More about Samsara Hotel
Samsara Resort on the cliffs of Negril
Besides the old, worn, hard beds, the 2x4 suporting the old rusted metal ceiling fan that surprisingly didn't fall, and the incrediably loud air conditioner it was an all right place. If your looking for nightly resort entertainment, pampering, and service this is not the resort for you and if you're a prude or don't have an open mind this is definately not the resort or area for you. Anything seems to go in Negril and at Samsara. Drugs are everywhere and where openly used at Samsara the odor was of skunk was definetly in the air, at the bar that was the tobacco of choice. The staff for the most part were friendly and the maid service was good. The food was good but spicy (curry is a big spice) and rice is served almost every night. Breakfast was not the greatest in my opinion although the fresh fruit was great. If you're a big coffee drinker Blue Mountain coffee is what you're drinking and it's extreamely strong. The moring coffee is much better than the evening coffee (seems to be old at dinner). The water is beautiful and pretty calm to snorkel (pretty fish) and dive off the cliffs (there are ladders and steps in differnt locations on the cliffs). The pool and jaccuzzi is nice. Bring your own beach towels the resort does not supply them and if you use face clothes to shower again bring your own, they only give you 1 towel per day per person. The bath room was clean and we had great water pressure it is just out dated. If you're going to use the phone it's $3.00 US dollars just to connect (so if the person you're calling doesn't pick up it still costs you $3.00). If you have children this isn't the place to go. The resort is right on the cliffs which is very pretty but very dangerous for young kids. Not only that but some guests choose to go topless and again drugs are used openly and freely. The resort grounds were nice but the walkways were slippery and the majority of the resort is cement it looks like fake coral or something. There are no lights going upstairs nor are the walk ways lighted. Do don't drink and walk close to the cliffs it's a good fall!! and definatly don't drink and dive. You can smoke pot on the tour vans and shuttles but don't smoke ciggaretts it's not allowed!! The island people are very friendly and we didn't have any problems. We bought fresh mango's on the beach and they were the best. Legends is the sister hotel and they have a free shuttel that leaves at 10am and brings you back at 4pm. The beach is beautiful we saw sting rays about 5 feet from shore when we were walking the beach. There is a craft market about a 45 minute walk down the beach--when you enter the beach from legends go to your left. Don't be afraid to haggle--start low and go from there--I always deal in us dollars and buy according to how much I love it and want to pay. Most times if your firm and walk away they will call you back and give in. It's a tough sale in the craft village, most vendors have the same things except for those who do their own wood carvings. Don't be shy and respect. We went to the YS Falls it was a beautiful waterfall. Unlike Dunn's River in Ochos Rios where you actually climb the falls, this one you walked up a path along the side of the falls and could swing off a rope swing into a pool of fresh, freezing, sparling clean water! It was alot of fun. At the beginning there is a small pool fed by the falls and is very refreshing exspecially for the young ones. We also went and took a boat tour of the Black River. That was way cool. We saw alot of crockodiles and I got to actually touch one! The tour guide feeds the crocks raw chicken, rubs there chin and kisses it on the lips. He grabs the crock by one of it's back legs and asked if anyone wanted to touch it. I couldn't resist but everyone else could. If you're gonna take a cab, again haggle and make sure you agree on a price before you get in. We paid between $4 and $5 dollars to go from Samsara to the shopping plazza and legends for 4 people. Make sure you check out Ricks Cafe, nothing great but a great view and cliff diving (38 feet) and if you can get together 15 US dollars "the Birdman" will climb 90 feet up a tree, do some stretches and show off a bit and then jump. It was a neat thing to see. And of course you get the tourist if they can get up the courage to jump the 38 foot. My bother in law Panchi did it and his butt hurt for a few days after that. You hit that water hard!! One girl was a huge black and blue from landing on her side but that was her falt for DRINKING AND DIVING!!!! The drinks and food is very expensive but it was good. I have one more comment about the Samsara Resort. The resort is old and used during spring break by all the young kids. I think this is the reason why the owner (Maurice, who lives right next to the Samsara in a beautiful 2 story big house on the cliffs) doesn't put much money back into the resort for updates and repairs.Over all we had a great time it was very casual and relaxing. It's all what you make of it---you definately get what you paid for. It cost me $1758.00 for 2 ((all-inclusive)(food, drink, meals, airport transfers, and lodging). To my surprise you had to pay for some things and meal times were scheduled (breakfast 8-10am, lunch 12-2pm, and dinner 6-9pm) and snacks were not offered between meals. The beer for the all inclusive was real rock you had to pay for red stripe.Travel safe and be smart and you'll be all set.
okay place to sleep
Samsara hotel is in need of a serious facelift! The location is okay, but beyond the front desk and the gardens, it seems to be in utter disrepair! I didn't expect a lot considering the price I paid, but it wouldn't have taken much to improve the look of the place.
The staff was very inconsistent! Some were friendly, some acted like your presence was a bother. One example was trying to get a wake-up call on the morning we were to leave. Turns out the office didn't open until after we were to be called (which we weren't told), and the gentleman that would have taken care of it was never informed we had requested one. I got better treatment at hotels we weren't staying at, which is opposite of every other travel experience I have had.
And don't bother with the all-inclusive, as the food was very below average. It doesn't take much to put on a decent meal, but it just seemed like they had no interest in doing so. Besides, there are too many great places close to Samsara to eat!!
Overall, we got what we paid for, which was a place to sleep. Spend little to stay here and enjoy all the great places to spend the rest of your time in Negril!!
Samsara - relaxing & quiet
Here's a tip for anyone from America traveling to Jamaica - - it doesn't pay to be in a hurry, because in Jamaica it's "No Problem" for them to accomodate you one way or another, but not necessarily on what American's might think is a reasonable amount of time. Maybe I shouldn't be included on this review, because I didn't actually stay there even though it was booked through a travel agent. Upon my arrival, after what seemed like an eternity from MoBay airport, I was told that I was being transferred to their sister hotel, "Legends". Despite my obvious disappointment, my transfer was arranged by the polite hotel staff. A hotel overbooking prevented me from completing my stay at this hotel.The next day, the "Legends" staff and I arranged for a free ride back to Samsara and was pleased to find the grounds pretty with well kept folliage and a georgeous view of the Carribean Ocean. There are steps (rocks mostly) that lead the sure footed into the sea, but due to heavy wind there was no one in the water that day. The pool was, for the most part, clean and inviting. On a ledge overlooking the pool is a jacuzzi featuring great bubbling action, but the water temperature is tepid at best. Met some nice folks there and waited on the Samsara property until after sunset. The hours between 4PM and 7PM are the "Happy Hour" where the drinks are buy one - get one free. I had strawberri daquari and it tasted quite refreshing. There again waiting patiently for service. No comment about the food because I ordered french fries which were tasty and satisfying. Whatever you have read about the sunset, it's true from this vantage point. Even though clouds can cover the skies during the day, the sun still sets and it is an awesome site. So are the stars that come out at night. The folks that I talked to, who did stay there, were disappointed in the rooms-- especially the beds. As mentioned in a couple of other reviews, they are on a concrete slab with a thin mattress. People also said that the food in an "all inclusive" package was so-so. If staying at either this hotel or it's sister hotel "Legends" you might want to consider the Euorpean package and eat on your own time and at your choice of places. The Samsara Hotel is not located within easy walking distance of other restaurants, but for a small fee (usually about $5.00 American dollars) you can get off the grounds and find other restaurants. This hotel does not offer nightly entertainment. If Reggee Music is what you desire, you might catch it on the local radio station, but there's not much else to listen to except the sound of waves crashing into the rocks. The hotel staff is quiet and courteous to tourists. Due to my abrupt and unexpected transfer to their other peoperty, I was leery of things from the start of my Jamaican experience, but soon relaxed into the flow of the Jamaican way. I would recommend this property only if the traveler is interested in a peaceful vacation, swimming without a beach and without the frills that other resorts and properties offer. The ladies room on the property reminded me of the type that are found in parks. Very basic and simple with a bit of untidyness. Please do not let this review make up your mind about whether or not this style is for you. Take into consideration what you are looking for and what you are prepared to deal with if things aren't meeting your expectations. I might have enjoyed staying at this property, but once I got to the beach, I found something that was a bit more upbeat and people oriented. Please look for my reviews on "Legends" hotel elsewhere in this site. Whatever your choice it's "no problem, mon"!!!
Fantastic budget value
Samsara is NOT a luxury resort, but if you are looking for a clean comfy place to stay that has spectacular views, friendly staff, and great cliffside location, it's hard to beat.
I have been there 6 times, and have seen it transform over the years from a series of little huts on the cliff to a "normal" budget hotel.
Samsara is located on the cliffs, so if you're looking for a place to stroll into the water from the beach, this isnt it. It's more suited to divers, snorkelers and experienced swimmers who can jump into about 15 to 20 feet of water with no problem.
The staff is top-notch. They are friendly, personable, and always go out of their way to help.
Again, if it's luxury and pampering you want, Samsara is not the place, but if you want simple, clean accomodations with an unbeatable sunset view and quiet location, Samsara is hard to beat.
Samsara = Good value
We originally found Samsara on Expedia as a part of one of their "vacation packages" and decided to stay there becasue it was so affordable. Don't expect lifestyles of the rich and famous becasue you won't get it here or most places in Jamaica for that matter. If you are on a budget and simply looking for a decent and affordable place to stay up on the cliffs then this is your place. The rooms are completely adequate and right on the ocean. I would highly recomend you not get the all inclusive package, as most of the fun of Jamaica is getting out and exploring. Go up the road a bit to 3 Dives for the best jerk chicken on earth and tell Paula and Lieghty hello for us. Cheers!
Samsara, the NON Resort
This was our second trip to Jamaica in as many years. We enjoy the people and the culture.This time we wanted to stay in Negril instead of Montego Bay, did the research, had some help from a good travel agent, reviewed the website, but never found any user reviews. That should have been a clue.The pool is the only thing that works at the hotel. The Dive shop is awesome, but you need to stay somewhere else.The Hot Tub is cold, there is no hoop on the basketball courts (thats right, not on either one), the tennis court is a sham.The doors don't have door knobs and the air conditioning cable gets in the way of the door opening, which eventually had to be fixed.We had agreed to a minimum stay of three nights. I am now still waiting for the funds because Samsara is arguing that since it was prepaid, that they owe me nothing. You can obviously see why we left early and moved back to Montego Bay for the remainder of the trip.If I were you, I would first of all, stay somewhere else, and NOT at the sister property, LEGENDS. It is the same drill, but instead of being on the cliffs, you are on the beach. Both places are dumps...so don't believe the pictures on their website, as they have to be 20 years old or more.YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Samsara is just the ticket!
When we first arrived, we stayed at Legends. Since I am handicapped, this was not the best place for me, so we moved to Samsara after having dinner there with the BEST Reggae concert to dance and enjoy!The staff is so helpful. The rooms are not in any way luxurious, but they are more than adeguate. The Jamaican flavor abounds.. the open hearted staff go out of their way to make things peaceful and enjoyable to their guests and we found the food to be MORE than adequate. It was plentiful and cooked to order for the most part.The air conditioning was very good. We had to turn it down a few times! There is hot water sufficient to even make instant coffee!We loved the views, and the sunsets there are just awesome. If you are looking for "soul" and to feel the heart of Jamaica, this IS the place. We can do luxury hotels in the states.There is a free shuttle to the beach at Legends, to afford folks who wish to swim in the ocean. The pool at Samsara is just perfect.We would be back there in a heartbeat. A standing ovation to the staff!!Sincerely,Joan O'Brien
We Had a Great Time
We had read the numerous unfavorable reviews before we left, and decided that the pictures drew us in anyway. That said, we had a blast, and would do it again. A few words to maximize your experience when you go. Upgrade to the pillar house for $30.00 per night. The views are fabulous, and the privacy is great. Also. if you go in the Summer, bring Off and Calamine lotion, as the mosquitos are vicious. The food was quite good, even if the selection wasn't that large. The Snapper was always great. If you need to get anywhere on the island, call "Dean" the taxi driver. The resort recommended him for the airport trip, and he was prompt, informative, and stopped to get us Red Stripes. I do suggest going to the Rock House (1 km away) for dinner, as it is fabulous, and not very pricey. The pool was excellent. The beer was cold! As for the negative reviews I read before leaving; This isn't a 5-star resort, nor does it purport to be. I am a Pilot by profession, and have stayed in some dumps. This AIN'T a dump. It is a solid 3-star as advertised. I will definitely go back, and my wife echoes the sentiment.
Thinking of staying at the Samsara , heard the food is pretty bad. Are there many restaurant options within safe walking distance ?
There are many places to have a great Jamaican meal close by to Sam Sara. Just Natural,, Ital food. Jennies, with special cakes, Blue Horizon, sea food,, Tyonnes, Jerk chicken at night, Delious restaurant, brown stew chicken, Chicken Lavish, chicken, Mi Yard, yardie foods, plantain, bammi, festival, bonita, fritters, open 24/7. When you walk out of Sam Sara, turn left!
I bet you've taken your trip already but...There are restaurants close to Samsara. Negril Roots (vegetarian; exceptionally tasty!), Three Dive's Jerk, Choices (just accross the road), Just Natural (vegetarian)