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“Not for and independent traveler that plans on getting out and exploring Bali”
Review of Villa Semana

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Villa Semana
Ranked #74 of 199 Hotels in Ubud
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 May 2011

Villa Semana is everything they say they are. It is truly a quiet, relaxing, peaceful getaway. I spent two weeks in busy Seminyak and thought that my boyfriend and I would enjoy a peaceful getaway in Ubud. We were looking forward to some quiet time but still had plans to enjoy Bali. In my opinion Villa Semana is perfect for a couple that wants to totally get away, not anyone who still plans to enjoy and experience Bali. For example, the shuttle is nice but it does not run all the time and you have to schedule a ride into town at least 15min before you decided to leave. So for example, if you decided at 4:20pm that you are hungry and want to go to town to eat, you have to call and request the shuttle, but it doesn't run into town again until 6:30pm. The ride into town can be 20 to 30 minutes depending on your driver and traffic, so it is hard to make a appointment. However, the drivers are great and will pick you up or drop you off at any location in town, not just the predetermined drop off points.

The villas are nice, we stayed in Melati, a rice padi pool villa. The outdoor space was wonderful the pool was nice enough to dip into and the outside living room was superb. The inside space was okay, comfortable bed, decent closet space, however I wasn’t to happy with the bathroom setup. There wasn’t a lot of storage space in the bathroom which was fine, but, the set up was a bit uncomfortable. There is a huge open window shutter system separating the bathroom and bedroom, which I am sure can be nice for some but in Bali where “bali belly” is a common curse it would be nice to have some privacy! A small complaint but I just thought I would warn you!

I know other reviews raved about the food, but I just can not agree. First off the prices were out of control for Bali standards. Our first night in Ubud we had dinner at Nomads, both my boyfriend and I enjoyed an adult beverage, appetizer, main course, and dessert, the meal cost around $28 USD and was amazing! Looking at Villa Semana‘s dinner menu, not all, but most main course’s ranged between 15+ USD. Needles to say, we avoided eating in the restaurant just because it didn’t seem right to charge that much. However, breakfast was included in our rate, the food was okay, nothing special and not a huge variety. We did order lunch in one day, once again, not a lot of options, we ordered sandwiches with fries, the food came quickly and was presented well but again, nothing terrific! Also, on our last night we thought it would be fun to order dessert in, we decided to get the banana and ice cream because all banana and ice cream desserts in Bali were terrific.... it wasn’t very good at all! One of the worst desserts we ate during our entire trip, we were very disappointed.

I felt that Villa Semana was very inconvenient for an independent traveler like myself. The staff is willing to help you arrange events but I would rather do my own TA research and plan that way. At Villa Semana any time you want to make a phone call you have to call the operator, give them the number, hang up, and they will call and transfer your call. So sometimes while planning the day I would make 4-5 phone calls and felt so bad for calling the front desk every time. It was just very inconvenient. Also, the other high end villa’s I stayed in Bali provided water stations and a complimentary fully stocked fridge full of soda’s, beer and snacks. I was surprised at Villa Semana they charge you for their snacks, I believe it was 1.50 USD or so for a small kit kat or soda? That was interesting but what really bothered me was the lack of water they provide. They only give you two bottles of water in the morning and evening when they clean the room. Bali is a hot, humid country and you should stay fully hydrated... we found ourselves taking the shuttle into town just to purchase a few extra large bottles of water, they sold water in the fridge but it was definitely overpriced. Once again extremely inconvenient.

However on to the good. Villa Semana is in a beautiful, quiet, peaceful setting. You see locals working on the rice paddies but they pay no attention to you. The best part about the hotel was the superb staff. They were so polite and helpful, nothing was to much to ask and you truly felt like you were the only guest there. The spa was wonderful! Traditional Bali massage but the setting and comfort was nothing you can experience anywhere else. The bath along the river sits right next to a waterfall, it was surreal! The spa was definitely more expensive then the standard Bali spa’s but it was an amazing experience. That, I would say is worth the higher cost!

So to sum up my experience. I would recommend Villa Semana to a couple looking for some extremely quiet, alone time. Who does not plan on spending a lot of time away from the villa and is willing to pay a lot of money to use the Villa’s service and restaurant.

Room Tip: Contact the hotel directly
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Rachel85rc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suter_Singapore_Bali, Owner at Villa Semana, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2011

Thank you very much for your comments and the ones of your partner - posted earlier.

Total relaxation, privacy and serenity in natures best, are some of many the attributes, which most of our guests appreciate.
Admittedly it is impossible to live-up to every standard and expectation…sorry to have disappointed you and your partner.

Yours sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 April 2011

I was really looking forward to my stay at Villa Semana, but I was very disappointed. I had relied on the reviews on trip advisor and the fact that the owner seemed to respond to anything negative in a positive way. Our experience was not so good. The facilities are worn, in fact the door to our outdoor shower was so poorly hung you could see a one inch gap in the frame and it took great effort to open it. The Internet was very slow. There are no modern conveniences, except for a cd player. No tv anywhere on the premises. This isn't a deal breaker necessarily, except that the lights in the villa at night are table lamps and it was not bright enough to read without a reading light when the sun went down. Although the bathroom has an overhead light, so I sometimes went in there to read. Speaking of teh bathroom, our toilet has serious flushing issues. We did complain the frst night and to their credit, someone same right away, but they told us we needed to hold down the handle longer for a full flush. This was true, if you held down the handle for a little over a minute, you finally got a full flush. Just another reason that I am perplexed by the high reviews...
The shuttle to Ubud was unreliable, did not run on the schedule given to us. We were given many reasons for this by the owner and staff, who often gave different and conflicting explanations, One night two other guests took us into Ubud because the shuttle was not available. Since the hotel is 15 or more minutes from ubud, teh shuttle is pretty important, unless you just want to stay i your villa all day.
' For the price, or close to it, you can stay at other hotels along the agung river which are truly 5 star with air conditioners that fully cool down the room (the most cool we could get out of the ac at villa semana was 72 degrees), full size pools and staff that will do somersaults to serve you. I'd skip Villa Semana and keep looking. If you do book at villa semana, be sure to ask about the progress of the construction going on - there was some stone repaving of some sort while we were there and you could hear the saws and the staff had me move inside to avoid the dust the construction kicked up. To their credit, they gave me some cake and apologized profusely for having me move inside from the pool area. We did not hear much other noise as they were working on the interiors of two villas while we were there, but it appears that more villas may be going up and there was a notice about re-roofing that was going on in our room when we arrived, although we didn't hear any noise from that project during our stay, so it may not have started fully yet.
BOTTOM LINE While this is a decent, even a good, basic hotel with the extra of a small well maintained pool in each room, I am completely puzzled as to how villa semana rated this highly and won an award. It is quiet and has an old bali feel to it, but everything else about it is at best average in my opinion. This is the first time I have been let down by trip advisor and it wasn't because of an unusualy bad experience over one thing, but the overall mediocre facilities and services and the general lack of organization. I acknowledge that there are plenty of other reviewers who have a different view, but I stayed in two other much better hotels with pool villas along the Agung river at about $300 a night during my stay in Bali, so I know firsthand that you can do so much better than Villa Semana in this price range.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank karypdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2011

After travelling through small villages and wondering where the driver was taking us we arrived at Villa Semana and were stunned at the beautiful surroundings that this place is set in. We arrived early afternoon in the middle of a HUGE thunderstrom and were told our villa wasn't quite ready and we were taken to the restaurant and offered some coffee and cake (which I might add was delightful). Once our villa was ready we were taken to it and we marvelled over the rustic setting. Due to a leaky roof the owner Jurg insisted we be moved and offered an upgrade to a two bedroomed river front villa. This villa was extraordinary to say the least with views of the rainforest/Ayung river and rice paddies.

The staff here are exceptional!! They were very attentive and definitely offered a personalised service. Always smiling and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble.

The spa is a must for everyone that stays at this resort! I must admit I did indulge a little and had three 2 1/2 hour treatments in the 6 days we spent at Villa Semana. I had Anif for massage and scrubs etc and Suratni for facials, pure BLISS!! Thanks to both of you!!

My husband celebrated his birthday while we were staying at Villa Semana and a cake was delivered to our room as a surprise with the staff all singing Happy Birthday as a special touch.

Thanks to everyone for making our stay so memorable.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank muddypuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2011

Villa Semana 11 to 18 April 2011
We chose Villa Semana as a special place to celebrate my special birthday and we were not disappointed. From our welcome by Putu at Denpasar Airport to our drop off nearly a week later……all was seemless. Our villa, Helikonia, was just what we had hoped for overlooking the paddy field……and with plenty of space and privacy … we particularly loved the day room for relaxing and reading and the plunge pool for a cool dip. We chose the ‘Rekindle Your Romance’ package. The resort offers a lovely wet edge swimming pool overlooking the Ayung River, near the restaurant but we did not feel the need to use it. Our meals including daily breakfast in the restaurant were excellent. The staff are friendly, welcoming and efficient. The Semana Spa down by the river is a soothing space with treatments that are just amazing. Some friends in Australia had organized a surprise birthday cake for me via email ……they report that the communication to do this was great. Shuttle service to Ubud is super and we were even picked up directly from a restaurant one night. Villa Semana is a tranquil resort for those who wish to relax and experience the real Bali without actually being in the hustle of the main centres. Ubud is great fun for wandering around, souvenir shopping and taking in the atmosphere, dropping in to a café or restaurant for lunch and cold Bintang!

Room Tip: It's all on the website
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank lzbennet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2011

My husband and I have done Bali a few times before this stay at Villa Semana. I would give them all back and stay at this hotel instead of any of the large resorts.

We arrived to the airport in Bali, which can be a zoo if you don't know what to expect, our driver had a clear sign with my husband's name and immediately took the bags. We knew we needed a driver because the hotel is about an hour drive from the airport. We didn't worry about that because it was a pleasant drive through the heart of Bali and we were immediately offered beverages. Our driver was friendly and gave small facts along the way.

Upon arriving we were shown to our villa, Katalina, it was set up beautifully with helpful staff inside to show us around and get our itinerary in order of what we wanted to do. The villa was neat, clean, and anything you needed waiting for you inside (bug spray is a must for anywhere in Bali!). There was an outdoor shower and the spacious outdoor living area was great for relaxing with a cocktail (I suggest having them make a mojito! It was so fresh and made perfectly!) I was so impressed by the staff. Any request that was made (food, wine, driver, spa) was taken care of immediately.

The first night my husband set up a spa package for the two of us and a candlelit dinner by the pool overlooking the river. The spa was absolutely amazing. We both had massages outside (located below the resort along the river), A scrub, and a floral bath. The floral bath was unlike anything I've ever experienced. A bottle of champagne, fresh fruit, and snacks were waiting for us next to the bath. It was the most romantic setting with the sunsetting and you're completely alone with your partner/spouse. You have absolute privacy! It felt like a dream. There was no rush to get us out of the bath.

The candlelit dinner was fantastic. I had no idea but my husband had been in communication with the staff before we arrived to make these plans. They had prepared a meal special for us with the freshest ingredients. I was beyond impressed with the food and the chef had prepared this meal just for us. There are numerous fantastic restaurants in Bali but after this we decided to do it all over again the next night with a special menu, again for us. It made us feel like we were important to them and it's much appreciated!

The owner was around meeting any guest that was there and making sure their needs were taken care of. He gave us great recommendations on shopping, food, and places to see. Made sure our driver was ready and taking the right route to avoid any of the traffic. We had great conversations with him since he travels back and forth to Singapore and even had some recommendations for us there that we haven't tried!

All in all it was a great two night get away for us and we can't wait to go back. The staff and the way they make it personal for each guest is the best part.... really makes this little paradise special.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Meleliz1321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2011

Villa Semana was one of the first stops on our honeymoon.

Absolutely fantastic in every respect. First class service all the way at a reasonable rate.

The views from the restaurant and pool area are unbelivable, with the Agung river and wild looking rainforest / jungle right at your doorstep.

The spa / massage treatments are a must.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank sam_waring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2011

It's a charming boutique resort with only 10 villas set between rice paddy fields and the Ayung River. Service is brisk and attentive from the well trained staff. The villas are comfortable, and upgrading work will no doubt confer on its future guests with the necessary mod-cons. F & B service is good. It's a bit further from Ubud centre but its location is truly unrivalled with magnificent views of rice paddy and the river, literally at its doorstep. Landscaping within the villas is gorgeous and serene. If you need to escape from the hustle and bustle of the world, this is the place to go to and escape. The resort is about 10 years old, its age shows on its facade but peel beneath all that and you will discover a truly gorgeous gem tucked away in traditional and tranquil Ubud. The owner is investing in upgrading works, which is on-going, and this will surely elevate Villa Semana to a level comparable to the new properties in Ubud.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ckt1228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Semana

Address: Banjar Semana, Desa Singakerta, Ubud 80571, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Ubud
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Ubud
#15 Family Hotel in Ubud
#56 Luxury Hotel in Ubud
#62 Spa Hotel in Ubud
Price Range: £117 - £457 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Semana 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Semana & Spa is a hidden treasure deep in the Ubud area of Bali. It is located 7km or 15 minutes drive by our free scheduled shuttle service everyday. Villa Semana & Spa consists of 10 private pool villas each with unique views of the Ayung River tributaries. Your home away from home offers 180-degrees views of stunning valleys and rice fields that make choosing Ubud an easy decision. Be part of nature and experience total relaxation in the lotus pond bath with sound of near by waterfall. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Semana Hotel Ubud
Villa Semana Ubud, Bali

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