After a wonderful week at a villa in Seminyak, we recently stayed for 8 nights at Villa Pantulan, which is located in a rural setting 5 minutes by car from the centre of Ubud.
Our online booking had been so easy, everything sounded wonderful.
After a warm welcome by the staff, we were then shown around, and thought ‘this is heaven’.
Whilst the place is beautifully appointed with a lovely outlook, with breathtaking views over rice fields, this villa is managed like a hotel.
We were advised that any wine bought from outside would be charged corkage.
All drinks had to be purchased from the villa ie beer, spirits, mixers, bottled water, none to be brought in.
The criteria for choosing Villa Pantulan was from Trip Advisor recommendations.
Those people who have enjoyed special occasions, (we are pleased that they did), may not have stayed in a villa, in Bali, before. Breakfasts included, were delicious, cooked and served by the two lovely girls. Dinner and/or lunch - was limited to one combination. We were required to all have the same, which proved a difficult choice for those with dietary needs ie vegetarian and non -vegetarians in the group.
New Year’s Eve, was most enjoyable. The cocktails were nice, but the alcohol mix was minimal and drinks served in half glasses. Our preference was for larger glasses, which were charged at double. That’s ok it was the festive season.
We found during our stay, that we always felt uncomfortable, with the 24 hour constant physical, surveillance by the staff or security. Making an occasional cup of tea, filling up our water bottles with filtered water (was frowned upon). We were prevented from entering the computer room, and the locked TV room early in the morning. Fortunately we sorted that out with the Manager, Eka.
Our family consisting of 4 generations, are by no means liberty takers with ages ranging from the oldest 88 down to the youngest at 2 years old.
There is a driver available for only the Ubud area. Any further than 15 to 20 minutes travel away from Ubud, can be negotiated. We were ferried in and out of Ubud in stages in the one car, if it was for more than 7 passengers.
All meals, beverages, transport are subject to an additional 3% tax.
Having booked and stayed in villas in Bali previously, welcome, we have always worked well with our Chefs. We choose our menu each day, pay for the food, they buy and cook it, and the result has been of World Class. Everything is no trouble - all with a minimum of fuss. We have full use of the fridge at any time.
There is a driver as part of the deal, usually has a 10 seater van available for 10 hours per day for anywhere in Bali. We ensure that, in these villas, all staff and drivers receive generous gratuities.
In conclusion, it’s NOT about the money.
This review is about not having the run of the place, or the privacy.
We made the very best of the situation, with much enjoyment from the Elephant Safari, 40 km Bike Riding, motorbikes, painting galleries, a couple of great Ubud restaurants.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
15 April 2012
I am Budiyasa, the manager of Villa Pantulan. I am writing to response the above review:
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It is very important for me to clarify that there must be misunderstanding here. At Villa Pantulan, as we explain at our website that we are not self catered villa but we always try to accommodate guest needs by providing the menu (yes It is very limited). We have 5 different set menu and 10 different a la carte including local food. We do not have full menu like a restaurant has. But, if guest want anything outside the menu, we always try to make it if we can and know how to make it even making vegetarian menu is never been a problem for us.
Once you rent a villa, the whole villa is yours to enjoy responsibly. It is our responsibility to make sure that the villa is nice, clean, neat, safe at all the time. We also want to make sure that all guest belongings are safe as you can see from the website that our villa is very open to the outside atmosphere and that is why our staff always there to make sure to serve you and make those all happen. We do not want to take any risk with the safety of our guests and their belongings. We have 2 night guards at night and we require require them to lock all unoccupied rooms including the TV room at starting from mid night.
We never prevent the guest from using the computer. The computer is there to use by guest (sometimes we need to use it also) and we never prevent the guest to use it. About the TV room, we must lock it after all guest sleep and open it again in the morning at 6 am. Or if guest want, they can just tell us not to close it. It is not about the guest taking something but we afraid.
We provide the guests with a car with 7 seats from 8 am to 12 midnight. This is free to use with a driver with in Ubud area. If you want a tour outside of Ubud area, of course we will charge you accordingly.
Villa Pantulan is a registered villa at the government office. Any sales and revenue, we must pay tax including food, beverages spa and other services. We can not fool around with the tax office. I can tell here that for the last 3 years, the tax office has been so strict and all villas are required to report their income and pay tax every month.
WE NEVER PROHIBIT OUR GUEST FROM BRING IN BEVERAGE TO THE VILLA AND PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE. If guest bring in wines, yes we charge them corkage fee. Other beverages, we do not charge them anything. We have 17 liters bottled water for guest free to drink and refill their bottle. But we also provide guest with smaller bottle that guest must pay if the take it. We have full items of beers, soft drinks, sodas etc for sale. If the guests consume it, yes we charge it. But if guest consume their own, we will not charge them.
I hope my response will clarify the situation.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC