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“A pleasant stay, excellent location”
Review of The Samara

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The Samara
Ranked #14 of 199 Hotels in Ubud
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 23, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the far end of the hotel (5 or 6) in order to avoid other guests and hotel staff w...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KOuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
somoro77, General Manager at The Samara, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear Mrs. West,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a good review about us despite the negative points that you have mentioned.

There is nothing to hide about The Samara. Maybe I just need to better clarify the points you have touched so that there can't be any misunderstanding or equivocation about us.
I will do this with my heart in hand, in total honesty and sincerity.

The construction that you are referring to is about 50-60 meters north of us. It may make no difference at all, but it's not an hotel being built. It's private long-term rental villas.
These villas are going to be ready in a few months, as the majority of the heavy work has been completed and what's left is almost only the finishing, both inside and outside, plus all the landscape work e.g. plants and trees.
The villas are facing The Samara, demonstrating that those 50-60 meters that divide us and them still have a great appeal and value consisting in fact only in rice fields. Even though the villas do partially obstruct the panorama on one side, we still have an enviable view all around us, being still completely surrounded by rice fields. And this means 360° all around us, rice fields everywhere.
The view to the north-east and east remains untouched, and it's still breathtaking.
Right now the construction site, even though quite far away, is not the best thing to look at, but once the villas will be complete the whole area will look much better.

Me and my staff are all very stressed about the noise being created by the workers, but so far it has not been an issue for anybody. Even though we can't obviously do anything about it, we keep apologizing with all our guests. The fact that the villas are 50-60 meters in the distance keeps most of the noise away, and none of our guest has ever complained about waking up early or not being able to sleep late, or even being able to enjoy the pool, because of the noise. I know that in the rooms there is no noise problem at all. But of course, when outside some nice can be heard.
However we also understand that some people may be more sensible to noise, or light-sleepers, or it may also be that during your only day spent at The Samara the workers created more noise than usual.
The construction has been going on for five months now, and you are the first guest ever to even mention it in a review. But please, accept our apologies, as if it wasn't for the construction you would have probably given us a full score.
Very soon, an even greater peace will be reigning again at The Samara and all around The Samara.

Talking about our rooms, we can't stress enough the fact that we believe The Samara has such a good reputation not because of the view, or because one room is better located than another one.
The Samara is a guarantee in terms of quality, from every angle:

- You can count on the most personalized and attentive service: with only six rooms our guests feel pampered and taken care of as if they were at home. Every guest's personal need is followed with passion and concern, and everyone of our staff always goes the extra mile for everyone of our guests. Because at The Samara you are not just a guest, you are an individual first and above all.
- All the rooms are cleaned carefully and in every single corner. An incredible tool almost unknown in Bali and called "vacuum cleaner" makes sure that we can reach all corners. I personally inspect the rooms on a routine basis and my standards are high.
- Our food service is of the highest quality around. Excellent Italian or Indonesian food, copious breakfast, fresh produce, clean kitchen, for a safe environment and a tasty meal.
- Our location is almost unique in Ubud. We are probably the only ones completely surrounded by rice fields. And I am almost sure we are the ONLY ones located in a traffic-free area, where you can only walk to our lobby. This means clean air, lovely breeze, incredible vegetation, amazing butterflies, geckos, dragonflies, fireflies, fresh coconuts directly from the trees, and so on. And oh, I almost forgot! No cars!
- Our swimming pool it's amazingly positioned next to the rice fields. There's nothing better than our afternoon tea by the pool at 4pm. And try to swim after dark for an incredible feeling of peace and total contact with nature.
- At The Samara you get all this doesn't matter the room you are in. And with only six rooms, there is never traffic in front of your door anyway.

My last words go to the anecdote you mentioned. Yes, our staff probably went a bit over the limit. The front office girls are still probably under shock with what happened in the past, as unfortunately not all guests follow the same ethics. For sure it was not our intention to hurt your feelings and please accept my most sincere apologies if you felt offended. I spoke with them and they have already been instructed not to repeat the same mistake again.

Dear Mrs. West, thank you once again for sharing your valuable impressions with fellow travelers from around the world. Please come visit us again, stay longer, and enjoy pure Ubud with us.
Should there be anything you may need, please contact me directly at generalmanager@thesamara.com

Best regards, and see you soon!

Stefano Facchini
General Manager
The Samara - Ubud

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Reviewed February 14, 2013

From the friendly staff to impressive surroundings, we were pleased we had chosen Samara for our stay in Ubud. The identical bungalows are contemporary and clean. A comfortable bed and modern bathroom with outside shower :)
Overlooking the rice fields, you feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of Ubud and yet it is a short scooter ride away. If you don't want to hire your own scooter, the staff were happy to take you pillion style into town and pick you up again. We enjoyed having our own transport and we were able explore easily.
Stefano and Yudi have opened up another Italian restaurant in the centre of town which you really must try. Even a delicious wine to complement the pasta (something difficult to find in Bali)
Wonderful value, don't dither, this is the place to stay in Ubud!

Room Tip: All the same so don't worry. Wifi probably works better the nearer reception you are.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GlassJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

My expectations were already high before coming to Samara based on the reviews and pictures but when my friend and I arrived we were blown away at the pristine surroundings and beautifully designed villas. The staff and Yudi were the cherry on top. They were friendly, attentive, and extremely helpful in helping us arrange transportation around town and to Kuta.

The rooms felt like a luxury resort with an outdoor shower and a porch where we'd watch the sunset and use the wi-fi. The gorgeous pool was perfect to take afternoon dips in after a long ride in town.

The villa is situated at the top of Jalan Kajeng and the walk up is calming and breathtaking, passing all the rice fields. Us girls felt safe walking at night and even hung out with neighbors down the road. The villa is completely open air: the lobby is open and the restaurant faces the rice paddies. I don't think we even locked our room doors because we felt so comfortable with the other people staying there and the staff.

I highly recommend Samara to couples, solo travelers, friends or anyone who wants a bit of luxury in the middle of nature.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Stefanie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We stayed in the Samara for 3 nights. The service here is exceptional. The villas are set amidst paddy fields. the setting is almost rural yet only 10 mins from ubud centre. The villas are beautifully designed with open air showers, flat tv's, huge bed's and the works. The service here is one of the best on the island. We got breakfast in our rooms every morning. Whenever we came back to our rooms, everything INCLUDING our clothes were neatly folded and arranged. Got complimentary afternoon tea by the pool side. From complimentary bike rides to Ubud centre, to guidance and restaurant recommendations, the staff is extremely informed, efficient and courteous.
The propertly is beautifully designed, with manicured gardens, top quality furniture and a lovely splash pool which seems to be floating on the paddy fields.
Everything here is taken care of. Plus there are a lot of things to discover around the property. Its a place i did not want to leave. All the best to the Samara team. You have a created a truely valued asset.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank burmanolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

This place is amazing. We have travelled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and the US and this place was one of the best we have been too.
It was our honeymoon as well and the staff really went all out. They gave us lovely flowers and beautifully decorated our room. The staff were so friendly and gave really helpful giving tips about great places to go to for dinner in UBUD and helped co-ordinate local activities for us like cycling and hiking trips.
They serve lovely breakfasts and dinners and theres an additional treat of afternoon tea which we had most days lazing on the loungers by the pool which looks out directly to the picturesque rice paddies. The rooms are great too - theres only 5 or 6 villas so its nice and private and we loved the fully private but outdoor showers! Nothing beats having a shower and looking at the stars! The place is a bit out of Ubud town but that actually adds to the appeal. At night it sounds like your camping as the only sounds are that of frogs, crickets and the local birdlife. Also anytime we wanted to go down into the village the staff were only too happy to escort us down on the back of their scooters (only a couple of minute ride or 15 min walk) but certaintly very enjoyable and overall added to a lovely experience. We would definitely go back there and highly recommend to people wanting to experience some real Balinese hospitality.

Shane and Kristen - Auckland New Zealand

Room Tip: All rooms looked to be very similar - ours was closest to the pool and dining area which was handy!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed with my parents for two nights in January. This is relatively new hotel so nice and clean. We recieved a warm welcome, and the staff were very accomodating. However for us the position of the hotel was the best. The rice paddies are simply stunning. We thoughrally enjoyed watching the ducks and locals at work and fireflies at night. The road is closed so it is a 15 minute walk to the center of Ubud. For us this was wonderful being out of the crowds in our own paradise. Highly recommended for a tradtional bali environment.

My only negative would be that sometimes shortcuts have been taken...I just got the feeling the hotel was done on a bit of a budget. ie my towel was thread-bare and thin, my parents had a terrible mattress, the rooms could have been a little bit bigger and the pool a little bit longer but overall the positives way outweigh the negatives.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Alexandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
somoro77, General Manager at The Samara, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2013

Dear Mrs. Alexandra,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a beautiful review for us.

We take all guests comments very seriously, and therefore would like to address the concerns you mentioned.

We have to admit that you did not receive our normal furnishing of towels. In fact during your stay we had a sudden shortage due to the fact that our laundry, and almost all others in town, temporarily closed their services due to a big Balinese Ceremony. We then had to rush and buy a few towels just for the emergency, and those are not the towels we usually use for our guest rooms. We apologize that you had to use towels of a not good quality, and we can guarantee this is not our standard of service.

Regarding your parent's mattress instead, we are sorry you didn't tell us straight away, as a couple of days later the guests after you complained about it. After investigating the matter, we found the wood sustaining the mattress being cracked and had it replaced immediately.
This was something not visible even during our routine mattress rotation and cleaning. Sometimes if we don't hear comments or complaints from our guests is impossible for us to even become aware of a problem that can be easily rectified. However, please accept our apologies as your parents still had to sleep on an uncomfortable bed.

Our room size: We designed our rooms for couples. We do not accept kids and this helped us reducing the size of the rooms in order to create a resort that would not have a too high impact on the surroundings and the rice fields all around us. When walking up Jalan Kajeng, the beautiful stroll where The Samara is located among the rice fields in Ubud, you will notice our presence only when about 50 meters away, as we tried to integrate as much as possible by even keeping the original rice terrace steps untouched. Our room size is nonetheless not a secret: Our website clearly states the size being 27m2, and the same information appears on all online agent websites where we are present such as booking.com and asiarooms.com

Our swimming pool: For sure its size of 10 meters by 4 does not allow for too much exercise, but it gives a feeling of intimacy and romance that are rarely seen around, especially with the breathtaking view over the rice fields and at night time the incredible light show performed by the fireflies around and the stars in the sky with the palm trees on the horizon. And the fact that there are only six rooms means that the pool is rarely occupied by more than a couple of guests at a time.

Once again, please accept our apologies for any discomfort you had to suffer during your stay. However, we are very happy to read that overall you had a very good time with us here at The Samara, and we really wish to see you again soon!

Should you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at generalmanager@thesamara.com

Sincerely,

Stefano Facchini
General Manager
The Samara - Ubud

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Reviewed January 13, 2013

We just stayed a few days at this hotel. We had a great time, the location is great, close to Ubud and right in the middle of the rice fields.
All the staff were great and always trying to help us in anything we needed. Another plus, the hotel is small and because of this, the attention you get is much better than in a big hotel.

Room Tip: We stayed at room 6 which is the last one and just next to the rice fields and this gives you more p...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Maria55541903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Samara

Address: Jalan Kajeng, Ubud 80571, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Ubud
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 199 Hotels in Ubud
Price Range: $105 - $156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Samara 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Samara Hotel Ubud
The Samara Ubud, Bali

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