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“Blissful Honeymoon”
Review of Villa Semana

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Villa Semana
Ranked #73 of 199 Hotels in Ubud
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 June 2014

My Husband and I just returned from our Honeymoon in Bali. We chose to stay all 7 days at the Villa Semana. After reading all the reviews on Tripadvisor, and carefully studying all the villa layout on the website we decided we would want to stay at the Melati.
( All Villas have names and they are actually named after a flower. Melati is Jasmine)

We informed the Hotel while making our booking that we preferred to stay at the Melati. But due to previous bookings, our stay was split between the Melati and the Alamanda. We didn't mind it as we got to experience both.
If I had to chose which one I liked better I would go for the Almanada.
Our package included, Daily Breakfast, One Romantic Candlelight Dinner and a 3 Hour Spa Treatment, Free Airport Transfers, Complimentary bottle of Wine.

Let's start with all the good stuff.

The Alamanda is better for honeymooners, for the privacy. The pool is bigger too. I agree with one of the other reviewers about the pressure on the shower placed inside the bathroom. It was rather strong and it made the bathroom wet. Loved the outside shower. Though every now and then I'd look around for a Lizard.
The room was big. The bed was high, and at night during turn down they would cover it with the mosquito nets.
I loved the snake fruit that they would place in the fruit basket everyday. I was pleased that they didn't place the usual apples and bananas only. They kept the snake fruit, passion fruit, tangerine and bananas.
At turn down they would place, cookies, chocolates or banana bread/cake. We loved the banana bread.

The Melati on the other hand has a completely different room layout. The living area and the bedroom are separate. The bedroom is pretty cozy, so if you have more than one bag it can get pretty stuffed. The bathroom is much much bigger.
The pool is smaller, and you can jump right out onto the paddy field from your room. Skinny dipping in your private pool at the Melati may not be a good idea and a farmer may occasionally pop up and walk by the villa. Where as at the Alamanda the pool is covered.
There's a very small Koi/Lotus pond right outside in the living area. So there tend to be a couple frogs (2-3 at least) in the living area at night.

Since the living area is open, the frogs from the paddy fields or the occasional gecko will find their way into your villa. Oh and not forgetting the Lizards too. I pretty much stayed in the bedroom at night.

All staff are really really helpful and sweet at Villa Semana. Everyone's really eager to help and make your stay as comfortable as possible. At the Melati I happened to notice the water heater leaking which explained the lack of Hot Water when I would shower the previous night. When we informed one of the staff, they acted promptly and the heater was replaced by the time we got back from our tour that day.

The food was excellent too. Our favourites, the Beef Rendang, Pork Mince Patties and you must not miss Khao Mao Taort ( Banana dipped in Jaggery and Sesame seeds and then deep fried with ice cream). That is the best dessert they have.

Breakfast was good and filling. on the night of our Candlelight Dinner, it rained hence we ate at the restaurant. We didn't really mind it that much at there was plenty of light and not many people either. The food was really yumm and served with lots of love and enthusiasm.

The spa was excellent. Our 3 hour spa treatment included a Body scrub, a Flower Bath with snacks, a massage and a facial. We loved it. It was so relaxing and the sound of the river in the background just made it better.

The Shuttle service is a huge blessing and they are always so prompt to pick you from the Ubud Town. They would arrive right on time, on the dot.

We did have a couple power outages on the first day but it didn't really bother us and the generator would kick in immediately (at least we think its the generator)

Now for the few complaints...
There's not too many actually, and most of them may actually be just me.

I wasn't a fan of the pillows. They were too fat and big and while my husband just loved that, it made my nights pretty uncomfortable.

It would get a little warm in the room at night, even with the A/C and the fan on.

The Mattresses were so soft and made me sink right in which gave me a bit of a backache.

The pool water was too cold for me. We couldn't stay in more than 10-15min, and hence couldn't enjoy the pool as much as we would've liked.

Overall we loved our stay at the Villa Semana. The location is fantastic. The place is so quiet, you hardly get to see any of the other guests. It's perfect for a private, romantic, Relaxing Holiday.

Room Tip: Alamanda is much better if your looking for privacy, and the view is lovely too.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Sarahvd88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 June 2014

We were looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway to recharge ourselves and were very happy to find Villa Semana, a resort with 10 private villas, targeted at couples and no kids under 12 were allowed. We had booked the 4D3N Guest Favourites package from the hotel website directly and managed to get Alamanda, the villa with the river view! It also came with 2-way airport transfer, a half day tour, a spa treatment and a cooking class. The traveling time between the airport and the resort was 1 to 1.5 hours.

The best part:

It was very private and we could choose to be completely undisturbed if we wanted to. We even had the main pool to ourselves for most days!

The good:

Location: Being a 15-min ride away from Ubud Center meant that the resort was located far away from the buzz. Want to see the padi fields? You can get a good view from the pavilion by the car park. Want to be near the river? Enjoy the view while soaking in the main pool. There are also seats available with a good view near the pool and spa area. Need food? The Pondok Restaurant here serves pretty good food. In short, you can stay in all day long... Except maybe you may want to go somewhere else if you wish to see a very pretty sunset. There are free shuttle services to and fro Ubud Center every hour or so, just call up 15 min in advance to make reservations, so it was still convenient to go out. The shuttle stops at Ubud Palace, making it easy to catch the Balinese dance shows at the palace in the evenings, or to go to the Ubud market just next to it, with plenty of eateries within walking distance.

The villa: Alamanda seemed to be the smallest pool villa but it was away from the other villas and was one the of nearest to the spa and main pool / restaurant areas. The villa was kept very clean and the bed was very comfortable. We enjoyed the daily fruit platter and appreciated the daily night snacks. It was very refreshing to have an outdoor shower in the mornings! The usual amenities were available - shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, sewing kit and cotton buds, so we could pack light.

The cooking class: It was super fun! Set in the gardens next to the restaurant, we spent a couple of hours chopping, slicing, mixing and frying under the guidance of the chef. Since we were total amateurs, chef was very gentle with us... Haha! The chef spoke some English, but there was always another staff nearby who would explain things further if required. They also prepared cold bottled water by the side, so we could take a break anytime we wanted to. It was very important to listen to the advice of the chef, especially when we were making our own lunch. It turned out rather well (thanks to our chef!!) and we had a very enjoyable time.

The spa: It was very relaxing to lie in the open air pavilion, listening to the waterfall while the therapists worked through our knotty muscles... Pure bliss! The massage was good enough that we returned the very next day for another spa treatment. We also enjoyed the flora bath very much and would highly recommend the signature spa treatment Semana Harmony. Enjoying some snacks and wine while soaking in the warm bath next to the lotus pond at night with candle lights lit up and the light flora scents all around was awesome!

The food: Mostly good, do try the Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge - remember to mix the raw egg in) and Eggs Benedict for breakfast! The Mie Goreng (fried noodles) on the other hand, was just too salty for me. The Balinese Omelette and Croque Madam (ham and cheese sandwich with fried egg) was normal fare. The candlelight dinner was lovely and delicious, though it was too dark to see our food properly, so maybe a few more candles would have been better. There were 2 couples having the candlelight dinner on the same evening, but they set it up such that each couple had their private space. There was also free daily tea between 4-5pm each day near the pool side - the cakes were lovely! The snacks served at the spa were also very delicious. The usual Lipton tea and Balinese tea and coffee was available, but the cafe latte tasted odd, so we stuck to Balinese coffee.

The staff: They were more staff than guests! They really tried their very best to ensure that we had the most enjoyable stay. We did have difficulty in communicating at times, but things always worked out well. During our rides to and fro the airport, the drivers would point out certain landmarks and share stories with us.

The not-so-good:

Our private pool was too cold for daily swims. We were told that the pool water had minimal chlorine, so the water had to be changed after each stay for hygiene purposes. Since the water came from a very deep well, and it had not been very sunny and hot during our stay, the water was not sufficiently warmed up. We did swim a bit, but not as much as we would have liked to. However, we got a very good view of the river while soaking our legs in the pool.

The indoor shower had very strong water pressure, which was fantastic, but it was difficult to control the directions. The fixture at the wall did not allow movement of the shower head and the shower head would swing wildly when holding it. So the entire bathroom would get very wet...

Power outages can happen at times in Bali, and unfortunately, there were a couple of power outages that only affected our villa during the second night of our stay, which we discovered around 3am when we woke up to a stuffy room. We called for service, and it was fixed for a short while before its repeat episode... It was quite frustrating and tiring to be dealing with this in the middle of the night. However, the staff was very prompt in responding despite being in the middle of the night and came with candles and also showed us where the torchlight was. He also managed to fix the issue eventually.

We also discovered the safety deposit box to be malfunctioning the next morning with all our valuables stuck inside. Again, service was quite prompt and we "rescued" our stuff and went out while the maintenance crew came by the villa. Everything was settled by the time we returned to the villa after lunch, and we had no further issues for the rest of our stay.

Despite the little hiccups, we had enjoyed our stay very much! We also enjoyed the conversations with the owner, Jurg; he had lots to share! Remember to look up at the skies at night; the skies are filled with stars on a clear night... So beautiful! It was not a cheap stay, but the experience made it worthwhile and we would love to come back again.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank lendeliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Far enough away from the bustle of Ubud to be peaceful . The views over the rice paddy fields , the sounds of the nearby village and the setting on the river make this a unique Bali destination.
The harmony massage at the Semana spa down by the river is a must do . Great villas , good food and friendly staff . A Bali highlight !

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Geoff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Perfect for honeymoon and some calm! The spa is awesome and the restaurant delicious! The villa was perfect with private pool , really enjoyed it! And easy to go to ubud with the free transportation proposed by villa semana

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
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Thank Aurore1405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014

When our daughter and her friend came visiting from US, they requested for a short get-away to Bali. Our travel agent offered several options and Villa Semana was one of them. Wanting to ensure our daughter and her friend enjoy their first visit to Bali, we chose the pricier option, Villa Semana. The kiddos LOVE it! "Mom, you MUST go see for yourself!" My daughter insisted on several occasions.
Fast forward a year later, my husband and I made our own villa & flight bookings online. It was a relatively easy process. Saved us a trip to the travel agent's office!
Our flight on AirAsia was delayed and there were horrendously long lines to clear the Balinese immigration/customs. We were >2-1/2 hours late but our driver was patiently waiting for us as arranged.
Checking into the villa was such a pleasant experience too! The villa staff did an outstanding job showing & explaining all the important features of our villa and some information on the Villa Semana property. Knowing how things work within our villa enabled us to enjoy it that much more. Of course the villa staff also had all the check-in paperwork handy. Signatures on 2 papers & we were done!
We love everything about our villa (Heli Konia). Very private, yet we have breathtaking views of the padi fields. The villa deco is charming and evoked such peaceful comfort.
We love everything about the Villa Semana property. The grounds and gardens were just spectacular. Everywhere we threaded, we spotted more beauty ~ lotus ponds, koi fish ponds, etc. We felt a little torn coz there was so much beauty to explore on the grounds and gardens but we also wanted to enjoy the private pool, the gorgeous views and the restful comfort within Heli Konia. We MUST return and stay longer next time! And no more budget airlines!!

Room Tip: I viewed Terataii (split level with living area on upper level); restaurant & infinity pool conv...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank EvelynLum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Just returned from a blissful 3 night stay in Villa Semana. We had a deluxe pool villa overlooking the padi fields which was really comfortable and spacious - the setting is so beautiful and serene. All the staff were amazing and pandered to our every wish. We enjoyed the cookery course although the trip to Ubud market was an eye opener!!! A special thank you to Ari for the wonderful spa treatments. We would definitely recommend Villa Semana and would love to return one day.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank JAndPonholidayagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

After staying at Villa Semana with my husband last July, we convinced friends to join us for a return visit in April. It's always a risk making bookings for friends, but I was confident that they too would be blown away by this charming, exotic retreat tucked away on the hillside above the Ayung River. And Villa Semana didn't disappoint - again, it was absolutely perfect!

We stayed for 8 nights - Villa Heliconia and Villa Melati. Both these pool villas were delightful, although the view from Heliconia might have had the edge with more commanding views of the rice terraces. We had previously stayed in Alamanda - a smaller villa without the open-air lounge, but nestled on the edge of the hill with spectacular views of the river below.

The grounds of Villa Semana are breathtaking - a credit to management and the team of gardeners who toil tirelessly to keep the place looking like paradise. The villas are immaculate, comfortable and beautifully private, with an elegant simplicity evocative of traditional Balinese style. Fresh towels appear as if by magic and the rooms are restored to order seamlessly - ice-buckets replenished, fruit, flowers, treats - it's always a delight to return to the peaceful sanctuary of your villa!

I can't speak more highly of the outstanding staff at Villa Semana. Without exception, each and every one of them went the extra mile to make our stay memorable - obliging, courteous, friendly, funny, helpful, knowledgeable. All were wonderful and added so much to our Semana experience. There are too many to mention, but I would like to acknowledge the brilliant service we received from Dewi, Nana (aka Cat Woman!), Poni, Swastika and Sukarma - thank you.

The chef is also a treasure and the food is brilliant, as so many other reviewers have noted. Breakfasts are lavish and the lunch and dinner menus are extensive and delicious – we also chose to dine in on a number of occasions for this reason. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Finally, a review wouldn’t be complete without mention of the indomitable Mr Jurg Sutter, Manager/Owner at Villa Semana (whatever you do, don’t go bike riding with him unless you are seriously FIT!!). Jurg is an entertaining, larger-than-life character with countless anecdotes, helpful suggestions and invaluable local knowledge. Not all guests appreciate his colourful personality, but we thoroughly enjoyed his company, his eye-brow raising stories and his amusing banter. Jurg manages the property with customary military precision, and it is his impeccable attention to detail that really is the trademark of Villa Semana.

It is a pinch-me-perfect paradise for a relaxing escape - I wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere else!

Room Tip: Study the site plan to see the layout of the villas on the property. With the exception of the two...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Kris C
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
#55 Luxury Hotel in Ubud
#62 Spa Hotel in Ubud
Price Range: £102 - £482 (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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