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Villa Agung Khalia
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Reviews (345)
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Reviewed 12 March 2012

I have stayed 6 times at VAK since Oct 2009 - with friends, on my own and the latest visit in Jan/Feb this year, with my family. They have all loved it and each time I visit it only gets better. The management are incredibly responsive to any suggestions that are made and are continuously upgrading and improving the villas. Recently, there has been an upgrade with decor, lighting and new fans. Also Villa 1 has its own private entrance which I noticed one reviewer commented on. Problem shared, problem solved!
The staff are all very special people and you are always welcomed, treated with respect and every whim is catered for - nothing is too much trouble!

Why do I love it and return each time? Because it is a haven from the hustle and bustle of Ubud. Every day I see genuine Balinese life in the padis enacted outside my villa. I have been lucky enough to witness the full cycle of rice growing and harvesting right outside my door. I can have the best of the Western world in my spotlessly clean villa and experience the culture of Bali as the incredibly friendly staff share their homes and traditions when I show interest. There are bikes available for a ride through the local villages, walks through the rice padis, visits to temples all at no extra cost and it's all the real deal - not put on for tourists. And you are not continuously putiing your hand in your pockets (although I would recommend a generous tip for the gorgeous, patient staff when you leave). The breakfasts are yummy, with heaps of variety and more than enough to eat. For dinner, try my favourite - pork spareribs with eggplant sambal - delish! The shuttle service to Ubud is excellent and provsion of a mobile phone makes life so easy. Why would I want to stay anywhere else? I have tried other places including a lovely hotel in Seminyak and zen resort in Candi Dasa but nothing compares to the tranquility and welcome of VAK, my home away from home. I can't wait to return!

Room Tip: All great! I've stayed in all and love them all for different reasons Honeymoon suite (upstairs) - incredible view of rice padis from bed! Has it's pwn plunge pool downstairs. Small balcony where you can sit and enjoy the view. Lotus Suite - (ground floor) - slightly more spacious than Honeymoon, with view of own garden and plunge pool Villa 1 - huge private villa with own large pool, gorgeous garden and great views from upstairs Villa 2&3 - same as villa 1 Have biggest pool (shared).
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Janne13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

We stayed here for 4 nights and had a very laid back, enjoyable time. The staff were fantastic - helping us to go to town and back, planning day trips, serving breakfast, doing our laundry and keeping the whole place clean and tidy. The location is wonderful - it's a slow drive along a bumpy road that leads you to the villa, surrounded by paddy fields. Its a 10 minute drive to Ubud but the staff are ready to drive you any time (at no extra cost) and you get the benefit of living in amongst the paddys. Perfect. And I was surprised by the lack of mosquitoes too - another bonus. The one area for improvement is the furniture which could have been more traditional Balinese in design.

Overall, Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jacket99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2012

We stayed in Villa 1 in December with 4 people. The Villa is amazing, very spacious, with beautiful tropical gardens and a huge pool in the sun, but plenty of shaded deck area if you like the shade. Surrounded by rice fields, It is a very peaceful haven, the moment you enter you feel relaxed! The staff were exceptional, very friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. We especially enjoyed the free shuttle service into Ubud, where you are given an in-house mobile to call for a pickup whenever and where-ever you need. Drinking water is provided ad lib so there is no need to worry about buying copious amounts of plastic bottles during your stay. Yummy breakfast provided each day, either in your villa or the restaurant. Great value for money, we would stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Emilie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I've traveled a fair bit in my short number of years (25 to be exact), but i have never stayed at a place this awesome! The staff were magic, the villa made me feel like a king & i never wanted to leave the pool. It was one of the most relaxing experiences i've ever had.

As a nerd, i'd also like to mention how happy i was to have fast and effective internet access throughout the whole villa. That is an essential tool of the 21st century traveler and it was perfect!

5 out of 5, 10 out of 10, whatever you want to call it. It's amazing!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Jordan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2012

We stayed in Villa 1 in mid January 2012 as a family of 5. We travel to Bali almost annually and this is the 1st time we have stayed in Ubud (we had been to Ubud previously on day trips). The villa was excellent, however it was not as "private" as we had expected as the main entrance gate was right at our front door,
After 10 days in Tuban (Kuta area) the transformation to such a relaxing, beautiful spot was magical. The staff were exceptional, special mention to Guru (who is certainly a wealth of knowledge), to Nyoman for being our driver, guide and furniture shopping guru, and Debi who did our laundry and was ever so polite and helpful. The villa did have some downfalls, which should be expected when we each have our own expectations and tastes. After reading some of the reviews I find it amazing that people can complain about decors etc ... we are visiting their country and they are certainly trying their best, plus more. Any problems we had were immediately rectified, to their abilities, and the staff were ever so apologetic if there was a problem.
This place is magical and a must see.
One disappointment was that that the queen beds were simply 2 singles pushed together. The owners responses to other reviews were that all furniture etc was locally sourced but we saw some beautiful 4 poster queen beds in the furniture shops we visited. These beds in the villa would have added the WOW factor.
Our major complaint would be the noise of the construction workers for the new villa being built (due to the weather and time constraints they worked around the clock, literally, and we had trucks delivering sand well after 11pm and starting again 6am).
We met the Balinese partner, Agung, only on the last day and, it seemed, only for him to ask us for a "good review". When we made a suggestion about the privacy and the front gate, the simple solution we saw as being to relocate the gate 5 metres down the pathway so that it enters in front of the honeymoon suite, he got all defensive and told us the gate cost US$6000 and he had other building projects (the new villa). We found him to be slightly "arrogant" but please do not take this as being reflective upon his staff, who were the complete opposite and ever so polite. Upon leaving, however, almost all of the staff's comments included "please give us a good review", which only made us feel as though this has been drummed into them. The villas will get good reviews anyway, so it seems to us disrespectful (to us) to be asked, again and again, for a good review.
The free rice paddy tour is a must, but better when Guru takes you. When the staff know you want to go on the tour they all want to take you. Our first guide's english was limited so it was more a case of follow the leader and he didn't understand our questions (which wasn't a problem as we are in their country and we did not take the time to learn fluent Indonesian). So we just asked Guru to take us again another day and got all of the information we could possibly want, plus more.
Please take the time to read some of the other reviews as they are all relevant, but the overall feeling has to be that this place should be on your "must do" list, to see the "real" Bali and to appreciate their culture. Such a magical location.
Price wise (accommodation) this was more expensive than other places but the location was perfect for us. At this price range, however, we expected more privacy than we got.
We will email the owners about our personal suggestions to make the villa "better". We thought a communal games area for the kids would be a nice touch.
You will not be disappointed with a visit to this place!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank JohnstonFamilyAus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
eastrips, Owner at Villa Agung Khalia, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2012

Hello JohnstonFamilyAus;
I would like to thank you for taking the time to write such an honest, well-detailed review. It is only from feedback like this that we can improve, and we're delighted to learn that you may indeed return next year. I'd like to address a few issues so that you can see the direction we're heading.
1. I agree that the 4-poster queen beds are more attractive than single beds or traditional king beds, but they are less practical for being able to accommodate various groups and families. We opted for single beds that can be combined into a huge (2m x 2m) king bed because we have requests from groups of single travelers or families with children as much as we do from groups of couples. In the current situation we can easily transition a room from two single beds to one king bed. I agree that the look of the 4-poster bed is more 'tropical' in appeal, especially with the mosquito net cover. We've never had the practical need for mosquito nets over the beds because we have mosquito screens above all the windows and in the sliding doors, but adding these will likely add a greater touch of elegance so we'll add these shortly. If this does not work as desired we will definitely reconsider our approach.
2. We are indeed building a single-story villa on a separate property located about 35m away. The recent rains have slowed down the progress but this is certainly no excuse to lengthen the working hours. It has also taken our manager's attention away from his normal duties of helping to create an interactive environment and I take full responsibility for that. I have emphasized the need for the construction to be completed by March 21 and he's apparently taken that to heart. My intention was to have more workers during normal hours, not longer hours. I will not only communicate this but I have booked a flight and will be at the villa next week to make sure the construction is completed by the end of March without impacting the current guests (we can definitely achieve this).
3. The lack of full privacy at Villa I has been an ongoing concern this past few months and we are trying to implement solutions without losing the open feel of the compound. I believe we have a solution and I hope to put this into action once I arrive. Until then we've placed signs indicating that the Villa I entrance is for the Villa I guests. Your idea of moving the wall is very expensive as Agung mentioned (my apologies for him not welcoming this as a suggestion for improvement) but if this is what's required we'll indeed move the wall.
4. Our management indeed asks guests to leave a review on TripAdvisor, and I'll make sure they understand this means to ask for an honest review rather than a "good review". The subtle difference is very important, even though in the end I think most guests do write about their experiences in an honest way (though I cringe at times we really do want honest feedback and we really do want to improve continuously).
Thanks again for providing these comments. We are taking all of your comments to heart and I will be at the villa next week to find and implement solutions.
Sincerely;
Darren and Laura
Villa Agung Khalia

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