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The Samaya Bali Seminyak
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Reviewed 26 June 2014

I would like to preface this review in saying that I have written over 50 reviews on Trip Advisor, and rarely write bad reviews. We regularly use Trip Advisor to plan our holidays. However, given it's high rating on Trip Advisor and the expense relative to other accommodation in the area, our recent experience at The Samaya Seminyak fell far short of our expectations.

We have just returned from 11 nights in Seminyak with our 2 young children (aged 1yo and 3yo). We loved our time in Bali as a family. Our first 7 nights were spent at The Ulin Villas and Spa, which was outstanding and well-deserving of its high Trip Advisor ratings [see separate review]. We then moved onto a 1BR Pool Villa at The Samaya Seminyak for 4 nights which was planned as our 'splurge' end to the holiday! Unfortunately, The Samaya was a disappointing end to our holiday.

Whilst we feel that the accommodation at The Samaya is luxury and well appointed, there were a number of factors which led to us leaving feeling extremely dissatisfied by the entire experience.

* We did not find The Samaya to be child-friendly at all (very deep main pool, no OH&S being adhered to by on-site tradesman etc). This is disappointing, as I phoned prior to booking and specifically discussed whether it was suitable for children. It is also of note, as there are very few family reviews on Trip Advisor and I wish to offer my views on this so that other families can make a well informed decision. NB We visited early in our time in Seminyak (whilst still staying at Ulin Villas) to have a walk through the grounds and inspect a villa, and upon realising that it was not as family friendly as we had hoped, we sent an email enquiring about shortening our stay to 1 or 2 nights only to be told we would pay for all 4 nights regardless. This seems a very stringent 'early departure' policy, unmatched by any other 5* hotels we've stayed at around the world, and not appropriately worded in the cancellation policy sent at time of booking.

* Following on from my comment about OH&S, there were works being done on the decking around the pool and stairs onto the beach whilst we were at The Samaya. This accounted for loud noise, but of greater concern were the electric tools (such as saws etc) being left lying around on guest access walkways, plugged in and unattended (no tradesman in sight). Given we have a 1 and 3 year old, this made for a very unsafe environment.

* We found the guest service experience at The Samaya to be very lacking. Whilst other similar type hotels/ villas (eg Ulin Villas, The Legian - next door to The Samaya, which looks divine - etc) are frequently getting praised for their ability to acknowledge all guests on a name basis we were frequently asked whether we were guests of the Samaya and what villa we were staying in. Astonishing, given that we have 2 young children so hardly blended into the crowd in a predominately adult setting. We also found the reception staff to be very unfriendly and at times quite rude and dismissive.

* Floors in the bathroom of our villa had not been mopped prior to our arrival and had water marks all over it (??? other liquids around the toilet); I asked on 2 occasions for this to be attended to and mopped as it wasn't hygienic or clean, however the dirty marks remained for the duration of our stay.

* Checkout was an inefficient and unfriendly process, which does not lead to a very positive lasting impression upon departure. When asked if we had used anything from the mini bar my husband honestly answered no, to which the woman at reception accused my husband of stealing a milk! A small carton of UHT milk!!! This was an oversight on our behalf as we had been buying cartons of milk for our baby, and had not realised we had used one of the mini bar ones. However despite this oversight on our behalf, surely when we are spending thousands of dollars on 4 nights accommodation the cost of a UHT milk could be absorbed at check out!? And even if not, the receptionists need training in how to politely add the cost to the bill without marring the checkout experience. ** Interestingly, another recent guest wrote of a similar experience to this.

* Whilst the restaurant is lovely, we feel that the restaurant experience for outside guests is being prioritised at the expense of the use of the grounds for in house guests. We felt it was unprofessional and unsightly that by mid-afternoon a table was set up between the pool and deck with piles of plates, cutlery, dirty plates etc. Surely this could be managed from within the restaurant rather than on the guest lawns? Likewise, deck chairs all get moved away to set tables from mid-afternoon, again at the expense of the in house guest experience. It seems that the restaurant was an afterthought which has swiftly taken precedence over the use of lawn and decks for in house guests. We feel it would be nice to have some of the lounge chairs positioned on the deck at sunset for guests to enjoy drinks, afternoon tea, pre-dinner snacks.

Overall, we felt that The Samaya lacked any Manager or Guest Relation presence during our stay; only once in four days were we asked if there was anything we needed - and this was by Kamaya, who credit to him, kindly offered us a late checkout in our villa (much appreciated, and the only saving grace on an otherwise negative checkout experience).

There seems to be an overall sense of unrest between staff and management, and a number of very young, inexperienced staff around the place. This is a great shame, as there are certainly some diamonds among the staff who take great pride in their job; but unfortunately they are being let down by the team as a whole.

NB. I wrote an email to the General Manager, Ray Clark, to provide this feedback prior to posting on Trip Advisor. He replied saying he "will be spending time with my team examining where we went wrong and putting in place areas of training with my team for improvement."

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere if travelling with young children! Definitely choose a villa in the main complex (Pool Villas or Royal Pavilion Villas). The other villas are located down an alley across the road and it's a stretch to consider them part of the main resort.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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13  Thank Lisaski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We had an absolutely amazing time at The Samaya. All of the villa types are beautifully maintained with the biggest bathroom I have ever seen! Breakfast is great (try the Indonesian one!) and the service surpasses expectation across all the staff. Try the spa also, it looks out onto the sea and so makes for a very relaxing experience. Looking forward to our next trip!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Jason M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Mum and I came here for dinner on the lounges that they had out on the lawn across from the beach. We had been shopping throughout seminyak and it was getting close to dinner time so I decided we would eat at the samaya because of its good reputation. Mum and I actually stayed at the maya ubud resort and spa which was more expensive than the samaya but totally worth it.
The samaya was really beautiful and the staff were so friendly and said we could walk on their private beach as well which was literally 5 meters from the lounges. Meals are expensive for the small portions they give you but overall a very good afternoon.

P.s. Beware of the taxis, we got a ride home to Ubud which took the taxi driver 2 and bit hours which should have only taken 1 hour. He also tried to rip us off asking for $60 Australian dollars. We got him down to $40 but he wouldn't budge any further. He also wound down his window and swore at everyone which was really scary. When he drove us into our resort at 9pm he saw how posh it was and how many security guards we had. He kept asking us to tip him which we didn't cause he was horrible. I thought I was going to die the entire time. >_<

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
Thank Ashleigh F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

I am a travel agent and recently spent a week in Bali checking out the product. I spent my first night at the Samaya and what a lovely welcome to Bali it was!!

The Villas are a great size, very big pool in comparison to some of the other hotel options in Seminyak and they have the most ginormous bathrooms! Good amenities in the room and are very clean.

The best thing about this resort though is the excellent service and amazing staff who seriously go above and beyond all expectations (and I have stayed in a lot of hotels!!). Would be perfect for couples or honeymooners looking for private villas on the edge of the town.

Food at the beachside restaurant was fantastic - I've never actually seen an in house restaurant so full, so make sure you book in advance!

Thanks Ray and team for a lovely stay, I will be back :)

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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4  Thank MissEdwards198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014

We had a great 5 day stay in the private villa with very clean pool it was very nice and private and personal butler service was excellent we never wanted for anything and all of our requests were met without hesitation and they were very good at their jobs and really nice people to chat with.

Our villa was across the road from the main samaya location and the shuttle pickup service was great so do not let this put you off staying in these villas if you are worried about that it wasn’t an issue at all.

The car service was also excellent great air conditioned luxurious cars picking us up and dropping us off wherever we wanted to go night and day they were great!

On another note I got a slight bit of the dreaded Bali belly from eating street stall food and the samaya organised a doctor to come to my room within 1 hr of calling them to sort me out it was great and then on top of that the samaya kitchen prepared me off the menu food so as to not aggravate my stomach. I was quite amazed how helpful and caring they were so it’s an A+++ for me I shall defiantly be back. Great spot!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank THEGALAXYDEFENDER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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