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“Hidden Paradise”
Review of The Damai

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The Damai
Ranked #1 of 23 Hotels in Lovina Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 November 2013

The Damai offers a luxurious retreat in North Bali, which feels a million miles away from the busy tourist areas in the South. The staff are friendly, attentive and extremely accommodating. I did at first feel slightly uncomfortable about enjoying five-star accommodations after a four-hour car journey witnessing local living standards. Despite what the travel guides led me to believe, Bali isn't a five-star paradise and I did experience some initial 'culture shock'. The Damai however, is it's own paradise and I couldn't have asked for more.

We stayed in the Master Pool Villa, which boasts picturesque landscape views from a beautiful private infinity pool. The villa was perfect, from the pool area to the indoor décor and unique features such as the outdoor shower.

The resort is beautiful and includes a fantastic restaurant and tranquil spa, where we enjoyed a full body massage. We were also fortunate enough to experience a delightful dolphin safari in nearby Lovina beach (be warned that the excursion demands a 6am start!).

The staff were wonderful and I suspect are the main reason why The Damai receives so many highly-rated reviews. We received a very personal service and were made to feel very welcome. The 'hard to find, hard to leave' tagline resonates true and I am extremely pleased that we chose to stay at The Damai during our visit to Bali.

Room Tip: For truly memorable views and plenty of space, splash out on the Master Pool Villa.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ixorias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 November 2013

The Damai Trip Advisor Review

Our four-night Bali Holiday was rather hastily tagged on to the end of a trip to an academic conference in Yogyakarta. As we are Anantara Vacation Club members, we have high expectations of luxury resorts; however, the Anantara in Seminyak was already booked. Having perused reviews on Trip Advisor and Agoda.com for the highest-rated hotels, with little time to research an actual Bali itinerary, we booked a pool villa at The Damai via Agoda.com, based upon availability, ranking, and reasonable luxury hotel price. As far as the accommodations and service, The Damai did not disappoint. It is fortunate that we were more interested in a cultural tour of Bali than a perhaps more typical tropical beach experience. Our first realization that the location of The Damai was a little remote was a visit to their website, with the enigmatic slogan of “Hard to Find, Hard to Leave.” The second indication was when we emailed the Resort from Yogyakarta to arrange an airport pickup—the response was prompt and polite, but the price of USD 92 seemed rather steep for simple airport transportation. It turns out that was because it was a nearly three hour tour of the island to get from the airport in the south to the north end of the island. At least the drive gave us a chance to see the wonderful sites of a fascinating island. The resort is situated up a very narrow mountain road, not within walking distance of anything else; thus, if one wants to see the sleepy beach town of Lovina, one must adhere to the hotel’s shuttle schedule, or rent a scooter if one is willing to negotiate the local roads. Don’t expect a vibrant night life in Lovina, however…one should visit northern Bali for the natural beauty and culture.

If one wants a very quiet getaway, with well-constructed accommodations, friendly and attentive service, and attention to detail, The Damai is an excellent choice. After the long drive from the airport, our first evening in the resort’s pleasant open-air restaurant overlooking the pool was enjoyable and romantic. The entire evening’s drinks and meal of lobster bisque, snapper, and lamb chops, accompanied with a bottle of Australian Shiraz Cabernet, followed by a deliciously sweet dessert bottle of an Australian Syrah by the pool-side fire pit, totaled approximately USD 200 (mostly due to the cost of the wine). The food was good, in large part because they have their own organic herb and vegetable garden on the property. The fish dishes unfortunately weren’t quite up to expectations (the first night’s dish was over-salted, a subsequent night’s white fish was a little bit tough), but overall we greatly enjoyed the meals which took great advantage of the fresh produce. We were told by a fellow guest who is a chef that the original chef (Danish?) is no longer working the kitchen, but that he trained the Indonesian chef that currently serves.


The pool villa in which we stayed, Umah Dewi, was beautifully furnished and had all the accouterments one expects. The sea is indeed in view from the villa, albeit only in a narrow band between the foliage—but the foliage is beautiful, with fragrant flowers that set a most relaxing atmosphere. There is a slight privacy issue with the pool villa, as a passerby who was really intent on peaking through the bushes might be able to view the pool and deck area. The resort is quiet and small enough that this wasn’t really a concern to us. The bathroom accommodations were very good, with a conventional tub and outdoor shower. We especially appreciated that the water pressure and temperature range was more than adequate (this can often be a problem even in luxury resorts in Asia).

My wife had a Thai-style aroma massage in room from the spa, which was quite professional (she being a spa expert from Thailand!). The staff, such as Budhi the Bartender, was very friendly. We found no communication problems, as all the relevant staff spoke very good English. Especially charming was the fire pit provided by the pool side every night…a perfect place to sip on the fresh mint mojitos and other fresh cocktails and enjoy the tropical evening.

Once settled in this remote paradise, we began to map out an itinerary. An important thing to understand about Bali is that transportation between distant points can be quite inconvenient. Being a volcanic island, narrow roads run parallel along the ridges of the mountain sides, separated by extremely steep valleys, so that getting from point A to point B can be quite arduous. Traffic along the narrow routes rarely goes over 40 kilometres per hour. Late on the first morning, we took the hotel shuttle into Lovina to book a cultural tour. Along the beach front row of shops adjacent to the shuttle drop off point, we found the Bali-Bali Tourist Information Service, run by a Mr. Bongking (+6281236361400). Having researched and prioritized a list of cultural sites through two useful guidebooks (The DK Eyewitness Travel “Bali & Lombok” and Linda Hoffman’s “Bali: The ultimate guide to world’s most spectacular tropical island”), we negotiated a half-day personalized tour with Mr. Bongking for 600,000 rupiah. He arranged transportation in a new Toyota Avanca, with a skilled and friendly driver, Mr. Nonok. Mr. Nonok had reasonable English skills—just be directive in making your wishes known. We drove to Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple, situated on the rim of a caldera overlooking a volcanic mountain and lake. Out of respect for the holy sites, one must dress appropriately while touring, and many temples require both men and women to wear a sarong—if one doesn’t care to buy or rent this, one can bring along the sarong provided in the resort.

After this first day of touring, and arranging for a tour of a lakeside temple and rice paddy experience on the following day, we realized that the remote location would be a bit inconvenient for our limited time to see all of the island that we wanted. Thus, we approached the hotel manager to modify our booking by one night, so that we could spend one night in Ubud for touring the central area of Bali. According to the manager, because the hotel was not fully booked (hence they would not have turned down another party because of our booking), he graciously agreed to a refund of the amount of the unused night of accommodation. (This implies that if one wants to change during the high season, one may not expect a refund).

In summary, we found the resort relaxing and peaceful. Although we did not visit other resorts in the north, I can’t imagine that any other location could top The Damai for luxurious facilities and high-end service. It turned out to be a suitable base for touring the northern area of Bali; however, its location is not as convenient for experiencing the central arts district of Ubud, or other interesting areas in the east or south. We highly recommend spending time at The Damai for enjoying and exploring the quiet northern part of Bali.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BobC936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

We booked a room here for one night only, as we were on a 3-day trip exploring all of Bali. Too bad we didn't stay here longer. The location is perfect, the staff is friendly, the restaurant served delicious food...
What I liked most about the place was the quiet. No annoying sounds, no music blasting until late at night. Just peace and relaxation. And all this in a meticulously kept setting.
So, definitely a place to recommend!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Damai is first class. Best staff, best location, wonderful kitchen, great concept. Will give you peace of mind and heart, wonderful comfort, and beautiful views. Discreet, silent, soul-full.
We spend 6 days there, and found it - as their tagline says - very hard to leave.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mikkelblaabjergpouls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We stayed at the Damai to destress and it certainly allowed that. The Junior Suite with pool was unbelievably beautiful, and very spacious. The pool was magical. The food was top class!..The only drawback which suited my husband but not me, was that I like the freedom to walk around and explore and to photograph the area. There are many steps there so that was a bit tough for me, and if you wanted to go anywhere you had to get a driver.. I felt a bit isolated, but then that is just me. My hubby on the other hand enjoyed this solitude. The staff are great, the massage was beautiful,and I really cannot fault the resort itself. It was a magical place to be. The airco was noisy although we put it on sleep, and the bats at night stopped me from swimming once it got dark. The gecko finally made it into our room but we were used to him by then... Would I go back there?...no, but that is only because I felt locked in, but hubby would go in the blink of the eye..I might send him off then...:)

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 654patndave831654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2013

We have stayed in all levels of hotels in Bali and The Damai has to be one of the best. The villas are comfortable and much like other hotels in Bali.

What makes The Damai special is their staff and the food. You receive personal service that is friendly, caring and individualized for each patron. This kind of service is unique. The restaurant serves delicious food. They grow their own vegetables and herbs on the grounds of the hotel. The chef prepares special meals each day that are fresh and interesting. The menu offers a range of choices. They offer a cooking class where we were introduced to the spices used in Balinese fare. The spa offers a standard range of treatments that add to the relaxation of your stay. At the end of the day you find delicious traditional sweets in your room, not just the usual chocolate. The Damai is delightful.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank mickiehaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2013

I recently returned from Bali. My partner and I spent our last 2 days at the Damai and it was magnificent. My partner had been reluctant to leave Kuta and didn't like the idea of the drive to Lovina but after our stay at the Damai he is raving about the accommodation. The facilities were beautiful, I felt like a princess in the room and the service and staff were outstanding. The food was delicious and I even convinced my partner to take part in the cooking class which we BOTH enjoyed immensely. I would definitely recommend the Damai to everyone wanting a break and some luxury.

Room Tip: There are only 15 rooms (individual villas) in at the Damai and all are completely secluded and very...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Strahany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Damai

Address: Jalan Damai | Kayuputih, 81161, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Lovina Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Lovina Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Lovina Beach
Price Range: £92 - £277 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Damai 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Damai is a boutique resort in the green hills above Lovina. 15 Beautifully appointed villas in a lush tropical park welcome you with stunning views over the North Bali coast and the distant volcanoes of Java. The award-winning restaurant serves delicious local and international cuisine with organic ingredients from the resort's own gardens and farm. The Damai is perfect to relax from your daily hectic world, to enjoy the private luxury of a pool villa during your honeymoon, or simply to relax in your private pool after a wonderful massage and before a delicious meal over the hills of Lovina. Of course, The Damai offers you all the facilities to stay in touch with your home world. Your fellow customers believe that The Damai is the best hotel on Balis North coast - let us show you why. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Damai Hotel Lovina Beach
Damai Lovina Hotel
Hotel Damai Lovina
The Damai Lovina Beach, Bali

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