Being treated like royalty at the luxurious Samabe Resort in Bali
After 4 nights in Hong Kong and 5 nights in Bali, we moved onto hotel no.5 (of 6). And oh my god it was mind-blowing… The 5* Samabe Resort set a new level of luxury for me. The barely 1-year-old resort is comprised purely of luxurious suites and villas, it boasts a 24-hour individual butler service, an entirely private beach with not another soul in sight, spectacular views from all of the rooms and the infinity pool area, local monkeys who scamper around and all the best food you could possibly imagine, all-inclusive. Imy and I had big smiles on our faces from start to finish and we didn’t want to leave. We were spoilt rotten during our stay and think it’ll be very difficult for any hotel to live up to it, ever again!
So let’s start from the beginning. Our butler, called Mul, drove us down from reception to our suite, in a golf buggy! We loved these golf buggies. It’s definitely possible to walk around the resort but regardless, we got into a lovely habit of calling for a golf buggy to pick us up and ferry us around. During the drive, Mul gave us a tour of the resort starting with the Crystal Blue restaurant, leading down to the pool and poolside bar, and on towards our 135m² suite, no.211 in the East Wing. The tour of of our suite took almost as long as it was so huge and has so many extra features, including a telescope, day bed, his and hers bathroom counters, TV & iPod dock, complimentary straw hat, flip flops and beach bag, complimentary mini bar, guest bathroom in addition to one huge normal bathroom, free & unlimited room service, two enormous double beds, dining room table, sofa, etc. (the list goes on).
The most impressive of all was our balcony and this view:
If you’re lucky you’ll be visited by some local monkeys who hang out at the the temple nearby.
Bewildered by the luxury of it all, we headed for lunch in the Crystal Blue restaurant, whose individual raised platforms feel so very private. The resort’s main clientele are honeymooners so a lot of the hotel features are designed for two people. While the romance was slightly wasted on Imy and I, we did conclude that our eventual honeymoons will have a tough time beating our stay in this resort. We tucked into their à la carte menu (caviar and oysters for starters anyone?) and then whiled away the afternoon beside the pool with cocktails, while gazing out to sea at the horizon.
A lot of the suites and villas have their own private pools so we had the pool almost to ourselves, and you couldn’t have wiped the smiles off our faces no matter how hard you tried. The sun slowly set in the west, throwing lilacs and purples into the night sky. Honeymooners understandably don’t need a lot of evening entertainment, meaning there wasn’t a huge amount to do in the evenings. Luckily the butler will deliver cocktails of your choice direct to your room and the hotel has a library of DVDs, so after dinner we indulged in a night-in, something I don’t do very often when travelling!
The resort offers a number of extra activities, like cliff yoga, taichi and dance lessons and so we threw on our gym clothes for yoga overlooking the sea and rewarded ourselves with a breakfast fit for kings in the Rempah² restaurant (dragon fruit juice, 4 health shots, eggs benedict, chocolate fountain with strawberries, mangosteen… and countless other goodies in an incredible buffet). Of course, should you prefer, you can simply order whatever breakfast you want to your room, at any time of day…
Our second day in Samabe followed a very similar theme to the day before, we alternated dips in the pool with spells lying out in the sun with our books, heading down to the beach via a stone staircase (there are 165 steps but that honestly takes no time at all) to stroll along the deserted beach, where you can also take out a kayak, catamaran or surfboard if you’re feeling active, and where I also spotted the staff setting up for a romantic candlelit dinner for two…
Maria from the hotel kindly showed us around the hotel, showing us a couple of their exclusive villas adorned with extravagant chandeliers, mother of pearl as far as the eye can see, interior design worthy of a glossy magazine and a private pool. Although our suite didn’t come with a private pool (#firstworldproblems) I actually preferred our suite to the villas, as our suite had uninterrupted views of the sea. But if you were travelling in a group of four then a villa would probably be a better choice, and I did love the grand entrance: they have large walls around each of the the villas for privacy and grand big wooden doors to make you feel like the king of your castle.
One thing I particular liked about the Samabe Resort is their early check-in & late check-out hospitality lounge, complete with bathrooms & showers, a cinema, library & games room – no more salty skin and sand between your toes on the flight home! We were staying at the resort with their ‘Unlimited Privileges’ package, which means we could have one of the Signature Activities each day during our stay. For ours, we both chose to have a 1-hour Balinese Aromatherapy Massage in our suite on the Tuesday, and a Balinese cooking class on the Wednesday. Feeling very relaxed after our massages we watched the sun go down from our balcony with a cocktail in hand and ordered a cheese board from room service as a pre-dinner aperitif. Up in the Rempah² restaurant we had a typically Asian dinner of stir-fried noodles and rice dishes, while being serenaded by a guitarist.
And so arrived our last day in the resort and we braced ourselves for the difficult moment when we’d need to tear ourselves away from our suite…
Having experience the incredible breakfast the day before, there was no way we were lying in bed too long and missing that, so the day began well with another full and very satisfied tummy. Our Balinese cooking class was held in an outdoor Balinese Kitchen near the reception and Imy and I were joined by a Russian woman, whose two adorable little daughters waddled around playing with everything. Our professional chef-teacher taught us to make Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) in banana leaves. While I stupidly didn’t note down the exact recipe, we mixed slices of raw chicken (or seafood if you preferred) with a paste the chef had unfortunately already prepared (I would have liked to learn how to make the paste) and a number of different vegetables, before wrapping them in banana leaf parcels and securing them with tooth picks. Next we popped these banana leaf parcels into a grill pan and also cooked an absolutely delicious concoction of beans & peppers to accompany the chicken. You then cut open the banana leaves to get to the chicken inside. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the most delicious meal we ate during the whole two weeks (If I do say so myself…)
We had just enough time for another dip in the pool and to catch the spa lady who wanders around the pool around 3pm every day offering a complimentary cooling cucumber eye treatment and a 10-minute foot or shoulder massage. You can just imagine how well that went down!
Very reluctantly we packed up our suitcases, golf-buggied up to reception to check out and bundled into a taxi to our next, and final, destination: Ubud. We would both have loved to spend more time at Samabe – it’s utter luxury and feels very exclusive as it’s so peaceful, with very few guests. We both agreed we’d happily live there! One can dream…