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“beautiful surroundings and superfriendly staff”

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Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Poperinge
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“beautiful surroundings and superfriendly staff”
Reviewed June 14, 2012

I stayed in the Samai Lodge (it does no longer belong to the Red Mangrove Chain as it did when the bad references you find below were written...) for 2 nights, and it was just what I needed: calm environment, beautiful nature, stunning views, great quiet beaches 15 minutes walk down the hill (perfect for a sunrise-run) and really good food (you have to tell the staff in the morning if you'll have lunch or diner there). There are bugs (falling from the trees), however none in our room, but hey: what do you expect, you're in the middle of a natural environment... The pool was small but clean, we didn't use the jacuzzi or massage service, but I wasn't really looking for a spa experience, rather for a quiet nature-surrounded place near the ocean.
The only negative experience was 2 couples singing loud Karaoke on a beautiful night, so one suggestion: get rid of the karaoke! It doesn't belong there... Plenty of those in Montanita I suppose :). SO if you are looking for beautiful surroundings, endless people-free beaches and friendly staff: this is your place to be.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank sdemaess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Dear Costumer:

We also, enjoy your visit and value your appreciation and respect for Nature.
Samai is an Ocean Lodge that also respect nature and honor our guests with the best of Ecuadorian Service.

Hope to see you soon at our Deck.

Best regards,
Tania Duran Tuttle
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Bronx, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2012

The Samai Lodge was an absolute nightmare!!!!! We were a group of 8 adults and spent only one night there... even one night was too much time to stay there.. The description online is not at all what this place offers. In order to get to the so called "Spa/Retreat Lodge" you had to travel the narrowest (about a mile) , dirt/rock road that barely a car; let alone the mini van taxi we were in, fit through. Once we arrived and inquired about a menu to eat; we were told they do not have a restaurant onsite???? We then asked, how can you offer an "American Breakfast" if you do not have a restaurant and what does an "American Breakfast" consist of? We were told we have to make RESERVATIONS for food????? RESERVE what if there is NO RESTAURANT ON-SITE???? and how would you know that any way if they were a restaurant; where's the menu ??? Spa Services???? no one is on-site to perform those either??? you also have to RESERVE?? Again, how would you know that??? We asked if they at least had soda/bottled water to offer us?? the answer.. we have to check, I'm not sure????? We reserved our 4 rooms a few weeks prior and when booking online the only accurate information you see online is the cancellation policy. It indicates that once booked you can’t cancel without losing your entire amount... AND we received the same response when we arrived and found out nothing (as noted online) was available to us. I don't see how they couldn’t have had at least a minimal cancellation fee as they wouldn't have lost any money; they didn’t acquire food or beverages or a masseuses for his/her services for our stay???? AND no one else was they or had reservations for that day or any other??? We stayed one night and couldn’t wait to leave. The next morning it was pouring rain out and our taxi driver was attempting to come up the road to pick us up and was unable to as the road (being a dirt road and narrow) was one mud pile. He could not get his minivan up to us and had to walk 20 min. to us to let us know. When we spoke to the so called manager, who is referred to as el "KUKO" (translation from Spanish means boogie man) he told us there is nothing he can do. He didn't offer us any assistance/ideas in order for us to get all of our luggage ( 8 bags) to the minivan.. All he could say is, "you need a 4X4 to come up that road when it gets like this"???? HUH??? REALLLY??? Three of us walked down the road to see if someone from one of the 4 houses on the dirt road had a truck to take at least or luggage down the hill and we would all walk. The "Kuko" told us that he doesn't know the neighbors and would not even think or asking them for their help??? Geee.. I don’t know but how do their guest even get here???
As we are waiting around and trying to figure out what we should all do in the pouring rain. WE deicide we should eat. After asking several times about the so called, "American Breakfast" and when were we going to get it; he mentioned the person who was going to cook our eggs had not arrived???? Technically he is not the cook.. as they do not have a restaurant, he says.. WOW!!!! INCREDIBLE!!!! We were stuck in a place where they had nothing to offers us.. no coffee, soda, water or food?? AND how do they operate??? WELLL, since once you make your reservation they will not return even one portion of it; you lose it all.. so I guess it is a gimmick and they just basically steal your money because if you stated you are offering your guest(s) an "American Breakfast" with their stay then it is implied that there is some sort of restuarant or someplace that can offer you food and beverages; especially is you make reservations weeks prior - so they are expecting your group of 8??? AREN’T THEY????? OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.. and let's not forget to mention all the bugs found on ALL the beds???? WOW.. DISGUSTING!!! OK.. now back to figuring out how to get out of this hell hole!!! we all decided to just carry our luggage down that muddy, narrow road in the pouring rain.. and just get out of there as it seems that the so called "MANAGER" thought he had us trapped and we were just going to sit there and agree to pay for another night and the "HELL HOLE INN"!!!!!! DEFINITELY NOT!!! It is incredible to me to know that places like this exist and steal money from people; not even the picture of the rooms are the rooms that are available at this location. They must have just used pictures from they're better locations to lure people into reserving their stay here at the Red Mangrove Samai "HELL HOLE" Lodge. Once they have your money and you there; with no way out.. what can you do???? As we walked down the muddy roads, a home owner asked what is going on?? and we explained to them our ordeal and they said, "well those people don't get much business and seems like now we know why"??? WOW.. I wish we knew that before we made out reservations... Too bad we can't get our money back - not a cheap one night stay either... All we do is warn future vacationers.. and say.. DO NOT FOR THE LIFE OF YOU STAY HERE.. YOU WILL REGRET IT !!!!!!! LOOK at the review from Patrick ...... another horror story...

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank belindalh1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Dear Costumer:
We really apology by your experience.
Samai Ocean Lodge Spa is not longer related with Red Mangrove Inn.
We are taking your review very serious.
Hope we could help you in the future to transform your past visit into a learning experience.
Best Regards,
Tania Duran Tuttle
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
96 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2011

We stayed here as an extension to our Friendly Planet/Red Mangrove tour of the Galapagos in October. It was not exactly as we expected but having said that it was not bad either. Like another reviewer said it is not really a spa, they have a room for massages and pedicures etc but the person has to be called in. We did have massages and they were very good, reasonable price.
The location is inland from the coast a few kilometers and up in the hills so it does have a good view to the ocean beyond but it would be a far walk. It is not luxury but does have a particular charm, great staff, cozy cottages and some interesting activities that were included in our package such as ziplining, tour of the coast, visit to native village.
The food was OK but not special.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christo60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2011

This place was simply terrible. Seemingly everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Nothing was what it was supposed to be and we left terribly disappointed. We had spent a week on the Galapagos as part of Red Mangrove's Extraordinary Ecuador tour package and we were very happy. The Red Mangrove lodges were very nice and very well done. Unfortunately, The Samai Lodge does not come close to any of those places. It was not at all what it advertised to be, and not at all what we wanted.

Let's start with the basics. the website describes the Samai Lodge as a resort and spa. There was no spa. We inquired about spa services and told that some one would have to be called in and that there was a possibility it wouldn't happen before we left. We had planned on nice relaxing end to our Ecuador vacation, and we had hoped this would be a spa, and that we would be able to enjoy some spa treats--but no such luck. We checked out the outdoor pool and jacuzzi, they looked as though they could use a good cleaning, if only to remove all of the leave and other debris that had accumulated. We were starting to have some bad feelings. This was not turning out to be what we were led to believe from the website and the salespeople, and it was most definitely not what we wanted, and not even close to what we had paid for. We thought it couldn't get much worse.

It did. As we got ready for dinner, we started noticing some insects and bugs in our room. When we returned from dinner, it was an all-out infestation. There were literally insects everywhere. We spent an hour removing bugs from every corner of our room. It was incredibly disgusting. It got tot the point that we couldn't stay any longer. Not just in the room, but in the hotel. We felt that we had to end our vacation early. We were at a hotel infested with insects, spent an hour killing bugs and making out minimally hospitable--it was that much, just to be able to be in the room. I have stayed in $10 a night hostels around the world that were cleaner that this very expensive room.

What was worse, was we were not getting the vacation we had wanted. This was supposed to be three days of calm and relaxation. Three days on the coast, at a luxurious spa resort, and it didn't come close. there was nothing relaxing or luxurious about it. It was very disappointing.

I will say, that all of the people we worked with were incredibly friendly and nice. They were always helpful and tried to make our bad situation better. It is truly appreciated. Our main contact at Red Mangrove, Adina, was also very helpful. She got things in motion and helped us change our return flights and set up airport transportation. The people at the Samai Lodge an all throughout Red Mangrove were great, very helpful and very friendly.

Unfortunately, the Samai Lodge did not come close to our expectations. It was not at all what it claimed to be. There was no luxury, no spa, the website claims things that are simply not true. And the bug infestation made me long for the grungy hostels of my backpacking days. It was bad, really bad. I cannot recommend this lodge to anyone.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Patrick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Dear Costumer:

Your opinion is very important for Us.

Samai Ocean Lodge- Spa, is not longer related with Red Mangrove Inn.

Hope we could transform your opinion into a learning experience.

Best Regards,
Tania Duran Tuttle
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassau, New Providence Island
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2011

Beautiful small resort with super friendly & helpful staff.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank cattraveler01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2011

One couldn't imagine a more serene and lovely location and property. The attentive staff, the airy and spacious rooms, the sumptuous cuisine and the pampering wellness spa all add up to a dream vacation.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DaWigMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cuenca, Ecuador
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2010

I took Red Mangrove Galapagos an Ecuador tour, I did really enjoyed Samai, I did not Ecuador had such a great beaches and ooo the food, great, lots of multisport activities, I loved this lodge

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank hare6267
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa

Property: Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa
Address: Km 700 E15 Via Espondylus | Loma de San Jose - Santa Elena, Montanita 241756, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Santa Elena Province > Montanita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 89 Specialty Lodging in Montanita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samai Ocean View Lodge Spa offers a new concept of healthy traveling services where you can experience the environment, eco-tourism activities, cultural exchange, healthy food in first class settings. Here you'll enjoy the serene splendor of the cordillera mountains, pacific ocean and rain forest all in one place! You will find the extraordinary peace and tranquility of Ecuador, that is still largely untouched by civilization, rejuvenating your spirit and give you a new lease on life. ... more   less 
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