"There are rooms for improvement"
01/10/14 thenomadic Bangkok, Thailand
We booked this villa with fingers crossed, because the photo on the current website seems to be a 3D model, not the real one. We didn't find any reviews yet by the time we booked the villa (end of Dec 2013). We booked the villa through a hotel booking website (not Mahala Hasa's). It is mentioned there that we will get complimentary pickup from the airport. We put our flight information on the booking page, but we didn't get any confirmation from hotel side about the pickup. So we sent another email directly to Mahala Hasa to confirm our schedule. They responded very quickly though. Even when our flight was delayed, the guy was still waiting for us. Cold towels scented with lemongrass & bottles of water were served in the car. Checking in to the villas were fast. The people were very nice to us. There's even a lady which explained us about our villa. Our villa located deep inside the area, so there were many turns to go. So the villa itself is a 2-storey building. Pool, living room, dining area, kitchen island (stove -only stove, no gas so you cannot cook, and a sink) and a restroom are on this floor. There's a water dispenser with big water gallon here, where you can get free flow of cold, warm and hot water. On the 2nd level, there are bedroom and bathroom. The building design was nice, they put attention to some details. However there were other things that didn't meet our expectations enough. 1. Path to our villa. They did put some blocks for walking so we don't have to step on the soil but the blocks have big spaces with one another, so we have to pay attention where we step on next. It would be nice if the blocks can be arranged just in 1 or 2 lines with narrow spaces. It was raining when we arrived, so we need to be very careful to not step on the wet soil or slipped. 2. The entrance to the villa. I was expecting to have a "Do not disturb" sign we can put on the door, but there's none. Also, seems they can open the entrance door with their own keys. So I usually make sure that the room door upstairs is locked. Their bell sounded discreet, especially when it rains. So better to wait for the breakfast downstairs. 3. Dining Area/Living room. I like this area, it is outdoor but covered. There's a fan on the ceiling that keeps you cool during hot days. Unfortunately there's no trash bin there, so we just piled up our garbage (like coffee sachets, tissues) on the table. Also, they should add a telephone line on this floor, so we don't need to walk up to the bedroom when it rings. 4. Breakfast. Served in your villa with choices of American, Continental and Indonesian breakfast. They are complimentary but you can buy more items. You have to choose what do you want for breakfast a day before. We did try the American and Indonesian. Taste was standard, nothing very special. The veggies & fruit quality can be improved though. On the first day, I ordered a coffee, and it came only black with no milk provided. The next day, I ordered coffee and additional request of milk, separately, and they brought cup of coffee and another cup of milk. I surprised they didn't have the small milk jar for such a luxurious villa. 5. Coffee/Tea in your room. I made some coffee with cream with the complimentary coffee sachet right after arriving. The next day, I noticed that they didn't replaced the coffee & creamer sachets. Not a big issue for me, but this can be improved. 6. Pool Area. No matt on the floor, so you need to be careful when it is wet. Getting out of the pool is also a bit hard, because there's no ladder. Also, no towels on the first floor, so better to bring the towels before you jumped into the pool. 7. Bedroom. Very nice, we loved it! Except for the small rugs that feels old and the lack of trash bin. 8. Bathroom. Finally a trash bin here! The bathroom has separated shower, bath tub, and toilet. The bath tub was spacious. But there's an opening on the wall on the bath tub side. Perhaps it is for air circulation, but without nets, it allows small insects to go in. We need to close the bathroom door all the time. We felt that the toilet bowl needs more thorough cleaning.. And the wash basin, well, just like in the toilet downstairs, no hand soap there.. During our stay, the hot water in the shower was not working. We clarified this with the staff but turned out that the hot water can't be fixed right away as it needs major repair. They offered us with in-villa dinner or in-villa massage to compensate and as their form of apology. We really appreciate the initiative and we chose in-villa massage on the day before we check out (will come to the massage later). We also appreciate that they provided us a mosquito repellent lotion. One more thing, the handle on shower door seemed not made of stainless steel. So be careful to put towels/clothes there, as it will have stain. 9. The massage. This was done on the living room area, the massage beds were setup here.. The masseurs were outsourced and it felt sooo good. They also offered a body scrub service. They came on time as we have arranged earlier, but we were surprised to find that they were already there on the living room when we walk down from our bedroom. We sure we locked the entrance door.. 10. Villa location. It is located on a small street, not a main road, which is dark at night. The main road is Petitenget. You can walk to Petitenget but it is a very long walk especially if you want to go to Seminyak square. They said the beach is 10 minutes away walking, but we haven't got the chance to go to the beach from the villa. We did go to the beach from its neighborhood Jalan Batubelig. We found that the beach is the best way to walk to Seminyak Square and some café or restaurants by the beach. 11. Transportation. The villa has shuttle schedule to go to Seminyak square, but seems the schedule is not fixed and actually you can go anytime you want, and the driver will take you there. Just make sure to make the arrangements with the front desk. As long as it is in Seminyak, it will be free of charge. They also told us that we can call them for pick up in Seminyak area, but I wouldn't recommend it. Better to get a taxi because you don't know when the driver will come. 12. Internet. Said we get a free wifi, but we found no signal in our villa. The signal only available at the lobby. I don’t know if the villas nearby the lobby can get better signal. We would appreciate if they put repeater on each of the villa. Overall, our stay was okay, but not satisfied. Seems they are still new so there are lot of rooms for improvements.
"Rocky start, pleasant end."
01/04/14 GreatDane22 Melbourne, Australia
We chose Mahala Hasa because it really was one of the only places left with such a late booking over Christmas & New Year as I normally stick to my Seminyak usual, but this time it was sold out! The villas opened the end of December, so there were no reviews on this place and by the time we arrived, they were only a week into operations. I'm going to start by saying how helpful and accommodating the staff were. Without this brilliant team, our experience wouldn't have been half as good as it was. Now to the villas. With very little land and maximum living space, there really was no other option but to build up. The downfall of building up is that there's a lack of sun coming into the villa. Most of the pool is undercover, and there's very little laying in the sun space. So if you're wanting to lay and soak in the rays, this is probably isn't best option for you. As I said before, this place is brand new, so there were a few teething issues when we arrived, things that I would've hopped had already been attended to. 1. A robust WIFI connection 2. Bins in the villa, 1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs 3. Hand soap for the bathroom 4. No pool towels 5. No hair dryer 6. Hot water had to be turned on during our first night? 7. A phone downstairs (we had to run upstairs when the phone was ringing) 8. Better insulation and covering of holes in the bedroom/bathroom, simply because we had to have the air conditioner running 24/7 just to keep the temperature below warm I'm very confident that each of the above issues will be sorted, but for us, it meant another phone call to reception, which started our stay on an unpleasant note, especially when we we've paid over $250AUD/night to be there. Would I stay at Mahala Hasa again? Yes, once they've sorted all our concerns.
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