Travel blogging is hard work and there often isn’t a huge financial payoff for the amount of time and energy that gets poured into creating a site like My Several Worlds. Nevertheless, I am one of those lucky bloggers that has been able to fund my travels since 2007 with money that I’ve earned from travel blogging.
I’ve also been fortunate to have some pretty cool offers come my way. Most recently, John and I returned from a trip to Bali and Lombok in Indonesia. We enjoyed a four-night stay in Nusa Dua, courtesy of The Grand Mirage and Samabe Bali Suites and Villas before moving on to another week of fun in the sun in Lombok.
My review of Samabe Bali Suites and Villas has been provided as compensation for my time spent there. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are my own. I’d also like to offer our sincere thanks to the team at Samabe. We had a superb time with you. Thank you so much for having us!
A Luxury All Inclusive Vacation
My overall impression of Samabe is that it is one of the nicest places we’ve stayed at to date, and that’s saying a lot, because we have stayed in some really nice places after a decade of traveling together.
A luxury all inclusive resort in Bali that is situated on a cliff top overlooking the Indian Ocean, Samabe Bali Suites and Villas earns its five-star ranking with ease. It turned out to be the real star of our travel itinerary in Bali. It’s quiet, it’s beautiful, the service is amazing, and Samabe boasts one of the most creative gourmet menus we’ve experienced in all our travels.
The eight-hectare resort property is beautifully landscaped; every inch of it has been paved, adorned, and manicured to create an oasis of bliss. The front lobby is cast in cool stone and accented with teak woodwork, and the wide green fishpond that encompasses most of the main area overlooking the suites and Indian Ocean is positively zen. Simply put, it’s a very special location, and I hope my photos do it justice.
There are beautiful little nooks and crannies to hide away in everywhere on the resort grounds.
A lot of careful thought and deliberation has gone into molding Samabe into the serene Bali getaway that it is today. It’s incredibly quiet and private; we honestly felt that we had the whole place to ourselves at times. I was surprised to learn that Samabe was only at 40% capacity while we were visiting. We rarely ran into other guests, and that’s one of the things we really liked about Samabe.
Having a luxurious and beautiful place all to yourself is the ultimate dream for some travelers, this one included.
Samabe opened midway through 2013; and although they haven’t had their Grand Opening yet, they’ve already had some high profile guests. The King of Malaysia has stayed here, and it has already attracted some celebrity names because of its all inclusive luxury package.
The King of Malaysia had his own private villa, deck, a rather large front lawn with chairs for sunbathing, and his own personal infinity plunge pool overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Your Own Private Butler? Yes, Please!
Private butler service is not a new concept in Bali. In fact, Bali resorts excel at this type of specialty service. We experienced our first private butler service in Ubud, Bali in February 2006, and even then, we loved the idea of being able to lock ourselves up in a private villa with its own plunge pool and have freshly cooked meals delivered to our door throughout the day.
This service is also available at Samabe, and it’s available 24/7.
You can order as much off the menu any time you like, and it’s all gourmet and organic.
And it’s delivered to your door.
Your private butler is there to organize activities for you, arrange dinner reservations, help you book travel tickets, and turn down your bed at night. They’ll even unpack you suitcase for you and do your laundry for free. In other words, you can count on having a completely relaxed and stress free break from life. All you have to do is eat, swim, enjoy the sun, and engage in whichever resort activities tickle your fancy.
After being picked up at the lobby in a golf cart, we were taken to our massive private suite in the West Suites. Our room was marvelous, as was our balcony. We had a spacious living room, complete with a telescope for looking at the night stars. The desk was a solid beast of a table, and the giant California king bed was piled high with pillows. We had thoughtfully been provided with his and her matching hats and a beach bag, a fully stocked mini bar, and a nice welcome gift that included a fresh tray with rambutans (One of my favorite fruits!), sweet tea, and little containers of homemade cookies.
A nice welcome gift.
His and her beach accessories.
The bed. Also, notice where the bathtub is?
We also had uninvited guests, but they were ridiculously charming and good natured. We had so much fun watching them we didn’t want to leave our room, but with two all-star gourmet restaurants, two cocktail bars, several jaw-dropping infinity pools, a gorgeous beach, and beautifully landscaped gardens, there was plenty around that needed to be explored.
Things happen a little differently at Samabe to ensure that you have a comfortable and stress-free vacation. Samabe is a luxury all-inclusive resort, thus guests are entitled to many kinds of benefits.
A free flow fresh fruit and vegetable juices, as well as soft drinks, coffee, and tea are available all day. The mini-bar is re-stocked once a day, but they’ve imposed a rule that free alcohol is only available from 5pm to midnight. This was the only thing we truly disliked about our experience at Samabe. All-inclusive means all-inclusive. It’s misleading to say that a resort is all-inclusive and then tell guests on arrival that they can only have alcoholic beverages on the all-inclusive plan after 5pm.
Guests have unlimited access to food, though, and you can order as much as you want whenever you want it. Samabe also offers a range of signature activities for their guests. Guests can choose to participate in one signature activity each day. Activities include village tours, yoga classes, sea kayaking, Balinese massage, and cooking classes, to name a few.
Have a Relaxing Massage, Take a Morning Yoga Sessions, or Try a Balinese Cooking Class
You can’t beat doing yoga at 9am on a cliff top overlooking the Indian Ocean; nor can you beat high tea at the poolside. I enjoyed high tea greatly, but I was disappointed I didn’t have time to do the yoga class. The setting is beautiful for it. Instead, I opted for the next best thing and did some yoga on our balcony.
This was my view. It was so distracting!
In the bottom right corner, you can see where they’re growing seaweed gardens.
After my yoga session we hit the pool for an afternoon swim. John didn’t waste any time getting settled in.
After that, we had a couples massage in our suite. The massage was lovely, and we really enjoyed looking out at the ocean and the night stars.
The next day we took a Balinese cooking class as our Samabe Signature Activity for the day. Wantilan, Samabe’s outdoor Balinese kitchen, overlooks the beautiful water scenery in front of the main lobby. It’s hard to tear your eyes from the view, but our gracious chefs quickly had us focused on the task at hand. We received a thorough lesson in Balinese spices and traditional ingredients. Then we started chopping and dicing our ingredients to create a spicy fish dish called Pepes. It’s a spicy mixture of Mahi Mahi, shallots, garlic, chilis, coriander, galangal, ginger, turmeric, and tomatoes rolled into banana leaves and grilled to perfection. So good!
Gourmet Dining and High Tea, If You Please
Samabe really shines in the culinary arts. Executive chef, Tashia Jelita Yunasz, joined the Samabe team just a few short months ago, and what an impression her presence makes! Every plate of food that was delivered to us looked mouthwateringly delicious, and it tasted even better!
Tashia has worked at a number of five star hotels, and once you’ve seen her creations on a dinner plate, you’ll understand why she is on demand as a chef. Her dishes are fresh and exciting, and just beautifully presented.
Crystal Blue Ocean Grill
Samabe’s al-fresco restaurant is truly a special venue. It’s one of the nicest places we’ve dined at in Bali. The grill serves 51 tables, but each table is designed in its own special alcove for a completely private dining experience. Crystal Blue serves lunch and dinner with a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean. Add some stars and a cool ocean breeze, and you’re instantly transported to one of the most romantic dinner places on Earth.
This is where Tashia Yunasz’s specialty European creations really shine. Her prestigious four-course a la carte meals offer tantalizing morsels of Oscetra caviar blinis and marscapone cheese, lobster ravioli with sea urchin foam, and wagu steak.
The above-mentioned Wagu steak with potato stack and a rich wine sauce. Melt in your mouth delicious.
We ate a lot of this too. Homemade crustini flats with marscapone and caviar. A
And we ate a lot of these too. Homemade chocolate and vanilla mousse with a homemade chocolate crisp cookie, a strawberry, and chocolate sauce.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at Rempeh Restaurant, which offers up Balinese, Asian, and Mediterranean delights. Many of the ingredients used in their signature dishes are grown in their very own herb garden.
The restaurant overlooks the resort and Indian Ocean, while the beautiful fish ponds, stone sculptures and wood furniture lend a timeless elegance to the dining room.
After dinner, kick back with a healthy concoction or an evening cocktail at Te Ja Co Lounge & Var. The bar draws its name from its drink menu: TE – tea, JA – jamu, a traditional herbal drink, and CO – coffee.
Samabe Room Service
Samabe’s in room service is fantastic, but then it would have to be when room service is unlimited.
Most things on Samabe’s extensive menu are available 24/7. Gourmet pizzas, steak and pasta dishes, a nice selection of salads and soups, plus sandwiches and deli selections are all on offer.
We really liked the option for 24-hour breakfast. You can order breakfast at any time, and they had a massive selection of items to choose from. They had a nice selection of breakfast cereals, natural yogurt with muesli, pancakes, Belgian waffles, a selection of local breakfast dishes that included Nasi Campur BNli, Mie Goreng and Chinese porridge, or you could eggs cooked any style and with a selection of sausage, bacon, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, hash browns and local spinach to choose from.
Breakfast at noon.
Samabe owns a nice stretch of beach that is easily accessible by stairway. Unfortunately, our time at Samabe was cut short because we had to catch a boat to the Gili Islands, so we didn’t make it down to the beach.
Ocean kayaks are available for rent by the beach, as is private snorkeling equipment. You can also charter a boat, go catamaran sailing, and go diving or fishing. You can even go windsurfing if you so desire.
Is Samabe Luxurious Enough for its Price Tag?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, we really enjoyed our stay at Samabe Bali Suites and Villas. Given the quality of the accommodations, cuisine, and private service, we felt that the $600 per night price tag was justified. This is an all-inclusive resort that will probably be out of most people’s travel budgets, and while we’re not quite at the point that we can afford to spend that much on a resort vacation, we would seriously consider it if we knew we could go back to Samabe.
I will happily recommend it to any friends or acquaintances that are looking for a special place to relax for a few days. As for me? I’m going to keep working on John. After all, our 10 year anniversary is just a few years away!