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Jiwa Damai Organic Garden & Retreat
Ranked #149 of 622 Speciality Lodging in Ubud
Reviewed 27 June 2014

I left Jiwa Damai on monday.
I've been volunteering for 10 weeks and it seemed to me like a life time, every day there was something different to know and learn about lives , were they humans or plants, all it seemed connected. We were working for the plants and the plants were working for us.
I met people who I consider friends for life and teachers of my life, both Balinese or Bule (westerns).
The opportunity of exchange ideas and way of doing the job, it surprised me every day. It has been a daily bless.
I came to JD ignoring about life energy , yoga, meditation, permaculture and it has been unexpected to eat mostly vegetarian .
Some times I found my self in the forest looking a jackfruit amazed from his shape, other times with my nose toward the sky , trying to capture the state of the coconuts and others immerse in the compost house checking the evolution of this incredible natural show, whom will enrich the garden again.
Now I feel the world on a different level, looking for balance with a different mood and added values.

Thanks JD and all your inhabitants.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Billyo83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 - 38 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2014

In comparison to many reviews here I paid for my room.
I can see how, if you're a volonteer, the place seem nice. In Bali you can get wonderful service and beautiful accommodation and food for an affordable price. This was not the place. I did a yoga teacher training here and paid a lot. Yet I got to share a double room with 3 ppl, one girl had to sleep ok the couch for a month yet paying $60 a night. The sheets smelled by mould and got changed about once a week. I cleaned the bathroom myself as it never got done otherwise. The cooks were volonteers (not chefs) and standard hygiene wasn't practiced in the kitchen I'm not a picky person but prefer not to get sick when I eat.
Note that there are 3 dogs roaming free (not pets) and we were a few who got bitten. I only got a scratch, others got bruises. The pool is gorgeous and it's a nice garden. However it is extremely overpriced considering what you get for your money. The food is ridiculously bad considering it costs about 10 times as much as anywhere else. However as a volonteer it must be great! They had access to their own fridge and kitchen and got to participate in yoga and meditation all for free! Just don't pay for this, it's not worth it!

  • Stayed: May 2014
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4  Thank SnabelLol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MArgret R, Manager at Jiwa Damai Organic Garden & Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2014

We regret very much to not have been able to live up to the expectations of a few participants in this group, despite our sincere efforts. Hosting Yoga training groups on a regular basis, we receive very positive feedback about our care and presence during the trainings.

Our 3 professional chefs prepare our Balinese vegetarian cuisine with much love and great care and it is all served by our volunteers. Our carefully selected ingredients consists of 85% organic products, veggies, salad and fruit grown in our own permaculture garden (we are organically certified) and are cooked with our own cold pressed virgin coconut oil (considered a powerful health food). The rest is resourced from local traditional farmers and the local early morning market.

The rooms are cleaned on a daily basis by our caring staff, including the bathrooms. These guests organized their trip through a third party facilitator who was in charge of determining the costs and room assignments. We had no input over who slept where or how much they paid.

We are wondering why these issues were not brought to our attention while the guests were staying at the 24 day retreat. If we were aware of their concerns at the time we would have been in a position to address them.

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Reviewed 17 June 2014

I was fortunate enough to go back to Jiwa Damai again to teach a yoga program! This secluded abode is such a nice break from the hustle of Ubud. You feel an immediate sense of peace when you leave the main road and enter the gates of serenity. I have choice if I want to come back here and I always say yes. The caretaker of the property is so passionate of the land and has spent years cultivating, supporting and uplifting the spirit of the energy here. The fact that she has an option to mass produce coconut oil and other dried fruits like jack fruit, mango etc and does not speaks volumes because she does not want to loose the integrity of how things are done. She offers the locals opportunities to work, providing their children an education and teaching them skills that otherwise might go untouched. One thing that touches my heart is her love for dogs. She has saved numerous dogs that would otherwise be cruelly harmed and now has 3 of them on property to watch over the property as well. I love the staff their commitment and heart to Jiwa Damai. I look forward to my next visit which will be soon! Thank you Jiwa Damai for upholding the integrity and spirit of Bali.

Room Tip: The rooms are simple. Please ask questions on your comfort level. They offer everthing from jungle s...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank AnitaSundaram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

Stayed here from May 1 to 24 for a 200 hour yoga teacher training course. Jiwa Damai claims to be a socially responsible, organic, permaculture retreat centre. I however found this not to be true. From mass produced, overly processed food, to a less than personable owner I would not recommend staying here. Pre packaged tempeh, tofu, noodles, and rice were served at every meal. When asked about the eggs, the response was less than heart warming. Not ethically raised and not organic. 24 of us were not given sufficient quantities and were made to feel guilty when asking for more food.

The owner has 3 dogs which she claims are not pets but she walks them on leashes and feeds them. Not only did they bite two students unprovoked but they barked incessantly all night. For 24 nights the dogs barked outside the owners room and about every hour she would yell out and shine a flash light. Not conducive for sleep after a day of doing yoga.

The owners parting last words to our group, 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it.' However, I wanted to share my experience. The location does have a peaceful calm cooler feeling to it but certain aspects diminish the overall vibe.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank Claire G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MArgret R, Manager at Jiwa Damai Organic Garden & Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

We regret very much to not have been able to live up to the expectations of a few participants in this group, despite our singer efforts.
Hosting Yoga training groups on a regular basis, we receive very positive feedbacks about our care and presence during the trainings.

Our volunteer and kitchen team prepares our Balinese vegetarian cuisine with much love and great care. Our carefully selected ingredients consisting of 85 % organic products, veggies, salad and fruit grow in our own permaculture garden (we are organically certified) and are cooked with our own cold pressed virgin coconut oil (considered a powerful health food). The rest is resourced from local traditional farmers and the local early morning market.

We are wondering, why, if there were such issues as before mentionned, they were not brought to our attention during the 24 day stay at Jiwa Damai.
This would have allowed us would to respond right there and then.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

I wanted to stay longer in Bali and learn about permaculture. Jiwa Damai was the right place. I was as volunteer making a video about JD foundation and working a bit in the garden. I had really great time, and people were amazing. Yoga in the morning, meditation in the afternoon and healthy food. Margaret and Stephanie were great hosts and teachers! The only not good thing was dogs. I had no problem with them, but some of the others volunteers were really afraid because they were barking without reason. But anyway I strongly recomend visit the place! Is peacefull and with very positive energy. The location is perfect, 15 mins from Ubud.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Luz Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Jiwa was a perfect piece of paradise to retreat into. The business and magic of Bali is vibrant and I enjoyed being able to come "home" to Jiwa to relax and reflect. We, Naia Project, brought a group of Yoga Teacher Trainees and people on retreat for 3 weeks. We were well taken care of. The food was great traditional balinese food. It felt like someone was sharing their home with us and we loved being apart of something that was giving back to the community.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KelseyLawford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

I stayed at Jiwa Damai for several weeks as a volunteer. The grounds are beautiful, but many of the things are not as advertised. Volunteers do not stay in the rooms seen on the site, which I guess makes sense. They were not allowed to practice yoga with the group, which was very disappointing because it was the main reason I wanted to stay at Jiwa. The dogs petrified me from the start of my trip until the end of it. I was the only volunteer staying at the center who did not get bitten during the time I was there. I am a dog person, but I feel the dogs destroyed much of the intended feel of the place. There is nothing zen about three stray pack animals ferociously barking at your while you're walking in, going to the bathroom, gardening, eating, practicing yoga, etc. I have no idea why the owner hasn't gone to MUCH greater lengths to train these dogs so that guests and workers can have a more peaceful, comfortable experience.

There were several issues between the management and the volunteers during my stay. It made for very uncomfortable interactions, especially at mealtimes. I think both parties could have handled the situation much better, while also keeping in mind all the other people who were inadvertently affected by the uncomfortable situation.

The grounds are indeed beautiful. They are quite secluded from Ubud or other parts of the island.

It wasn't a bad experience and it wasn't a particularly great one. Now that I've returned, it all seems like a bit of a blur, and I find myself wondering, "Did that really just happen?"

Room Tip: I would definitely find out beforehand where you'll be staying because there are many different...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank TripperAdvice2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jiwa Damai Organic Garden & Retreat

Address: Jl. Melati 2, Ubud 80352, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Ubud
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #149 of 622 Speciality Lodging in Ubud
Price Range: £40 - £53 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jiwa Damai is a hands-on, socially responsible organic garden and retreat center. We are located amidst lush tropical vegetation in the heart of Bali. We provide a sanctuary in an idyllic, powerful environment where guests can experience tranquility and re-connect to the life-giving qualities of the earth. It is a meeting place for people from all over the world to find and initiate peace; to learn from each other and the land. Beautifully decorated guest rooms, a spacious lounge and dining area, a fresh water pool, several ponds and a large permaculture garden all situated within an abundant tropical vegetation make Jiwa Damai a perfect retreat place to relax in alignment with nature, learn about permaculture principles and find time for reflection and contemplation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jiwa Damai Organic Garden & Retreat Ubud, Bali

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