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Sam's Guesthouse

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Craig Cove Airport Road near Craig Cove Airport, West Ambrym, Ambrym Vanuatu
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About

#1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Ambrym

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Craig Cove Airport Road near Craig Cove Airport, West Ambrym, Ambrym Vanuatu
Getting there
Bauerfield Airport166 kmSee all flights
Craig Cove Airport1 kmSee all flights
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12Reviews2Q+A0Room tips
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Gioceo wrote a review Aug 2019
Dubai, United Arab Emirates64 contributions49 helpful votes
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Spent 3 nights at Sam’s accommodation. More than bungalows, Sam is family. Ready to provide you the best experience from the aircraft landing to the volcano track, tuna fishing trip and cultural local customs.
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Date of stay: August 2019Trip type: Travelled with friends
2 Helpful votes
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Jian wrote a review Aug 2019
Hong Kong, China68 contributions74 helpful votes
Stayed with Sam for what was going to be 4 days 4 nights with 2 days 2 nights spent on the West Camp of central ash plain. Sadly following the Dec 2018 earth quake and lava lake collapse at Marum and Benbow the tourist number has dwindled down significantly, while not as spectacular as live lava lakes, the hike up the rain forest and across the ash plain is still a very unique and beautiful one. Sam's guesthouse is right next to the airport and he made the organization very easy by offering a package where everything is taken care of from the 1h long bumpy transport to the trailhead near Port Vatu to securing the best most experienced guides (Dick Taso thanks my man!). The guesthouse itself is besides the easy location from Craig Cove Airport and town (within 10min walk) a basic assortment of village huts, clean but basic. There were some issues with access to water that Sam sorted out during our stay and we had in the end access to bucket of water for showers. Sam's wife Helena cooked affordable island staple fares (rice, poultry, spinach, eggs) during our stay. Also final shout out to Sam as a man of integrity, I had scheduling issues with Air Vanuatu delaying my domestic return flight which would have caused me to miss a series of international connections, I had to fly out with Bel Air a day early and Sam did not hesitate to issue one night's refund even though the issues were not caused by him, so respect for a nice way of handling business on an island that doesn't have much! Expect - Basic yet authentic Ambrym island village stay conditions, with limited electricity (generator at night, so bring power bank!) and no running water (bucket "shower"), on the plus side there are mosquito nets which is great for a night of peace - For me the trek organization was easy and of great value (everything included in package that Sam offers except water, which he sells for 200vatu/1.5L), beautiful hike, good solid food on the trek, and spare thin camping mats to borrow (bring own clothing for changeable weather conditions and own sleeping bag). West camp on the mountain has huts to sleep in as functional rain shelters Don't expect - Any form of luxury, and limited comfort, the stay is very simple but worth it if you love the great outdoors - Any alcohol or parties, as Sam is a pastor there is more of a peace and quiet vibe on the property - Perfect weather, while our morning hikes on the mountain were beautiful and sunny the afternoons and evenings were filled with cold rain on West Camp, bring layers to stay warm, dry and comfortable in the shelters
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Date of stay: August 2019
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Elisabeth H wrote a review Jun 2019
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What a wonderful time we had on Ambrym. We thank Helena and Sam to feel like part of their family. On our first day, they took us to their worship and had a traditional church together and it was fun to play with their grandchildren. We enjoyed the food Helena prepare and to visit her garden. Sam made an adventurous trip the volcanos come true. With Talie as our guide and two porters (food and tent) we were well-prepare for our hike. The food was simple but perfect for this situation. We love to come back if the lava lakes are open again.
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Date of stay: June 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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ManuRC1996 wrote a review May 2019
Malaga, Spain233 contributions128 helpful votes
Mi opinión no puede ser mas que un tremendo agradecimiento a esta familia formada por Sam y Hellena que dentro de la humildad en la que viven han sido capaces de crear un complejo turístico, que no es mas que una prolongación de su casa, por que vives en su casa, en unos bungalow que la rodean que debido a las escasez de materiales que hay en la isla, son muy básicos pero os aseguro que en pocas camas he dormido mejor que aquí, rodeado de naturaleza por las cuatro esquinas y siempre con la inestimable atención de los anfitriones que con su amabilidad suplen cualquier carencia de modernidad a la que estamos acostumbrados, ademas no existe un rincón en la isla que Sam no conozca y esta dispuesto a organizarte cualquier excursión que le plantees, nuestro objetivo era subir a visitar los volcanes Benbow y Marum, nos busco un magnifico equipo de guias y porteadores que nos facilitaron el viaje a los volcanes. En cuanto a Helena, magnifica cocinera que nos deleito con sus comidas y su conversación, desde aquí quiero responder a un encargo que me hizo Sam, poner su mail en esta pagina para que los viajeros puedan contactar con el o su hija, por que alli es muy difícil el acceso a Internet, aquí os pongo su mail, el de su hija y sus teléfonos y con esto cumplo su encargo y os aseguro que estarán encantados de solucionaros cualquier duda que tengáis si vais a visitar Ambrym. Sambungalows@gmail.com, sanetasol@gmail.com Sam...prefijo 678 7767129 Hellena 7773654
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Date of stay: April 2019
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: No os preocupeis todas son fabulosas
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Fabien C wrote a review Feb 2018
7 contributions8 helpful votes
Sam seems to be the man to organize your trek on the island from the west coast of Ambrym, but we can't understand why in the end, everything was so amateurish and unprofessional. We arrived around 1 PM, and even if we were told all meals are included, we never had our lunch. We could have asked for it, but we waited a little first for it to be prepared, and around 3 PM, my girlfriend started to suffer from food poisoning, from something eaten in Port Vila. I looked for Sam for help for 1 or 2 hours but I was finally told he was unavailable because sleeping... At 5 PM, I found him, he explained we can call a truck to go the clinic for 2000 Vt, but my girlfriend told me she's too weak to do the transport for 20 minutes. So I told him no for the clinic. However, a few minutes later I came to see Sam again, he told me that the truck for the clinic was here. I was surprised, I never said we wanted it. He told me we had to pay the truck anyway, even if we never saw it in the end. Maybe it came with a good intention, but eventually we had a sore taste in the mouth wasting our money like that for nothing. It was just the 1st misunderstanding of a long series. At night, we can finally eat our dinner, which was good. We go to bed, and we have to cross an awful sea of cockroaches in the alleys, a nightmare. Everything's clean during the day, but it's infested with insects just after sunset. My girlfriend told me to avoid the bathroom, which was now with cockroaches, and the same in the room. There were spiders also, even in the mosquito net in the other tourist's room close to us. We slept OK in the safety of the mosquito net, closing our eyes quickly not to see anything. We just didn't want to leave the bed before it was daytime again. We were able to charge our devices for a few hours at night, which was nice. The next day, we ate breakfast, we talk with Sam who prefers that we start the trek tomorrow for my girlfriend to rest. But she's fine now and willing to do it. I ask several times if we'll have mattresses, the people organizing the trek told me yes. The same for the tent, but no gas masks. We went in the truck. 5 minutes later, Sam realized they forgot to take the food for the 3 days trek, so we had to come back... Later on the road, I ask if he thought about water, he forgot also, so we had to pay more than 1000 VT to buy every bottles of water in a small shop. By the way, when they say "everything is included", don't expect them to bring water for you. We met a French tourist the last day in the other side of the island, he had only one bottle of 1.5 liter of water for the whole trek, nobody told him to bring more, he thought it was included... It's really dangerous to trust them with everything, the rain water over there is acidic and even with tablets we didn't want to drink it. And 2 days ago, a family had to shorten their 3 days trek in only 2 days because of the lack of water in the tanks. It's a real problem. We then started the trek, half of it under rain. We arrived at the camp, we discovered that there were no mattresses, whereas me being adamant about it. We almost didn't slept the 2 nights because of that, the ground was hard as concrete. We had pain in the neck and the back. Again: don't trust, bring your own mattresses. The first night we had a torrential rain, and we were surprised in the middle of the night by the rain entering the tent brought by our guide. It was leaking in several places and our sleeping bags and some clothes were already wet. We moved everything under the shelter, being soaked in just one minute. That's nice from the guide to bring a tent, but if it leaks that bad, don't install it in the middle of nowhere when the weather is so bad... The breakfast and the lunch were kind of a joke: some crackers with peanut butter. I knew we had to bring snacks, we did hopefully. Trekking several hours with just that is hard. Dinner is better, rice with tuna. Not a gourmet meal but more consistent, just what we needed. We waited almost 24 hours before we could go to the crater of Benbow. We could have the first day actually, but our first guide seemed a little lazy, or at least very tired as he told us... So we lost one opportunity because of him. And that was important because the weather was so bad, that we would only had one other window of 3 hours to do an ascent the second day with the second guide. That was not the job of the second guide, he told us, but he took us there anyway. 3 hours return, we walked really fast with only 10 minutes in front of the lava, it was crazy impressive. I saw volcanoes in several countries (Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand...), but here, it just blew my mind. That's the craziest thing I did in my life. So I guess all the trouble, energy, time and money involved was worth it. But that's the sacrifice to make.
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Date of stay: January 2018
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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