are a few games with missing pieces + some novels.
There is a dirty looking fish pond, impossible to see the "very big fish" when it was thrown some bread. Bad enough that the water was dirty, but there was rubbish floating in it.
We could tolerate the deficiencies of our room if only the pool was usable.
Our expectations were for a resort pool, however it is a fairly small pool - maybe 10m length, with only 4 lounges around it. Hardly conducive to relaxation with the employees family living in the room next to it.
The biggest problem however is that the pool water is dirty. There is algae in the pool.
The filter is only turned on when someone is using it. When we asked Made to ensure the filter was left on, he said the manager had not given them money for the pool chemicals. We could not confirm this.
There may also have been a problem with the filter, although we may have misunderstood his explanations. As far as we could see, the filter worked with water spouting out of the statues at the pool side. It just wasn't left running.
The employees' children always turned up immediately whenever the pool pumps were turned on & started happily splashing about, often naked.
As for a "Spa" - there is none. A small notice at the bar advertised "massages around the pool for 100,000 Rupiah". Not tempting at all.
We hired a car & driver for a day trip. We needed to pay money up front so that he could get petrol.
The final straw was when we were walking to another warung. As we passed the grassy area behind the Bali Grand Sunsets kitchen, one of the young sons of the employees was doing a poo on the grass there, being watched by his mother. This is so unacceptable!
Please do not misunderstand us, we were not expecting a 5 star hotel, but between the dangerously foul pool and the filthy beach, we just could not stay there. Even the backpackers & local tourists aren't going there. It really is that disgusting! (It may have been the only hotel in Lovina that was empty at Xmas!) The worst part of all of this is that the workers there are the usual lovely Balinese, eager to help, but shackled by the incredible failure of any management support.
Thankfully we did find a very nice local hotel (Hotel Suma) & got 2 large connecting rooms. We were able to spend a couple of days enjoying a lovely clean pool, attentive staff & Balinese hospitality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The beautiful Bali Grand Sunsets Resort is right on the beach in Lovina, on the pristine northern coast of Bali island.All our beautifully appointed rooms overlook the famous volcanic sand beaches of Lovina Bay, where the calm waters are ruffled by afternoon breezes and every sunset is a photo opportunity.Whole days can be spent by the pool or in one of our reclining lounges on the warm sand, which begins just outside our gates. Evenings offer delicious dining on local & international cuisine in our beachfront restaurant. You can even choose to dine on the beach itself – truly a delight in tropical Bali.It truly is Just Another Day in Paradise ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bali Grand Sunsets Resort & Spa Lovina Beach