Stunning views

Reviewed August 20, 2012 2 people found this review helpful Travelling with pre-schoolers, we typically stay in 4 – 5 star family resorts, so were not quite sure what to expect in a villa.

Alam Puri was nothing like we have ever experienced before. Arriving after dark, first impressions weren’t the greatest. I’d booked a two bedroom royal deluxe villa, however we were shown a one-bedroom villa with a single mattress made up on the floor. A trip back to reception rectified this and the second bedroom was unlocked. The bed was made up, however the room smelt like it hadn’t been opened in a while.

Whilst both bedrooms are upstairs, they are separate living spaces in themselves (each with own bathrooms) – ideal for older kids or two couples travelling together but definitely not suitable for younger children due to the steep concrete stairwell and door-steps between them. Our kids are 3 and 5 and managed ok (mainly because they didn’t wake at night and try to find us!), however any younger and I would’ve put them in our room.

The dining area / kitchen downstairs is completely open plan. There are NO doors downstairs – in other words the only lockable areas in the villa are the bedrooms. This was a really weird feeling at first but after the first night it felt quite natural and rather liberating!

An inspection of the kitchen (to put drinks and food in the fridge and fix a late night snack) revealed adequate bench space, 2 sinks with only cold water taps, a massive oven, lots of cupboard space BUT no cooking utensils whatsoever, not even plates or cutlery. There was an electric jug and coffee/tea/sugar etc with tea cups, saucers, teaspoons and a couple of glasses, but that was it. No microwave or fridge to be seen, but after checking with reception we found a mini-bar fridge upstairs in the rooms, which was ok to keep the essentials cold. Thank heavens! We borrowed a couple of bowls from the restaurant whenever the kids wanted to snack on cereal.

The villas themselves are huge, clean and beautiful. However they are old. With some TLC and maintenance they could be sooo much more and have the potential to be truly amazing. Huge beds are surrounded with mozzie nets, really comfortable mattresses and had crisp clean sheets. We slept like kings and awoke (early – thanks to lots of roosters!) to the most breath-taking views.

Our bathroom (we used only the bigger main one) was full of marble, had a large timber-framed mirror, nice lighting and hot, hot water (but the ancient shower rose and overly-warn greying towels and face-washers could irk you if you let them).

We ate our complimentary American breakfast (fruit, juice, toast, different styles of eggs, pancakes, cereal, tea/coffee) at the restaurant each morning and it was delicious. The views from the restaurant tables are to die for. Certainly a touch of paradise. We didn’t dine there for other meals (not necessary after a big meal every day in Ubud!), but flicking through the menu, prices seemed comparable to other hotel food and drinks in Bali.

Pools: both main pool and our private plunge pool were lovely and refreshing and well looked after… the water is deep – again, more suited to older children and adults. And yes, as another reviewer noted, the pool bar is not at all in use – it doesn’t really seem to be the place for one anyway. I can’t see how it would be busy enough. We solved that problem and just took our own drinks to the pool side!

I was aware there was a distance between the villa and Ubud but didn’t realise quite how much. Whilst we made use of the free hotel transportation every morning, we still found it very restricting with little ones not being able to step out the door and just go somewhere whenever we wanted – of course I am not blaming the hotel for this! But next time we travel as a family I think I would prefer to stay somewhere that’s closer to shopping, food etc.

I really don’t like listing pros and cons as these can vary so much from one person to another depending on what you’re looking for. However I will say the in-room free wifi was a bonus (password is required from reception) as was the dvd player that played Aussie dvds on a large flat screen – both of which we didn’t have at our previous accommodation in Bali. Alam Puri is not a 5-star resort, but then it doesn’t pretend to be. It’s a unique, beautiful, peaceful oasis run by friendly staff and the perfect place to visit if you want to escape the rat-race for a while. Stayed August 2012, traveled with family