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“A jewel in the jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sam's Bungalows

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Sam's Bungalows
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Bukit Lawang, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Qawra, Malta
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“A jewel in the jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

You know when you arrive at a particular place sometimes and know instantly if the vibe is good or not? Well i can certianly say that i felt a wonderful aura at Sam's Bungalows within seconds of entering the property.

Some friends and i were travelling around north Sumatra, and had asked Sam if someone was able to pick us up from Lake Toba, which was no problem at all. Considering it was an 8 hour car journey for the driver, he was there in Lake Toba bang on time. The drive to Bukit Lawang was comfortable and in a big spacious car. When you arrive in Bukit Lawang, a car can only take you so far. On arrival at the terminal there, through liason from the driver with someone from the bungalows, a member of staff was waiting for us to take us to our accomodation and helped carry our bags too.

The location of the bungalows is perfect, literally right by the river with stunning views of the jungle opposite where one can experience frequent sightings of monkeys. The rooms available at the bungalows were great too. There aren't any actual hotels in Bukit Lawang so the accommodation is pretty much guest houses and bungalows such as Sam's. The wooden rooms are basic, but with a comfortable bed complete with mosquito net, balcony, bathroom and best of all, clean.

One of the best features of this accommodation is the food offered at the restaurant. The menu is rather extensive, and you can tell that a lot of care and attention goes into every meal that comes out of their aromatic kitchen. The food not only comes extremely well presented but tastes sensational. By now you might be thinking about the price tag attached...nope, no catch! All the meals are very well priced and totally affordable. I'm not usually the type of person who eats at the hotel when travelling, but when its this good - why not! One of my friends that i was travelling there with, is writing an online food blog mostly for Asian dishes. The food he ordered was that good, that he went down to the kitchen and asked the cooks for the recipe for his blog!

Included in the price we paid for our package there, was a half day jungle trek with lunch, river rafting and a half day bat cave visit. All three activities were awesome and led by experienced guides who spoke good English too, making explanations of our trips more enjoyable and informative.

Transport at the end of our trip was also arranged by Sam to take us to North Sumatra's new and improved Kualanamu airport. Again, everything ran like clockwork. The government in that province have clearly spent a lot of time, money and effort in building a world class airport. Certainly the best and most functional airport i've experienced in Indonesia.

All in all, Bukit Lawang is a brilliant place to visit boasting majestic scenery. I highly recommend the area and i most certainly recommend this accomodation. Long live Sam, and his bungalows.

Room Tip: All rooms are fine, though try and get a room higher up for fantastic views of the river.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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102 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I spent 3 nights at Sam's Bungalow with my husband and 3 children. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Rooms were basic but clean. There is no hot water for showers but it is not necessary. Food was excellent. Overall it exceeded my expectations and I felt very safe and secure with my children. Thanks to Pepit and family.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Vienna, Austria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

I booked the package deal with my wife and found communication to be excellent. They informed us that one night the deluxe room was unavailable so they asked if another was suitable and charged us less.

The driver picked us up from the airport and drove us through the chaos of Medan and all the connecting towns till Bukit Lawang.

The staff were incredibly friendly.

The deluxe room was fantastic and the panorama had an excellent view, though it bathroom was average at best.

The jungle trek from the package was terrific and seeing so many Oragutans in the wild with many babies. I got one leach which is not that bad considering some other jungle treks where I've pulled off over 50.

I also arranged an early morning return to Medan airport to make my flight to Bandah Aceh. They arranged the driver and made the flight in good time.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queenscliff, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Totally loved the place and the staff.
Yes it's a walk from the village but your closer to the platform. Path in is not hard if your of average fitness.
Rooms were great for us, we were not fussed about the cold showers, river is just as cool.
Would go back in a heartbeat
They also make great Sumatran coffee....bonus

Room Tip: Get a basic it covers everything and ours had a hammock.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013 via mobile

We had a very good time. The room was great, the cold shower was sufficient as it is 33 degrees Celsius anyway. Mosquito screens would be cool, however mosquitos are not bad at all. Sam and his staff are very nice and helpful. Tour and transport was pretty expensive but the room is superb.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netherlands
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

We just left Sam's Bungalows yesterday after staying there for four nights. Before we booked I had contact with Sam about the possibilities because of a kneeproblem.
First our transfer from the airport went smooth and couldn't be missed.
In Bukit Lawang Sam's is at the end of the path leading to the feeding platform, 20 minutes walk.
We were met at the car by two guys who took our bags, one on a motorbike in case walking would be too hard for me.
We had the "sweet suite", which was spacious for two.
The food was good, the atmosphere very friendly. Especially Pipit and Anto did everything they could to help us, like going to the village to find a Telkomsel SIM-card for me.
One evening Anto said "you are our guests, so it's our responsibility you feel at home"
Wow, I wish every hotel would feel and act like that.
You certainly succeeded, we miss your sincere kindness already.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broome, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

My friend Sonia and I stayed at Sams Bungalow for just under 2 weeks in April. We had the time of our lives. Sam and his family and staff are absolutely beautiful, very accommodating, kind, helpful and genuine. We had 2 different room types basic and delux and they were just perfect. The food on the menu was amazing too!! We would go back and spend our time with Sam and his family in a heart beat.
Thank you guys

Room Tip: The most basic room was perfect for us we had a river view, hammock on the balcony and huge bed- all...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sam's Bungalows

Address: Bukit Lawang, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sumatra > North Sumatra > Bukit Lawang
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Bukit Lawang
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Sam's Bungalows Bukit Lawang, Sumatra

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