Located on the seafront of Gili Trawangan, right in the centre of the action is Pesona Resort & Spa.
When you arrive at the resort, you’ll first be greeted by their Beachfront restaurant, which has a chic and bohemian aura. Beautiful beams, benches, stools and tables made from wood, colourful cushions; murals and artwork on the walls, echoing influences from India. Hanging plants, ambient lighting and a cooling ocean breeze.
Pesona Resort shares part of its premises with Dive Central, so there’s a steady flow of divers milling around, organising equipment, learning to dive in the pool as well as leaving and returning on boats visiting the numerous dive sites that are the Gilis. In the evening they hang out, drinking at Pesona’s bar, mixing with hip travellers and trendy locals, chilled, ethnic EDM playing in the background. You feel as though this is the place to be.
Upon arrival at the reception, we were greeted with the biggest smiles from the receptionists and managers. We were then checked in and shown to our room. Walking from the hustlybustly bar area, and towards the Poolside King rooms, is like walking into another more tranquil universe – the large pool surrounded by tropical plants, soft light dappling the walls. A woven poolside hammock to while away the day, snuggled up with a good book.
Each room has its own swing chair on the veranda (our daughter Maya particularly enjoyed this), styled with well-matched cushions. Rooms are large, with plenty of space to move around the bed, corners to tidily put away suitcases and backpacks. Lots of built-in shelving for clothes, and some hangers to hang special outfits to get out the creases, a basket for dirty clothes sits below. The bed is just about the most inviting thing on the planet, with brightly coloured cushions (loved their glittery trim) in addition to pillows with just the right amount of firmness and softness, a duvet as well as an under sheet. A wall-mounted tv sits at the foot of the bed, with lots of western channels. The room has been cleverly thought out as it is both practical and a thing of beauty with a fusion of Indian/Indonesian design carpentered from reclaimed Javan teak. The bathroom does not fall short of this beauty and attention to detail which is paramount throughout the premises. Lots of space to put your wash stuff, perfumes/aftershave and makeup. Expensively perfumed hand wash, shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner are provided. The walk-in shower wall has been covered in these beautiful blue tiles which are like a mermaid’s scales, a small cut out in the wall is also covered in these tiles and this houses the toilet roll – If you manage to make toilet roll look sexy you’re doing well in my book.
That evening we decided to stay in and take advantage of the comfortable bed, abundance of TV channels, and room service to satisfy our Indian curry craving. When leaving our quiet room to go to the bar to order we noticed just how close we were to the nightlife, we could hear live music, the bass from nearby clubs, as well as Pesona’s choice of tunes. If we didn’t have a 2-year-old asleep in our room, we’d be right in the thick of the party. Having lived on Gili T in the past, staying in cheap long-term accommodation in the middle of the island, I know how lovely it would have been to have gone out for half the night partying, to return back to base, just 5 minutes away, and fall into a giant soft white (sand-free) bed, sleeping in until mid-day (or as least mid-morning) in a blacked-out room.
After a restful night’s sleep, minus the partying, we made our way to breakfast, we’re greeted by friendly smiling staff and hot filtered Lombok coffee. The breakfast menu is simple but each option is well thought out and very tasty –eggs (anyway) with delicious brown bread, tropical homemade jam, and fruit salad topped with a lime slice, pancakes or nasi goreng. We feasted with a view of the beach and Lombok in the distance. At breakfast, I noticed the numerous signs around the place reminding customers to be environmentally aware –refuse plastic bags, use reusable water bottles and straws. In fact, you can buy colourful Pesona branded metal water bottles here and a variety of reusable straws. Pesona also offers water refills and is listed on the RefillMyBottle app. It’s so refreshing to see a company that is really owning the environmental problems our planet faces. They seem to be doing their utmost to encourage customers to save plastic, in addition to taking their own measures to reduce their planetary impact also – ashtrays, and in-room drinking water containers made from upcycled wine bottles; reusing, recycling and composting as much as they can.
Later in the day, I got the opportunity to experience a hot stone massage at Pesona’s Azure Spa. What can say… Wow. The spa is at the end of the resort up the beautiful blue-tiled stairs in rooms made from, I’m guessing, the reclaimed Javan teak wood. Therapists are English fluent, professional, friendly, cleanly and smartly dressed. I had a little back pain, so I just informed my masseuse of this and she was gentle on the sore spot. The massage was plentiful and generous, loving and flowed smoothly. There weren’t any stop points, she gracefully moved from one spot to another and was focused on what she was doing. This is the difference between paying 150,000, for a cheap massage from a street spa to paying 350,000 from a spa with staff that has been professionally trained and are actually enjoying what they’re doing or at least being paid a fair salary enabling them to be fully motivated in what they’re doing.
After the massage, which lasted just the right amount of time, I was seated in reception and given a cool drink of ginger tea, and a delicious little Indian energy ball like delight, made from coconut and milk. In a dreamy state, I headed back to my room, to enjoy a hot shower and watch Maya play in the pool.
We spent the evening meandering down the island streets, slowly making our way to watch the sunset. The final morning at Pesona resort I had a little cry about leaving, almost. But I did vouch to Dayat that we would one day live, permanently, with this level of tranquillity, luxurious comfort and beauty – here’s hoping!
Pesona is incredibly good value for money when you consider the attention to detail, beauty and cosiness that has been curated here, prices change slightly between peak and off-peak holiday season and room type, but range from 745,000 IDR to 1,300,000 IDR. For the keen divers, they also offer a variety of different stay and dive packages which are incredibly good value.
In summary, our stay at Pesona Resort was true and utter bliss, we were well taken care of by friendly members of staff, fed delicious and nutritious breakfasts, were able to relax by the pool but also walk to the beach just across the road, all the while in a beautiful and comfortable setting.