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“Comfy rooms and great food”
Review of Sam's Bungalows

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Sam's Bungalows
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 14, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights, although 1 night they were fully booked but kindly found me accommodation elsewhere. Sam and his family were wonderful hosts who organise everything for you. The food was excellent! I recommend the vegetable curry to anyone who likes a bit of spice. There are no flushing toilets or hot water but the rooms are clean and the beds are incredibly comfy... Considering you are literally on the edge of the jungle I'd say they exceeded my expectations! The tours were great and can be tailored to your individual fitness. Make sure you take enough cash though as literally no where near by to get any.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Jude_b86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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86 - 92 of 192 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2013

Big clean rooms, but as everywhere in Bukit Lawang, only cold water. Very friendly and helpfull staff. You have to walk about 20 minutes from the becack-station or have a motorbike to bring your gear to the hotel. You can swimm in the river at the hotel and it is close to the entrance to the National Park.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Per V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

My boyfriend, my son (10 year old) and I were very happy to say that Sam's 3 nights package deal was an excellent choice for us. We paid IDR 4.5 million in total for 3 of us that was inclusive of private transfers to/from Medan, 3 nights in a 2 bedroomed bangalow and a full day jungle trek/rafting/lunch & snack with a private guide and a half day tuk tuk village tour.

We were promptly picked up by Sam's driver at Medan airport. You will need to be prepared for a long 3 hours journey through caotic Medan city and bumpy roads through seemingly endless palm oil plantations.

On the day 2, We very much enjoyed a full day jungle treking with a very helpful and knowlegeable guide, Sinar and saw 5 Orang-utans and numerous other small monkeys. The trek was not easy but we all felt that we accomplished something! We returned to the accomodation by a 20 mins river rafting ride. For the 3rd day, Sam organised a half day tuk tuk ride village tour with a guide. We wished that we stayed there longer and took more relaxed pace to recover from the previous day's trek and fully enjoy what Bukit Lawang has to offer. The whole village has a relaxed happy vibe and there are many options for dining, bar and cafe by the beautiful river over looking the jungle.

The room we stayed had a two separate bedrooms, one with a rustic sturdy wooden double bed and another with a single bed. There was no sitting room however we mostly spent time on the balcony. There was a hummock in the balcony and it offers a stunning jungle view and serene sound of running river. The facility of the room is very basic, such as cold shower (climate there doesn't require a hot shower anyway) and a toilet that needs a buket of water to flush, which we regarded as an authentic jungle experience. I even bathed in the river that was exhilarating.

Sam's and many other great accommodations in Bukit Lawang are situated right next to the jungle, therefore a car can't get you there. You will need to walk a bumpy path from the drop off point. Sam's staff offers a porter service and I payed IDR 20,000.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank blackmogcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We had 4 lovely nights in this hideaway on the River. The surroundings are lovely although unfortunately there is construction going on right in front of Sam's so the view is occluded somewhat.
The rooms are VERY basic and do not expect your room to be cleaned daily, as they are not and there is NO hot water. The staff is very friendly, and food is very good. You will have a 1 - 1.5 km. walk to town if you want any internet as there is no access at this end of the river. However seeing the orangutans is all worth it, and it was a great 4 days.
Do not arrive in the dark, like we did, as it is a tough climb to Sam's, my husband is on crutches and I worte ahead of time to ask these questions and was not told, otherwise we would have stayed in Medan for the night and went the next morning in daylight. You will have at least a 25 minute walk to get to Sam's from where the van drops you off, and there are lots of steps, and hills to climb so be prepared.
Our bathroom was down a flight of 12 stairs so if this is a problem--it was for my husband--keep this in mind before you book.
The overall management of the bungalows could be better, and we felt they could be more involved with guests and more on top of things like room cleaning and ensuring guests had everything they needed, we had to ask for towels, and toilet paper.
Would stay at Jungle Inn next time I think.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask questions about stairs, hot water, etc. before booking.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank crossdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Our family of four stayed at Sam's for 3 nights (one night spent overnight on the junge trek) and were very happy with both our rooms and the hospitality shown by Ifat, Sam and their staff. The overnight trek with Sinar and his brother was amazing! Saw orang-utans, gibbons, Thomas Leaf monkeys and of course the naughty long tailed Macaques which kept us entertained on a rainy morning with their antics. We had one luxury room and one bamboo room, both of which were very comfortable. We had booked the 'sweet room' as we have one girl and one boy, however the single bed is only big enough for a small child, not a teenager so had to change. Small defect with the bamboo room is the outside bathroom because although great to look at, when it is constantly raining, the toilet is constantly getting wet as are you. Really need to extend the roofline a little to avoid this. Only cold water and it is VERY cold water - exhilarating is one way to describe it - in all bathrooms.
Restaurant food excellent but you do pay top prices. If you walk into 'town' (10 mins), there are a lot of restaurants with cheaper prices. Also water is cheaper in town.
Stay at Sam's - you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank camclanAucklandNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

My wife and I planned to stay elsewhere in Bukit Lawang but when we saw Sam's and met Ifat and her staff we decided to stay there. The restaurant is located right on the edge of the river with the rainforest just a few metres away. Our room was great; spacious, clean, big comfortable bed, nice bathroom good mozzie net (not that we needed it) and a great balcony with jungle view. We planned to stay 3 nights but eventually stayed 6 nights and changed rooms to one mentioned in the previous review by KID1Komodo and got an even better view!

We did a one day trek with Sinar who is a very experienced guide with 25 years experience. He paced the trek well and put a lot of effort into searching for wildlife. We saw a female orangutan with a week old baby!

Bukit Lawang and Sam's is one of the best places we have ever stayed and we were sad to leave.

While your are there don't miss a visit to the Bat Cave and pick up a guide at the entrance to get the most of it. The cave system goes back several hundred metres and we would not have seen at all without a guide.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Stayed here for 5 days to go trekking, our hosts Ifat and Sam were super helpful, organised everything at a good price andwerealways around to help with questions and enquiries. For trekking the guide we had was Sinar, very helpful, knowledgable and great food at the camp. The camp is basic but adequate, definitely tke a dry bag to keep clothes dry in a downpour, if you have one and the space to pack it a sheet or blanket is useful and an extra sleep mat a real bonus.....would dedinitely recommend Sams and Sinar, we stayed in the Panorama room for 100,000 a night, was clean, fresh and great views. Thankyou everybody at Sams for making our stay fun and stress free.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank KID1Komodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sam's Bungalows

Address: Jl. Stasiun Orangutan Bukit Lawang Dusun IV Timbang Jaya, Bukit Lawang 20774, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sumatra > North Sumatra > Bukit Lawang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Bukit Lawang
Price Range: $10 - $18 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sam's Bungalow is a family run restaurant, guesthouse and expedition organiser in the beautiful village of Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, Indonesia. It is nestled on the banks of the Bohorok River and a stones-throw from the Gunung Leusser National Park. As well as providing accommodation, Sam's Bungalow specialises in arranging rainforest treks and local excursions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sam's Bungalows Bukit Lawang, Sumatra

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