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“An oasis in the chaos”
Review of Secret Garden Inn

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Secret Garden Inn
Ranked #13 of 286 Kuta B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 July 2009

We've stayed at the Secret Garden a few times now, and could'nt ask for a better holiday. The place may look like Stalag 17 from the outside, but its an oasis of calm behind the stark facade.
The rooms are fairly basic, but what do you expect for the price? You have a comfortable bed, a/c, fridge freezer and a safe. The room is cleaned every day, clean sheets,towels etc. If you need anything else, all you have to do is ask! The staff are absolutely fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble, and if they can't sort it out, they will know a man who can! The staff are very respectful, and if you treat them the same, they become like members of the family. I can't disagree more with the reviewer who said the staff were'nt up to scratch! We have always found them to be lovely people.
The pool is, I think, the best in Kuta. For one, its never full of kids( too deep), it stays cool due to the depth, and its never full of idiots. We have made a lot of good friends relaxing round the pool.
I would agree that there are a few 'THOU SHALT NOT' signs, but you would probably find those in any hotel, and they are all just common sense. They don't detract from your holiday in any way. Some daft people just need to be told! If you cover yourself in mozzy repellant, you will not get bitten when you have a cigarette on your little balcony. Asia is full of the little blighters, so be sensible. Whack on the mozzy spray, go with the flow and CHILL OUT!!!!!!
The hotel is ideally situated for bars, restaurants and anything else your little heart desires. The beach is only 10 mins in one direction, and 10 mins the other way is the madness of Legian Street. Take your pick!
Sadly, the hotel does not do meals( apart from the excellent breakfast), but maybe one day! Considering that there are so many places to eat nearby, it makes no difference!
All in all, we love this place and would recommend it to anyone if they want somewhere a home from home in Kuta. Long may it continue!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank jakilowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 July 2009

this is our first trip to bali and we had a bad experience staying there..no sound are allowed outside the room.as if the owner really welcome client who are mute!the service is also bad.i was so shocked that when the room services tidy up our room,he/she change the towel with a towel which are still wet...
all in all,if you have another hotel or inn to choose,choose this one last.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank mmsmalaysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2009

I moved to the Secret Garden Inn, located just off Poppie's Lane I, from Un's Hotel (which is, in my opinion, one of the best hotels in Kuta) on Jalan Bene Sari, intending on staying there for the last week of my stay in Bali. However, the unwelcoming atmosphere made me decide to check out after only one night.

The front desk is situated right next to the front door. This area is plastered with signs telling you what you should and shouldn't do.. There is a huge sign stating that ONLY hotel guests are allowed on the premises. I should have taken this as a warning sign of things to come, but I am an easygoing person and, though taken slightly aback, ignored it and carried on. If only I had listened to my instincts..

Upon entering the hotel for the first time, I smiled and said hello to the elderly couple in the bar, I'm not sure but I think they were the owners, they did not smile back and gave only a cursory nod and a rather cold stare in return. I have never received such a cold and unwelcoming welcome to any establishment in Bali. The few guests I encountered seemed to react the same way to my smiles and greetings, only giving me the once over and never smiling back, with one exception (an elderly lady who gave me a big smile and a friendly 'hello' when i was checking out).
The staff were nice enough, not the friendliest people, but not cold either. The friendliest member of staff at the hotel was, unsurprisingly, the cleaning lady who also runs the front desk when the manager is not there. She has to run back and forth, from the rooms where she is cleaning to the front desk, whenever a guest enters the hotel. This happens every ten minutes or so as guests must leave their room keys at the front desk whenever they leave the premises. Apparently, grown people cannot even be trusted to carry a key around without losing it.

While the hotel building itself is a relatively pleasant place (the open-air pool area is the main feature, bordered by ample greenery, around which the rooms are arranged), this place feels less like a hotel and more like a boarding school. Bali is such an open, warm and friendly place that one cannot help but feel somewhat oppressed (and depressed) upon reading the long list of rules tacked to the door of every room. Among the things one cannot do is:
Any activity which may cause 'noise' or 'disturbance' between the hours of 2 and 4pm (apparently this is siesta time.. until checking into the Secret Garden, I didn't realise that Poppies Lane I is in fact a part of Spain), or after 10pm (understandable).
Neither is one allowed to bring guests onto the premises without first notifying the front desk and said guest may only stay until 11.45pm precisely, at which point they MUST be escorted off the grounds by the person who invited them.
ALL the rooms are non-smoking (unheard of in Indonesia, let alone Bali), though they kindly provide ashtrays and chairs outside every room. However, it is near impossible to smoke a whole cigarette in the evening when the mosquitoes are out in force due to inadequate drainage which allows stagnant water to accumulate around the footpath bordering the rooms and pool, providing the perfect breeding ground for said mosquitoes.. in 10 minutes I was bitten no less than 10 times. I'm not sure if the mangament/owners are even aware of the fact that mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and that mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, japanese encephalitis and malaria are rife in South East Asia, and that Bali is no exception.
The room itself was decent, though there was a lingering smell which I can't really describe.. It was as if the room had not been aired out in a very long time. The furniture was basic and wooden, and there seemed to be a thin layer of dust and grime on everything. They very clearly do not clean thoroughly as behind every piece of furniture was a huge buildup of dust between it and the wall. Every time I plugged something into a wall socket, I had to wash my hands. The big 'No smoking in room' sign tacked to the mirror facing the bed only adds to the oppressive atmosphere.
The bathroom was the worst part of the room. The tap was loose and attempting to turn the water on and off would result in the entire unit, knobs and all, swivelling around. Needless to say, it was very irritating. The shower was a simple showerhead attached to the wall in a corner of the bathroom, directly adjacent to the toilet. I loathe this sort of bathroom arrangement as the water from the shower inevitably soaks the toilet and the rest of the bathroom. There was no noticable slant in the floor to allow for proper drainage of said water.
One of the big no-no's at the Secret Garden Inn is leaving your air-conditioning on when you are not in your room. I understand this. Saves electricity and is better for the environment. However, in true Secret Garden fashion, they have astutely built the rooms so that the a/c units are not at the back of the hotel so that the whirring noise does not disturb anyone, but at the front of the room, so that the a/c Gestapo can see/hear whether or not people have turned their a/c off when they are not in and turn it off for them. I felt like I was in Communist China. Needless to say, there is also a constant whirring noise which echoes throughout the place, day and night, only amplified by the deathly silence which envelopes the entire establishment. Extremely irritating.
For some reason, wifi is not available in the rooms, only in the main bar/restaurant/pool area. However, there is a big sign stating that laptops are NOT allowed in the main area after 10pm. I don't know why this is, I was not given an explanation. Instead, when I asked whether or not they had a power outlet where I could plug in my laptop (this was at 10.30pm), the manager told me I couldn't use my laptop. When I asked why, rather than explaining that there were no laptops allowed after 10pm, he directed me to the sign in the main area, which was not visible from the front desk. When I couldn't see it, again, rather than just telling me, he came out from behind the desk and showed me the sign. That was the straw that broke this camel's back. I could take the rules about noise and smoking and guests, I am not inclined to make alot of noise, nor did I intend on picking up any grimy backpackers at Bounty, even the no smoking in the rooms business did not bother me that much.. but to have such a nonsensical rule such as the no laptops after 10pm rule imposed on me.. that, I just couldn't take, not on top of everything else. If they do not want people to use their laptops in the main area because they might be noisy and disturb other guests, fair enough, but in that case they should at least have wifi in the rooms. It makes no sense whatsoever.

In any case, I will definitely NOT be staying at the Secret Garden Inn again and I will definitely NOT be recommending the Secret Garden Inn to ANYONE (in fact, if I could be bothered, I would walk around Kuta with a sandwich-board informing everyone that they should avoid it at all costs). I don't know who wrote the other review of this hotel, but they must either be on crack, or are friends with the owners (or indeed, as is often the case, are the owners themselves). My biggest regret (other than actually staying at the Secret Garden) is that I did not take any photos of the signs posted all over the hotel telling you what you are not allowed to do.

To put it briefly: The one night I spent at the Secret Garden Inn was the loneliest, most depressing night I have ever spent in Bali, or in any hotel room anywhere, ever. I would rather stay at a roach-infested, bedbug-ridden backpacker sweatbox than stay at the Secret Garden Inn again.

To put it in the succinct words of The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy: Worst Hotel Ever.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank schkfrldn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank AxelBosch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Christophe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank KarineOlivierUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2016
Google Translation

  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Lyaa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Inn

Address: Poppies Lane I, Kuta 80361, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Kuta District > Kuta
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 286 B&Bs / Inns in Kuta
Price Range: £16 - £27 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Secret Garden Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, clean and quiet budget hotel nestled down in the popular Poppies 1 Lane, Kuta, Bali ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Garden Hotel Kuta
Secret Garden Inn Bali/Kuta

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