We spend 4 nights at the Pondok Sari and had a great time.
The resort consists of a number of bungalows in Balinese style in a wonderful garden. It is not so very big (I believe some 30 rooms), which ensures it is always nice en quiet. The restaurant/bar and dive shop are situated at the end of the resort right on the beach.
We had our own 2-story bungalow that was pretty impressive. Good King-size bed, nice sittig area, open bathroom (large) and on the 2nd floor was a dining table and a vey large lounge bank/bed. First floor had airco, 2nd floor a fan. You can easily spend a lot of time on the 2nd floor, that is entirely open on 2 sides. So lots of fresh air.
The restaurant serves mainly Indonesian dishes, but that is exactly want I wanted, so no problem. Quality is good. A lot better then what I've had at other, more expensive resorts on Bali!
I would like to recommend the Nasi Campur Bali, or the Rijsttafel. Excellent!
The Bar extends from the restaurant onto the beach. Which makes it easy to order drinks/food when you relax on the beach during the day.
Apart from the beach there is also a smal, but very nice pool. Just hanging around in the pool gives you that 'zen' feeling :-)
And you need more relaxation? The Spa is pretty good as well. We had a 3-hour session and felt perfect afterwards. And really, really cheap too!
The only thing that we found out is that the area around the hotel is not very interesting to walk around. There are a number of small restaurants on the street. We didn't go there, but had very positive feedback from guests that did go there.
And if you want to do a sightseeing tour: the hotel is far away from most Bali sights, so prepare for very long trips in a car/bus.
In short: Pondok Sari: very nice. I would go there again, to simple relax and enjoy Bali.
(the rest of the review is about the poor dive shop. You can skip this of you don't dive).
Are there no downsides? Well, the dive shop... We didn't like it at all. The dive shop is part of the Werner Lau dive shops. In general this means very good quality and service (e.g. during this holiday we stayed at the Siddhartha resort, and the Werner Lau dive shop there is excellent). But this one was just bad:
- it was chaotic. Nobody explained to us how what to do, how they operate, etc. When we showed up with our dive gear (of course after having registered) there was nobody helping us. We just had to find out ourselves
- We didn't see the mgr (Düde). He spend a lot of time at another Werner Lau shop in another hotel. That's ok. What is not ok is his replacement. This guy stood there all day long in his Adidas training outfit, doing nothing. And if you asked something it felt he was going to beat you up. That is also something: he looked angry/aggressive/irritated/etc al the time. And that's the dive shop 'face'.
- Diving an Bali is also known for the great service you get everywhere. Well, not here. Carry everything yourself. Help yourself on the boat. Do everything yourself. All the dive shop people did was smoke, hang around, etc.
- Flexible as 10 inch steel. Some other guests wanted to dive at Secret Bay. They asked if the shop could schedule a boat to go there. Answer: no. Not possible, because of tides. Ok, this could be the case. But the way these guests were told off by this guy was horrible. So they walked out the resort to one of the many dive shops and booked a trip to Secret Bay. No tides problems, and in fact friendly and communicative people on the boat. Oh, and 40% cheaper....!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pondok Sari is well known for its tropical garden, its traditional architecture and its shady trees on the sandy beach next to the calm sea. The Pondok Sari is built with love to artistic details with a relaxing flair and charming coziness. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pondok Sari Beach Bungalow Hotel Pemuteran
- Pondok Sari Beach Bungalow Resort And Spa
- Pondok Sari Beach Hotel
- Pondok Sari Beach Resort
- Pondok Sari Beach Bungalow Resort & Spa Bali/Pemuteran