The Samata is a Lifestyle Retreats boutique resort just outside Sanur, Bali. It’s definitely not your run of the mill Bali resort, so to spend a weekend there with my husband and 2 kids (8 & 3 years old) was a real treat. We drove down on Friday afternoon and were greeted warmly by the staff, who immediately remembered the kids’ names and made sure they had welcome drinks and snacks. We were shown to our home for the weekend, which turned out to be an enormous 2 bedroom villa with beautiful thatched roofed buildings and an outdoor living room and kitchen. We also had a huge pool all to ourselves.
The villa was facing out to the rice fields and beyond that the sea. You could hear the waves from the villa in the evening when it was beautifully quiet. Another fabulous thing about the villa was the huge grassy area just in front that we ran and played football on. It’s a great space for an event or wedding, but we loved that it was our personal run around spot.
The 2 rooms are not connected, and have heavy glass doors so are much better for older kids who don’t move into their parent’s bed in the night. We ended up all sleeping in one bedroom, which is fine but it left the other room pretty much unused. There is plenty of space in the bedrooms and they have king sized beds that can be split into 2 twins if necessary. Mosquito nets make it really cosy and romantic (if you have the time for that kind of thing) and the lighting was fantastic, with small round lights running in the floor, which the kids loved.
The bathrooms in both rooms were massive, about the size of the bedroom again, and had double sinks, a big open shower and a huge bathtub. Bath salts and bubble bath were all ready for us to have a nice relaxing soak, and they smelled amazing.
My only worry about the rooms was the glass doors, which my son walked smack bang into a few times. I suppose it’s a testament to how well they clean the glass, and I wouldn’t worry about the glass breaking, but there were a couple of bumps on the forehead.
The reception, restaurant and communal pools are really beautiful and modern. We were the only people in the restaurant both mornings, but I assume the other guests were enjoying their breakfast in their villas.
Another fantastic thing about the resort is the gym facilities. If there is a better gym in the whole of Bali I haven’t found it yet. Seriously, it was a gym goer’s dream. It has a full sized boxing ring, tons of high quality equipment, weights of every size, a yoga studio and a pool right outside. It looks barely used and was empty when I went to workout.
The Samata is in a quiet area just off the main bypass heading to the east of Bali. You can see the Bali Beach Hotel on the Sanur beachfront from the resort, but it’s actually quite a distance round the coast. On the first evening we drove down to Sanur for dinner and it took around 10 minutes with no traffic. The resort offers a drop-off and pick-up service to Sanur, so this isn’t a major problem, but there is nowhere to walk to from the resort except the beach, and it’s definitely more of a taking a walk and shell hunting beach than a sunbathing, splashing in the water one.
On the 2nd afternoon we went to a friend’s birthday at the campsite right next to Komune Beach Club, which was just about 15 minutes straight up the bypass in Keramas. Komune is fantastcially family-friendly so is a good option for a day out if you’re staying at the Samata.
Ubud is around 30 minutes drive and again, a driver can be arranged. If it’s peace and quiet you’re looking for, The Samata has it in heaps, but as for shopping, dining or nightlife, you will have to drive/be driven to Sanur or further to find the action.
Eating in and around The Samata
Like all Lifestyle Retreats properties, the management of The Samata are serious about their food. Two menu options, healthy and comfort food, are packed with delicious options that highlight local ingredients, freshly made baked goods, jams and sauces. We really felt like the chefs were well trained and cared about the quality of the food.
The breakfast options were vast, from eggs Benedict, pancakes and french toast to steamed salmon, quinoa porridge and many more healthy options. The kids shared a really delicious, fresh fish and chips one afternoon and we also had pizza and a club sandwich on the second evening. Everything was really tasty, perfectly cooked and beautifully presented so paying hotel prices was not an issue for me.
Outside the hotel there is nothing locally until you reach Sanur, and then there are tons of options. You could also get food delivered from Sanur restaurants using the Gojek app.
We loved The Samata and can’t say enough good things about the staff, service, food, upkeep of the villas and the beauty of the surroundings.
However, this resort won’t be for everyone. The location wasn’t a problem for us as we brought our own car, but for those visitors who want to be able to come and go as they please, it isn’t ideal. If you want to relax, unwind and really have a beautiful base to come back to after a day out, I can’t think of anywhere better. The views, quiet surroundings, excellent food and cosy bedrooms with tons of privacy make The Samata a really special place to be and spend time as a family.
The set-up of the villas could also be a problem for guests with small children as the rooms are separated from each other. Our daughter at 8 years old, didn’t want to sleep on her own so we all slept in one bed. This was fine for a couple of nights, but I’m not sure I’d want to do it for a whole holiday.
The Samata is a dream spot for some and just not for others, but we thought the quality of everything was fantastic and would definitely stay again and recommend the resort to friends and family.