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“nice, quiet, relaxing place to stay”

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Samsara Cliffs Resort
Ranked #29 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Reviewed December 2, 2009

Before I went to this resort I looked at all the reviews that I could about this particular resort on tripadvisory. I was alittle discouraged as to what I read. I decided to take note and write what I thought during my stay.

The weather was around 89 degrees the entire week. The Samsara was 2 hrs away from the Montego Bay airport. We had a very pleasant ride with JTL Tours. I would definitely recommend that you prepay for your transfers roundtrip prior to your trip. I was a great idea and less hassle once we arrived. The driver was a great tour guide during the ride to the resort. We passed by tons of large resorts and I was very glad that I did not choose these places. If you are looking for relaxation and serenity then the Samsara is the place to visit! My spouse and i really loved that the Samsara had no children when we got there the week we went. I think midweek prior to the Thanksgiving holiday is the greatest time to travel. The airport was very light with travelers. We had a direct flight and it was smooth sailing. The Samsara was very safe and had security all night. The resort can get you anything that you need all you have to do it ask the front desk. The private taxi driver Donald is the best! He will take you anywhere you want to go for great prices. The best shopping place for souvenirs is at Sonia's. Ask Donald to take you there he will wait for you to shop until your heart is content....... He is very safe and recommended by the hotel if you like to go off alone or with other couples for a reasonable price. I would suggest that you change your money before you leave home at a money exchange bank. The rates in NYC was 98.60 to 1 Jamaican dollar, in Jamaica at the airport it was only 88.00 and the hotel was 75.00, but worst case scenario is to go to the Hi/Lo for the exchange which was 87.60. The figure changes on a daily basis but that was the best place to go. You can also shop for all your snacks and it was very close to the resort via taxi ride.

The nightlife was pretty good. We went to "The Jungle" and it was great. Lots of working girls, but other than that the music and food was pretty good.... The sister hotel The Legends had shuttle service daily but we never went to the beach there because we were very content at the Samsara.

The hotel accomendations was okay. It only made it okay because the beds were not very comfortable. They could step up the comfort of the beds, but other than that the room was very clean. The room was cleaned everyday by housekeeping. If you wanted new towels changed daily you had to take the old ones to the front desk and have them switched, other than that they were changed every other day. Our room had an air conditioner and it was a oceanfront view. Very beautiful everyday. You do need to take the following items for your room. Insect spray, citronella candle (keep bugs away while sitting outside on our balcony), incense or scented candle (for the mugginess of the room) remember this is an island. No problems with bugs in the room nor did we have a bed bug problem.

I saw lots of negative reviews for the food. Well we seem to not agree with that at all! The food was very good. There was not a very big selection of food to choose from, but it was always something different everytime. The hot items that are always served is the signature calaloo and fried dumplings. There was always something different to choose from and the food was like your home cooked food. All the dining room staff was very, very nice. No negative things to say about all the staff at the resort. Everyone did everything to make our stay wonderful and it was just that.

The drinks were very good and we had the all inclusive package. The papaya, banana and strawberry daiquiris were my favorites, but you can drink as much as you like from 10am - 10pm. I had a small cold and I asked for lots of lime and water as well as hot water and salt to gargle with and all did what they could to help me get over that cold. The bar always had a cooler on the bar all night where they had cold water all day long and after hours if needed. If you needed ice at anytime the bar could accomodate you before the bar closed if you have a collapsable ice holder. You are not served premium liquors, but we purchased a bottle of jamaican dark rum and added it to our drinks as we liked. You can purchase any liquor at the Hi/Lo store.

The reason I rate this resort a 3 star is because the can improve on the missing tiles in the pool and jacuzzi. They always had maintenance of the property going on but I saw no one fixing the pool or jacuzzi. It was very heavily populated with Germans. I believe this resort is German owned. It was lots of Germans there when we went.

I read previously on tripadvisory prior to my trip that Rick's cafe has great food. Well if you consider American food great then that is what they serve. The buffalo wings were like american made and not carribbean made at all. So if you want regular food, then go here to eat. Bourbon Beach had great jerk chicken, but if you want cabbage cooked don't ask them because they serve it raw.

Overall the trip was extremely relaxing and you can swim right there in the ocean and jump off the cliff into the water. The sunsets were absolutely beautiful every night! They had a night where a 2 man band came to play and that was a fun time near the bar. The resort is very small and quaint. If you are looking to get away from it all from busy hectic NYC and NJ, then this place is worth the money. We heard that Xtabi and 3 Dives were good eats, but we tried to go there and they did not even have food ready to eat at 1pm in the afternoon. So just ask Donald where the good places are to eat outside of the resort and he will take you where ever you want to go. Respect everytime is his favorite line!

So if you decide to go to this resort you will not be unsatisfied. It was a good place to stay.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Msvee23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,052 - 1,058 of 1,358 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2009

Love, Love, Love. This place is wonderful. Great employees, great location, great everything. Very relaxing and secluded. Absolutely fantastic.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mrs_shreve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2009

If you're like me and you prefer peace and quite, open spaces and privacy, staying at the Cliffs side of Negril is the place for you. Take the shuttle to the beach for a day and you'll see that the beach side is crowded, loud and a constant hustle of walking vendors. Samsara was quiet and relaxing. Make sure you dive off the cliffs there (if you are a good swimmer) and take a taxi to the lighthouse.

Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
2  Thank TimothyS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2009

Show respect and receive respect. I stayed in the Garden Rooms which are basically Rounded Huts. Each has a shower/WC and sat TV. Great value; The only complaint I have is the US$20 per hour for Internet access.That is way way too excessive in this day and age. If I used the Internet for 1 hour each day I would get a US$140 weekly charge!!!!
I am staying there for possibly 12 wk US$1,700 Internet bill for a hour a day!!!!!
(I was there in Sept 09 for 2 weeks but am returning Oct to Dec 09)
Change that to free Internet access and I wouldn't have a single bad/negative word.
I used the public library 5 Min's down the road, no charge. A good tip is book your Internet sessions during school hours as there is a school next to library.
Yes, Samsara is my base in Jamaica.
TOMMY MANCHESTER UK

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank tsceramics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2009

Take a kettle/ cooler to keep water cold/ snorkel,mask and fins/ beach towels/ sun cream/ after sun and plenty of mosquito repellent. And a must is something for the ants that are the smallest in the world but have the biggest bite. If you want taxis and excursions shop and around and dont trust the locals that hang around outside the hotel in the evenings they are friendly and helpful enough but seem to make up their prices.
If you are going to tip I suggest doing this at the end of your trip it seems that some of the staff only look for the tippers and are relucant to serve you in any great hurry they like to keep you waiting and serve the tippers first this is not all the staff but the culprits soon become apparante.
It is an excellent place for jumping off the cliffs and snorkeling and if it is relaxation you want then you cannot go wrong here - I would not bother with the AI unless you drink as the food is terrible, we stayed for 3 weeks and after the first week we spent most of the time eating out - some very strange meal combinations - we would of liked to have eaten more jamaican food but not at this hotel. The buffet style does it no justice - The drinks are also very limited and not as local as you might think - if you want a Red Stripe then you will have to PAY!!!!!!! AI or not !!!!!!! There is absolutely no where to get a cold drink of water from at night so if you wait up early in the morning with a thirst then its tap water or nothing I am afraid. Come on Samsara you can do better than this a full overall of the menu and water being available in the late evenings/early mornings would not take much and ice water would not cost very much
Legends its sister hotel is not much better and all the above applies to that to - being going to Jamaica for the past 20 years and stayed all over the island. I would rate this hotel 4 out of 10.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DeeplydippyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2009

We stayed for seven nights - due to our flight being delayed, we arrived at the hotel very late, we could not get into the hotel, so we had to stay the night at a guest house, the next day, we tried to get the money back for what we paid to stay at the guest house - we were told we could not get any money back.
We notice that the towels where not changed, we were told if we wanted clean towels, we had to bring down the dirty towels and this can only be changed every other day and throughout the seven days our bedding was not changed. The bathroom and shower was not cleaned properly - the food was inedible, you had to pay extra for a/c. the fan in the corner of the room was inadaquate. the resort, nor the local area did not cator for people looking to eat good, freshly cooked tradiional Jamaica "food".
The worst bit of my trrp was that during our stay i came out in bumps and blisters all over my body, when i got home, my doctor told me i have a skin infection, and had to be put on antibiotics, the doctor informed me that my skin infection was caused by bed mites/bugs. we would never recommend this hotel, this was a really bad holiday experience.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank LondonAnderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2009

When my husband and I arrived at Samsara, at first glance we thought the place was going to be amazing, the grounds are beautifully kept, and on the outside the hotel and the huts look fabulous. The Cliffs and the ocean right in front of the hotel were amazing ( and may I add just as fun to jump off of!) We stayed in a pillar hut, and again when we walked in we loved it, thought what else could anyone possibly want??...WELL....

THE BAD---

One the first day we asked the lady at the front desk about making plans to go to Dolphin Cove, she said come to come back in 20 minutes. Needless to say two days later we were still getting the same run-around. As the phone didnt work in our room (and the staff had been made aware the first day we got there) we had no choice but to depend on staff to help us out with making reservations. So after giving up on Dolphin Cove we met up with another couple and decided to charter a half day fishing excursion; this time the staff was very willing to call for us (again because the phones in our rooms didnt work and they wouldnt change them) however they charged us 3 US dollars for every three minutes they were on the phone....IT WAS A LOCAL CALL FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!
For the most part the front desk staff were nothing short of rediculous, any issue you took to them took days to resolve or was just ignored all together. Now with this said it seemed as though these folks were doing what they could. For lack of a better explanation I would say the short comings up front were a result of some very poor management skills.

As mentioned we stayed in a pillar hut. It wasnt that bad for us until the second or third night when we noticed we were getting bug bites everynight after we were in bed. This was also a problem for our neighbors. Now mind you I know we were in Jamaica and in tropical weather bugs are to be expected...but bed bugs??? Fortunatly I had brough a can of bug spray so that seemed to do the job for us. Our neighbors werent so fortunate...they asked on wed to have thier sheets changed as well as informed staff of their bug problem. Nothing was done until Sat evening when staff came in, stripped the bed and brought the sheets back 20 minutes later smelling of bug spray.....draw your own conclusion here..

The all inclusive package was great...if you intend to drink your way through your time there. The food was not bad...it was just all the same. It tasted the same from meal to meal and day to day, and it was nothing really different than you can get in an american diner. By our third day there we were going out for one if not two meals a day. (Ricks cafe and Xtabi were two great places close by and the food there was to die for!) So...if your not a BIG drinker the all inclusive package really isnt worth it. As well, the bar opens at 10 and closes at 10, there are no vending machines or ice machines on grounds and none of the rooms have fridges, so really unless you had room in your luggage to bring a cooler your kinda up a creek without a paddle when it comes to any beverages outside of 10a-10p. (would you believe they even take the water cooler away??)

There really arent any activities at all! You can cliff dive and relax and that is it.

THE GOOD---

Outside of the front desk lady and management (it seems) the staff was wonderful. The bartenders were fantastic, as were the grounds keepers (who would drop everything to help a gal crack a coconut!). Some of these folks seemed to see how rediculous some of the stuff going on there was and did their best to accomodate guests.

The spa was amazing, a bit salty but none-the-less worth every penny. Those girls know what they are doing. If I went back to Negril I would visit Samsara just for that.

The grounds are beautiful! This truely is an amazing place to do nothing but relax.( you really dont have a choice there is nothing else in the resort to do) The cliffs are great and the water is stunning. If you want to snorkel (I HIGHLY recommend doing so, the sea life is amazing) be sure to bring your own stuff, there is nowhere to buy gear.

Samsara is very close to both Ricks cafe and Xtabi. These places are a must do if your visiting Negril. The food is great and the entertainment is even better! Both places are on the cliffs so they have a nice view. Both places as well have open cliffs that the adventerous folks can have fun with!!! (esp Ricks!!!!)

The locals are just great people all around. We visited during off season so everyone was willing to make deals and do everything in thier power to make our visit as memorable as possible!

Things to take or do before Going to this hotel:
make sure you have transport to and from the airport (dont pay more than 70.00US$)
bug spray
benadryl
towels (you get two and you have to take them to the desk to exchange them)
collapsable cooler
radio
candles( we took small citronella candles and they made a huge difference)
snacks (if you the munchies)
proof that you have paid for your stay
snorkling gear
underwater camera
extra batteries
aloe
pepto bismol
cell phone ( one of the room phones work so make sure your provider has service there)

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank fireangel9902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NegrilhotelsManager, Manager at Samsara Cliffs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2010

Thank you Fireangel9902. We are always interested to receive feedback from our clients. It is our responsibility to act on this feedback, do our due diligence, and discover the merit to certain claims. Fortunately, as experienced managers we maintain very good records that assist us in our work and preserve a sense of factual accuracy.

We are aware that the telephone malfunctioned during your stay due to an electrical storm nearby. The digital circuitry could not be repaired and therefore had to be replaced, which required a shipment delay of a few days. We apologize for the inconvenience; however the delay was beyond our control and was an isolated event. We take our room amenities seriously. All rooms now have working telephones.

The Pillar Houses are our most popular room types. We therefore asked the housekeeper and our senior room supervisor to inspect each mattress carefully following your claim. They did not find any bed bugs. I personally inspected the mattresses afterwards and also did not find any bed bugs. If there were bed bugs in those or any of our rooms, it is a fact that other guests would experience them on an ongoing basis, which they do not. Our confident conclusion is there were/are no bed bugs and instead, offer the more plausible explanation. Jamaica is a tropical country. Based on many years of experience in the tropics, we observe that people react differently to insect bites. Moreover, on the beach and other areas there are “no see ums” or sand fleas whose effects are always felt later in the day. Some people will not feel any discomfort from ordinary bug bites while others will have noticeable reactions. This is very common and is the reason why we encourage our guests to use insect repellent as a precaution during their stay in a tropical environment.

Furthermore our towels are changed daily by the housekeeper, it is not necessary to carry them to the front desk. Sheets are changed every other day, which is currently industry standard. Many of our guests who wish to help with our environmental initiatives choose to use their towels more than once and request less frequent sheet changes. However as professionals we would never neglect or avoid changing bed linens, nor do we spray sheets with bug spray. The suggestion is absurd. It simply does not happen. Most unfortunately, it discredits in a public forum the wonderful ladies who care so diligently for our guest rooms.

We are glad you enjoyed the spacious grounds and are happy to know that the friendly bartenders, waiters, spa ladies, and gardeners helped to make your stay otherwise positive. These wonderful people are trained by the same management that trains the front desk ladies, who all do a fantastic job and keep our guests coming back year after year.

Thanks again for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $62 - $188 (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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