We stayed in Kupu Kupu Jimbaran Bay for 3 days in late July 2011 and were very disappointed with several aspects of the hotel and the service. The only thing 5 star about the hotel was the price!
To set the scene, we had travelled around Indonesia for about 10 days before getting to Kupu Kupu - we had stayed at 5 stars throughout our trip through Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta in Java and a fantastic boutique hotel (definitely 5*) in Ubud in Bali. Kupu Kupu failed to live up to 5* standards for the following reasons:
1. The hotel did not look or feel like a 5* on arrival - it is located on a busy road and is surrounded by shops. The sound proofing is not great so you can hear traffic on the road in the hotel cafe (and sometimes the rooms). The rooms of the hotel are located above the shops. The lobby is small and minimalist in dark wood and had the feel of a corporate lobby. To get to the rooms, one has to take a lift which is rather small and not befitting a 5* property. The impression you get is that they have somehow crammed a hotel between and above high street shops. On the plus side, the beach is not too far away - about a 15 minute walk but the walk is not that great especially at night as it is very dark and there were concerns about being run over by motorists.
2. The customer service (in the restaurant/cafe) really lets the hotel down. We went down to breakfast expecting a buffet (as seems to have been the trend with all the other hotels we had stayed in) but noticed this not to be the case. All fine. We looked at the a la carte menu and saw a selection of different breakfasts - "continental", "the American" (it might even have been "the big American"), etc. We both opted for the American which was meant to include the following items: bacon, sausage, two eggs to your order, grilled tomato, mushrooms in a cream sauce, glass of juice, tea or coffee and a fruit salad. We asked if the American included toast and were informed that it didn't - you could only get toast and croissants if you got the continental. We were both a little surprised at this as it is pretty normal to get toast (or some form of carb) with a cooked breakfast (even in a greasy spoon cafe). The waitress was not helpful at all - it was a very much "computer says no" approach. Then the fun really began and we started bartering. I asked if I could have some toast instead of the mushrooms and my friend said she'd foresake the fruit salad for some toast and a croissant. I have never in my life bartered for food in this way before - in particular NEVER AT A PURPORTED 5*!!! That is not the end of the story... so, they bring the following to our table:
- a basket of tiny COLD toast (no croissant);
- tea (without milk);
- plates containing eggs, two of the smallest rashers of streaky bacon I have seen, half a grilled tomato (my friend had a teaspoon of mushrooms in a creamy sauce on her plate, but I had foregone this delight) - notice the lack of a sausage;
- small glasses of juice (probably around 150 ml each) - is that even enough for one of your five a day???
It is fair to say you could probably get the food on to a side plate. Other than the cold toast, the quality of the food was very good - it was just that, in terms of portion sizes, they thought they were catering to smurfs.
We didn't want to be difficult but thought that cold tiny toast was not acceptable so asked for a replacement basket and asked is we could have more than just 2 small triangles of toast each (I am not joking when I said that the toast was half the size of your normal half a slice of toast in the UK). To their credit they did get a replacement basket of warmer toast (still no croissant though). We finished our tea. It seems my fruit salad was completely forgotten (or maybe they thought I had sacrificed that for the hot toast?!) but the waitress brought it to me begrudgingly after I reminded her. My friend made the mistake of asking about the croissant. The waitress looked at her as if she had said something offensive - and said, "no you had toast, so no croissant". We were made to feel humiliated - now I knew what Oliver Twist felt like when asked "more? You want more?!" - but we were just so shocked at the entire episode (it was also quite funny). My friend then replied, ok, that's fine but we'll be speaking to management about this. A few minutes later a couple of mini croissants were brought to the table. No service with a smile.... considering what we paid for the rooms (which included breakfast) this behaviour was quite shocking, and did not make one feel very welcomed.
The on-duty manager was very friendly and seemed genuinely to take on board our comments, and re-assured us that this would not happen again. They were in the process of changing the menu.
The next morning we went for breakfast and were taken into the much more peaceful garden area of the cafe at the back. Why all guests are not seated there in the first place is a bit bizarre but never mind. Service was much better - we even had decent portions of fruit juice.
Do not expect much of the complimentary "Afternoon Tea". The cakes/desserts themselves are of a very high standard - again, it's a question of portions and customer service rather than the quality of the food. Afternoon tea included tea and a third of 3 different cakes/desserts (i.e., making up a whole slice). We weren't given a choice about the selection and ended up swapping a couple of the desserts as my friend doesn't like mango. Considering the pastries and desserts are all displayed in the counters in the cafe, it seemed a bit silly not to be offered a choice. What if someone had a nut allergy?
3. The swimming pool is quite small. It is located on the rooftop on decking and is surrounded by other hotel rooms - fine if you're staying those rooms, I suppose, but it does not offer much privacy to people staying in those rooms or to pool users.
Some of the above are (or should be) easily rectifiable, for example, the staff who are working in the hospitality industry could be much more hospitable! I understand that there may be some communication difficulties (most of the staff did not speak or understand English - I know, it is a little presumptive to expect / hope that 5* hotel staff in foreign countries speak some English, but it would be a nice touch). We did not use the L'Occitane Spa next to the hotel as found the prices to be exactly what you'd pay in the UK/NYC.
All in all, a disappointing stay but not terrible.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Agoda and ACCOR so you can book your Kupu Kupu Jimbaran & Bamboo Spa by L'Occitane reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Kupu Kupu Jimbaran Hotel Jimbaran
- Kupu Kupu Jimbaran & Bamboo Spa By L'Occitane Bali