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Reviewed September 14, 2011

Whoever said the camera never lies didn't stay at the Deesa Sanctuary. The photos look tempting and the rave reviews sound encouraging. Don't believe a bit of it! Is this the worst place in Ubud? Quite possibly. Where do i start?
Well the place is a long way from the centre of town - a good 40 minute walk down a stretch of road without a footpath for a a lot of the way.Getting a taxi so far out of town is well nigh impossible so you're stuck with walking at least half the way. That road is a problem in other ways too. Deesa Sanctuary is very close to the road which is extremely busy and the traffic noise is non-stop. On top of that expect screaming chainsaws nearby and a cacophony of dog fights. It's seriously noisy.
Then there's the rooms. The one we stayed in was little more than a concrete box with a Balinese style roof. The floor was bare concrete. The bathroom was a poky little thing with a shower at one end, toilet at the other and a sink. Reminiscent of a prison cell. The toilet didn't flush reliably. The wooden slats on the floor were broken.
The bed was interesting to say the least. They'd formed a king size bed by pushing together 2 single beds then putting a mattress over the pair. The hard ridge running down the middle of the bed puts paid to any romantic thoughts.Unbelievably cheap!
Breakfast was a mean spirited thing with some reasonable fruit and not very good yoghurt.
So is there anything good about it? Well there's free wifi which at least helps you get on the net and try to locate somewhere else, which is what I've been doing until I took a break to write this.
That's about all I can say about it really. Other than the pay up front deal stinks.I'm now looking elsewhere and accepting that I've done my dough here.
Which makes me wonder about all the people writing glowing reviews about the place. Two possibilities come to mind. Either everyone writing them is a newcomer to Bali and doesn't know any better, or the reviews are a rather clever bit of PR trickery with people masquerading as contented customers, a trick that's increasingly common in the PR game.
So to sum up, if you now have any doubts about this place at all read the other one star review here, which is "bang on the money" and avoid this place like a dose of Bali belly. There are much better places in Ubud.

Room Tip: Find somewhere else
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ArtlifePancakes, Owner at Desa Sanctuary, The Village, responded to this reviewResponded September 28, 2011

We are always sad to hear from a guest that they didn't enjoy their stay and yet, they never let us know while they were here so that we could make it right for them! We pride ourselves on this.

I would like to address this now since I wasn't given the opportunity while the guest was here..

Yes, we are on the road to Ubud and yes, there aren't any sidewalks. We like to point out, that this is Bali and not the west. We are in a small village 2 minutes by driver from the center of town, (very convenient) and sidewalks just aren't part of Village life. We arrange transport for any guests who ask for it. If you choose to walk to town, that is also an option. Taxis are plentiful, but must be "called".

Ubud is growing and becoming more popular and with that comes construction. Hotels and homes are being put up and renovated and we don't have any control over this.

Dogs exist as part of Bali life and I would recommend that tourists who are disturbed by their barking and fighting write a letter to our local papers...the Bali Advertiser. It would be of more help if comments were made about the dogs to the "community at large" so that this could be recognized as a Bali problem and not a personal "owner issue".

Just a note about the Rumah....The floors are polished cement and not bare concrete. The bath will be checked. Thank you for those notes. The King bed has been outfitted with an industry standard pad for interchanging two twins to a king bed. This is done in all hotels. We are sorry it wasn't comfortable for you.

Lastly, our breakfasts are one of our most complimented areas of service, ( and also our staff) so I will just close by saying I encourage all possible guests to read our reviews through and get a broader picture.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 14, 2011

I stayed only for two nights here, and i regret. I should have spent my whole 5 days in Bali in this hotel. Not only because i love the tranquility of ubud, but this place was really makes me feel home already. I am a domestic tourist from Jakarta. Bali is actually my country, but everytime I went to Bali, I never felt like i'm home because the balinese people respect foreign tourist more. But in this place, I was welcomed as a sister by the local staffs. And the place was... It's not only because I adore indonesian ethnic architecture, but the theme that brought by this place, ethnic meets modern, really comforting my stay there. Its ethnic and antique look alike interior design was equipped by modern kitchen equipment. I can still find electric kettle and fridge at this guest house look alike place. I get clean towel and toiletries as usual hotel manners. I stayed there with my husband and a toddler, only with Idr500k per night, we got anything we want.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank Dindatunggadewi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 28, 2011

The people here are fantastic and extremely helpful and friendly. We got picked up from the airport by Nengah who was as friendly as anyone we met during two and half weeks on Bali. The site it's self is set back from the road which means at night you can hear the road but to be honest you get use to it. You also need to get use to the Bali dogs! In the case of the road and the dogs this was the case in a number of other places we stayed. The pool is great and a welcome relief as walking all day and a very nice place to chill out. Breakfast was simple we normally just chose tea or coffee and banana pancakes. Enough to get you going and there are places in town where you can get a big breakfast cheap. The only criticism was the distance from town, on the website it says it is 20 minutes walk from town. Technically it is but to get to where things are in Ubud your talking 30 to 35 minutes walk up hill ( in the end being fit 30 somethings we accepted it as needed exercise). You can flag down a car but count on this costing 40-50K RP, don't pay more. The room was as on the pictures, though you don't get to see the 'kitchen' and bathroom on the website. These were adequate, the kitchen being enough to make a cup of coffee and a fridge to cool drinks. The bathroom was fine, a toilet, sink and shower. Just to remember it is open (don't worry it's enclosed enough to cover your modesty). Would happily stay again but next time I'm taking an international driving license in order to be able to hire a bike.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Richiric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 25, 2011

and I have been to many places around the world, most of them more luxurious but none as enchanting as the Sanctuary. I arrived late in the evening and all my friends had already gone to bed. What I was shown to be my 'room' is the space on the photo for the Sanctuary on its page here. I was shocked to discover it didn't have any walls but one, there were geckos on the walls and didn't have any air-conditioning. I was ready to run but there was nowhere to go so I stayed and i am glad I did. My bed was a huge four poster with ornate carvings and a beautiful curtains that serves as a mosquito net. There were blinders I could pull down during the night that created privacy and served as walls. When I pulled them up in the morning my room became one with the lush garden that surrounded the villa. Every night I fell asleep to the sound of the crickets and every morning I woke up to the song of the birds in the trees. My four poster bed was like an island of comfort surrounded by nature and I loved that. Ubud gets quite hot during the day but the nights are balmy and nice. It even gets cool in the early morning hours and I didn't miss the air-conditioner at all.
The staff was extremely nice and friendly. If something was amiss or we needed something all we had to do was ask and we always received it. I very much enjoyed the Balinese ritual of placing flower and incense offerings everywhere around the property and loved seeing the pretty little baskets carefully left on the steps to my living space every morning. Breakfasts were simple but very tasty. We like fruit so every morning we got a plate of fresh fruit that tasted nothing like what we get at the supermarkets back home. I highly recommend the Balinese honey - a real delight. The pool was not big but very pretty and a great place to cool down during the heat of the day. All in all our days were tranquil, very restful and peaceful and every night cuddled in my comfortable 'island' bed I fell asleep filled with anticipation of the pleasure waking up to the next morning in Bali will bring. If you are into luxury hotels you may not like the experience of showering under the stars. However if you want to enjoy first hand the comfort and serenity the spirit of Bali has then the Sanctuary will give you plenty of that.

Room Tip: If you want air-conditioning choose a room on the second floor of the villas.
  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Maqueila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 22, 2011

I spent 3 nights in Desa Sanctuary with my family. We booked 2 houses (Lotus Lombung and Joglo Ganesha) and both houses were beautiful, clean and well maintained. The staff is very nice and friendly. There are some drawbacks that you might not experience in modern 4 stars hotel, but you have not booked a modern 4 stars hotel. Water heating system is not working perfectly. Too hot or cold… Breakfast is cooked on guests request. If your neighbors wakes up 5 minutes before you, be ready to wait for 20 minutes before getting your breakfast. You have to make your own tea or coffee, but it is not so difficult. The lone real issue is the location: not for the 20 minute walk, but for the road condition. Sidewalk are not available and you need to walk in the road together with a lot of bike and cars. Rent a bike (50.000 rupiah per day) or take a taxi (30.000 rupiah). If you are not looking for a modern 4 stars hotel book a house at Desa Sanctuary, relax and enjoy Ubud.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank francob58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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