Samabe Bali Suites & Villas isn’t a resort you might immediately think of when you are looking for a family-friendly resort. But in fact it’s set up really nicely for couples, groups and families looking for an all-inclusive experience. After all Samabe Bali Resort & Villas is part of the Samabe Leisure Group, which also owns Grand Mirage & Thalasso and Devdan Show in Nusa Dua, so they know how to make families happy.
The Samabe Resort is on the southern end of Nusa Dua, outside the gated BTDC tourism area. The resort is around 30 minutes from the airport and airport transfers are included in your stay. We drove from Ubud, which took forever because of roadworks. We also stopped to do a little shopping on the way so that took time. From Kuta or Seminyak you can expect a drive of about 40 minutes, but of course this is dependent on the amount of traffic.
Checking in was a really lovely experience and I knew instantly this was no ordinary resort. We were given beautiful frangipani necklaces and blessed in the Balinese style with holy water and rice on the forehead. Then we were taken to sit in the beautiful lounge area where we had fresh, cold coconut water while the receptionist checked us in. The decor and views are really stunning and because of the way the resort is built over the cliffs, you can see all the way to the sea as soon as you arrive.
The Samabe Bali has 81 suites and villas stretched over 8 hectares, so we were taken by golf buggy to our villa. This is always fun with the kids of course. Our butler was waiting at our villa when we arrived and showed us around. We felt truly spoiled from the get go.
The Resort and Area
As I said the resort is 8 hectares, and a lot of this is beautiful manicured gardens. The villas are well spaced and the gorgeous pool area faces right out over the cliff. The 2 restaurants, Rempah-Rempah and Crystal Blue, are also spacious and have lots of romantic spots for couples and honeymooners. Or for people with kids to be away from the couples and honeymooners.
Although the resort feels quite far from touristy areas, it’s actually only a few minutes shuttle from Bali Collection shopping centre in Nusa Dua. We didn’t want to leave the resort, and being all-inclusive there is really no reason to. But for those that would like to get out and explore, shop, eat out etc., it really isn’t as far as you might think.
We saw a few people walking in the area, but it’s very dry outside the resort, not to mention seriously hot, so we would definitely recommend getting the resort shuttle or a private driver for trips out. For cultural sights, Uluwatu temple is about 35 minutes away by car and Jimbaran market and seafood restaurants are 30 minutes from the Samabe.
One of the best things about the resort is the stunning private beach, which can be reached by a set of stairs in front of the pool or also by golf cart if you don’t feel like walking.
We were absolutely taken aback when we got to our villa; we’ve never stayed or seen anywhere quite like the Samabe in Bali. Our one-bedroom villa was like a luxury city apartment with the brightness and lush views of Bali.
The huge living room feels even more spacious thanks to the towering alang-alang roof and massive windows. There are plush carpets, which are unheard of in Bali and a comfy couch and chairs.
The bedroom is very simple with little clutter or furniture, but again it’s very luxurious with the carpet, big comfy bed and great lighting for chilling out in the evening with a movie or even an afternoon rest from the heat outside.
However, our favorite part of the villa was the bathroom. It was so open and bright and had the most gorgeous bath and shower, I could have spent all my time in there. The kids were so excited about their ultimate treat of watching cartoon network in the bath that they made me get in as well.
Of course we also had our own pool. We didn’t spend a lot of time in it because the main pool was so epic, but I did have a dip while the kids were chilling inside, which was nice because no one was hanging on to me while I floated around. (Photo of me pretending to be yoga-ish and relaxed)
Samabe Bali is an all-inclusive resort that includes all your meals at Rempah-Rempah, Crystal Blue or Ring of Fire pool bar, as well as in-room dining. Also included is a fully stocked mini bar, an incredible afternoon tea, ice cream for the kids at 3pm, and alcoholic beverages from 5-12pm everyday. It’s also possible to choose a limited privileges package, but whichever package you choose, soft drinks, smoothies, milkshakes etc. are free all day long.
Breakfast is served in Rempah-Rempah restaurant and is an incredible calm and organized affair, unlike so many family-friendly hotels. You can choose from the buffet or a la carte menu, and the choice is everything from fruit loops to poached eggs with smoked salmon. The coffee was great and we even got little juice taster shots, which were gorgeous colours and fun for the kids.
On the first night we went to Rempah-Rempah but when we looked at the menu we realized our son, who is a picky eater, wasn’t going to eat anything on the Indonesian menu. We decided the best course of action was room service and ordered club sandwiches and fish fingers. I was a little surprised after the great service, that the food came pretty cold and it wasn’t really up to the standard of the restaurants, but we were hungry and ate it all.
The second night we were all so tired from a day by the pool and playing on the beach that we gave room service a second go and it was much better. The kids menu has pizza, pasta and fish fingers, all handmade so you don’t feel so bad if all they want is pizza and chips.
The afternoon tea by the pool (usually on the beach but they were setting up for a special dinner) was beyond our expectations. I could live on the little cakes, sandwiches and fruit they served, and the kids absolutely loved how it all came in a birdcage. Chilling by the pool with fabulous snacks and my lovely family was a pleasure we don’t get to experience to often.
If you’d like some romantic adult time, book the cave dining experience in the beach cave. They were setting up while we were on the beach and we could see it was going to be quite a night. The setting, candles and menu looked amazing and we even saw from our villa that there were fireworks afterwards on the beach.
What to Do in The Resort
Samabe is a super-chilled resort, where you want to be if it’s time for a total getaway from reality. The grounds are gorgeous and lead down to a pool that looks out over the sea. On the weekend we were there the blue of the pool, the sea and the sky all blended into one stretch of tropical gorgeousness.
There is a shallower area in the pool, but nowhere in the pool is deeper than 1.5 metres, and it isn’t very wide, so you can always see the kids. The whole atmosphere of the pool area is very relaxed and we did feel a bit like we had to give other guests (especially honeymooners) some space from the kids, but there were other families with kids playing in the pool as well, so it wasn’t as if they had to be silent.
The Private Beach
Walking down the 170 stairs to the beach you can see the white sand and clear sea stretching out below. It’s one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in all my years in Bali, and definitely feels like the ultimate luxury to have this as the resort’s private beach. The sand is soft and there are loungers and beanbags, and toys for the kids.
Non-motorized watersports are all included when you stay at Samabe Resort. Sea kayaks, catamarans, snorkeling equipment and stand up paddle boards are available and staff are on hand to help you get out onto the water. When we were at the beach the current was quite strong, too strong for the kids really, but when the tide is out it is pretty much flat calm and plenty deep enough to really swim.
If you want to do something other than lounging in the sun, there are cooking and yoga classes that you can book, and also a small gym and beautiful spa if you feel like going for the all-out pamper.
There is a kids club at the Samabe, and there are some fun games and things, but it really wasn’t somewhere my kids wanted to hang out. They made a bracelet with the (very lovely) girl running the club, and also played a couple of games of mini snooker. To be honest the pool or beach were more exciting for them.
The Samabe Bali Really is Luxury for Families
There are few resorts that I think mix real Balinese hospitality, luxury and family-friendliness, but The Samabe Resort is definitely one of them. The staff were incredible and we didn’t feel like we were disrupting the childless guests because there was plenty of room and quieter areas that they could hide away in. Also having other families at the resort made us much happier to let the kids be kids.
The only thing I would say would be, I couldn’t really imagine what it would be like with an active toddler. There are quite a few drops, gaps between stepping stones and lots of stairs that would put me on edge. For kids that are a bit older and more aware it’s perfect (mine are 5 and 9).
All-in-all The Samabe Bali is an incredible family-friendly resort experience with everything you could want to feel 100% spoiled. Definitely don’t dismiss this resort as too far out or too aimed at couples. It’s exclusive and fancy, but they know how to treat adults and kids like royalty!
Visit Samabe Bali’s website: www.samabe.com