After reading good things in TripAdvisor, we arrived in Bali eager to check-in to our "One Bedroom private Pool Suite Villa" at the Bali Dream Suite Villa. It was to be a romantic mini-honeymoon weekend,
Staff picked us up on time at the airport in a private car, and all was fine, until 10mins into the journey, she announced that they were currently overbooked because of errors in their booking system, and would have to put us up at nearby accommodations, – Villa Athena – claiming it was of same standard and value. We were shocked as we had made our booking months ago, said it was a special occasion and sent follow-up emails to confirm our booking up to the day before our arrival and called to set our airport pick-up time. At no time in all this communication did they volunteer this crucial information. Honestly, if they had let us know about this issue weeks ago, we would have happily rescheduled our trip.
Now we felt ambushed and trapped as we were already in their vehicle on the road, apparently being escorted to that other place, with no say in the matter. We quickly checked the other villa they mentioned on TripAdvisor, read the bad reviews and that their 1br villas were worth only 1/2 the published nightly rate of the Bali Dream Suites. When we questioned the staff about this, we did not receive a response. Only after heated discussion did the staff grudgingly call their management and eventually said they had a villa and we could stay there.
We were still rattled but relieved that plans were seemingly back on track since we had already made prior arrangements with various spas with Bali Dream Suite as our pick-up point.
Drove off the main road into small, bumpy back streets until we arrived at the main compound. The surroundings were dismal but our hopes were lifted when we walked through a narrow but lush walkway to the small lobby area. We were a little encouraged by this and the cold drink they offered soothed somewhat. Looking at the map, we were in a pretty central location to all the spas and restaurants we wanted to visit. By the time they came to escort us to the only available villa, we were in a much better mood.
Until we saw where we were going to stay.
The 3br villa (they told us it was number 150 but was no indication at the entrance we could see) was situated around the corner from the main compound with the main entrance facing a construction site. There were motorcycles parked in the driveway, and when we asked the staff who they belonged to, she had no idea.
Past the doors, were dying plants and a living area that was very spacious, neatly laid out, but dusty, with a filthy kitchenette and empty fridge (we were promised a minibar in the package).
The pool area looked lovely at first sight, until we realised that there were many mosquitos buzzing around. We quickly shuffled into the master bedroom, where we were told apologetically that they didn't have a phone setup in the room (package was to include an international direct dial telephone). The floor was extremely dusty and there was lizard droppings on the make-counter. King-sized bed had no mosquito net that was promised in the package, and we resorted to sticking our anti-mosquito patches around the bed frame as a temporary measure.
The worst was the huge, open-air concept bathroom. Usually we've welcomed this at other resorts where lush fauna guarantees privacy, but when the open-air bathroom is directly next to a construction site and you can hear workers speaking animatedly next door, it's less of a treat. Bathing was an extremely uncomfortable experience. The glass shower walls were dusty and water stained, there was mold on the soap holder with an opened, used bar of soap there. No shampoo etc. was provided except for another bar of soap at the sink. Liquid soap dispenser was empty. Thank goodness we brought our own. But all this was topped by the horrible waterlogged sunken area covered with pebbles that had a mud-filled pot– the makings of perfect mosquito breeding ground.
By then we were wondering why our ride to the spa was late. It wasn't until we heard distant yelling outside the gate that we found out the villa didn't even have a doorbell. No phone no doorbell – the poor driver had no way of contacting us.
Upon our return, we found many lizards in the living area feasting on the mozzies, so chose to again retire to the safety of our master bedroom. There we were pleasantly surprised that the staff had taken the initiative to create a pretty image with towels and rose petals on our bed and the bathtub. However, once we lay on the bed we realised that (1) there were huge cobweb webs on the ceiling (2) the sheets were stained (3) we were only given 1 pillow each and when we searched for extras, we found them messily piled in a wardrobe with no covers (4) one light above the bed had a blown bulb and there was no switch in the room that would turn the other two spotlights off.
To our dismay we had to try to sleep with the two bright spotlights shining in our eyes, as every light switch wouldn't control it (we even tried the switches in the main living area thinking it might be controlled by some elusive master switch). With no phone, there was no way to contact the villa reception unless we made an overseas call on our mobile, and as it was past 11pm we didn't want to walk out through the dirty alley to the reception area.
Completely exhausted, that was when we decided to book a room at another hotel for our 2nd night.
We had arranged for breakfast to be delivered to our villa the next morning, and again we didn't hear the poor waiter at the gate who had to yell because there was no doorbell. We felt so bad for the guy but there wasn't anything we could do. The breakfast had a generous breadbasket, but the toast and pastries were cold. The omelet, single slice of bacon and solitary chipolata was nothing to rave about, and while there was a decent variety of fruit on the platter, none were sweet save the watermelon. Juice was watered down orange concentrate.
That was enough to convince us we made the right decision to stay at another hotel. We quickly packed and told the reception staff that we wanted to check-out. The lady that attended to us when we arrived asked why. We listed everything down and shared that it was a disaster night's stay that did the complete opposite of rest/relaxation. To her credit she did apologise and offered us another villa to choose from that was available. But it truly was too little too late. We were just glad when our cab arrived to take us away from that place.
Other promises not kept:
1. Free in-room Internet wifi service --- Nope.
2. Coffee/tea making facilities --- We saw an old electric kettle but no coffee/tea or any other drinks for the matter.
3. Bathrobe --- Nope.
Perhaps if the management had alerted us earlier of the booking issue before we'd flown in, this whole unfortunate experience could have been avoided. Am sure others have enjoyed their experience here in better circumstances. However, after this, it would be impossible for us to personally recommend the place for anyone looking for a well-deserved break.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away in a secluded part of Seminyak, The Bali Dream Suite Villa welcomes you to a world of luxurious comfort and exclusive style Villa you have ever dreams of The luscious landscape and unmatched architecture is designed for unrivaled privacy. Featuring 12 units of One Bedroom Private Pool Villas, The Bali Dream Suite Villa is enriched with main swimming pool, restaurant, private lounge and completed with spa facilities that spoil you with the feeling of being in the most luxurious place in Seminyak. The villas themselves emit an intimate atmosphere with loads of characteristics. The decoration throughout the buildings is thought full and charming, a fusion of Balinese architecture and crafts with up-to date comfort. Each Villa is equipped with a private swimming pool, kitchenettes to do your own cooking or take a cooking seminar, semi indoor dining area, relaxing living area, private bathroom, Air Conditioning in room, a safe deposit box, IDD phone, LCD TV, CD & DVD player and Wifi internet connection. Lay your head down in paradise; sleep in late if you choose. Smell the fresh air produced by the gardens surrounding you before dipping your head in your private pool. Allow our staff to pamper your every desire. Or catch a free ride into town to enjoy the sights and sounds of modern Bali. Do as you please because when you stay at The Bali Dream Suite Villa you are royalty. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bali Dream Suite Villa Hotel Seminyak
- The Bali Dream Suite Villa Seminyak