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“Frozen food is below expectations and pricey”
Review of Samanvaya

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Samanvaya
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Sidemen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We were staying down the road and were curious to check the top choice of lonely planet, we ordered some food and noticed spellingmistakes in the asian menu,which is common in asia but didnt expect this from a new place run by UK people who are interested in local culture, so they should know how to spell basic indonesian food like nasi goreng !!!
The food was mainly european, a pity, so we went for some European food. All was obviously frozen, the chickennuggets were only 2 mini pieces, same price as you would pay in Europe. I ordered fish and chips and it was the worse fish and chips I had. Our glasses arrived with ants, we all felt like heavy stomack till the next day. I duno how the author of Lonely planet got to this conclusion as it is quoted that they do alot to promote the Sidemen valley but did not notice anything only the lookout of ricepaddies of a poor farmer who has now all tourist staring at him while he is at work. Glad that i am not staying there as the ricepaddies overlooking the resort is noisy as the farmer is using bottles as scarecrow and started to annoy me as we came here for a peaceful lunch. Rather stay in a place where my money goes to local people instead of some expats and there are much better choices for food in Sidemen !

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank ElvirianExpress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

We are sorry that you did not enjoy our snack menu which is a mix of Asian and European food. (and not all frozen as your said). Having told our duty Manager when you left that you felt the portion was too small, he checked with the kitchen and confirmed that you were only given a small portion of chicken nuggets. Absolutely our mistake and we will ensure it does not happen again but he did call his friends at several of the local hotels to try to locate you to put the matter right as like all our staff, he genuinely cared. He was, though, later disheartened to be told by our guests that you had gone poolside to volunteer your opinions to all that were there. Really bad manners!

Just to clear up your misguided and blinkered view of Samanvaya. Samanvaya is operated and managed by a legal Indonesian company whose income is taxed in Indonesia. We employ 15 full time staff and some part time staff when needed who are all local people from the village. We also offer paid training and work experience for local students who wish to enter the industry. Samanvaya's operation also provides support for other local businesses and suppliers.

Your perception of expats and us in particular is completely wrong. Does it really matter where we were born? To comment on persons you do not know or have met is personal, judgemental and offensive to say the least. Surely not what TA is about. We live here in Sidemen, this is our home and do everything we can to contribute to the local temples, ceremonies and banjar. We strongly promote and introduce the local community into our guest programme to enhance their understanding of culture and traditions of the village.

Strange comments about the poor farmer, yet you are annoyed that he is disturbing your lunch,? Surely he has the right to protect his crop in any way he wishes. Sorry, but it was hardly noisy. The Sidemen Valley does not exist as some sort of a theme park where you can choose the rides you want but ignore the others. Real people work in the fields around and display part of daily life within our community.

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159 - 165 of 328 reviews

Reviewed June 8, 2013

Sidemen Valley is the place to really relax into Bali's rural life and culture, and Samanvaya helps the experience by not only offering a pampered existence but also offering interesting insights into local life thru their staff-led outings. We did the village walking tour and the 3-hour motor scooter tour of the valley, topped off by the chakra massage by a local holy man. Or, you can just hang out in the infinity pool overlooking the rice paddies and watch local life go by in the distance. It's a class act and the gem of our time in Bali.

Room Tip: I agree that rooms away from the pool may have more privacy without pulling the curtains.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MauiLaurie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2013

Thank you for your review and we are very pleased that you enjoyed our cultural program here at Samanvaya as well as the resort itself. The traditional lifestyle and culture which is so strong in the Sidemen Valley, makes it a very special place and it is our pleasure to be able to share that with our guests.

Your room tip advises that the Champak Lodges have more privacy from the terrace, which is as we advertise. Both the Jepun and Lotus Lodges which overlook the poolside also offer a fantastic view across the rice terraces and with that in mind, we have net curtains as well as black out curtains in all of the lodges. When the net curtains are drawn closed, it affords guests in the lodge privacy during the daytime whilst still retaining the view, but also stops others passing by from seeing in.

In addition, with the maturing landscaping and screening, it has become very difficult to see other guests on neighbouring terraces.

Once again, thank you so much for your positive feedback, it was our pleasure to look after you and we wish you both safe travels on your journey.

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Reviewed May 30, 2013

My boyfriend and I had 4 amazingly relaxing days here. Our hut overlooked the pool with beautiful views overlooking the rice fields, which were amazing. Christine and her husband made our visit to Sideman even more memorable as they went out of their way to make us feel at home and were very warm and welcoming, so much so that my boyfriend chose Samanvaya as the place to propose! Would highly recommend this hotel as everything from the accommodation, staff, to the facilities were of top quality!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GChan2311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2013

We have many guests staying at Samanvaya who are on their honeymoon, but you are our first guests to become engaged here! Our warmest congratulations to you both and wishing you a wonderful future together!

We hope that Samanvaya will always be a special place for you both, (as it is to us) and thank you for sharing your experience with everyone.

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Reviewed May 28, 2013

We were with six persons and had 3 of the 6 rooms. We were completely surprised by the extreme beautiful view from the rooms. The rooms were clean and very nice decorated, especially the bathroom. We felt very welcome right from the start. All the staff were very friendly and helpful . Also Christine (the owner) gave us a very friendly welcome and advised us if necessary. We made a very beautiful trip with six scooters and it was not a big problem to find also six drivers at such a short notice. I surely recommend this trip because you see quite a lot of the beautiful surroundings of Sidemen and places a normal car won’t bring you. We also enjoyed all the meals, all of a very good quality. We also recommend the Spa for a good treatment. We were very lucky to experience the yearly ceremony. Also the staff was very helpful and dressed us all with a sarong! We were at Bali at four different places but Semanvaya was one of the most beautiful places we have seen. Nice and quiet.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2013

We were so pleased to welcome your family to Samanvaya and that we were able to share with you the 'Insiders Guide to the Sidemen Valley'! We are sure you agree that it this is a truly magical and untouched corner of Bali, and when Samanvaya says ' where beauty has no boundaries' .........its true!

Thank you once again for all of your kind comments about Samanvaya and its staff.

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Reviewed May 23, 2013

Sidemen is a must to visit in Bali, quiet, beautiful rice fields, and Samanvaya is right there, well located with wonderful views. Hotel is nicely built, but prefer the 2 rooms far from reception as the ones facing the swimming pool might not have full privacy.

Roof is not sealed to the walls, this is a nice way to keep the room cool, and avoid installing air conditioned, but it might be delicate in the bathroom, as you hear from outside or if you are a light sleeper very sensitive to noise, but rooms are nice.

Food was very disappointing, and it was clearly not the right day as both diner and breakfast (eggs) were really bad, it seems like heated frozen food ??... Need a big effort there especially in a country where you can get fresh and good food easily.

You should know that owner is charging a 3% additional charge when you pay by credit card which I have not found particularly gracious.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank Alex3364
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded May 25, 2013

We recall your stay and your announcement that 'we should not be surprised to receive not good comments from you if we did not cancel the 3% bank credit card fee'.

Our restaurant staff distinctly remember that you ate your meals in full and that no complaint was made whatsoever.

Here in Bali, merchants are permitted by the bank to make this charge and it is quite normal for this to happen when paying with a local or international bank card. We advise our guests by email prior to their arrival that we do so.

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Reviewed May 21, 2013

We have visit Bali for the fourth time, but we have never visit Sidemen. If you are looking for authentic Bali we really recommend Sidemen. Our stay at Samanvaja was lovely, beautiful new bungalows (very clean, big out-side bathroom with beautifull details). The owners are from Schotland they give you a warm welcome, but it feels more like you stay at a B&B than a hotel, because the owners are present most of the time and also use the restaurant for their dinner. The staff are very friendly.

The view from the room is breathtaking. During our stay we were the only guests (during low season). Dinner at Samanvaja is really recommended (please try rendang). For breakfast we ordered traditional Indonesian breakfast, but the staff also baked homemade bread for us :)

After breakfast we hiked for a 2hrs tour in the ricefieds and Sidemen, together with a very good english spoken guide.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank elin d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded May 25, 2013

Thank you so much for your review and we are pleased that you enjoyed your stay. We are a small intimate resort and like our staff, we care passionately that our guests have a great experience during their stay at Samanvaya and take away with them good memories.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with fellow travelers.

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Reviewed April 26, 2013

We are frequent Bali visitors, always on the lookout for something new and special. First time to Sideman and what an introduction. Samanvaya is breathtakingly situated overlooking the rice fields. YES the web page pics are exactly how it is, nothing fake here.
From the first step inside the reception area, friendly welcome from Gede, shown to our beautiful lodge Lotus 1, stepped out onto the open balcony and WOW... endless view over the jacuzzi to the tiered rice fields, just stunning.
The room is extremely comfortable and well equipped, there is a mini bar, flat screen TV with in house movies, music etc. free wi fi, the bed very comfy with mozzie net and overhead fan. No need for air-con.
Step down into the gorgeous bathroom with hand soap and lotion, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, all supplied.
The infinity pool gives the illusion of floating above the rice paddies, lovely and cool plenty of sun lounges to relax in. The restaurant provides room service, pool side snacks and an extensive choice for in house dining.
Breakfast is included and is very substantial, start with the buffet of fruit, cereal fresh french bread or toast, move onto a cooked breakfast of your choice, just love the banana pancakes.
There is a spa with a great range of treatments, I had a combined Bali and Shiatsu massage. There are several tours or activities you can participate in. or if you are like us we just lolled around the pool, swam, ate, slept, ate, read, ate, swam......
The owners Christine and John were extremely friendly and available, making sure our every need was met. As this is a boutique hotel the ambiance was serene and spiritual, the perfect place away from the crazy world.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DJUMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
au-fait-with-bali, Owner at Samanvaya, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2013

Your comments are 'Unbelievably generous' and all of us here at Samanvaya sincerely thank you for taking the time to post them for others to read.

It was our great pleasure to be able to share Samanvaya with you both and look forward to doing so again in the not too distant future!

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Additional Information about Samanvaya

Address: Br. Tabola, Sidemen, Karangasem 80846, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Karangasem > Sidemen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Sidemen
Price Range: $68 - $136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Samanvaya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samanvaya, a small and intimate boutique resort, nestles perfectly on the sweeping rice terraces of the Sidemen Valley on the tropical island of Bali.The word Samanvaya comes from the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit and translated, means ‘Harmony’, a perfect interpretation of the resorts stunning location and ethos.Only one and a half hours from the international airport and half an hour from the coast, Sidemen represents the true Bali that most people still dream about, the Bali of years gone by. Here, a strong cultural identity and religious beliefs are retained and are reflected throughout the traditional Balinese communities of the Sidemen Valley.At Samanvaya, we would like to warmly welcome you as our guest and invite you to just relax and enjoy the comfort and tranquillity of our resort whilst embracing the natural beauty and simplicity of life in the Sidemen Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samanvaya Sidemen, Bali

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