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Bamboo boutique resort

Banjar Tabola, Sidemen T: (0821) 4710 3884


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The word Samanvaya translated from Sanskrit means harmony — and the owners have certainly achieved that here. The impressive bamboo and wooden bungalows clinging to Sidemen’s rice terraces at Samanvaya are practically a landmark.

This midrange resort offers 11 bungalows, some made of wood and thatch and some bamboo in the style of lumbungs, or traditional rice barns. Most boast stunning views of the surrounding paddy, all the way to the sea in the distance. A lovely bamboo yoga pavilion with a stand out roofline, a bamboo restaurant and a well positioned though smallish blue infinity pool round out the resort offerings.

The yoga pavilion centre-stage.

The yoga pavilion centre-stage. Photo: Sally Arnold

We stayed in the cheaper wooden rooms, which had completely opening glass-fronted doors to absolutely make the most of the views. The front extends to a balcony with table and chairs, and our room overlooked a small and charming pond. It did fill with noisy frogs on the rainy nights we were there, but if this bothers you, the staff will chase them out if they can. We liked that the room information sheet assured us it was safe to leave the doors open at night. It's just that sort of place.

The lumbungs too are spacious and light-filled. Golden coloured polished wood floors match the bamboo and are cool underfoot. Minimalist modern wooden furniture has the same pale tones and the bed sports quality linens. A comfy couch invites you to curl up with a book, or catch up on a movie from the on-demand movie selection available on the TV. Ceiling fans whirl overhead, but are not really necessary in Sidemen’s cooler climate. Other facilities include tea-making equipment (coffee is instant), minibar and safe.

Bamboo (and smiling staff) everywhere!

Bamboo (and smiling staff) everywhere! Photo: Sally Arnold

The spotless ensuite bathrooms are semi open, screened by bamboo walls positioned in an organ pipe-type arrangement. Local cement tiles in pale tones complements the bamboo theme. There’s a hot-water rainshower, but no tub — you’ll have to venture outside for a soak in the shared Jacuzzi (alas, warm but not bubbling when we stayed), and put up with the view. Free WiFi is available throughout.

Your chakras can be aligned and your body can be pampered inside and out — Samanvaya offer yoga, meditation and spa treatments. Located below and in front of the yoga platform, the Rice Barn restaurant enjoys a similarly stylish bamboo construction, but the way the garden has grown around it, it feels like what would be great views are squandered, leaving diners feeling a little crammed in. Also it can get hot under the cantilevered roof, so ask the staff to shift it if you start to steam.

Pretty pretty.

Pretty pretty. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The pool, overlooking paddy, takes full advantage of the landscape, edged with sunloungers and shady umbrellas for different angles on the view, but, like the restaurant, feels a little small and crammed for a resort of this size.

If you’d prefer to relax undisturbed by folk splashing about in the pool, the resort is peppered with secluded hanging pod chairs — great for dangling about with a book and a cocktail. Staff are friendly and welcoming, and all we encountered spoke excellent English.

Morning stretch with the kids.

Morning stretch with the kids. Photo: Stuart McDonald

We love the comfortable atmosphere in this tranquil resort, which makes for an excellent value midrange choice. Samanvaya is very popular, so it’s wise to book ahead. They do continue to price in US dollars -- a practice Indonesia continues to try and stamp out. Recommended.

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Walk-in rates at Samanvaya

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Standard double room
Superior double room
Deluxe double room
Deluxe Suite
Room: Standard double room, low season: US$63, high season US$117. Notes:
Room: Superior double room, low season: US$77, high season US$124. Notes:
Room: Deluxe double room, low season: US$83, high season US$136. Notes:
Room: Deluxe Suite, low season: US$111, high season US$162. Notes:

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Where is Samanvaya

Banjar Tabola, Sidemen
T: (0821) 4710 3884
Coordinates (for GPS): 115º26'25.99" E, 8º28'28.61" S
Room rates: 400,000 to 1,000,000 Rp

Map for Samanvaya

Map for Samanvaya

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