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Ex-Staff At Donald Trump’s Bali Golf Course Share How Closure Impacted Their Lives

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In 2015 Donald Trump licensed his name to the Nirwana Golf Resort in Bali. At the time, the hotel and resort was a 6-star designation and was coined as the business tycoon’s ‘dream project’. However, nearly ten years after the start of the project, the resort as a whole has been left to ruin.

While from a business perspective, the resort can be written off as a failed investment, for the local Balinese staff who worked there, the closing of the venture has had a much bigger impact on their lives.

View Of Gold Resort In Bali

Speaking to the media, a group of the Nirwana Golf Resort ex-staff have shared their stories about the permanent closure of their workplace. The impact on their lives, livelihoods, and the lives of their families is undeniable. As Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for the 2024 US Election, his laid-off staff are still trying to recover a sense of normalcy. The economic losses of the pandemic exacerbated the situation.

View Of Bali Gold Course

It is known that the hotel workers received some level of compensation for their redundancies. The same cannot be said for the golf caddies who were employed on temporary contracts. One caddie, 23-year-old Ditta Dwi, had to find work as a waitress after her contract was canceled with the Nirwana Golf Resort. She told reporters, “There was no clarity about our future. We heard that we would be re-recruited, but it has never happened…It was hard. The time I lost my job as a caddy was difficult. Many people were angry”.

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Golf Caddie Cart On Bali Golf Course

As a caddie, she earned a basic salary of IDR 1.3 million (USD 83); however, her tips from rich golfers consistenly topped her up to a take-home earning of around IDR 15 million (USD 945). Now, as a waitress, her baseline salary is the same, but the tips are almost non-existent. She eventually concluded that she had to take her power back. She told reporters “I have just let it go. I am moving on”.

Golf Resort In Bali.jpg

Pita Dewi worked at the hotel for 18 years in total and had relied on the work to support her family long before the Trump era began in 2015. She now managed her parent’s cafe. She told reporters how losing her job at the Nirwana Golf Resort left her anxious about what the rest of her life might hold.

She explained, “I got stressed thinking about how I would earn money because I have children…I was 48 years old, how could I get another job? We have to continue with our life. If we hated him, would that make him give us money?”.


It has now been five years since the golf course and resort closed its doors. The hotel, located just an 8-minute drive from the sacred Tanah lot Temple, is mostly demolished and the golf course is littered with beer bottles. A few security guards ride around on carts keeping trespassers out as best they can.

tanah lot

Speaking on behalf of the company Edwin Darmasetiawan, director of MNC Group’s property division, told reporters that the project is far from a flop. He explained to reporters, “I don’t see this project as a failure, but as postponed…We have another project in Lido. Now we are focusing on that”. The Lido Project is based in West Java.

It is another Trump golf course and holiday resort but true to form event, this project has stirred up tensions in Java. It is believed that construction teams have exhumed Islamic graves in the area without permission from local residents or religious leaders.


Despite suggesting that the Nirwana Golf Resort is a project that has been postponed, neither Darmasetiawan nor any other representatives from MNC Group have given any indication that the project will be re-started in the new future. As Donald Trump and his teams focus on the 2024 election and the sheer state of disrepair the site is currently in, it is hard to envisage any meaningful change happening in the foreseeable future.

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Indo terusss

Monday 12th of December 2022

It’s MNC licensing Trump’s name in Indonesia. Trump got paid and do not put a cent in the project.


Monday 12th of December 2022

I am sure the Jakarta investors came begging Trump to endorse their golf course project to be able to use his name because they thought that was worth something and that was all. He had no involvement in planning, building the project but when it fails they want to blame him. Hilarious.


Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Correct. Now the project ran out of steam due to covid. It might pick-up again with/without Trump branding. Press release for the Indonesian "partner" yesterday (The Jakarta Post):

Budi Rustanto, President director, PT MNC Land Tbk

With regard to the article “Playing with paradise: Defunct Bali golf course another Trump fiasco" in The Jakarta Post and on Dec. 9, we found both the title and content of the news report to be inaccurate.

The following are facts that the public has to know, which are missing from the Post report.

1. The property belongs to PT MNC Land Tbk, not Trump, and will be developed into a golf course, a golf-club house, beach club, villa, wellness and hotel.

2. The size of the land in question has increased to more or less 110 hectares (ha). When the land was acquired from Bakrie in 2012-2013 its size only amounted to 84 ha.

3. Trump Organization is only responsible for operation and branding, while the owner is MNC Group.

4. The old hotel and golf course have long been demolished to pave the way for redevelopment with a new, far better and more comprehensive design.

5. The construction will start in 2023 as the pandemic has subsided.


Monday 12th of December 2022

$945 USD a week? A month? A day?

Ron Carter

Saturday 10th of December 2022

Donald Trump did his best wreck the USA.Neglecting a golf corse in Bali wouldn't bother him. It's hard for people employed there but Bali is once again a tourist mecca. So new jobs shouldn't be a problem.


Monday 12th of December 2022

@Ron Carter, true


Saturday 10th of December 2022

Well, to be fair, it's not like the nation/government that he is supposed to be representing hasn't left a trail of colossal, heart-breaking destruction in other countries they have touched either. So far, Indonesia is still fortunate not to have ended up like Afghanistan and others. But we are still fearful it could happen one day, especially now that we are friendly to all nations including those that the US looks upon as their sworn enemies (Bush's "You're either with us or you're against us" feels as if still echoing on till today). It's just too easy for them to fund and spark violent "pro-democracy" riots that could bring about a change to a more pro-US-interest government. It's scary.

“To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”- Henry Kissinger. Perhaps all nations are in the same boat - caught between a rock and a very hard place.

Let the golf course issue die off and don't bring it up again. It's probably a blessing that Trump's name isn't (yet, if at all) associated with the island in any way, shape or form. Terimakasih banyak ya.