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“Very private, good service but poor food and mosquitos!”

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The Ulin Villas & Spa
Ranked #3 of 143 Hotels in Seminyak
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very private, good service but poor food and mosquitos!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2012

Hotel is very private, which is great to relax but also means you could live isolated for your whole stay.
Garden and pool area are great, the pool is rather large.Staff was always very helpful and responsive, which is very pleasant.
Location is nice, close to nice shops and restaurants, but still very quiet.

However the rooms are a bit worn out and would need refurbishing/refreshing, looks a little old inside.
2 big cons for us:
- the food, both breakfast (included) and dinner were really poor and tasteless
- mosquitos: three of us got beaten at least 20 times each in 2 nights. Yes, there is a pool and this is tropical area, but we managed to stay 6 nights in the middle of the jungle with zero bites.

Overall, too pricey for what it really is.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Leylaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winawan, General Manager at The Ulin Villas & Spa, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Dear “Leylaaa”

Thank you very much for taking your valued time to write your review and sharing your observation of your stay. We are pleased to note that you loved the privacy and the service presented at The Ulin Villas and Spa. We highly value your less positive comments on the food which we are now reviewing. We will also immediately do thorough review to your comments on the mosquitoes in order to promptly manage the issue.

Once again thank you very much for your review and we are committed to use your comments to persistently improve our standard of products and services.

We look forward to welcoming you again in the future to show case what The Ulin Villas and Spa is recognized for.


Kind regards,

Wayan Winawan
General Manager
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630 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2012

Just returned from our 4 nites stay. We were there to celebrate our 9th anniversary so we wrote earlier to request if they could dress up the villa and make it more romantic. The reply came promptly and even managed to arrange for a free airport pick up.

After being greeted by the friendly driver Sundi from Ulin who gave us good some local knowledge, we meet up with the friendly reception staff. Overall I would say there is no one staff who didn't greet us with a friendly smile. They were very patient (Widi to be exact) in accommodating the changes in transport arrangement to Kuta. On the way to Kuta, the friendly driver Anthoni even let us make a quick detour to buy some souveniors and showed us to a good local restaurant and ensured that we get seated before leaving us.

All in all, we would say they have very good service. From the welcome floral arrangements on the floor, the wide choices offered for breakfast, a daily teatime snack with fresh juices (though it's a very basic snack), free mini bar with soda and beer and a bottle of red wine, evening turn down service where they will put up mosquito repellent and lite up candles along the pool and even change fresh towels during then.... you cannot fault any of their service.

As for the quality of the hotel itself, the hotel is very well kept, clean and neat. The pool is always so inviting and clean. The open air massage gazebo looks tempting but weather was just too warm to make it comfortable to massage there. One draw back is the kitchen is not connected to the main room living area, so when it rains which it did for the 2 out of 4 nites, you will have to use an umbrella to get your drinks which may be a hand full having to hold the umbrella at the same time.

Bed is firm and really wide, think it should be a 7 feet wide bed. good size open air bath tub and shower at a very nice little court yard setting.

You have total privacy once you are into your villa. Can even do skinny dipping in the pool without having to worried if you will be seen.

location : just a few minutes away from the main street where Ultimo is, no problem getting different types of food there.

Price : a bit on a high side, but really wort the experience. There are a few other villas nearby but this one definitely look the neatest.

Highly recommend if you want somewhere romantic.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JodyTong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winawan, General Manager at The Ulin Villas & Spa, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Dear “JodyTong”

We wish to thank you for a very extensive review of your time at with us here on your most recent Bali holiday. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay right from the booking process to your departure. We agree with you that The Ulin Villas and Spa is a private secluded paradise, while we just steps away from the “eat street”.

We thank you very much for your high credit to the level of service provided by our team members and their friendliness. We do hope to see you again in the future.


With warm regards,

Wayan Winawan
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barham, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2012

Ourselves and another couple spent 4 nights at Ulin Villas in a 2 bedroom villa. The villas were amazing with our own pool in a walled off oasis. The complimentary Balinese BBQ was a highlight, with the attention to detail and decoration incredible. The staff were extremely helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The drop off service was excellent whenever we wanted to go somewhere in local area.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anthony J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winawan, General Manager at The Ulin Villas & Spa, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Dear “Anthony J”

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review about us on tripadvisor.com and we really appreciate it. We are happy to read that you loved your villa, the food (especially the BBQ), the attention to details and our team members that were extremely helpful to your every request. It was a pleasure having you at The Ulin Villas and Spa. We do look forward to welcoming you again on your next Bali visit.


Kind regards,

Wayan Winawan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

We (a family of 4 adults and 1 toddler) booked a 2-bedroom villa for 2 nights based on tripadvisor reviews. We had high expectations but ended up very disappointed. This was especially since we had an overall better stay at another villa (Ahimsa Beach Resort) a few days earlier at much lower cost. Had we not stayed at Ahimsa Beach, there would have been no basis for comparison and we might have liked the Ulin Villas better. So to explain my ratings, in my review I will be making some comparisons with Ahimsa Beach.

Excluding the spa (more on that below), the villa service was good for the most part. We booked the villa via email and reservation staff was helpful and quick in responding to our requests and questions. We were granted a discounted price that was better than any web site I could find, so we booked directly with them.

The rate included airport transfer and car service to nearby areas. The driver who transferred us from Ayana (our previous hotel) to the villa was friendly and spoke good English. When we passed by a chariot monument in Denpasar, we requested to stop by and take some pictures, and he was really helpful. Including the stop, the transfer took about an hour and it was a pleasant one. The other driver, who took us from the villa to the airport, however was not as courteous. While he certainly did his job and helped us with our luggage, there was a lack of smile. Even as we handed him our tip, he didn't wave us good-bye and just left without a word or smile... This made we wonder whether our tip (20000 rph) was too small, but I gave similar tip to other drivers and every one of them would show appreciation when receiving a tip, no matter what the amount was. Also, the villa cars were decent but not as clean and comfortable as the cars used by Ahimsa Beach. We planned a day tour to Ubud and we were glad we didn't book the tour with Ulin; instead we booked Dewa Marco who also had a more comfortable car and more courteous driver than Ulin, and at much lower price.

The reception staff were very friendly and helpful and on par with Ahimsa Beach, but some of the other staff (porter, serviceman etc) just performed their job in an indifferent manner, without the extra care that we would expect of a good 5-star service. For example, when the porter delivered the luggage to our villa, after he put down the last piece he just left without a word, without confirming with us that all pieces were received. All in all, I think the villa service in Ulin was good, but a bit inconsistent and not as good as the tripadvisor ratings hyped it up to be. The service in Ahimsa Beach was better overall.

The spa service, however, was a huge let down. We booked a 2-hour spa for two. The therapists' skills were nothing special, and their attitude was like total indifference. They never asked us how much pressure we would like for our massages, and started right off with a heavy pressure that made my wife cry in pain. Also the body scrub that was used on us was very cold, but they just poured all the scrub on our body without any warning, which made us shiver. They should have alerted us and applied a small amount initially. We had not taken spa elsewhere in this Bali trip, but we have had spas in comparable luxury resorts in other Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives, etc) and the Ulin spa was the worst experience among them.

Breakfast was okay, nothing special. On our first morning, we asked for our fried eggs to be cooked flip-over, but they were cooked well done. On our second morning, we stated specifically to the chef that the eggs were overcooked yesterday and we would like our eggs to be cooked flip-over but not well done, but they were still cooked well done. Apparently either the chef could not understand English well (despite she replied “okay” to our request), or she did not know how to fry the eggs the way we specified. The breakfast in Ahimsa Beach was not great, but better than this.

One of us was having birthday during our stay here, and they gave us a complimentary birthday cake. It was a chocolate cake that seemed nice at first, until we actually tasted it. With a texture more like sponge than cake, it was one of the most terrible cakes we had ever eaten, almost inedible that we had to spit it out. Since the cake was free, we could not complain much, but had it tasted just average we would have been very happy.

The villa was well-maintained and very clean, but it lacked the design and coziness that was the great point of Ahimsa Beach. The large bathtub was a plus, but bed and sofa were not as comfortable as Ahimsa Beach. The villa was comprised of three entirely separate pavilions: two bed rooms and a kitchen/living area. There were no covered walkways connecting the three pavilions. On rainless days this would be fine. But when it rained on our first day, we needed to use an umbrella whenever we walked between the kitchen and bedroom, and we found this troublesome. And worse, that night when we went to sleep, the rain stopped briefly and we forgot to bring the umbrella into the bedroom. There were only two umbrellas provided by the villa and we left them both in the living area. Later that night, we needed to go to the kitchen to get some hot water for our toddler's milk, and a thunderstorm was taking place. I tried to use a bath towel to protect myself, but I still got thoroughly wet. Since rain was common during the wet season, it would have been better if they had installed some kind of retractable awnings over the walkways connecting the pavilions. Ahimsa Beach did not have this problem, and their 2-bedroom villa easily won in terms of design and comfort.

We requested to set up a pool fence for our toddler safety, which was set up when we arrived. But the pool fence was rather tall and there was no gate in the fence, and an adult would need to stride over it to access the pool. We found it inconvenient and decided to ask them to remove it, and it took them a few hours before someone came to remove it. This wasn't terrible, but wasn't very efficient either. Ahimsa Beach clearly won here, their pool was still accessible with pool fence installed.

The pool was of a good size and really nice. On our second night, when it didn't rain and the sky was clear, we even managed to enjoy star gazing on an inflatable pool bed in the middle of the pool, a great experience. Ahimsa Beach's pool was nice too, but its size was a bit small. We found that the pool was the only part of the villa where Ulin was better than Ahimsa Beach.

As for the location, Ulin is next to many restaurants and shops, but the streets in Seminyak are messy and really unfriendly to families with toddlers, and it is impossible to navigate a stroller on the streets. Also it is not close to the beach. On the same location (even the same street), there are a lot of mid-range villas and Ulin has the highest price among them. So this is not really a 5-star location (otherwise all these mid-range villas could be considered having a 5-star location). In comparison, the Ahimsa Beach is close to the beach but nowhere near shops and restaurants (except the Jimbaran Bay seafood restaurants). But in the same location there are many high-end resorts e.g. Kayumanis and Jimbaran Puri which are just next door. The Ahimsa Beach is one of the cheaper options in its location. So I think while it depends on personal preference whether proximity to beach or shopping is more important, I will try to be objective here: based on the pricing of nearby hotels and villas, closeness to beach is considered to be a more important factor in determining the value of a location than closeness to shopping. Therefore, objectively I believe the Ahimsa Beach has a better location than Ulin.

This comes to the most decisive factor for my rating: the value. After discount at both villas, the price I paid for a two-bedroom for Ulin was about US $130 higher than Ahimsa Beach. While both villas are actually mid-range luxury villas, Ulin charges you high-end prices for it. We have noticed that in the past few years (and again this year), Ulin has significantly raised its price, at a margin much higher than other comparable villas, despite it is the same villa providing the same service as a few years ago. It is not like Ulin made a lot of renovations on their villas to warrant the huge price hike. Apparently, the price hike was entirely due to popularity and all the hype, driven by the owner's greed rather than a dedication to continually improve guest experience. So while Ulin might be excellent value two years ago, at the current price it is no longer good value. Ahimsa Beach definitely has better value, but one who does more research (rather than just looking at the villa with #1 ranking in tripadvisor) will probably find other nearby places with better value too.

The villa claims that there are no “hidden charges” in their pricing. But as we discovered, this is a lie. This is only true if you pay all your bills by USD cash (including any reservation deposit). If you pay by Rupiah cash or by credit card (in any currency), they will convert their USD prices to Rupiah using a reverse conversion rate that is highly unfavorable to you. We know that their rate is highly unfavorable because on the same day, we bought some wood carvings from a shop in Mas Village which had their items listed in USD prices, and when we paid by Rupiah the shop used a conversion rate that was about 4.5% better than the Ulin conversion rate. Basically, the Ulin conversion rate was as if we were buying USD from Rupiah at a rate worse than anywhere outside (that's what I meant by “reverse conversion”, i.e. buying USD from Rupiah, which tourists who come to Bali rarely need to do). We found this rather unreasonable since unlike a bank or exchange center, Ulin did not actually give us USD notes for our Rupiah, they just used our Rupiah to pay off their operating costs and would not need to perform any currency exchange themselves. So there is no reason for them to make profit from currency conversion like a bank or exchange center does, especially at such a high profit rate. Other hotels/villas may apply a 21% tax and service charge but that is not really hidden, everybody would notice it when booking a hotel/villa. But the reverse conversion charge incurred by Ulin is really hidden, you won't easily notice it unless you pay attention to exchange rates. And I suppose few guests would pay by USD cash, most of them would pay by Rupiah or by credit card. I think it would be acceptable if they make a 0.5% profit from conversion, but at over 4% profit, this just proves again that this business is entirely driven by greed.

I would not recommend staying here; instead I would recommend Ahimsa Beach, a much better villa at lower price. But if you want to stay here to see what the hype is all about, then do your wallet a favor and bring enough USD cash. Even if you are coming from within Indonesia, buy some USD cash from your local bank before staying here.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Anika C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winawan, General Manager at The Ulin Villas & Spa, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear “Anika C”

I wish to thank you for taking your valued time to write a very comprehensive review and sharing your observation about your recent stay with us. I have kindly noted that the overall service and our villas were meeting your expectation but not the price. All of our price and promotion are include tax, service charge and high season sure charge while other hotels may put them separately by the end of every bill.

In regard of the credit card payment, we apply the common practice in Indonesia and valid to every hotel that credit card payments are converted into Indonesian Rupiah according to the prevailing hotel exchange rate the day of processing. Differences in personal statement can occur and are due to the fluctuation of the Indonesian Rupiah and Bank processing time. This policy is requested by Indonesian monetary policy and it is clearly mentioned on the confirmation letter as well as on the terms and conditions available on our website.

We sincerely appreciate the comparison that you have made to other establishment you may have stayed before. It would be much more helpful if you could make comparison to other hotels in the area of Seminyak (same type and size of property) and not hotels or villas that are in other part of Bali. This would help to provide a better point of view on pricing as well as location.

We also have done some renovation and adding some new facilities to our villas. If you have stayed with us before, you should have noticed what have been changed and added. Please log in to our news letter and we will be very delighted to send you any updates or changes we had and what would in the future.

We highly value your feedback and will liaise with various departments in the hotel to address the points you raised. I am committed to ensuring we resolve each point you have made. In our quest for excellence, we are committed to providing our guests with the highest quality of service by continuously appraising the standards of our products and services. Please accept our most sincere apologies and our commitment to using your feedback to enhance the experience for all of our guests. Once again thank you very much for your review and we very much look forward to welcoming you back again to The Ulin Villas and Spa.


Warmest regards,


Wayan Winawan
General Manager
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Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

We were lucky enough to spend 11 glorious nights here in a 2 bedroom villa ,end of Feb, early March. Where to begin. The Villas were magnificent. The Staff incredibly helpful and always smiling. The drivers - always on time and happy to pass on local knowledge. The Breakfasts - beautifully cooked and were more than happy to accommodate your requests. The Spa - glorious. Very professional. The cleaners - perfection . The level of detail I have never encountered before. The front desk ladies were extremely helpful and greeted you by name and with a wonderful smile. Location - right in the heart of Seminyak with wonderful shops and restaurants a 2 minute walk away. As testament to our wonderful experience, we have already booked our return visit for Xmas. Can hardly wait. Overall, I cannot find any negatives with the villas, staff, experience as a whole. Truly Brilliant

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Deborah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winawan, General Manager at The Ulin Villas & Spa, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear “Deborah W”

I am very delighted to read your review. I am pleased to hear that your stay was exceeded your expectation right from the villas, the staff members (the service and their friendliness), our drivers, the in villa breakfast, the spa, the cleanliness of your villa and of course our location. I will be very happy to share your post to them and I believe they would be delighted to read. I am happy to know that you have reserved your Christmas holiday with us and we can not wait to welcome you again soon. Once again, thank you very much for your review.

Warmest regards,

Wayan Winawan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ulin Villas & Spa

Property: The Ulin Villas & Spa
Address: Jl. Merta Sari, Seminyak Kuta 80361, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Seminyak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Seminyak
#3 Luxury Hotel in Seminyak
#5 Romantic Hotel in Seminyak
#5 Family Hotel in Seminyak
#17 Business Hotel in Seminyak
Price range (per night): ₹ 22,365 - ₹ 35,913
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Ulin Villas & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For the ultimate Bali holiday experience in the heart of the evolving Seminyak lifestyle district, The Ulin Villas & Spa is the place to be. This multi award-winning villa retreat puts you in the vicinity of world-class restaurants, vibrant boutiques and after-dark hotspots on the beach. It is located just off Bali's famous "Eat Street" where everyone comes to enjoy food, fashion and fun. Following its recent aesthetic refurbishment, The Ulin Villas & Spa reinterprets contemporary Balinese design through customized interiors and luxurious touches. Each villa is a tropical sanctuary cocooned within a native garden featuring its own private swimming pool and essential modern home comforts. At The Ulin Villas & Spa, we understand the importance of relaxation and spending quality time with loved ones. Trained in the art of Balinese hospitality, our team is on hand to ensure that all of your needs are taken care of with a warm smile and a few friendly words to enrich your stay. The Ulin Villas & Spa is another exclusive property managed by Karaniya Experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ulin Villas And Spa
The Ulin Villas Hotel Seminyak
The Ulin Villas & Spa Bali/Seminyak

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