A brand new resort on the edge of Sanur on Bali's west coast, the Samata is proof that you don't have to leave your healthy lifestyle at home when you go on holidays. With amazing healthy food, a huge gym, lap pools, a tennis court and yoga room, the Samata is about providing some balance so that you don't come back from holidays carrying, um, excess baggage.
The Samata is a brand new resort, and is part of the Lifestyle Retreats chain, which includes five other properties in Bali. The resort only has five villas and five enormous suites, which means a whole lot of personalised service. And for us, it was even more personal, as we were privileged enough to be among the first guests to ever stay in the resort, and had the whole place to ourselves!
In the ancient Sanskrit language, Samata means the state of equilibrium between body, mind and soul, and honestly, that’s what you get at this retreat.
We arrived at the Samata at the end of a fabulous holiday which mostly consisted of relaxing, lying by pools, sipping cocktails and doing yoga, so by the time I got to the Samata Sanur, I was ready for something a bit more active. I really don't recall ever having used a hotel gym in my life, despite my best intentions. But, the Samata is a lifestyle retreat, so I decided to embrace the concept and threw myself into a gym and boxing session on the first day.
Next on my agenda was a few laps in the amazing lap pool. To be fair, it wasn't exactly strenuous, and I mostly stuck to breast stroke so that I could admire the beautiful view while I swam.
The day was capped off with an amazing dinner, with fresh, healthy, well prepared food. We were told that some of the ingredients were grown in the hotel garden, and I could taste the freshness!
Generally on holidays, prying myself out of bed before 9am is a considerable achievement, but when our alarm at the Samata went off at 5:45am the next morning, I (practically) sprang up. Without even the aid of coffee, we walked through the local village, down along the river, past the rice fields and several ornate temples as the sky began to lighten.
Since I live on the west coast, and mostly holiday on the west coast of Bali, I'm used to seeing the sun set over the ocean, so it was quite exciting to be on the east coast and see it rising instead.
The walk back to the hotel took us through the ricefields which surround the Samata and provide it with such stunning views.
Back at the hotel, after a very healthy breakfast (and some really good coffee), I hit the tennis courts. Given my complete lack of skill, the court was basically all I hit, but hey, I still worked up a pretty good sweat running around in the Bali heat!
After my ball-chasing-and-calling-it-tennis, I decided I'd earned some relaxation time, and why wouldn't you, when you've got your own plunge pool overlooking the rice fields!
Our afternoon was spent in a cooking class with the resort's chef. I basically consider any cooking lesson in which I don't cut anything off or burn anything down a success, so in this regard the lesson was an achievement. It was surprisingly hands on, and I got to chop, sautee, stir, roll and beat the ingredients into something resembling entrée, main and dessert. And naturally the biggest reward was that we got to eat everything we made, which in this case was genuine cause for excitement since I'd actually managed to produce something edible!
After stuffing myself, I decided to hit the gym again (which brought me to a grand total of two times using a hotel gym!!) and then spent the evening hanging out at our villa, watching an incredible sunset.
Speaking of the villa - ours was absolutely stunning. Built in a traditional Balinese style with a thatched roof, it consisted of a main bedroom with very comfortable beds and an enormous bathroom, with a double shower and outside bath.
We also had our own little bale for lounging around in, as well as a separate outdoor living area which looked out over the rice fields to the ocean. It had its own little kitchenette stocked with tea, coffee and, to my delight, cookies!! We chose to eat most of our meals in the living area, as it became harder and harder to muster the enthusiasm to leave the villa.
On our last night, we again sat and watched the colours change with the sunset, and capped off our active stay with a few vodkas (just to balance things out!)
The best time to visit Bali is June, July and August (dry season), however we visited the Samata in March and the weather was still great.
The Samata Sanur is about a 40 minute drive from Denpasar airport (depending on traffic).
Australians (and many other countries) no longer need to pay for a visa for Bali, and can get a 30 day visa free on arrival.