Starting with the good points – Samara is a very classy little hotel, composed of 6 rooms on a slight hillside. The rooms are clean, spacious, with a lovely outdoor shower. The pool and restaurant (Italian food – surprisingly a nice change from Indonesian food) were lovely, the breakfast copious, and the location fabulous – a ten minute downhill walk (read : uphill on the way back!) to the main street, and placed just next to a lovely looped walking path through the rice fields and ‘forest’.
Some of the more negative points – Samara sells itself as having the “sweetest view in Ubud” – whilst this may have been true months ago, unfortunately this is no longer the case. A hotel is being built across from Samara and although we still have a view of the immediate rice fields, the new hotel blocks what once must have been an absolutely breathtaking view. Not to mention that the construction noises during the day were slightly unpleasant. I cannot stress enough that Samara cannot be blamed for this, and I think that it is part of a larger problem of trying to fit more and more hotels into a limited location.
Also, the rooms are all placed facing the same direction, in front of the restaurant and pool. If you do not get a room that is at the far end, then you risk having many people walking in front of your room – so be sure to close the blinds. Also less agreeable if you’d like to enjoy the evening on your terrace. When reserving, ask for a room at the end of the hotel. I've read some of the other rooms and notice that Samara has responded, trying to defend itself explaining that this is due to building safety - ok, that's fine. However this review does not serve as a criticism of that, but as a warning to future travelers as to which room they should choose in order to better enjoy their experience.
A funny anecdote - when we were shown our room, the employee spent 5 minutes walking us through the room to explain to us what was "free" (complementary), and what we needed to pay for. I can only guess that they did this do to bad experiences with guests in the past, however it put us off slightly (both my boyfriend and I turned to each other when she left and chuckled) - a nice hotel such as the Samara should use a bit more discretion with its guests in terms of whether the soap in the bathroom is complementary or not. Perhaps a hotel note left on the desk would be preferable, detailing the complementary items in the room.
All in all, our experience at Samara was good and the highlight was definitely its location in Ubud. Would I recommend this hotel? Sure. Would we stay here again? Maybe. We might try something else, just to compare. Of the 5 different places we stayed during our trip to Bali, the other places being of better, similar, or lesser, quality, after discussion with my boyfriend, this came in as number 4 out of 5.
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- Also Known As:
- The Samara Hotel Ubud
- The Samara Ubud, Bali