Samsara Cliff Resort
- What's Included
Stayed last year October (wouldn't let me select Oct 2015 for review) and I was not at all satisfied. The staff in the restaurant are not at all friendly. To cross over from the garden to the main hotel you have to cross the road which is on a corner so you have to be assisted. It's basically playing Russian roulette crossing that road. The food at the restaurant is over priced and the hotel is in dire need of updating. The sister hotel, Legends, which they provided a shuttle service to and pick you up is nice because it is on the beach. It definitely needs updating however. Negril is lovely if you're looking for a quiet place to relax. The seven mile beach which is a 3 minute drive away is beautiful. I just wouldn't recommend staying in this hotel.
Samsara is a low cost option, so it isn't appropriate to compare it to the Riu's and Grand Palladium's of Jamaica. This is a good place to avoid the large crowds, have a vacation of solitude, and get the thrill of jumping from the cliffs. Though it's not on the beach, a free shuttle runs at convenient times to take you to its sister resort. You do get what you pay for in some respects; the rooms are outdated and they need to buy new outdoor lounge chairs, but overall it was worth what we paid for it and we really enjoyed our time there.
If you have been to 4 and 5 stars then don't go there !! It was my 5th time to beautiful Jamaica, and resorts were not what we expected. The staff was not as friendly as we are use to. Its quiet, and nothing to do in the evenings but leave the resort. The great thing was the shuttle between Samsara and Legends. Omar was amazing!! The cliffs were awesome during the day, such a nice breeze. The massage therapists on the cliffs were extraordinary! We went twice. The owners son, very friendly, and owner seemed really nice as well. If you want cheaper and don't expect anything then go!! Its quiet, very quiet. All inclusive drinks are not all inclusive, lots of things we had to pay extra for thats always included in other all-inclusives.
If your looking for the Hilton, this is not your place! If you are looking for Quiet and and peace of mind, then you will be at home here. Bring your own Beach towels, and use American cash. Although this hotel is a bit run down, it was still clean, safe and Very friendly.
Recently returned (Nov 2016) from our stay at Samsara Cliffs. For folks interested in a great place to stay a little off the beaten path without all the frills, Samsara is for you. It was one of the best places I've ever stayed in the CaribbeanMy partner and I prefer less fancy and more homey stays; we're not attracted to huge resorts, piles of people, and lots of rude, loud, entitled wealthy people. We tend to go for small resorts, mostly adult/mature crowd, and we like rustic, efficient, mature, no-frills accommodations. I was looking to maximize beach, snorkel and SCUBA time and stay somewhere a little different - I found it all and more at Samsara Cliffs.I read a lot of reviews of this resort hotel before our trip and I am glad I did. I wanted to add a little more and update some information. I won't repeat a lot of info others have provided.We were there for the third week of November. The resort was not busy - probably less than half full at this time of year. We checked weather ahead of time and it suggested some days would be rainy - don't be fooled - the weather was amazing, hot and very sunny the entire time we were there in spite of the weather reports. We didn't luck out - staff told us it was almost always sunny this time of year.Rooms - There are three kinds of rooms available. We booked online, and booked without really understanding what the room choices were like. When we arrived, we asked to see all the room types - staff told us we could have a look at each and change our room (pending availability). HOTEL ROOMS: The majority of rooms are in two 2-storey sea-facing buildings on the east side of the resort which are just like regular small hotels. PILLAR: There are four "pillar rooms" on stilts overlooking the west side of the resort. COTTAGE: Across the street, the cottages are in an independent compound. After a review of rooms, we opted to stay in the hotel-like rooms facing the sea. The pillar rooms were booked up; the cottages were close to the busy street which was really noisy with honking cars because of the low-visibility bend in the road there; all kinds of rooms were about the same size. The first room we stayed in was on the first floor of the first building: there was some kind of loud mechanical squeak out back which kept my partner awake all night - in the morning we asked to move to the 2nd storey and as far away from the squeak as possible - we picked room 201 - the highest, most easterly room available. It is above the Dive Shop. We had an amazing balcony view of the sunset every night, it was very private (just remember the restaurant can see into the room at night from across the resort, if your lights are on and your shades aren't drawn, and its dinner time), and I highly recommend this room.A/C - there is A/C in rooms at no extra charge (except the pillar rooms, they aren't air conditioned - folks we spoke to whom stayed in pillar rooms said the breeze at that height and the ceiling fan more than made up for A/C).All inclusive and food - we went all inclusive with some trepidation because of the comments I read online. I admit: the meal options were very limited. They call it home cooking and they aren't kidding; however, I found the meals were quite wonderful. I don't think the big buffets at big resorts are better - sure, there's more to choose from, but I'm not really at the resort for gourmet food and no buffet really does that well. They posted what would be served for dinner the morning of and well in advance, so you could stop in decide if what they had on menu that day was to your liking. We also tried Ciao Jamaica, the Italian restaurant across the street, because it had such a high/strong reputation, and found it excellent. The drinks and alcohol on resort were also a bit limited, but there was enough to keep me happy. The drinks were strong (pretty typical).No refrigeration - confirmed - there is no refrigerator in-room. This was a problem for us, because we won't drink the local water (bottled water only, I don't want to jeopardize my stay with traveler's diarrhea) and we like it cold. However, having read reviews ahead of time, we brought a small collapsible cooler and I brought a 22-hr insulated drinking cup, which worked great. We had to purchase bottles of water which was not part of our all-inclusive cost, at about $3USD for a 24ounce bottle.No safe in-room - confirmed - we paid about $3USD per day to put our passports, wallet, and larger cash sums into the lockboxes at the front desk, and were mindful of the front desk hours to replenish our tipping and shopping cash every few days. This was highly preferable to us.Security - it's clear Jamaica can be be haven for theft. It's all fences and barbed wire everywhere. In spite of this, I felt very safe on the resort. There were always staff around, and the resort seemed very secure (in part because it's not easily accessible off of a beach or road). The room itself had locks on all doors. Off-resort, we felt pretty comfortable walking around in the day, but we kept a minimum of cash and items on our persons.Tipping - we like to tip well. We brought a lot of $1USD bills and simply tipped a dollar or two to everyone who helped us. I gave the groundskeeper $10USD (because no one ever remembers to tip the groundskeeper). Regardless of tipping, staff was always super friendly and willing to help out. Please tip these folks generously! Note: when you buy something in Jamaica, you will be told they can only offer you change for purchase in Jamaican currency (JAM), This is rarely the case, and before you buy, you can insist/negotiate to get USD change. Also, every price is negotiable, but all vendors will start very high. Ask around, particularly the people at the front desk, what a good price for something is before you set out to buy. Otherwise, chances are, you're going to get rooked on price.Beach - there is NO beach at Samsara. It's all low cliffs. You can't swim in the sea here without climbing ladders out of the water which takes some minimum fitness. We love the beach, but can only hang out on a sand beach before we get bored. A free shuttle left at 10am and goes to a 'sister' "Legends resort," where the beach was tiny but gorgeous - you can enjoy the beach, get drinks, eat lunch and swim in the pool there - go early to get some shade on the beach and be prepared for lots of vendors selling on the beach. The free shuttle back to Samsara is at 4pm. The shuttle was very convenient, however, we found that paying a taxi $5USD for two persons one-way was reasonable, and better freed up our time. The distance between these hotels was walk-able but would have taken more than an hour one-way.Snorkeling - we are snorkel/scuba enthusiasts. There is plenty of reef activity right off the cliffs. We saw octopus, small rays, barracuda, small flounder, and lots of colourful small fish. There are underwater caves if you swim along the cliff line to explore. At least once we found ourselves in the company of blooms of tiny, beautiful jellyfish. We tried snorkeling at Legends hotel but it was just sand and not much to see. Between Samsara's snorkeling and Legends beach we felt like we had the best of both worlds at our fingertips. Bring your fins, snorkel and mask. You won't need a wetsuit - the water is lovely warm (26C/78F+; even at depth).SCUBA - we love to SCUBA. We were delighted to learn that one of the most reputable dive shops in Negril was right there in our resort. We called around, spoke to people on the beach, and one of the dive shops was flabbergasted that we were calling around when we had one of the best right there. We went on several SCUBA trips, two per day per person for $100USD - they had to be booked at least a day in advance, left only at 9am and we were back by noon everyday. This was some of the best SCUBA we have ever been on. Max depth was about 78ft with some caves to swim through - we saw a ton of coral, fish - our super-friendly DiveMaster found nurse sharks, sea snakes and more. There is an excellent reef immediately off of the Samsara Cliffs, too. Entertainment - if you're like me, I'm not too impressed usually by music or dancing entertainment on resorts, and it usually feels more like an inconvenience to me - it's pretty rare I want to attend whatever entertainment is occupying the pool or bar area at a resort. Samsara only had one night per week for musicians, and they were great. However, at Samsara, you're so close to the Negril nightlife -bars, restaurants, lots to see and do at night without it being shoved down your throat or ruining a night time dip in the pool.Ganja - if you're offended by the smell of people smoking pot, you're going to have to be tolerant. All across Jamaica, it's a national past-time in spite of the stuff being illegal there (which is hilarious). You can have 2ounces on your person legally; any more (*intent to traffic) and you may be at risk. Anyone and everyone can sell you a joint, so don't carry much, just buy it as you need. Which makes sense because the quality is highly variable and it's potent stuff.Airport Shuttle - nothing to do with the Samsara, but for anyone purchasing a trip package, you probably get a shuttle to and from the airport in the deal. When you google the distance from Montego Bay to Samsara Cliffs, it's about 45mins. However, when you're on the shuttle, which has to stop at a bunch of other resorts along the way, that trip gets a lot longer. I thought we'd make it in an hour - that bus ride was 3 hours long. It's about $75USD for two persons by taxi which might be better worthwhile.
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 50 rooms
- SCUBA diving (fee)
- Complimentary shuttle service to beach
- WiFi internet (fee)
- Water sports (nearby, fee)
- Golf (nearby, fee)
- Available at nearby Negril Hills Club: 1 A la carte restaurant, Pool bar, Evening entertainment (twice a week), Reggae Disco
- 1 Single and 1 Double or 2 Double beds
- Bathroom with shower only
- Private balcony or patio
- Max occupancy 4 persons
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
Samsara Cliff ResortNegril,Jamaica
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Norman Manley Blvd, Negril Jamaica
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
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