Samai is a very special place. I was looking to find a workshop in Ecuador about Shamanism and indigenous cultures before travelling on throughout the country by myself for 3 weeks. I came across Samai online through the Sacred Journey part of their website and found a weeks workshop incorporating ceremonies with sacred plants, yoga, meditation and shamanic ceremonies. Now, I know that a lot of people might read the last sentence and think that this is the last thing that they would be interested in, or that it might be some weird, New Age retreat, but Samai is a beautiful, relaxing lodge where you can do as much or as little as you like, both in terms of the local activities on offer as well as the sacred journeys and spiritual retreats.
The rooms in the cabins dotted across the property make the most of the stunning views down to the sea and the paths to access them are well lit at night. The free wifi signal doesn't reach the cabins, but is fast and efficient in the lovely communal areas. Samai is also surrounded by beautiful forest so you'll be able to see and hear all sorts of exotic wildlife, including huge blue butterflies and humming birds.
The service has to be one of the best things about Samai, everyone was so unbelievably friendly and accommodating. I was anxious about bugs getting into the room as I'm rather bug-phobic (great choice to go to cloud forest then!). I emailed Tania, one of the owners, before I arrived to mention this and she assured me the room would be thoroughly checked and treated with Paolo Santo, a natural deterrent to creepy crawlies, and I had no problems during my week's stay. The food was also the best I had during my month long trip to Ecuador and my nervousness about travelling by myself for the first time was allayed by a pick up from Guyaquil airport and a lift with Ed and Tania to Cuenca which went above and beyond.
For a quiet, relaxing (and, if you would like it to be), spiritual and meditative escape by the ocean in Ecuador, I would definitely recommend Samai as the nicest place in the area.
With thanks to Tania, Ed and the fantastic Samai team,
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa offers a new concept of healthy traveling services where you can experience the environment, eco-tourism activities, cultural exchange, healthy food in first class settings. Here you'll enjoy the serene splendor of the cordillera mountains, pacific ocean and rain forest all in one place! You will find the extraordinary peace and tranquility of Ecuador, that is still largely untouched by civilization, rejuvenating your spirit and give you a new lease on life. ... more less
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