real good...if they fix a couple of certain things

Reviewed November 14, 2011 1 person found this review helpful I recently stayed at the Payangan hideaway resort near Ubud, Bali from October 17 to October 23, 2011. The resort is located about 30 to 40 min. from central Ubud. The resort offers a shuttle to Ubud central three times each day, picking up and dropping off each time that they stop near the palace. Thankfully the last 2 miles roadway leading to the resort has just recently been resurfaced. This stretch is a beautiful, smooth, twisting and turning road through beautiful scenery and through the local temple and small village. Perched on the steep River Gorge, the scenery is spectacular. There are no restaurants or shopping possibilities within the immediate area. Down 40 steps you arrived at the hotel lobby. It is another 450 steps down steep valley routine to the river bottom, this is where a small temple and the relaxation/massage sala is located. The lobby and seven of the villas are of a Mediterranean architecture. Three new villas are a native architecture, two of which are one bedroom and are luxuriously appointed. The third new villa is multilevel and is of a traditional design, bedroom up, leaving an open air bathroom down. It is extremely attractive. No air conditioning with a flat screen TV in the upper bedroom. The seven other villas are privately scattered further down the ravine. We stayed in Cempaka 2 villa, which is furthest down the ravine and extremely private, with an unmatched view, beautiful scenery and private pool- long enough for small laps! Our villa was 200 steps below the lobby, thankfully there is a small gondola which accounts for approximately 100 of the steps. The hotel has a beautiful, large,clean pool just below the lobby, which I never saw another guest using. This pool is very convenient to the to newly built traditional architecture Villas. I might have chose one of these had I known the arrangement before hand. This is my description of the physical aspects of the property.

And now for the positives

Quiet, quiet, quiet. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I fire flies, birds, civic cats, and many beautiful flowers and foliage. I swam naked. Excellent, quiet air conditioner. Also safety box. Refrigerator, hotplate, coffee maker, dishes and complementary coffee and teas, also a wet bar area. Clean and separate shower and bathtub. Also, the best water pressure and unlimited hot water that I experienced during my one month in Asia. Comfortable bed and pillows*. Clean and fresh towels and bathrobes. Complementary slippers. En suite dining. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Surprisingly good value and more surprisingly good taste and quality. Very surprised with this given the location of the hotel and also the number of rooms/guest. Surprisingly good, strong, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, including in Our villa. Very warm and friendly staff. Despite the fact that English is not so good they do a good job. The landscapers do a good job given they have so much property to take care of. The drivers were all very friendly, they drove very safe, and I was very thankful for their timely and complementary airport pick up. The staff at the front desk was very friendly and seemed to know how to do everything correctly, despite the near non existing hotel manager. It seems the hotel is ran pretty good, buy a bunch of friendly Balinese kids. One more thing, the shuttle service and transportation provided by the hotel was very good. The drivers were also very knowledgeable and had very good suggestions.

And now for the negatives-

Due to the physical nature, location and layout of the hotel, it may not suit everyone. The bed in the Bedding, and this is a big issue for me that must be corrected. The canopy bed attractive, but the mosquito netting is a virtual bug magnet. We found that the material attracted bugs to the extent that they made nests in the material. So because of this, we were pulling bugs out of our bed night and day and they were also falling on our heads at night. Get rid of the mosquito netting of the beds at once! Also, the material (white) is very dirty and hard to maintain- I suggest darker, native textiles, if for looks at least. The deodorizer balls at the foot of the shower and near the toilet were very strong smell. This is okay during the day, but at night the smells were over powering. I simply removed them to the outside each evening, and the staff returned them upon cleaning in the morning. Problem solved.

Television stations were a major problem for me. They offer many stations, about sixty. One English/Asian channel. One English/ Europe channel. One English Arabic channel. One English movie channel. About 10 local/Indonesian channels. The remaining 50 channels, a mix of 50 muslim or Arabic and Middle East country channels. I asked the staff and management about this. They said the owner chooses channel. That is a very bad policy, and very selfish. What market is your hotel aiming for? Do you want to be successful, and make money? Or do you want to force your religion on me?

So for my overall review

We paid approximately US$110 a night. I feel that this price is fair, given the physical nature of the hotel, location, and the small number of rooms. As it stands, this is a three star hotel in a five-star setting. Make changes to the issues that I mentioned above, and this could be a four star hotel and can receive a much higher room rate for the owner. In a setting like this, one must accept a few bugs. But you must make a change to the issue regarding the beds and the mosquito netting. I love the hotel, staff, and the setting. Much better than staying in Ubud central. Yes I was satisfied in the hotel. But, it could be so much better, given the potential. And yes, for your information, I am in the hotel business.