Samabe Bali Suites & Villas

Overlooking their very own private beach in the Nusa Dua region, Samabe Bali Suites & Villas (“Samabe”) boost stunning views of the vast Indian Ocean. We found out about this hidden gem through a local who shared with us that Samabe is getting popular among the younger crowd in Bali. When we arrived at this five star resort, we clearly understood why it is fast gaining popularity.

Getting there

Booking a room in Samabe for three nights entitle you for a very comfortable ride in the resort’s Alphard. Trust me, you will appreciate taking the Alphard given the bumpy roads just before the resort. The ride from Bali International Airport is approximately 40 minutes ride. 

The Welcome

The entrance into Samabe is spacious and exudes a luxurious touch. We were particularly impressed with the friendliness of and the service staff. We love how the resort isn’t too inundated with customers and were told that the occupancy rate is normally 60%.

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Accommodation

There are no rooms in Samabe – only suites and villas! Staying in Samabe was a real treat for all of us, young and old alike (we had 2 years old all the way to 83 years old). Samabe offers three types of ocean view suites – Honeymoon Suite (as shown below), Family Suite and Samabe Suite. All rooms are the 1,453 sqf and they offer the same incredible view of the Indian Ocean! These options are also available with private pools but I say ditch that and go to their main pool.

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The toilets are top-notch, absolutely love it. If you are traveling with kids, you would be happy to know that every room comes with a bathtub which your kids can play in. The Honeymoon Suite toilet has a bathtub that is facing the ocean… pretty good view to snuggle up with your special one (sea salt and milk bath provided courtesy of Samabe)!We also like how the resort provided a beach bag and hats for him and her. It came in very handy for us when we went to the private beach and we were all happy to have a souvenir to bring home.

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We stayed a night at the One Bedroom Ocean Villa and we felt that the One Bedroom Ocean Villa wasn’t as good as the Honeymoon Suite as it didn’t have that unblock ocean view. If you look at the picture below, you realised that it was not an entirely clear view of the ocean (yes, that’s the picture with me on the unicorn). Nevertheless, the villa itself is huge (2,852 sqf) and it has a private pool. The high ceiling is something you can never get with the Honeymoon and Family Suite. It’s good for hosting family over for some bonding time and if you are one who prefer to stay within the compounds of your villa. 

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Activities

We were spoiled for choice when it came to the activities. There are two main pools within the resort and a private beach for Samabe customers only. The resort is above sea level and the private beach is accessible either by foot (there’s a flight of stairs down) or by the resort’s jeep. Kayaking and standup paddle boarding are available at no extra charge.

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It helps that non-alcoholic drinks are free flow for the Limited Privilege Package and they come in different sort of flavours like coconut juice, mango, strawberry, avocado ice-blended. (TIP: The minibar has a few cans of beers and soft drinks which are complimentary, refilled on a daily basis. We brought these out in our Samabe straw bag when we went to the private beach which helped quenched our thirst while we were out in the sun!)

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Besides the wet activities, there is a Children Room (opened between 9-6pm)  with a nanny to take care of the kids. The room is well equipped with entertainment for the little ones and I like that the friendly nanny spoke good English. For those who enjoy yoga and cooking classes, these are provided for as well. Just remember to do an advance booking at least one day before.

Food

Our Limited Privilege Package included daily breakfast which doubled up as brunch for us. We went wild on the foie gras served at Rempah-Rempah Main Dining Room. The breakfast spread consists of a buffet and a menu which you can order freshly cooked dishes. A wide selection of bread, pastries, yoghurt, cheese, small bites, cooked food, and fruits are available at the buffet area. Frankly, breakfast kept us full until it was time for dinner. 

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We tried the food at Crystal Blue Ocean Grill and their Grilled Jumbo Prawns are pretty awesome.

Destination Wedding

If you are looking to take your wedding vows in Bali (like we did), this gorgeous view will convince you that you have to do it here – with the beautiful Indian ocean to witness it all. We had a small party of immediate family and made use of the Banten Room to host our dinner after our wedding vows. If you like to see some pictures of our actual day or to read more about our experience, I wrote more about taking our vows in Samabe here and here.

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Overall, we had a very good stay at Samabe. Service is not always top-notch as you know, the chill vibes in Bali means the staff takes longer than usual to get things done. I usually don’t overrate a hotel, but I think I will make an exception for Samabe – they are deserving of six stars! Yes, that’s how much I like this place. Highly recommend if you are thinking of a nearby luxury getaway of a “minimoon” after your wedding.  

 

How to plan a Bali Elopement with your family

There’s a common misconception that a destination wedding must cost an arm and a leg. The air tickets, the accommodation, renting of a gown over a longer period of time, flying over the make-up artist and photographer etc.

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I like to share with you that this may be true, but not necessarily if you plan ahead and cut down on a few expensive items.

Disclaimer: The pictures in this post are raw and unedited.

1. The outfit

Couples usually spend around S$3,000 upwards for rental of wedding dress and suit/tuxedo. As this is a destination wedding, the feel you should be going after should not be ballroom glam. Eliminate the expensive dress rental package in Singapore and buy your own dress or rent a chichi dress from Rent A Dress , Style Lease or Love Potion. I didn’t take the risk, but I know there are hits and misses when buying your own dress online. Fortunately, C proposed when we were in US and we popped by David’s Bridal while we were in NYC to get my dress. Do note that getting a wedding dress altered in Singapore is going to cost you between S$600 to S$1,200, so get one that fits. As for the groom, head over to Bangkok or Kings Tailor Bali to customise a tuxedo for S$400. DAMAGE – S$600 to S$2,000 depending on your personal preferences.
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2. The photographer & make-up artist

If you intend to fly your favourite local photographer or make-up artist over, expect to spend minimally between S$3,000 to S$4,000. Instead, I recommend you turn to instagram to check out local talents at your destination wedding. Don’t bother googling for “Bali Wedding Photographer” like I did initially. By searching for pictures on Instagram, you get to see a larger variety of photos when you hashtag #locationxphotographer. This allows you to see all the different pictures taken by a large number of photographer and then to narrow your choices from there.  I did think my hair was overdone but to be fair, I wasn’t specific about how natural I wanted my hair to look, so I guess I should take the blame. DAMAGE – Possibly below S$2,000 like ours.

Look how my photographer transformed the Mont Blanc cuff links I bought for C!alx_7802

Also found my make-up artist from instagram 🙂
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3. Air ticket & accommodation

If you are comfortable to just having your immediate family witness your vows, do what I did. Fly them over and cover their cost. I don’t suggest you extend this privilege beyond your immediate family unless you are feeling very generous. Generally, the consensus is that relatives and friends will not expect you to pay for the air ticket and accommodation, so don’t feel obliged to do so. However, if you choose to have relatives and friends, do extend them the courtesy of finding the cheapest tickets and an accommodation that won’t break the bank near your wedding venue. DAMAGE – S$180 per pax with budget airlines promo or S$278 per pax with SQ promo tickets to Bali + S$200 for a decent room for 2 pax

4. Venue

This really depends on what style you are going for. If you wish to keep the cost low, the beach wedding is the most cost efficient option. Most hotels in Bali can host a beach wedding at below US$2,000. For the more nature-loving couple, you can choose to take your vows in midst of the plantations of Seminyak or Ubud. If you are looking to say your vows in style, and with good reason because the photos will come out amazing and this IS a once-in-a-lifetime event, get a cliffside wedding along Nusa Dua or Uluwatu. DAMAGE – Price range is US$1,500 (beach wedding) to US$4,900 (cliffside) upwards.

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5. Dinner

Opt for simple local dishes at your venue – they cost nothing like a Chinese or fine-dining dinner in Singapore. DAMAGE – S$1,500 for 12 pax alx_8687alx_8712

6. Others — Skip the fireworks, letting go the doves and get cheaper alternative like balloons and sparkers instead. The fireworks will pale in comparison to what you see in Singapore and personally, I don’t see a point in letting go doves. Balloons and sparkers, on the other hand, are fun elements you can add to your wedding. Balloons, for example, can be customised according to your theme. Splurge in flowers if you are a fan.

Things to note:

  1. Choose a venue that includes the banjar fee. Think of banjar fee as a tax imposed by the village that your wedding venue is located in. From my conversations with the venues, they are more willing to waive the banja fee if you keep your party small and make it less of an “event”. This means no big object set-up, no loud noise and less than 15pax.
  2. Your Marriage Certificate is not legally recognised in Singapore unless you opt for the legal marriage option, which I do not encourage. To begin with, it cost US$900 upwards to get a legal marriage carried out in Bali. This constitutes getting a certificate in Jakarta (which means you have to fly down to Jakarta). If you are lucky, you find a wedding planner who can assist you on the certificate but that’s like 1 in 10 wedding planner, and frankly, I don’t know what do they do to get pass this step. Lastly, your marriage will be governed by Indonesian laws. This means if Indonesia change their laws in favour of the husband and you are the wife, good luck to you! Singapore marriage are only recognised if the solemnisation takes place in Singapore land, so get yours done locally. That’s S$26 to get registered with ROM and how much you wish to give the JP is really your choice. Still a lot lesser than US$900.
If you are really planning to go ahead with this, congratulations!
Do remember that this day is meant to be the happiest day of you life, and as much as you wish for everything to fall right into place, there bound to be hiccups here and there. Try to buffer more time for everything and just take things as they come. I say this because the culture in Bali is generally laid back, which means having flower delivered at 2pm can be delayed to 3pm. I was told that the priest needed to leave by 4pm and tried to rush my make-up artist to finish her job, but when she was done at 3:30pm, our ceremony didn’t start until 3:50pm. That’s really how things work in Bali and though it’s hard to accustom to it, my best advice to you is to take things as they come and be flexible! If you have any other question, please feel free to ask! I am happy to share what I know with you.

Our wedding vows in Bali

During our trip to Greece last year, I had this epiphany that we should take our wedding vows at Oia and casually brought it up to C. Funnily, C took it quite seriously and responded that our families should be around when we take our vows. So I took a mental note of it and forgot about that episode… until he proposed while we were in Miami and I was like…

“Are we getting married in Oia?!!”

Coming back to reality 😦 C and I decided to take our vows in Bali because flying our immediate families to Santorini wasn’t quite an option given how impractical it was. (Come on, a girl can dream!) We wanted somewhere nearby as our family members age are between 2 to 84 years old. After some googling, I thought the next best option was the cliff top scenes at Uluwatu, Bali. After we got back from US, we booked our tickets to Bali and started scouting for venues. Look what we stumbled on!

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There are quite a number of potential venues on the list, but I found out that no bride gets married on a whim – our chosen date 9/9 was booked at most places in May. We chose this date because it means “long long” in Chinese, and that’s how we like our marriage to last. Thankfully, we found out about Samabe Resort from a local we spoke to. Our initial plan was to take our wedding vows at Pandawan Cliff Estate Rose Villa but when we walked into the Pearl Chapel at Samabe Bali Suites & Villas, I had that surreal feeling I had in Oia and knew this was it! 4 months later, we flew our immediate family over and made the best decisions of our lives!

 

Here you have it, some raw unedited pictures from last Friday… Including an epic photobomb by my niece

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Completely in love with this place. Promise to upload more pictures when they are ready!

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Dress – White by Vera Wang Tuxedo – Kings Tailor Bali Photography – Bali Precious Moments Venue – Samabe Bali Suites & Villas Special thanks – To our family for being such wonderful guests