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“Beautiful but overpriced and not what we expected”

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COMO Shambhala Estate
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Payangan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 July 2013 via mobile

While the reviews seem to be overwhelmingly positive, we had a different experience at Como and ended up checking out a day early.

Before I go into my negative comments, I would like to start by saying that the resort is absolutely spectacular!! The walk down to the river is reason alone to stay here (we also saw the views from the Amandari and the Four Seasons Sayan and they don't compare). The food is delicious and healthy and was very much up our alley.

While the resort is beautiful, we encountered our fair share of problems.

The biggest issue for us was that the neighbors were sawing trees from 10am to 4pm during one of our two days at the resort. While I appreciate that there was nothing the resort could do, this was very irritating.

Another problem was the activities offered. The resort advertises itself as a wellness retreat and we were under the false understanding that with a room rate over $1000/night that activities would be offered. The activity list is extremely limited and with the exception of yoga and meditation (and one or two other things) all of the activities are at an additional cost. The Amandari and Four Seasons offer more complimentary activities than Como and are both much better value. The four seasons is $510/night vs $1052/night at Como.

Also, the gym is absolutely NOT usuable. It has nice equipment but it smells like mold and after 2 minutes I promise you will be gasping for fresh air. While I understand that the emphasis here is on outdoor activities, the very least that I would expect from a wellness resort would be a usuable gym.

What really left a bad taste in our mouth was how the staff handled our experience. Instead of a personal follow up letter, we each received an automated letter from the manager telling us he hoped we enjoyed our stay. They were very aware of our experience and we would've expected a personal follow up note.

This resort has so much potential and the setting is so beautiful. It just needs to figure out its mission, fix up its gym and work on its service.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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5  Thank Traveld0g22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear Traveld0g22,

First and foremost, we would like to thank you for taking your time to write this valuable feedback.

We are very happy to read that you found COMO Shambhala Estate’s property and views to be spectacular and that the cuisine was to your liking.

We would like to sincerely apologize regarding the noise disturbance from our neighbour during your stay at the Estate. It is not often, but as we are set in an area with dense vegetation, occasionally our neighbours would inform us of the need to trim some trees on their land. As much as possible, we encourage our neighbours to trim the trees manually and without a chainsaw, however for certain situations the use of a chainsaw is unavoidable. We understand the implication this would have on our guests and therefore should the occasion arises, we immediately ensure that all guests are notified.

We are sorry to hear that you weren’t satisfied with the daily activities schedule we offer to our independent guests. The activities schedule for independent guests include Yoga classes, Pranayama Meditation classes, The Estate Walk as well as Wellness Talks. To meet demand, we always ensure that additional classes are added on during the high season period. As a Wellness Retreat we focus on offering various Wellness Programmes ranging from three to eight nights. For guests who are on the Wellness Programmes, we do offer a daily activities schedule that has a wider range, including Yoga classes, Pranayama Meditation classes, The Estate Walk, Wellness Talks, Pilates Mat classes, Rock Climbing, Aqua therapy classes, Qi Gong classes as well as Jungle Gym Circuit training and Cross Training.

Thank you for your feedback regarding our gym. All of the equipment at our gym is about 6 years old, and we do have plans to upgrade the machines in the near future. I personally feel your review of our gym is somewhat unforgiving, but humbly accept your comments in the spirit that you intend them. Your feedback will certainly contribute to a better product when the time comes for us to upgrade our facilities.

Lastly, we apologize if you feel that your early departure was not followed by a more personalized note. This being said, I was very grateful to have been able to meet you personally upon your departure so that I was able to receive your feedback directly. Our hope is that you will return to the Estate in the future so that we would have a chance to amend your discontent.

Once again, thank you for your valuable review and as mentioned, we look forward to welcoming you back to COMO Shambhala Estate for a more memorable experience.

Kindest regards,
Paul

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Reviewed 27 July 2013

Amazing health experience - I felt relaxed refreshed and rested after staying there. I stayed for four days with my girlfriend before my wedding. The spas were great but the highlight was the food. Creative fresh and healthy. The staff were fantastic and the management couldn't be more accommodating

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank George12456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear George12456,

Warmest greetings from your home at Banjar Begawan.

We cannot be happier to hear that you had an amazing health experience at COMO Shambhala Estate. Moreover, to learn that we were able to help you achieve a relaxed and refreshed state right before your wedding.

A big congratulations on your wedding from the COMO Shambhala Estate family. We all very much look forward to welcoming you back to the Estate in the near future.

Kindest regards,
Paul

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Reviewed 23 July 2013

We have stayed in this hotel three years ago. We decided to write a review right now because it's still the best hotel experience we had so far... Everything was perfect.
The hotel is close to Ubud (15 min by car). Don't miss the balinese dance in the evening.
We stayed in the tirta ening room n°4 with a full outside bathroom. The residence was truly amazing and the quality of all the furnishings and bath products was top notch. The only downside was that even the toilet was outside which can be quite scary in the middle of the night, but it was part of the experience in the middle of the jungle.
The food was really tasty with traditionnal and healthy options.
But definitely the best part of the hotel was the service. Our butler was always present, discreet and helpful. The cleaning staff was truly amazing with special attention to details.
Western luxury hotels have a lot to learn from the COMO SHAMBHALA in terms of service.

Don't hesitate! A real gem in Bali...Really the best part of our stay in Indonesia...
We were so impressed with this hotel that we decide to choose the COMO property in Maldives for our next holidays in september...

Room Tip: Upgrade to a terrace suite
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Georges_AS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2013

Dear Georges_AS,

We are honoured to receive such a generous recollection of your stay at COMO Shambhala Estate. Thank you for remembering us in such a positive light and also for taking the time to write this review.

We hope you will enjoy your time in the Maldives and that it will be just as memorable, if not more, the Cocoa Island team with Laurent Sola shall make it happen. Meanwhile, all of us at COMO Shambhala Estate look forward to welcoming you back home to Banjar Begawan in the near future.

Kindest regards,
Paul

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Reviewed 20 July 2013

It is very hard to fault this magnificent place. Service, accommodation, food, staff, activities, location are world standard. I spent 7 glorious nights at this haven and loved every single minute. I cannot wait to go back. Special thanks to Tini and Dayu for looking after my every need all week.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Susie27868
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2013

Dear Susie27868,

Warmest greetings from the peaceful jungles of Banjar Begawan.

At COMO Shambhala Estate we strive to immerse all of our guests in a positive, holistic and healing experience through all aspects – design, facilities, staff, treatments, cuisine, accommodation, community, adventure and culture. This being said, we are delighted to read your review and to learn that we were able to achieve this during your stay with us.

Tini, Dayu, myself and the COMO Shambhala Estate family look forward to welcoming you back home to the Estate soon and make sure your stay will be another truly memorable one.

Kind regards,
Paul

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2013

this hotel situated in an estate of 9ha, has only 25 rooms and 350 employes!
Although you don't see them, they materialise near you as soon as you have the smallest desire.
The SPA is fantastic and all the treatments are a blessing for your body and soul.
The daily activities are fun and diverse
food is good but mostly healthy and on dietary basis, I would appreciate a more elaborate menu
service is impecable
and the rooms are amazing, really from a fairy tail
We loved it and will be back for sure!

Room Tip: You have 5 residences each with 5 rooms. every room has it's privacy and some of them a private...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ameliapcoutinho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2013

Dear ameliapcoutinho,

Warmest greetings from COMO Shambhala Estate, and the island of the God's and the thousand temples!

It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the complimentary daily activities as well as the treatments at COMO Shambhala. I do hope you were able to experience one of the treatments by the spring pools at Kedara, our Water Garden.

Thank you for your feedback with regards to the menu. I will be sure to review your feedback with our Executive Chef and Food and Beverage team. The COMO Shambhala cuisine at the Estate is inspired by the living food tradition - this maintains the nutritional integrity of the original foods’ essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals and allows you to benefit from the ‘life force’ of specific ingredients. This being said, we can also accommodate special requests from our guests that cater to their food preferences.

Thank you also for taking the time to share your experience at the Estate on TripAdvisor. We look forward to welcoming you back home to the Estate in the near future.

Kindest regards,
Paul

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Reviewed 8 July 2013

...when i arrived at the Hotel, i was so fascinated by its location...its a ferytale! its so unbelievebly amazing that you have to see it, to believe it. You dive into another world of relaxation and purity. Undisputely the best resort in Indonesia, well one of the one's in the world. I had the chance to travel to some of the nicest places of this lovely planet, but rarely had this feeling inside my of happiness and fullfillement in my heart. The food (at my time was an Australien Women Chef) as just to die for...all, really everything was fantastic...from Breakfast, over room-service, the little goodies you can eat down at the riverside or the natural pools setted in the forest over the lovely dinners...just perfect. Bravo to all the team of Como Shambhala...you have changed my life! Coming from a very blessed swiss mountain area, where stress is not in our vocab, i think that Como Shambhala is the most relaxing place on earth .Thanks for existing, thanks for creating estates like that and thanks to god, that i have the possibility in my life, to be able to travel to such a perfect world like Como Shambhala's world.

Room Tip: Any room is good, we loved this large villa on this compound of for different villa where we shared...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Thierry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2013

Dear Thierry F,

We are the ones who would like to thank you for staying with us and also for contributing such a wonderful review of COMO Shambhala Estate on TripAdvisor.

We’re so pleased to learn that we’ve made it to your list of one of the best resorts in the world! Moreover, we’re very excited to hear that being at the Estate gave you a sense of happiness and fulfilment. This is really the best compliment you can give us as it is something that we would like for all of our guests to feel.

We will be sure that Heidi, our Executive Chef at the Estate, reads your feedback on how much you enjoyed the cuisine. I must agree that the picnic lunch by the spring pools at Kedara is really something special – I’m very glad to know that you were able to experience it.

Thank you again for your uplifting review, especially being a compatriot Swiss myself and we very much look forward to welcoming you back home to the Estate in the near future.

Kindest regards,
Paul

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Reviewed 8 July 2013

After the chaos of Denpasar airport and the equally chaotic traffic we entered a small part of paradise at this hotel. We have never been to a hotel where the service was beyond exemplary, the location was as close to paradise as you could get. The room that we had was fantastic with three glass walls looking straight into the rainforest. Our personal assistant, Dayu was outstanding as was every member of staff we had interaction with. The restaurants were to die for and the freshness and quality of the food was amazing. The waitstaff (mostly young women) could teach many waitstaff around the world quality service of the highest order; they even remembered our names! After staying in many hotels we think this is the best we have ever been to.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank krmSydney_Australia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul L L, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2013

Dear krmSydney_Australia,

Thank you for the humbling review of COMO Shambhala Estate – we are ecstatic to learn that we’ve gained the title of the best hotel on your list!

It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you especially appreciated the cuisine.

Along with the COMO Shambhala Estate family, I look forward to welcoming you back home to our little paradise at Begawan Village.

Kindest regards,
Paul

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Additional Information about COMO Shambhala Estate

Address: Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod | Payangan, Ubud, Payangan 80571, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Payangan
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Payangan
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Payangan
#2 Luxury Hotel in Payangan
#2 Spa Hotel in Payangan
Price Range: £387 - £854 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — COMO Shambhala Estate 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
COMO Shambhala Estate is a residential health retreat with luxury villa-style accommodations near Ubud, Bali. This ‘Retreat for Change’ is a place to relax and improve wellbeing. State-of-the-art wellness facilities include a Vitality pool, private treatment areas beside the River Ayung, a climbing wall, gym, Pilates studio and yoga pavilion. The Estate’s Resident Experts, who all support the 360-degree approach to wellness, include a Yoga Master, Ayurvedic Doctor and guides for outdoor activities, with nutritional menus by COMO Shambhala Cuisine. The range of suites and villas, perched above the Balinese jungle, suits independent guests, couples, or small groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Como Shambhala Estate Hotel Payangan
COMO Shambhala Estate Bali/Payangan

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