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Bale Sampan Bungalows
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Reviews (438)
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All reviewsoutdoor bathroomgili tmueslibars restaurantsgarden viewpancakeshot wateryummy breakfastlocation is greatceiling fanbreakfast was includedbeach chairsrooms are nicesea turtleshire bikesevery morninglombok airport
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Reviewed 3 July 2013

This place is a highlight. Not only are you on an Island paradise but the place is well maintained and quite. It is surrounded by restaurants, right on the beach and has great breakfasts served by friendly staff. Do yourself a favor, hire a bike while you are there. There are no cars or motorbikes on the island.

Room Tip: Try the rooms by the pool.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank DarwinDave_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We stayed here on a our last visit to Gili T and found it to be much quieter than down the other end of the island. The staff are friendly and helpful and we have the knowledge that we know that Harriet & Ben (the Owners) will always take good care of us. We are regular visitors to Gili T and really enjoy our time there. Breakfast on the beachfront is lovely and the staff go out of their way to be accommodating...eg if we need an early breakfast - they organise it for us. The staff also have their own little business hiring out push bikes so the owners are actively supporting their staff to develop business management skills. We really enjoyed riding the bikes around the island and up and down to the dive shop/bars/restaurants. The rooms are very comfortable and we love the semi-outdoor bathroom. We're going back in November and have already booked our rooms.

Room Tip: The front rooms near the pool are slightly more expensive...but the views over the beach, sea and islands is amazing.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank MarianneStClair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

In a word, this place was gross. Booked 4 nights, stayed 1 (wouldn't have even done that, but everything else on the island was full the night we got there and saw how horrible this place was). "Luxury boutique villa" marketing? What a joke.

Other hotels on the island with this level of grime and lack of attention to design and service run $30 or less; we paid almost 3 times as much to have a nicer place and only got this craphole for our $82 a night. We stayed in Room #4 and it was nothing more than a barren budget-level backpacker cell with water stains and mold devouring the cheap white walls and ceilings, chipped and damaged finishes, grimy bathroom fixtures, no toiletries whatsoever, brown towels with ragged orange bleach stains (on full size, washcloths, and hand towels all), and completely empty walls (don't expect any cheesy hotel art posters here- it's an art-free vacation zone…just like prison!).

The room windows do not open, nor is there a mosquito net, so you are forced to sleep with the room sealed up like a pod. Even in this hermetic state, the mosque still offers a deafening level of penetration through the drywall and makes resting past about 5am impossible. Contrary to what they tell you, you cannot hear this racket at top volume everywhere on the island. (As we discovered in our new hotel where we slept with the windows and doors open and listened to the ocean all night, the rest of the island is actually quite peaceful and pleasant.) There is also no ability to enjoy the outdoor space of the Bale Sampan room unless you want to stare at bare black dirt on your tiny concrete pad of "deck" 12 inches from your neighbors on either side and then stare at a wall 3 feet ahead with no fresh air circulating, amongst some foul garbage smells and screaming kids. It feels as though you're outside a hot, bad ground-level city apartment, crammed in like a sardine in an alley of dumpsters. As a bonus, they do not leave the A/C on during the day at any point for you nor before your arrival, so when you check in and/or come back to the room it is sweltering, stuffy, and unbearable for resting due to the aforementioned lack of operable windows.

The pool and beach- your reasons for coming to a tropical island, you say?- are an embarrassment. The pool is small, still, and stagnant with a slime film overtop and looked out onto a busy, dirty stretch of street. In fact, the view from the pool enjoys precisely no less than 6 large trash cans clustered together in your immediate sightline, with stray cats knocking them over and digging through, making a pretty mess of further garbage across the already dirty street and hotel courtyard. Only 2 of the rooms face the tiny, dirty swimming pool and empty dirt courtyard...and beyond it, the street, garbage, and trash-filled section of beach. The rest face an empty wall along a packed dirt "garden" with no privacy between units and no breeze. The property's section of beach is completely filthy and full of trash as well. Their "private lounge chairs" sport dirty, stained worn-out cushions and are surrounded by piles of garbage, bottles, cans, plastic, old shoes, cigarette butts, and more. If you like vacationing and sunbathing in a landfill, this is the place for you. This strip of low-end hotels and dirty beach is also the worst, crummiest section on the entire island, as we discovered once there. Go north or south and it's a whole different cleaner, beautiful world. The owner suggested that the volume of trash was due to some high winds the day of our arrival, but, we stayed at the hotel 24 hours and on the island for 5 days (at an actual nice hotel) and passed by Bale Sampan again several times; our observations about Bale Sampan's awful beach and squalid pool/property did not seem to be a fluke as it was never improved in this amount of time. The staff sat around quite a lot and never bothered to pick up the trash or rake their area of beach as the staff did at other properties on Gili T.

The staff were absent-minded, inattentive, distracted, and not friendly. They did not show us the room before we (stupidly!) paid upfront with a debit card for our entire 4-night booking as requested, did not suggest bookings for any water sport activities or offer us bicycles or beach towels, and had 2 huge disgusting baskets of dirty guests' linens and towels on display behind the front desk on a continual basis. They were never at the desk to give you your key when you returned day or evening- anyone could have reached over the counter and grab your key (as we had to do ourselves), and seemed generally annoyed with the guests' presence. The design, decor, and furnishings were horrible and nothing like the photos presented on their website or their professional photos on TripAdvisor and Booking.com…which are either years and years old or else the product of some very talented Photoshopping. Due to the general state of filth in the property, we never ate at the hotel's cafe. My advise is to either pay $20 more and get waited on hand-and-foot at a real luxury villa at the north or south end of the island, that is over-the-top cool and has some local character to the architecture, or keep your money and spend $30 for a budget hostel that's probably not even as crappy as this.

All that said, the booking manager?/owner? was truly an excellent communicator, helped us book our ferry transport and recommended a beautiful high-end beach club and restaurant to visit in Bali during our downtime between the ferry and the airport. She did seem to feel very badly that we wanted to check out early from Bale Sampan and issued us a refund (this was all by phone; she was not at the hotel in person). We got the impression perhaps she did not know how run-down the property had become or how rudely the staff were treating guests. I hope that she will either refresh the property, or go to work at a nicer place as she seems like she could be a great host in the right setting.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KristinCarlson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2013

Situated on the beach, an 8 minute walk from where the ferry lands passengers, or a 2 minute ride in a horse drawn ‘taxi’, the relatively new Bale Sampan is in the slightly quieter end of the main tourist area. It is surrounded by many choices of restaurants and bars and has its own cafe with lovely fresh baguettes, a delightful pool and bike hire. The staff is friendly and make an effort to address you by name when they see you. The air-conditioned room is clean and spacious, has no fridge or tea/coffee making facilities but the king sized bed is very comfortable and the quality pillows and bedding make for a comfortable nights sleep. The ensuite is open to the sky above the hot water shower alcove. The managers are ready with any assistance you may need including booking activities etc. There is free WiFi but it really only works well in the cafe area at the front and breakfast is included in the room price.

Room Tip: All rooms are stand alone so no neighbour noise through walls. They appear to be of the same age and quality.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Melinda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

Very nice staff, Rudy, Marianna, Antun, Adi, Ayu, Mita, Benny, Etchok, Juni who have always smile, helpfull, friendly. The room are very nice and very clean. I like stay there. Good breakfast is amazing. Best iced lemon tea. This is the best place in Gili Trawanagan.

Sebastian Leger

Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
Thank jeanseb34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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