Several restaurants within walking or short driving distance
Rooms have AC, TVs, and private terraces -- some with hammocks
Some units add kitchenettes and ocean views
Expansive cliffside sundeck with plenty of lounge chairs
Two pleasant pools -- one with a splash feature
Spa housed in an oceanfront hut
Buffet restaurant open all day, plus an open-air bar
Ciao Jamaica across road is praised for its pizza
All-inclusive packages, gift shop, and snorkeling gear available
Free parking and Wi-Fi
Rooms are dated and showing wear
Lower-category rooms lack fridges
Fee to rent safes
Beach towels aren't provided
Wine, snacks, and bottled water not part of all-inclusive option
Wi-Fi can be spotty
Guests have to settle account night before check-out
No fitness center
The 52-room Samsara Cliffs Resort is a simple mid-range property located in a prime spot in Negril’s West End, offering exceptional ocean vistas from many areas. It has an impressive array of features for a budget-friendly price: two pools, a cliffside sundeck, small breezy spa, and buffet and Italian-Jamaica restaurants. Though rooms are bland and basic, they come with air-conditioning, free (spotty) Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. Some units add mini-fridges or kitchenettes, and a handful are set on stilts for pretty ocean vistas. All-inclusive packages attempt to add more value, though meals are during select times and wine isn't included. Free shuttles to sister property Legends allows guests to experience the famous Seven Mile Beach. No beach towels, fees to rent safes, and evident wear are notable downsides. It's worth considering Catcha Falling Star, which has more charming rooms and typically lower rates.
Cliffside property with stunning views of the Caribbean and a mellow vibe
As its name implies, Samsara has a stunning cliffside location with gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea. Rocky outcroppings and lush jungle make up much of the resort's setting, and an expansive sundeck with lounge chairs allows guests to take in views of the sea. In fact, virtually everything at the resort seems to overlook the water, from the spa hut with breezy curtains flapping in the wind, to the bi-level restaurant with second-story picture windows that perfectly frame the vistas. Expect to see mostly laid-back couples, plus some groups of friends, taking a dip into the pools, jumping (or climbing down a ladder) into the sea below, or reading on the terrace.
Of course, there is a reason for the low rates. Despite the beautiful setting, Samsara is an older property, and it shows. Rooms in particular have dated-looking furnishings and evident wear. Also on the downside, no beach towels are provided, safety deposit boxes have to be rented, and the all-inclusive package doesn't cover wine, snacks, bottled water, or water sports. Note that some rooms are located on the garden side of the property, so these guests will have to cross a major road to access the pools and buffet restaurant (a security guard is on-site to help with this). But, the hotel's biggest asset is that guests can use facilities at sister property, Legends Beach Resort, which sits right on Negril’s famed Seven Mile Beach. Free shuttles take guests between the two, allowing travelers to effectively get the best of both worlds -- quiet cliffside relaxing and access to a lively beach.
Cliffside setting along popular West End Road in Negril
West End Road has that winding quaintness one expects on a Caribbean Island, and yet it’s just down the road from hopping downtown Negril. It's a five-minute drive north to the town center where there are banks, supermarkets, and a Burger King, plus this is where West End Road becomes the main two-way highway that leads back to Montego Bay. There are several restaurants within walking or easy driving distance of Samsara, including the famous Rick’s Café. It's a five-minute free shuttle ride to sister property, Legends Beach Resort, for access to lovely Seven Mile Beach. It's just under a two-hour drive to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Basic and dated, but all with AC, flat-screen TVs, and outdoor spaces
The 52 rooms at Samsara could use an update with their basic wooden furniture, tile floors, colorful striped curtains, and old-fashioned artwork. They're showing evident wear, and entry-level units lack fridges. Additionally, safety deposit boxes must be rented. On the plus side, all units have furnished outdoor spaces, many offering ocean views, and a few with hammocks. Also provided are air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, free (spotty) Wi-Fi, desks, and dressers. Cottages are freestanding units located either across the street from the main resort within a flourishing garden or in the main area with ocean views. Four green Pillar Houses are stilted freestanding structures overlooking the ocean, featuring outdoor showers and expansive balconies with hammocks. All other bathrooms are on the compact side, equipped with showers and bars of soap only.
Two pools, small spa hut, and access to beachfront sister hotel
Although Samsara lacks a beach, it has a beautiful, rugged cliffside location on the sea. Platforms in the cliffs have sunbeds, and jumping from the cliffs into the water is a popular pastime (or taking the ladder available). Snorkeling gear is available for rent or purchase. For those that prefer pools to the ocean, there are two options at Samsara. The main pool is a decent size and surrounded by loungers, plus there's a shallow pool with a fountain feature. The expansive sundeck means guests can generally find a quiet spot of their choosing. Next to the splash pool is a raised open-air massage hut, where guests can receive a variety of treatments.
A small game room has pool and ping-pong tables, plus there's a tennis court available for free, though guests must provide their own racquet and balls. Samsara doesn't have a gym. Wi-Fi is free throughout, but it can be spotty. Parking is also free.
Like virtually every resort in Jamaica, Samsara is a popular destination wedding spot, particularly for sunset nuptials.
Across the street from the main property isCiao Jamaica, a popular spot serving the unlikely combination of Italian and Jamaican cuisines. Pizza topped with jerk chicken is a favorite. Additionally, guests can dine at the all-day restaurant that serves buffets for all three meals, as well as a la carte options for guests not on the all-inclusive plans. For those that are on the plan, stringent meal times are a bit prohibitive. (Each meal runs for two hours.) Samsara guests are also able to dine at the buffet restaurant at the resort’s sister property, Legends Beach Resort, but the menu is pretty similar. Also note that wine, snacks, and bottled water are not covered by the all-inclusive package. An open-air bar has a variety of cocktails, Red Stripe, and non-alcoholic beverages on offer.
Be aware that guests must settle their bill by 9 p.m. the day before they check out.
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