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Reviewed 10 May 2012

My husband and I were looking forward to this spa retreat which we purchased from a travel fair. During this fair, the representative of Kupu kupu Barong was there and committed to the free two times 60 minutes spa for both of us and a romantic dinner.

Prior to our trip, we arranged everything with the local agent (who is collaborating with the hotel) on our schedule. We requested for the dinner on first night and spa on the second day. On top of that, we asked for confirmation if the 2 times 60 minutes spa can be combined to 1 time 120 minutes spa (on top of the mango tree, overseeing the Ayung river) and were told that everything is possible and has been confirmed.

Upon our arrival, we only asked the buttler to send our luggage to the room as we would like to go out directly to Ubud town. We managed to arrange for the 120-mins spa on the 3rd day at 9.00am because the spa was fully booked. We were confused (as of why our spa were not booked as requested) but accepting the changes. In the evening when we came back, we were told that the buggy (which is used to transfer the guests to their villa which is at the bottom of the cliff) was malfunction. And such, we had to take a stroll downhill with the buttler. The road was quite slippery, especially at night.

On the next day, we had to climb back to the top for our breakfast. Going up is definitely harder than going down. After our trip back from water rafting, we were again told that buggy was still malfunction. (We expected a quicker repair service from a 5-star hotel). Anyway, we had to take the painful stroll up and down the hill. To make the things worse, we saw one buggy sending a Japanese couple to their room. At that moment, it gave us the image that we were treated differently from the Japanese. It was unfair to discriminate Malaysian from Japanese or other nationalities just because we are neighbour countries. I believed we paid the same amount of money per night of stay in this hotel. To be discriminated is definitely the last thing we wanted to experience in our "dream retreat". We did confronted the front-desk and they took a long time to give us an explaination. We were told that the buggy was only able to serve the villas on top of the hill and not the one at the bottom of the hill (by the way, villa at the bottom is more expensive). We would have appreciated a better explaination the first time around (on the first day) when we were told that all buggy were malfunction. An honest explaination would have saved us the agony of being discriminated.

And on the third day, we were excited to experience our first L'ocitane spa. Everything was great until we were guided to the spa room. It was an indoor spa and not the promised tree spa. There were a lot of confusion and they could not arrange us on the tree-top spa. They even told us that tree-spa is the name of their spa. I was very disappointed at how words were twisted just to confuse us. The lady (Yanni) who came to Malaysia during the travel fair (and promised the tree-spa) came to meet us. She was not even apologic of the whole incident but started to blame the tour agency in Malaysia and everyone in the loop. She even blamed us for not contacting and arranging with the hotel for our spa. I believed we do not have to go through all this trouble, since the hotel has the collaboration with the tour agency in Malaysia. Why should I engaged a tour agency and still have to contact the hotel AND the agency for every single arrangement? Shouldnt it be enough just to arrange with the tour agency? I was confused and even angrier listening to all the blaming drama. And next, she told us that tree-spa does not cater for spa... but only massage.. Again, spa that does not do spa but only massage. Should the tree-spa be called tree-massage? Then, she blamed us for combining our 2 times 60 mins spa to 1 time 120 mins spa as a reason of why they did not put us on the tree spa. Throughou the whole 45 mins there, not only we did not get our spa, we were blamed in different ways.. just to say that it was all our own fault for not getting our 120mins tree spa. And by the way, we could not choose the spa we wanted. It was very specific spa, pre-determined by the hotel (apparently due to the fact that it is part of the package). We were so deeply disappointed by how the staff handle situation like this. Customers were blamed to make the hotel look "good". This is by far, the worst experience we had on a spa resort. We even let go of the spa, as we felt cheated and mistreated. Never again would we go back to such a place where you were treated like a third-class citizen. It is not worth risking your "dream vacation/retreat". I would rather pay more for a peace of mind.

It was a shame that up till today (one week after this incident), nobody from the hotel contacted us to apologise or give us a full explaination. I believe it will take a long time before the staff from this hotel reach a professional standard in handling situations. All in all, it's definitely NOT worth the money paid. We went there to de-stress but came back to our beloved country, more stressed than before. What an eventful trip! (I would not even call it a vacation).

Room Tip: Ayung villa is good but make sure that the buggy is functioning. Else it would be a long hike from the room to the lobby/restaurant/spa.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank tjolynn82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KKB_Management, Manager at Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Tree Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 15 May 2012

Dear Tjolynn82,

I am deeply sorry that your stay in Kupu Kupu Barong didn't meet with your expectations and I thank you for giving us a detailed feedback of your experience.

We pride ourselves in offering top-notch service and any comment showing that we do not deliver on our promise is taken very seriously and followed with actions.

Regarding the buggy services, please trust me that we would never discriminate one guest over another because of nationality. This is the contrary of our philosophy and mentality.

Unfortunately, we had two of our three buggies out of order when you visited and we had to wait a few days for the spare parts to come from Jakarta. During that time, we implemented a minimum buggy service targeting in priority older guests or those with disabilities, or those staying in the furthest villas. I understand your frustration as our property is vast. It was the first time that we had two of our buggies out of order and we will probably order a new one after this incident. We are also planning to open an elevator soon that will make the trip much shorter between the reception and the bottom of the hill.

Regarding the Tree Spa, our Salesperson failed to advise you correctly about our services and also to communicate with your agent to make sure that your expectations could be met. I had a long talk with her and our Sales Director to make sure this does not happen again. Please accept my apologies for your disappointing experience, we will learn from it and if you are willing to give us a second chance, I hope we can earn your trust again.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need more information. My email is thibaud at kupubarong dot com.

Best regards,

Thibaud

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

I was very much looking forward to a peaceful retreat and had paid for a villa by the river and with an outdoor pool. Instead I got a villa on the mountainside and with an indoor plunge pool.. The villa was decorated for Las Vegas and had a musty smell -with little resemblance to the photos on the hotel´s website. The butler was friendly and helpful, though I was greatly disappointed with the restaurant staff. I did receive an email from the hotel´s manager apologizing for their mistakes in the booking, though would have preferred to have gotten the villa I had reserved and received no compensation for the price difference.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank xyi_xyi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KKB_Management, Manager at Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Tree Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 April 2012

Dear Xyi_xyi,

Thank you for your review of Kupu Kupu Barong.

We are very sorry about your disappointing experience with us and we would be happy to answer you personally.

As your reviewed our hotel in April 2012 but visited it in November 2011, we were not able to find the record of your stay and it is difficult to answer you in details. Please contact me by email thibaud@kupubarong.com to allow me to address all the issues you mentioned. In particular, if you were given a villa different than the one you booked, you should be compensated with the price difference.

Best regards and hoping to hear from you soon,

Thibaud

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

KKB is a bit like Bali itself - a bit of a mixed bag.

On the one hand the jungle views, service and ambiance are absolutely beautiful. But - and there is always a "but"--the Villas themselves were a bit of a let down - poorly designed to start with and now starting to show their age. A musty smell awaits when you walk in; and the "private pool" that we were expecting was actually a plunge pool in the bathroom. The floors on the upper level creak badly. The Villas are habitable and even a bit romantic - for sure - but not 5 star by any means. The staff were very good in helping us relocate to a more suitable residence, but I imagine a lot of other visitors would be let down and don't want to go through the tedious process of shifting.

The hotel do everything they can to make your stay pleasant, with flower petals on the bed upon arrival, a free wicker basket, complimentary tea every day; but methinks its time to rebuild at least some of the older villas. And probably redo the website so that people have more realistic expectations.

On the positive side, the staff are very gentle and always smiling. The breakfast was one of the best I have had anywhere - and I noticed other customers enjoying them, also. The whole atmosphere was very serene and complimented the stunning jungle setting. Unfortunately no local restaurants nearby so you have no choice to go into Ubud - where there are a lot of very good restaurants (or the Hotel restaurant which was beautiful). The hotel security is also very good.

Thanks to staff for a pleasant stay - hopefully the management will start to make your job easier by upgrading some of the older facilities.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Having traveled extensively around the world I can honestly say this was one of the best place in ubude.Very nice and quiet, perfect for our honeymoon. The private swimming pool is ideal for privacy. Management and staff are really kindly. We warmly suggest this place for quiet and romantic honeymoon in ubude, and we'll come back again next year.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Charles5919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2012

4th. visit to this hotel and it is simply stunning. 5 of us spent 4 days their this month and one of our party Carl stated our title during the stay. Staff warm, friendly and gave fantastic service - restaurant great. 3 of thr group went on "the trek' which is offered by the hotel and found it to be a most educational and spiritual experience - a real highlight of their stay.
Villas are terrific and with own pools - just beautiful
Annie, Bernice, Carl, John & Lainey..

Room Tip: pool villas great choice
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jgrPort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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