Villa Isabella near Ubud, Bali, link <[--]>, lived up to its "13" status. Run
by a French woman (Isabella) and her partner (Englishman) is a potential
tourist trap. The living quarters are beautiful, the house is in a
spectacular location but .... opposite the villa are the loudspeakers
of the local village temple. Our 3 weeks booking coincided with a 10 day
celebrations clearly marked in the local calendar. Prayers were
broadcast day and night for 10 days straight. We love to be exposed to local
culture, but I doubt any but deaf westerner would enjoy his stay in
Villa Isabella. The owners know exactly what the problem is but would
not tell you in advance even if you asked (we did ask if the place was
quiet before we made a reservation). This would explain why we had to
pay 50% deposit to book, and the owner would "greet us" on arrival at 2
a.m. in the morning to collect further 50% (cash only of course).
The website suggests the cooking is included in the rate, however the
owner reneged on this. She also tried to suggest that the kitchen is
off-limit to visitors due to safety reasons(???). I suppose, if one
considers the unhygienic state of the kitchen, it was a safety hazard
(drains not working, no hot water)
We apparently we had a hot
water system in the house, but never managed to get it working despite
owner's claims that it does work. Bali is a hot place, so we didn't
fuss about it too much, however, if the owner wants to claim a
"luxurious accomodation" status, one would expect hot water in the shower.
The meals were good (prepared by local staff) but small, unreasonably
priced (3 times the local restaurant prices), and meal presentation was not very
appetizing (random collection of damaged plates, glasses and cutlery). The owner
exploited her staff members and treated them like dirt (which was heart
breaking to watch when one knows how lovely Bali people are).
After 2 sleepless nights (blasted by prayers from the laudspeaker) and heated exchange of words, the owner asked
us to pack our bags and leave promising to refund the balance of our
money. Despite repeated attempts we never received a penny
back (over US$3000). We tried to contact police, consulted our embassy,
but were reassured that it leads nowhere. All this happened 3 years
ago, but we are still angry about it.
The same people who own Villa Isabella run two other places in Bali:
Gajah Mina Beach Resort ( [--] ), and Kubu
Villas ([--]) but they refused to transfer us to an
alternative accommodation. If anyone still wants to take a chance at
"Villa Isabella 13" or their other accomodation, my advice would be to avoid paying any more than
one night in advance. If you are not happy, you can at least leave
without any financial loss. Why waste good holidays?
Owners said they tried everything to stop the noise at least at night time but were not able to get any support. They also said they were not awere that the place can be noisy. They are obviously getting mixed up with their own lies.
After leaving Villa Isabella we ended up in Alam
Shanti, Ubud, and returned there a couple of times since (highly
I have recently noticed that Villa Isabella now rents for .... US$300. BEWARE!!!
- Also Known As:
- Villa Isabella Bali Ubud