I left Bali Aroma with mixed feelings as to whether it was good, great, or average. For anyone who has read my previous reviews they will see I am generally a positive person, an angle I believe helps to overcome the little obstacles you face when on holiday, and increase enjoyment - a lesson I need to impose on the reviewer before me, who happened to travel in the same group of friends !!
Firstly then, the positives.
The location is handy to the beach, with a short walk through the neighbouring overgrown paddock, and then a lane way . There is a quirky little restaurant at this point overlooking the beach, where they send scooters 100m down an alley to the kitchen to retrieve the food, and then again with the dirty dishes! The food was good, and cheap.
In the other direction you are quickly in the hubbub of Bali life, the near bye road has massage opens to the left ( great value at about $5 aus per hour ) and a convenience store that has all the essentials. There is also a formal money changer here. (Whatever you do, do not use the alleyway money changers, they have all the tricks in the book, and WILL rip you off ! ) Head to the right and you will come across restaurants, shops etc. We ate close by at Naughty Nuri's, Sardine (high quality, great outlook) and Warung ............forgot, but recommended by Aroma staff.
The villas look great, and are each a self contained haven. The upstairs bedrooms are large and well equipped and have great views over the surrounding area. The downstairs bedrooms are also large, have everything you need, however can be a little dark due to their main windows facing onto the large alfresco lounge kitchen area. The airconditioning in the bedrooms worked well. The open air bathrooms were great and didn't take long to 'adapt' to. The alfresco area worked well and included enough seating for our group. The pool was good, and a fun way to lower the core temperature on those hot and humid days.
The staff were always very friendly and tried their best to be helpful. They were quick to organise taxi's, transfers even buses when required, and made phone calls on our behalf when we felt the local language would be an asset.
Breakfasts were delivered at the arranged time, and offered a good amount of options.
Now for the not so good -
We arrived to find that Bali Aroma is half way through a redevelopment which meant that they are building about 3 more villas, and a large communal swimming pool, in the area that was once the open lawned areas between the villas and the reception block. Unlike my friend, the noise did not have a big impact on my holiday, but the fact was, instead of experiencing an open and tranquil space presented on the website, we had workmen with wheelbarrows, masons, brickies , roof tilers etc.
The kitchens were short on cooking equipment and crockery - no pot big enough for cooking for the number of persons in the villa - I'm sure staff would have helped us out with this had we asked.
To leave Bali Aroma , apart from the track to the beach, you need to travel a lane way that is about 100m long. At present there are a couple of building projects in operation, and many of the workers seem to live on-site , essentially sleeping rough. We had 5 teen girls in our group, who along with the mums, felt uneasy walking along there , at one stage feeling intimidated by the actions of some of the men - this is however all perception, and not within the control of Bali Aroma - just possibly current location advice.
Arrival our bathroom had an unpleasant smell, knowing that there had been significant rain in the days prior, we gave it the benefit of the doubt, thinking that the drainage was probably overwhelmed and would improve as things dried out. We were wrong, so in the last 2 days (we are not good complainers!) of our stay we mentioned it to management who immediately sent someone to rectify the problem. This first attempt did not change the problem so we asked again, to which again there was a swift response again, however the person with the skills needed wasn't there - so no change. I suspect the problem was more systemic in regard to the building works, but hopefully it is sorted for the next person.
Our pool was out of action until our second day because it had lots of tiny crabs in it - but we had our friends pool next door, so no big deal.
A problem that Bali Aroma can do little about is the condition of the nearby beach. It is true that there had been significant rain in the days prior to our arrival , which exacerbated the problem of rubbish, but it was quite depressing to see the beach covered in garbage. While the condition did improve over the week that followed, there was always rubbish in the water and on the beach - the same but to a lesser extent the week after that In Sanur. Likewise the waterways flowing into the see both north and south were smelly. I have it on reasonable authority that even the new W hotel simply has a pipe that runs 300 m out into the ocean to release all it's effluent............
So.......... We had a good time, and couldn't fault the efforts of staff at Bali Aroma, but we just felt a bit let down by the image of the perfect tropical holiday, versus the reality .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Naturally beautiful Villas....Located within walking distance of Batu Belig Beach, one of Bali's most coveted strips of sand, only a few minutes from Seminyak Town Centre and a30 minute drive from the airport, Bali Aroma Exclusive Villas is the perfect home away from home for couples and families looking for all the creature comforts. The Villas were built above 1 Ha land, total of 11 unit furnished villas were completed in mid of 2009. With a series of spacious, luxuriously appointed villas in one, two and three bedroom configuration, as well as resort-style facilities and ample privacy, Bali Aroma affords guests the best of both worlds, with modern amenities married with the privacy and space of a private home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bali Aroma Exclusive Villas Hotel Seminyak
- Bali Aroma Exclusive Villas Seminyak