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“Garden Side Cottage was excellent.”

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Samsara Cliffs Resort
Ranked #30 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Reviewed September 15, 2011

I would like to first say that if you can see and hear, crossing the street is not "scary" or "dangerous" at all. There are rounded mirrors mounted on the property walls. just look, listen, and cross.

My lady and I stayed at Samsara the day and night of August 29th. We stayed in a garden side cottage. It had a great patio that looked out onto jungle gardens. The cottage is a hexagon shaped with an open floor plan, except for the bath area. The cottage has no A/C, but it wasn't necessary, even in August. The bed was queen or king.Our room didn't have a refrigerator, but I think you can rent one. I don't remember if it had a TV...you won't need to watch any. It was nice and quiet, but the whole resort was, given the off-season.

Service is just fine. Be gracious. Some people on here have complained, they probably have issues.

Across the street are the hotel rooms and pillar houses, the restaurant, and general cliffs recreation area. The grounds are very clean. We liked all the potted plants. The sun deck is large, and the loungers are spread out nicely. There are some stairways carved into the cliffs that lead to down to tide pools and smaller deck areas. Jumping into the ocean is great fun. There are plenty of safe spots to jump into the ocean, raning in height from 5 to maybe 15 feet. The water isn't too cold, and it's very clear.

The bar provides a great view and shade to enjoy drinks in the day and also at night. The prices aren't bad. We didn't use the all-inclusive plan, and unless you're going to drink 10 wells drinks per day and eat at the buffet for all of the meals, it isn't worth it in my opinion.

Everything about Samsara was superb with the exception of the breakfast buffet. The food was good, but was mostly American fare. You can walk 3 minutes down and acorrs the road to Chances restaurant for a Jamaican breakfast for a better price.

Room Tip: The garden side cottages are very peaceful with great patios. The cliffs, bar, the "party"...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank nickdaddyg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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911 - 917 of 1,370 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2011

To begin with the positive, the staff here is wonderful, the natural elements are beautiful, the cliffs are fun, the ocean so clear, the pool is nice and clean and the food is ok. However, the rooms have no amenities besides hand soap, no shampoo, conditioner, wash clothes, facial tissue or alarm clocks and our phone didn't work. There is ac and a fan but they are both pretty worthless, plus the ac leaks and makes very loud noises that wake one up several times a night. The towels, sheets and linen in the restaurant are all rags, everything has a hole. And possibly worst of all, there are ants everywhere! In the rooms and in the restaurant.

I am not a high maintenance traveler. I'm pretty happy with beach and some sunshine, so we still had a great vacation here. But I would not return. I don't expect hotels to have plush towels, but a wash cloth I do expect. Note that they also do not provide beach towels. Having never gone to a resort that did not provide shampoo and beach towels I did not bring either with me.

If you bring what you need with you and do not expect much, this can be a perfectly fine resort for an affordable getaway. But if you will be upset if you can't sleep at night due to the heat, look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Corseamans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2011

We booked this holiday a week before we left, via an internet company, my husband, myself & our 13 year old daughter.
We are firm believers that a holiday is what you make it, and we DID enjoy our holiday, but mainly because we got out & about from the hotel.
When we arrived we were upgraded to a sea view, the room had a large ceiling fan but no air conditioning, when we asked to have it turned on we were told it was an extra cost & not included within our all inclusive package, which was meals & bar drinks only. I compalined but it got us no-where. On the fourth day because our daughter was suffering, we gave in & paid $168 to have the A/C key.
The food was ok, but their wasn't a massive choice althought the dining room staff were lovely, especially Kim.
THe bar staff (except the man), were awful. regularly ignored you (indian woman who rarely left the till), & loooked like they'd rather slap you than serve you.
Our room was clean & tidied every day, but the bed was only changed once & the sheets & towels were worn, frayed & had holes in them. It seemed that they did not have spare towels as they were taken in the morning & replaced in the afternoon... after they'd been washed (?).
We used the spa once & again the staff didn't seem to be bothered.
The pool areas need re-tiling as a lot of tiles are missing & these areas are sharp underfoot, metal bottle tops littered the floor is an area where people walk barefoot,
The free shuttle to Negril was handy as we spent a lot of time on the beach & wandering around Negril. We ate at a few restaurants on the beach & found the food reasonably priced, varied & tasty. The sea was BEAUTIFUL.

If someone spent some money giving the place a facelift & the staff training in people skills, this hotel would be a hidden gem... but right now its just very disappointing.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Derbyclarky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

My daughter and I stayed at Samsara for 9 days and it was a fantastic experience. The staff was fantastic, helping us at every turn, very courteous and accomodating. Our room was very clean and comfortable. The King size bed was very firm. We had "heard" from some of the previous reviews that the food was OK and had planned to only get the room but were pleasantly surprised when we did eat there as the food was excellent and they were very willing to please with some special requests we had. We always felt very safe as well with the 24 hr security. We had also heard that there were mosquitos this time of year and we brought nets but didnt see a one. There were some no see em's or little biting bugs so don't forget to bring your repellent. My only recommendation would be to put new screen on the windows and that some touch of painting around the deck/bar area would go along way to making it looking a bit more spiffy but I loved the relaxed atmosphere. It was perfect for our trip and for the value.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank sybase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2011

This resort is not at all like the photo's . The pictures must be about 25 years old. It is very run down and not maintained. The beds are HORRIBLE ....they are so hard. It's like sleeping on a box spring. Be prepared to pay $18.00 US per day for airconditioning. Most of the staff are friendly but one woman in the bar area is especially unfriendly . I never seen her smile once. She just glares at you. I don't think she is Jamaican though.. The pool tiles are falling off and not being repaired. The food buffet is very bland and rather repeditive with slight variations. The fruit is cold and not served fresh. Overall I would not recommend this resort to anyone. Pay a little more to get something nice. We have never been to Jamaica before and we have learnt where not to stay . Most of the Jamaican people are WONDERFUL . Watch out with who you get a taxi ride with. A good number of them are not licensed taxi's and arent insured if something happpens. Be careful with regards to currency exchange ....you will get ripped off.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Bellaangel62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

Dear fellow Tripadvisors,

I stayed at the Samsara Resort for 16 days and feel that writing a review is the only way I can feel right about allowing other travellers to come here. I will tell you good and bad things about the hotel.

~*Tips and tricks in Jamaica*~
-Tax in Jamaica on most items is about %18. If you’re eating out, that means you have a service charge, tax, AND then if you’re generous; a tip.
-There are two kinds of car transport in Jamaica. There are “charters” and “just taxis.” Take taxis, unless you want to pay triple the amount or feel more comfortable doing this. For example, for two of us to travel to town it costs $200 JMD, the charter charges $600 JMD. And ALWAYS negotiate the rate for your trip before going in the taxi.


~*The good things about Samsara*~
1. The room we got was an oceanview room (as advertised) and was quite spacious
2. Housekeeping services were provided every day which included fresh towels and sheets daily
3. The hotel is on a cliff and the view was amazing. Many people came just to dive.
4. There are `happy hours` between 4-7pm during which you can buy 2 drinks for the price of 1 (good for those who aren`t all inclusive because 1 drink could cost between $5-7)
5. The location of the hotel was far away enough from the noise of the city but close enough to go by a 5 minute taxi (which costs 100$ JMD per person)
6. The hotel also has a no tip policy (to individuals) but will collect tips as a group (in the tip boxes) so none of the staff ever asked for tips. This made it easier to give tips in the first place.


~*The "not-so-good" things about Samsara*~
1. Fridges. The rooms don’t have fridges in them. I understand that this wasn’t advertised however, even the travel agents said there should be one so I took the risk. Also, upon hearing that I could rent a fridge I found out that it was $10USD (PLUS TAX) to rent one per day. Sidenote: you can get ice at the bar between 10am and 11pm.

2. Food. Don't eat at Samsara it isn't good. However there are plenty of places in town to eat. Ciao Jamaica across the street is OK. Choices (across the street) isn’t too bad on pricing and is good. The further into town you go, the cheaper the food gets. There is a green and yellow building near Scotiabank called Vendors Plaza, inside is a restaurant called Bucky’s Restaurant where you can get a full meal such as: fried chicken, rice, and a little salad for $280. Pushcart down the road has very good food, at a higher price.

3. Wireless Internet. The travel agents AND resort said that there was internet access IN the room. But there WASN'T any. The only internet service provided “free of charge” at Ciao Jamaica and at Legends (the sister property). So I ended up going to an Internet Cafe in town and paid $200 JMD an hour so that the heat and mosquitoes weren’t an issue. Oh... and if you want DSL cable internet (I don’t even know if that was available for our room) it is $0.15 USD per minute so essentially you’d pay $9 an hour for internet.

4. Bugs. I have contacted the front desk several times regarding this. As someone who has been to Jamaica several times, I know that bugs are sometimes an issue; I came prepared. I brought 3 cans of Off, and 5 cans of Raid for roaches, mosquitoes, flies, spiders etc.... Every couple nights I was spraying around the room, especially near the doors and windows. I also lit the mosquito coil a few hours before sleep and blocked the door. The room I was in had shutters no glass. On the outside the windows span the height of the room, but inside the room was repanelled to cover up half of the window. Bugs were coming through the holes in the mesh and a weird hole cut in the wall to run a TV cable. Five or so times throughout the stay we would be plagued by rain flies. I had many sleepless nights (thinking things were crawling on me and finding things crawling on me). I would wake up to see antennae all over the floor (the flies lose their antennae and wings, and then they look like little slugs). Luckily the lizard and spiders that were in our room ate up all the bodies by morning. When telling the front desk about these issues they said that they couldn’t do anything about it, and that the flies were attracted to the light. Well.... I told them that it’s night, and that I have to see (I’m human). We didn’t even sit on our porch at night because we didn’t want to use the light, we also did our best to only turn on the light in the bathroom so less bugs would be attracted. After hearing that there was nothing they could do over and over, I thought about it.... and YES there was something they could do. They could maintain their buildings. That would help a lot. It’s one thing for there to be bugs occasionally, but with all the preventative measures I took, it is impossible that it was my fault. Samsara needs to keep up with the “keep up” of their property.
5. All Inclusive. I almost did the all-inclusive package, but I’m soo happy I didn’t. The all-inclusive only allows for a little buffet at each meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) which includes a few dishes. Also, it doesn’t include bottled water, premium liquors, or items not on the All-Inclusive “List.” Basically don’t get it unless you can drink up a storm.

6. More on the room. Although the room was large (included a washroom inside) the layout was weird. The bathroom is separated from the room by a ¾ wall leaving ¼ of the wall open from the bathroom leading into the bedroom. So... every time someone had to do #2... the other person had to leave. This became hard as we tried not to open the door at night to avoid the bugs.

7. Scale. They don’t have a scale apparently. Front desk said check with the bar... why would the bar have a scale? Anyways, the bar didn’t have one either.

8. A close friend who was also staying there who booked at the same deal as us accidentally booked to end one night early. Instead of allowing her to stay one more night for the same rate, they wanted to charge her 5x more ($150 instead of $33). And by the way, no one stayed in the room the next day anyways.

9. Towels. They are very careful with their towels. Always make sure there are the same number of towels in your room otherwise if one is missing you can get charged for it.

10. Overall property. The property in general is rundown. They keep it very clean, but visually as you walk around you can see that buildings are cracking at the foundation, things are still from the 70's and aren't as comfy as you would like. The gym they have is very old, it is outside, and I doubt the machines even work. The pool is ok. I love the beach chairs and beds.

I'm usually not a picky person, however, the lack of response from the hotel in terms of various issues and the improper advertising made my stay subpar as my expectations were unmet.

Bottom line... know what you're getting into, read other Trip Advisor reviews. Try to have the best time possible. For me, it was my company that kept me there for the full 16 days. Oh, ... this place is best for couples or adventure seeker types. Not really families.

Room Tip: Book ahead, call ahead, double check before settling in.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank chris_tina2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

its ok if you just want some where to sleep the rooms are nice and clean the front desk was very nice not good dining

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank davionsamuels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samsara Cliffs Resort

Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#16 Spa Hotel in Negril
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $77 - $195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Samsara Cliffs Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique oceanfront boutique hotel with 50 rooms catering to international clientele for over thirty years. Spectacular sea view and spacious sun deck with easy sea access for swimming and snorkeling. Amenities include sea view restaurant and bar, swimming pool, splash pool, tennis court, seaside massage center, billiards and table tennis, tennis court, gift shop, and free WiFi throughout hotel. Air-conditioned rooms range from traditional hotel rooms to tropical cottages and ocean front pillar huts (non a.c.). Daily maid service and free shuttle to sister hotel on the beach, Legends Beach Resort where guests enjoy exchange privileges. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samsara Cliffs Hotel Negril
Samsara Hotel Jamaica
Samsara Cliffs Negril
Samsara Cliff Resort

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