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“Sad and decaying - some good bits, some bad bits, some mad bits!”
Review of La Taverna Suites

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La Taverna Suites
Ranked #49 of 139 Speciality Lodging in Sanur
Brisbane
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Sad and decaying - some good bits, some bad bits, some mad bits!”
Reviewed 7 March 2014 via mobile

We spent the last couple of nights of our Bali holiday at the La Taverna. This was the 2nd time we had stayed here, having previously stayed 2.5 years ago. On our previous trip we had arrived with our internet booking confirmation in hand only to be advised that La Taverna had no record of the booking and had received no payment. Our only option was to go somewhere else or pay La Taverna up front again! As we were travelling with other family members whose booking was in the system and honoured we chose to do the later and pay again - giving the hotel the benefit of the doubt that it may have been an issue with the booking agent.

This trip started no better. On arrival we were advised that despite deliberately booking a room that the website states can accommodate 3 people (Garden Suite) - AND paying more for this room than standard rooms - our booking was only for 2 people and that we would be charged an extra AU$55/night for the use of the bed/couch that was already in the room for our 8 year old daughter to sleep on.

When I disputed this the staff called the manager - an agitated and aggressive Swiss gentleman who very aggressively advised me that the room fees were non-refundable and there was no choice other than to pay the extra $55/night.

So now the Garden Suite was costing us almost the equivalent of what we had paid per night at the exquisite Katala Villas for a 2 bedroom villa with a private pool earlier in the week! I should have taken more notice of previous Trip Advisor reviews that mentioned additional hidden costs at La Taverna.

The good parts of the stay:

1. The location - great location;
2. The Balinese staff - individually, like all the Balinese we encountered we lovely;
3. The size of the room - it was a good sized room and the Aircon worked.

The bad parts of the stay:

1. Our booking - as mentioned, this was handled appallingly;
2. Management - definitely not guest friendly;
3. The hotel is decaying terribly - the roof around the restaurant is visibly sagging, the pool is mouldy with algae growing on the steps, where there has been a lick of pain applied in the last few years it has just been splashed around;
4. The rooms are dated and in desperate need of a makeover - especially the bathrooms;
5. The gardens and grounds are dilapidated and quite frankly sad. Our Garden Suite reminded me of the lawns and gardens of student share house that I used to live in 30 years ago when I was uni, with more weeds than grass and overgrown unappealing. There were 2 garden lounges in our Garden Suite that don't look like they had been touched in years (see uploaded photo) covered in leaves and grime that I wouldn't be game to sit on (not that the garden had any appeal to enjoy).

The sad part of our stay

1. While individually, the Balinese staff were lovely, collectively none appeared happy to be working there and there was little enthusiasm surrounding their jobs. Perhaps as a result of a rigid and controlling management culture. This is in complete contrast to our stay at the Pondok Pundi in Ubud where happy and engaged staff created an open and happy environment in which other guests from all over the world interacted with each other and had a good time. At La Taverna all the other guests staying there crept about, slinking to and from the pool and other public areas if they were trying to hide - with no interaction or obvious enjoyment. It's amazing how the vibe of the staff can influence the entire dynamics of an environment;
2. The restaurant - the restaurant was another example of the decay of the hotel. While once upon a time it was deliberately positioned for European visitors and this worked for them - now it's just 'old'. Each day a page offering the evening dinner special was delivered to our room which for eg was bruschetta, spaghetti carbonara and a soft drink for 150,000 rp. Indonesian options were more expensive and extremely limited on the menu. We fed all 3 of us good Indonesian food, with a couple of Bintangs for that 50 meters down the beach. Similarly, the included breakfast menu comprised a couple of pieces of bread, a couple of croissants, 2 eggs and a single hash brown with fruit and juice. If you wanted an Indonesian option you had to upgrade your breakfast menu and pay more (another example of those additional hidden costs). It is little wonder that the restaurant was always empty apart form breakfast.

The mad parts of our stay

1. We were quite simply gobsmacked to see a prominent laminated sign at reception stating that if you consumed beer not purchased on the premises you would be charged CORKAGE of 75,000 rp (I didn't bother to check if this was per person, per day or per can)! This might be reasonable if they weren't charging 37,500 rp/can of Bintang in your room - when you can purchase it for 16,000 rp/can right next door at the Circle K or have served to you in a nice cold glass for around 22,000 rp at cafés on the beach. Again it is no wonder that we didn't see a single person at the La Taverna bar. Never have I encountered such a policy at any hotel in the world that I have stayed at.

La Taverna needs a complete rethink of how the business is run.

Given that you can stay in a luxurious villa for almost what we paid for La Taverna - save $$ and get much better value elsewhere!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank BrisbaneTraveldoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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401 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2014

We stayed the last 3 nights of our holiday here and it ended our holiday on a not-so-good note. The first room we were given was damp and dark and included a puddle of water from the leaking a/c - not a very good night's sleep was had in the dank sheets. We switched rooms to a better, cleaner room but it was still very dated and didn't really suit our needs. The food and service were pretty standard. There are much better places to stay in Sanur. It might be your thing, but I would strongly suggest that you don't pay in advance (like we did).

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank TheHiltonHoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Fitzroy, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2014

The problem writing a review is that one doesn't want to offend the obliging staff who eke out a very modest living in hospitality - in this case our disappointment is the responsibility of the owners. The rooms are large, but lacking in privacy unless you choose to draw the dark curtains and have the lights on during the day. Without blinds drawn, our bed overlooked the bedroom of the villa across the pathway. The towels are grey and worn, and the bed linen is musty and there are no chairs apart from a couch against the wall. The bathroom has an abysmally cramped vanity basin and the shower did not drain till a staff member gave it a tweak with a plunger.... All in all, it's time for the owners to consider a total overhaul of this very dated and supposedly vintage hotel.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank denmother62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merrijig, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013 via mobile

La Taverna was our first stop for a 4 week stay in Bali and Gilli islands. Great position right on beach front with breakfast area overlooking ocean. Buildings are old style and in need of some maintenance but charming and comfortable. We had a two large rooms in our garden view apartment with outdoor Taverna sitting area off each room. Bathrooms were clean but in need of some repair. Staff friendly and helpful. We got a bit tired of the limited choice fir breskfast however there are plenty of cafes close by offering cheap breaky alternatives. Overall stay was good a great place to relax and unwind if you are looking for something Traditional rather than glossy and modern.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Christine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 December 2013

I have been Sanuar 3 times now, this place stating from the time we arrived had no repoure with our group. This started with the front counter manager,that needs to return emails. I booked 4 room to be near on and other and they had us spread all over the place. Breakfast was a joke, we elected to dine else where at my cost. If you choose this place be ware. Check the pool out and see if all the green slim is still on the walls. Good luck

Room Tip: Go some where else
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ausiiee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brookings sd
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

Please check my other reviews. I consider myself to be easy to please, but this stay was not a good one. I felt safe there, and the bed was fine. Other than that, there isn't much good to say about our room, which was #14. Lighting was poor, and there was one lamp we had to control by plugging and unplugging, and it sparked when we plugged it in. When we arrived, our room was very hot and uncomfortable, as the AC was not working. The maintenance man did come promptly and worked hard to get it up and running. I wish I had gotten his name so I could give him credit for that. The AC still did not work great, but it was tolerable. There were a lot of steps. There was a flight of uneven steps to get up to the room.We stepped down to exit the room, and then had to step up to the balcony. There were steps in the room, too, so I had to be careful not to fall when getting up at night. We also had to step up into the bathroom, and duck at the same time, as the doors were very short. My husband is 6'4", and he had a scab on his head for two weeks after bumping his head. The doors were also very noisy. BUT THE WORST by far was the bathroom itself! The only good thing was they had little bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc. which they refilled. This seemed to me to be better than the tiny plastic bottles one usually finds in hotels. The toilet did not flush well at all! After we showered, we noticed that the area around the toilet was unusually wet, and we did not think it should be. After several showers and taking note, we determined that the water must be coming up rather than going down! I asked my husband, "Is it just me, or does the bathroom smell of urine after showering?" He said he had noticed the same thing! Also, the wall in the shower area had mold growing on it. I think the wall was just plastered, and obviously this would not be a good choice for a shower area. Take some shower shoes if you stay here. There is a blow dryer in the dresser, which was nice. The pool was lovely, and the beach was decent. The breakfast staff was very nice, and the breakfast was OK, but if you stay more than 2 days it is monotonous. I ordered my eggs over medium, and they came with the white not thoroughly cooked. We got back one day, and our room had not been cleaned. We called the desk, and shortly afterwards housekeeping called to say they had lost their keys, so could not clean. (?) The hotel is located near a Circle K, which was very handy. The grounds were quite pretty. Overall, I would just say that I think you can do much better elsewhere.

Room Tip: Don't stay in Room 14.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hollyhock-lover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

We had a wonderful time in hotel La Taverna / Sanur. The room (nr. 34) was very quiet and very artisticly decorated with a lovely porch in front.
All together it was like a little heaven with respect to the beautiful garden and peace and quiet all around. They do indeed spray once or twice a week with a substance that smells like some sort of petroleum but they give you a warning in advance so just avoid that time of day and you'll be fine. Afterall, it's for your own well being since they spray to get rid of the mosquitoes so no complaints from our site.
The restaurant is ok but not exceptionally good so I would advise to go out for dinner.
However, the staff is wonderful and so is the manager. We had a minor problem with the laundry which he solved in a very generously way.
Alltogether, we can whole heartedly recommend this lovely hotel and hopefully come back some day!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank INGO-NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Taverna Suites

Property: La Taverna Suites
Address: Jl. Danau Tamblingan 29, Sanur, Denpasar 80228, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Denpasar > Sanur
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 139 Speciality Lodging in Sanur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — La Taverna Suites 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Taverna Suites is a small privately owned hotel set within lush tropical gardens that open directly onto the golden sands of the Indian Ocean. La Taverna Suites has over the years played host to artists, writers, musicians and a wide assortment of other colorful personalities. Its European owners have endeavored to maintain the spirit of old Bali, whilst also providing a relaxed, informal environment with emphasis on the personal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Taverna Hotel
La Taverna Sanur
La Taverna Suites Bali/Sanur

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