The Kayana Beach Lombok, Indonesia

Among the first to check into Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts’ new boutique villa property in Lombok, Mimi Hudoyo discovers a charming beachfront retreat brimming with spectacular views and service.

Situated a few kilometres north of Lombok’s famous tourist belt of Senggigi, The Kayana Beach Lombok is nestled in a secluded bay on Kecinan Beach, with some of the island’s popular diving and snorkelling spots just off its beachfront. From the resort, it is merely a 15-minute boat ride to the three Gilis – Trawangan, Meno and Air.

On clear days, guests will be treated to unparalleled views of the sun setting against the backdrop of Bali’s Mount Agung.

The villas are divided into four types: deluxe, duplex, hillside and beachfront. Though varying in amenities and set-ups, all 32 villas comprise one bedroom.

The beachfront villa where I stayed is arguably the cream of the crop, as it offered uninterrupted views of the beach. I could soak in the sight of local fishermens’ early morning bustle not only from my private veranda or the pool-side gazebo, but also while ensconced in my four-poster, king-sized bed, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling doors and windows.

The 205m² villa, which houses a private swimming pool, a garden and balcony, is ultra-spacious yet inviting. A modern interpretation of traditional Sasak architectural design, the room is decked out with traditional Lombok and Indonesian décor and furniture that lend a touch of rusticness to the otherwise contemporary interior design.

The equally spacious bathroom is fitted with a free-standing bathtub, a semi outdoor rain shower, a vanity area and a hand-carved wooden door which opens to the swimming pool.

The Blues Restaurant & Bar, the villa’s only F&B outlet, is perched atop a hill overlooking the beach. It offers a choice of traditional Lombok dishes, Indonesian cuisine, and international favourites. I had the beef rendang which was full of flavours, the savoury nasi bakar (grilled rice wrapped in banana leaves) and crispy duck with chilli sauce – all of which had me abandon my diet.

Breakfast at the dining outlet is served to order. I was first offered a choice of fruits or juices, followed by a plate of assorted homemade bread and Indonesian or American mains, paired with tea or coffee.

The Blues Restaurant & Bar, with its indoor and alfresco dining areas, is one of North Lombok’s best spots for sunset watching, as it offers sweeping vistas of the Bali Sea, the three Gilis and the majestic Mount Agung. The restaurant also features an outdoor private terrace that can be transformed into a unique corporate function venue.

Located on the same level is a fitness centre and the Saxum Spa, with five treatment rooms. Plus, there’s also a common swimming pool near the lobby.

Buggies are available at the lobby to transport guests from their villa to the hilltop restaurant and spa.

Service at the hotel was generally fast and efficient. My requests for laundry pick-up, buggy service and extra water bottles were attended to swiftly.

A thoughtful gesture by the hotel staff were the coconut-related turndown gifts, which included a bottle of coconut-based massage oil blended with traditional herbs like ginger, cloves and lemongrass. After applying it on my shoulders, neck, legs and feet, the soothing scent lured me into a deep sleep.

A few hours before my departure, the frontline staff rang me to ensure I was well-informed about the arrangements. He also had my boarding pass ready when I checked out.

The only glitch during my stay was the weak stream that resembled a drizzle, instead of a powerful jet, when I turned on the tap for a rejuvenating shower. But that issue was promptly fixed by the hotel’s staff after I reported the problem.

A peaceful oasis that makes for an idyllic getaway for couples or singles who value their privacy. The resort’s close proximity to the buzzing tourist belt and party island also makes it an ideal choice for island-hopping junkies.

Rates From Rp3.5 million (US$247) per night

Tel: (62) 370 61 9900

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