Monday, August 30, 2010

Bali High - A Honeymoon Worthy Hotel (Part II), The Samaya Seminyak

After we left the tropical lushness that is Ubud, we were finally ready to make our way to Bali's popular beachy southwest coast. There are a range of areas to choose from and depending on what you are looking for you can be in a rollicking surfer's paradise or an serene and upscale beachside experience and everything in between. We decided on the serene and upscale version (again, we were in pseudo-honeymoon mode).

All I can say is that when the taxi dropped us off, I knew that we were in a different kind of hotel. Before we even got out of the car, our bags were in the lobby. It was really the beginning of much of the great service that we would receive at the Samaya in Seminyak, an area known for its more upscale atmosphere, shopping and restaurants.

It was surprisingly hard to find a beach front hotel in Bali. Many hotels and private villas for rent are across the street from the beach or a few blocks away. Husband J and I decided that being beachfront was a priority (an over 24 hour trip..heck yeah, it was a priority). I had read wonderful things about the Samaya, and the high expectations for it were met, if not exceeded, in almost every category that I can think of.

There are a few things you should know about the Samaya. One thing important thing to know is that it is actually split in two. There is one portion of the resort that has the one and two bedroom Royal Pavilion villas with spas and a pool and the one bedroom garden villas with plunge pools. There is another section of the resort across the road less than two minutes away by golf cart (I took the golf cart and it really was two minutes; maybe three minutes if you need to wait for some traffic to pass). These are the Royal Courtyard villas which are much newer and bigger. The pools and amenities in these rooms are apparently fabulous: flat screen TVs in the bathroom (nice) and huge personal pools are what you will find here. Husband J and I went for the garden pool villas since we knew ahead of time that were were going to be spending a lot of time pool and beachside. That being said I think we would have enjoyed our rooms regardless of our choice.

So here's a tour of our room a garden pool villa.

The entrance

Opposite side from the door to our room was the plunge pool.

The bed. Super comfortable

The lounge area of our room during our check-in. Check out the frangipani leis.

They left us a special treat, an delicious chocolate cake.

Our spacious bathroom

I love what they did to the bathtub. Thanks for the welcome, Samaya!

The common areas were lovely too.

The beach-side lounge

Husband J and I spent a lot of time here on the lounge chairs beach-side.

The Samaya's beach-side restaurant, the Breeze

We spent a lot of time looking at this:

The waves on Bali's southwest coast are huge and much bigger than anything that I have ever seen in the Caribbean or other beach areas I've been. It's a good area to surf; and if you don't mind the large waves, the beach can be fun.

So here's a run down of my thoughts on the Samaya. I'll do it in pros and cons as before.

Service - The staff is extremely friendly and seem to just do little things that really can make your stay wonderful. They knew our names (never really experienced that before ) and reminded us about our spa appointment. Wow! Okay, thanks. :) Since we spent a lot of time by the beach, the staff there brought us fresh fruit, water (which was always refilled) and helped us with our towels. I could go on about how much the staff does here.

Spa - If you are wondering about the spa, book it. I had two treatments here: one with Husband J as part of the Samaya's Honeymoon Package, the Ritual of Royalty Treatment (a foot wash, massage, and body wrap) and a hot stone massage. Our couple's treatment was in this room with a 180 degree view of the beach. Hearing the crashing waves was so soothing. Many spas pipe in sounds of crashing waves, but this was the real thing! The treatment room was a huge, modern room with its own shower, restroom and changing room. The treatment was amazing, especially the massage. My hot stone massage, while not cheap by Bali standards, was waaaay less than I would pay in the US and was also excellent. It actually cost much less than the spa at the Komaneka Bisma, the hotel we stayed in in Ubud.

Food - The food here is great! As I've mentioned before, t
he breakfasts are huge and out of this world. The food at the Samaya was some of the best I ate in Bali. It was definitely gourmet level. The bartenders were also great, and I got the best cocktails I had in Bali here.


Rooms - This is really a half con and not a full one. :) As you can see above, we stayed in the Garden Pool Villa. The plunge pool was nice to have, although we didn't use it as much as we could have. We were too mesmerized by the view of the beach at the main restaurant/pool area. While the room was nice, I think it could use some updating. Things did look a tad worn and ready for a replacement. I do know that the Samaya is planning renovations for those villas later this year, so perhaps if you're planning a trip there next year, you 'll get to see the finished product. That being said, I still think the garden pool villas rooms are still of a very high standard and have all the conveniences you would want.

Yes, you can pay less in Bali, but if you have a chance to treat yourself, I would highly recommend the Samaya.


BigAppleNosh said...

Wow, looks like paradise! :)

D. Marie said...

I'll 2nd that wow!! I love the bathtub and the view!!! Is it hard looking at these photos and not wanting to be back there?!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

@D.Marie - yes! It took me about two weeks to stop thinking about it. Then I remembered the long flight, and I didn't feel so bad anymore. :)

M and C said...

Um, I'll third that wow.

kristi said...

Bali island is perfect for vacation, anniversary or honeymoon. The beaches are fantastic.
Great posting. Thank you for sharing.

Mata Bali said...

Bali is heaven on earth.

BWB said...

wow wow wow! your villa looks amazing! i love the welcome in the bathtub!

kristi said...

Bali beachfront villas looks so beautiful.

kkbelle said...

What a fully rounded review. I loved it and it makes me want to head to the Samaya for some part of my next Bali trip. Thanks


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