Hi everyone! If you have been reading this blog, you have probably noticed that I wrote many reviews about hotels in Bali recently, and this post is actually the last one of the hotel reviews from our last trip on May. As I wrote before on my previous posts, we got opportunity to experience staycations in 5 different hotels that time, and I must say that this one in particular, is quite difficult to write.
I have been contemplating whether I should post this review or not, because honestly I hardly have anything good to say about this hotel. I know this is not a good prologue but I hope you’ll stay with me until the end of this post and find the reasons why I said that.
When we were invited to stay here for 3D2N, we were extremely grateful for the opportunity and we couldn’t wait to be there! Nomina Villas Pecatu looks like a simple definition of paradise judging from the magnificent gallery on its website, only it’s better because it’s real and accessible for now. Nomina Villas Pecatu has recently been acquired by Bali Paragon but little did we know that it would mean something bigger than merely an information.
Nomina Villas Pecatu is located up there in Pecatu, far far away from the city, which is good for people who are looking for extreme privacy and, as they call it, “elegant relaxation”. Is it?
Surrounded by beaches like Bingin Beach and the infamous Dreamland Beach, the location can’t be more perfect. Or so I thought. However, getting to the villas was quite a challenge, with such a secluded location, it takes more than courage to reach there. Not many taxis are available around, and imagine arriving there it’s already dark, honestly I only can think of nothing but nightmare.
Upon seeing the Nomina Villas signage from the street, we were very excited to see what was waiting for us. But alas, a not-so-flattering image of abandoned building was the first thing we saw after making the left turn from the street. A badly maintained (or not maintained?) garden welcomed us to a dirty, seemingly unfinished building with nobody in sight. We were asking each others whether this is the same hotel whose photos we admired on its website or not, LOL!
Driving inside, we walked into this empty “lobby” or better called reception area, with modern minimalist design, not bad. There are some small ponds with no water and gross stuffs engrossed on the walls, but let’s pretend we didn’t see it. After a while, a man appeared and he turned out to be the villa staff. The check-in was fast and we were told to walk to our villa because cars can’t get in since the road is too narrow.
BUT! We were extremely surprised when 2 other staffs came to the reception area riding motorcycle and they started our luggage with them on the bikes, like seriously? For a villa with this price and how good they advertise this place, I at least expected a buggy car for transportation, right? In the end, because we were concerned about them getting back and forth, so we helped bringing some of our bags while walking towards our villa. I told myself that moment that this didn’t seem so good from the beginning.
Honestly, I don’t mind walking when I have to. But walking towards this narrow path with funny elephant dump smell around me wasn’t something I want to experience when staying at villa with class of Nomina. The road is bad, smelly, and unsafe. To make things worse, suddenly I saw a green snake running towards our direction, and I was practically panicking and started screaming it out, only to make my friend’s daughter surprised and accidentally stepped on the snake! To my horror, the green snake flew towards me and I was basically just standing there totally in shock. I could feel the part of the snake slapping my lower leg but it ran away so fast after flying I lost sight of it almost immediately. I was lucky I didn’t get any injury or anything after that encounter, but right after that second, I secretly wished I was somewhere else!
We stayed in Villa Toya, one of 4 two-bedroom villas available in Nomina Villas. Inside this complex, there are hotel rooms as well and I think both villa and hotel guests can meet in the main pool area.
Like many other villas in Bali, the master room (bigger one with more facilities) is located on the upper floor. As I heard from the staff during check-in, before taken by Bali Paragon, this villa was owned by a Japanese so it explained a lot about the minimalist, Zen-style rooms and ambiance in this place. Everything looks so simple yet elegant, with basic color of earth that is warm and comforting. I fell in love to the room at the first sight and wished that all the bad “omen” we experienced before arrival was completely replaced by this beauty.
The downside of all the beauties in front of my eyes is, as you can see from the pictures, these rooms are very poorly maintained. You can see stains everywhere, from the linens, sofas, even walls and floors they are not even funny. I am sure the first thing guests want to experience when staying in a hotel like this is COMFORT and dirty places certainly don’t count! No matter how beautiful the hotel is, if it’s dirty, guests will definitely feel irritated and they don’t even bother using all the facilities provided, for example, there is no way I get into that pretty bathtub that looks like it has never been scrubbed for ages!
The second room is located downstairs, called Garden Room, this room is located near the garden, smaller than Master Room but it doesn’t mean it is less pretty. We stayed in this room and although I love the sight of my room, we had problem with the air conditioner (not working and the staffs couldn’t do anything about it), so at the first night we relied on the hanging fan above our bed.
Simply speaking, I love this room more than the Master Room, not only the bedroom, but the bathroom is also very simple and more convenient than the one in Master Room. The water ran pretty well too, with huge stream and hot water available all day, I have to say one of the most enjoyable experiences during my stay here in Nomina was the shower time.
Living and dining room is located in the center of villa, with direct access to infinity pool and small jacuzzi overlooking the sea. The pool’s depth is quite advanced, from 1.5 meters depth to (possibly) 4 meters. Definitely not ideal for family with smaller children, in my opinion.
Near the dining room, there is sliding glass door which connects to the Entertainment Room. This was eventually our “bedroom” after the first night, and keep reading to know why. XD The entertainment room is dark, cold, and very comfortable with large sofas, DVD players (and the DVDs too), also the sound system dedicated for the true entertainment purpose.
After all the surprises (in not so good way) that we experienced in this place, we only wanted to relax a bit and enjoy the surrounding. When we were swimming around enjoying the sunset, the same staff who took care of our check-in process came again and informed us to ALWAYS keep our doors tightly shut because apparently there are cases when monkeys from Uluwatu come around, get into the villas, and steal guests’ belongings. This is not only a warning because cases happened before, the last one being a French guests losing his iPhone but luckily he still could get it back by “bartering” the phone with some fruits. That confirmed once again that this place is nothing but bad news. :-X
Honestly, by this time, we were about 80% sure that we should have just left the place and find somewhere else to stay. But we still joked around and self-denied that everything would be okay. We even enjoyed more swimming time while viewing the sunset from our infinity pool inside the villa. I wasn’t sure whether we were just ignorant or too tired to move again, but seriously that was one of the biggest mistakes we have ever done. XD
Although you might think that everything I have written up to this point is just negative opinions, but I must admit that Nomina is built in a very great place. With beautiful surroundings like the beaches and ocean, I honestly think I don’t mind spending USD 1,000++/night to stay in this villa (if the comfort and facilities are guaranteed). The atmosphere is so perfect for vacation: it’s calm, serene, and tranquil, it makes you forget about your busy days and for a while just think about relaxing your body and soul, watching the blue sky and beautiful waves.
In the morning, the view is even more beautiful with clear blue sky that reflects on the water. Amazing just to watch the beauties in front of me and I still can remember vividly even until now!
Breakfast was alright. They are not made in front of us or in our villa, but delivered. We can choose where we want our breakfast to be served, the first day we had it in our villa’s dining room, and the second day we requested it to be prepared in the “restaurant” just near to the main pool. I heard this place was used as main dining area for the hotel guests before, but now it looks unused and abandoned. We thought it would have been great to dine in there because we could enjoy the breathtaking view of the sea.
As expected, the view was just DIVINE. But dining there took some courage because the flooring was damaged and it seriously needs renovation. The wooden floor was squeaking so bad and some parts had fallen apart. I won’t even recommend to walk on the deck/porch, let alone sitting in one of the tables in that area. If you must walk there to enjoy the view, make sure to always hold the handrail tightly!
One of the most unforgettable moment during our stay in Nomina is when Mr. K got his ankle bitten by centipede (kelabang in Indonesian). And if I said he got it when playing around the garden or outside, it is more understandable. But guess what? He was bitten by this gigantic centipede when we were sleeping in our bed, and this centipede was eventually found by the housekeeping staff near his pillow. WHAT?! Later on, we found the dead body of this centipede (after being sprayed by insecticides by the staff) in the garden in front of our room, and we were shocked to see how big it was.
It was around 7AM in the morning of our first morning there, and suddenly I was awaken by Mr. K who literally jumped up and down in pain, screaming his heart out. I tried to contact the reception number to no avail, until someone finally answered after my 5 attempts of call. To my horror, the staff who answered the call was the janitor who happened to be the first one to come to work that day (hello, it was 7AM+ already!) and he doesn’t know where the first aid kit is, where the nearest clinic/hospital is, and basically gave no information at all because he simply doesn’t know. In the end, I could only give emergency treatment to Mr. K as much as I know and we moved to the entertainment room and eventually slept the second night there too. There was no way we were gonna sleep in our room anymore after this incident, what do you think?
Sometimes, a guest only needs comfortable place to enjoy his/her holiday. And no matter how beautiful Nomina Villas is, it is a failure in providing this to us. The location is perfect, if they can guarantee the comfort and “working” facilities availability in the villa complex. Because that way, guests don’t need to go out anymore and can stay in the villa without having to worry about dining, leisure, and other needs.
In the most simple case, there is no dining area in the hotel/villa area beside the abandoned restaurant, the in-room dining service is not always available (during our first night, we didn’t want to go out and decided to order in-room dining, only to be told that the butler had gone home and it was not even 8PM yet), ordering food via online driver didn’t even work because no driver wanted to take our orders because of the super secluded location, so it was totally a turn off.
Other things like emergency help or medical preparations, I was surprised to hear that the hotel staffs are not even prepared to help/treat sick/injured guests. It’s mandatory for public places like this to have doctors-on-call, clinics or hospitals nearby, in case there is a guest who needs it. Anything can happen and if something happens to the guests that might threaten their lives, the hotel can be sued for that and I am surprised that Nomina doesn’t seem to take this into consideration and is still running this unaccountable property just the way it is now.
I wish I can say one good thing, perhaps about the hospitality, my one-man-show staff who appeared on the first day was pretty good, he was polite, he did basically everything from reception check-in until breakfast handling, but the staffs we met during the last day were horribly rude. I think that concludes everything that my stay in Nomina is better forgotten than remembered.
Anyway. I think I have voiced out mostly all my opinions about this hotel, and of course this all is written based on our not-so-good experience. Nonetheless, what we experienced might be different from yours, so keep your mind open even after reading it. Thanks for reading and hope this review helps!
** This review is written based on our stays on 27-29 May 2016.
Add our SNAPCHAT for LIVE UPDATES: