Samosir Villa Resort

1041 Reviews

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Date of travel

Aug, 2014

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Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

We didn’t arrive at Samosir Villa Resort in the best of moods as we were tired from our flight from London to Medan, a five-hour drive to Tuk Tuk and an hour in a rust bucket of a boat. It was also raining heavily which meant dodging leaks. To cap it all, whilst we’d made a tight connection in Kuala Lumpur, our luggage hadn’t. We only had the clothes we were wearing.

The hotel is situated on Lake Toba in Northern Sumatra: an area inhabited by the Batak people. The accommodation is Batak style with distinctive saddle-shaped roofs.

We scrambled off the boat and were immediately faced with a long, steep flight of steps leading to reception. If arriving by car, you arrive at the rear of the hotel and escape the stairs, but as most of the villas and cottages, dotted around the grounds, are either up or down steps, it’s not suitable for less mobile guests.

We checked in with little formality and were shown to our deluxe room (42). The large bed had comfy pillows and bedding but no towels in the bathroom and it took forever for hotel staff to locate two. We later realized that the wet weather had affected their normal drying regime.

The room had some furniture but appeared sparse and clinical and was not helped by a spotless cream tiled floor. There were no fripperies like a room safe, hairdryer, mini bar or tea/coffee making facilities. Bearing in mind the Batak people are traditionally famed for their weavings and wood carvings, it would have been nice to see some displayed to make it more homely. However there was a desk and office-type chair ideal for writing.

The bathroom was large, but ill equipped with only a small towel rail. When we hung a towel over the shower rail, it promptly fell down (it was the type that expands between two walls). Luke warm water literally dribbled from what had looked like a promising large rainfall shower head, whilst the tap in the sink wobbled and produced only cold water.

The balcony had a large comfy bench seat covered in leather and a wooden table. Unfortunately the weather made it impossible to sit out and fully enjoy the stunning lake views.

Our two-night stay coincided with a huge open-air music concert nearby and as a result, the hotel was full of local families. As they tend to be large, with up to 10 children, the hotel seemed rather loud and over run. In addition, our room was next to one of the two swimming pools which families used both early in the morning, late at night and during the rain. Their shouting and laughing competed with noisy air conditioning inside.

Breakfast was a reasonable, but slightly chaotic affair with fruit and a selection of rice and noodle dishes with chopped omelette and toast and jams and strangely, grated cheese. There was no juice and having poured a cup of coffee, I then realized there was no fresh milk either.

One evening we ordered a mushroom omelette, pizza and plate of chips. The omelette and chips arrived but after waiting for some time for the pizza, we complained and were told the pizza took longer to cook. We cancelled the order and shared the omelette. We generally found the staff friendly but they seemed to lack a little organisation and management.

There was lots of indoor and outdoor seating areas and free WiFi in the dining/lounge area. The bar had a good range of drinks, including tonic for our duty free gin.

Outside the hotel there are a number of small, local restaurants many of them with lake views.

As this was the start of our five-week tour of Indonesia, the two nights gave us both time to relax and wait for our luggage to catch up with us.

Helen Jackson

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