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“Tranquil Paradise”
Review of Villa Semana

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Villa Semana
Ranked #75 of 199 Hotels in Ubud
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 May 2011

My Wife and I chose Villa Semana purely on price. After our wedding in a private villa in Canggu we wanted to explore the cultural heart land of Bali. We choose the honeymoon package and it lived up to everything we needed after partying with a lot of our guests for the week leading up to our wedding day. We were picked up from our Villa in Canggu by a very pleasant driver and offered any cool drink we required. When we arrived at the Villa the friendly staff explained everything that we needed to know about the Villa including transport times and when we wanted to book in our 3 hour pampering session and 5 course honeymoon meal included in the package. The service was impeccable, the meals were amazing and the transport service was everything they explained when we arrived, which was leaving on the half hour from the villa and picking up on the hour in Ubud. All you needed to do was give them 15 mins notice and you were away, and then arrange a time with the driver that he would pick up up later in the day/night. There wasn't cars just leaving on this times they just wanted you to book these times to keep them structured for all the guests. For the price you pay the room and the location was amazing. However, the 3 hour pampering session, the service and honeymoon meal was by far worth the cost alone. They truly went above and beyond. (3hr pampering session - foot massage, full body massage, full body scrub, rose petal bath with juice and snacks, another full body massage and facial.) There was renovations going on while we were there but we only noticed as we walked past. Not once did it effect our time at the villa nor did we ever hear anything. There was even a note in our room saying that if we ever heard anything to let them know and they would stop immediately. We never contacted them. I did read a negative report before I wrote this one, someone who looks like they were staying in the Villa the week before us. She was definitely staying in the wrong place. While you are in paradise do you want to be watching television? We never once had a problem with transport. She obviously didn't take note when she was explained the times. Not everything is for everybody but this was exactly what we needed to start our married life together. Thank you to all the staff at the Villa. You were all amazing and the setting was majestic...

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Thommo13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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478 - 484 of 721 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2011

Let me first say that I'm a travel and tourism industry professional of 30 years standing. Over those years I've inspected and stayed in many 4 and 5 star properties all over the world across a range of classifications (some have been large mega hotel groups and some have been small, intimate specialty boutique style properties like Villa Semana).
I stayed here with my husband for a week and I wish it had been longer.
This is a special place that has wonderful ambience and serenity. Guests' privacy and enjoyment is 'top of mind' for all staff, who go out of their way to ensure that guests are cared for in an unobstrusive manner.
We rarely saw housekeeping. They managed to service our villa twice daily and other times on request whilst we were dining or out and about.
This property appeals to discerning people who really want to experience something unsurpassed in terms of service, be 'at one' with their surroundings and relax, and yet still have the ability to join the Ubud scene or see other parts of Bali. The hotel is able to make arrangements for its guests, no matter what the request might be.
We stayed in a Deluxe pool villa overlooking the rice paddies. The villa was quiet and had a wonderful sense of space and light.
There were other types of villas, some in the beautiful gardens, some overlooking the river that wound its way around the property.
The Semana Spa is located on the banks of the river and is something quite different from any other spa I've experienced to date. It has an extensive range of spa experiences for couples or individuals.
We enjoyed our private cooking class with the Semana head chef and his team and visited the Ubud market with him before cooking our 3 course lunch.
We will be back!

Room Tip: Talk to the hotel about your needs.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SSCHO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2011

We stayed at the Padi View (Melati) room for 4 nights. The staffs' fantastic service commenced from the time we stepped out of our airport transfer. A birthday cake was arranged for my partner, together with a little party at the villa.

The spa was a luxurious experience. We felt fully revitalised after the 3 hour treatment which involved a full scrub, massage and facial.

We also had a fantastic time learning to cook balinese dishes with the Hotel's chef.

Overall, we would rathe this hotel's service as FANTASTIC. Staffs like Agung, Dewi, Sukarma, Alit really went the extra mile to make our stay extra special.

The rooms are beautifully done up in a Balinese rustic charm and comfortable. The villas are currently being renovated and I can imagine that they'll only get alot better. The rooms are equipped with WiFi, which is fast enough to download e-mails etc.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank rajkumarjeyaraj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2011

We stayed for 5 nights at Pool Duplex Villa.
Room was cleaned very well every day.
There is no TV in the room, however we didn't need it as we'd like to escape from usual life.

All staff is very friendly and well-educated.

We also enjoyed the restaurant every morning.
We could choice breakfast dish from a la carte menu.
I'd like to recommend the Bali style rice porridge.
There is also a delicious coffee, too.

We really stayed again.

Tomohiro& Yuki Ioka from Japan

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank IOX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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
#57 Luxury Hotel in Ubud
#62 Spa Hotel in Ubud
Price Range: £113 - £455 (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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