Surfing the 3Ws, looking for accommodation on the Indonesian island of Lombok, we found a villa for the right price and with great views.
Having negotiated directly with the owner, who kindly let us have the honeymoon suite and organised airport transfers, we made the booking, paid with the credit card and the deal was done.
Imaj Private Villas are a quite hike from the new Lombok International Airport in Praya, from one to one-and-a-half hours, depending on traffic.
The villa vehicle picked us up in the evening, with the friendly driver chatting away in limited English, making us feel welcome after a long journey and flight delays.
Imaj Private Villas are perched on top of a hill close to Senggigi Beach. We were prepared for the rocky 10 minute ride to the top, courtesy of the Trip Advisor reviewers. True to form, our driver, who is used to navigating the bumpy and rocky terrain, brought us safely to the entrance.
We were met by a smiling receptionist who gave us a welcome drink, booked us in and escorted us to the honeymoon suite.
This particular two-storey villa was the only one of its kind in the complex and is complete with a private swimming pool. The sleeping quarters are on the first floor with a large dining and recreation area downstairs.
Up the stairs, and walking from the balcony into the room, the first thing that greeted us was the bath filled with water and flowers, with gleaming white towels and bath soaps.
The split level room is spaciously equipped with air conditioning, TV and DVD.
Separated by the wall is a large bathroom area with two showers (warning: one is just cold water), vanity unit with two basins, cupboard and a toilet without a door but separated by a half wall.
There is a certain wow factor as you walk into the room and there is more when you walk onto the balcony in the morning and see the views.
Sitting down for breakfast, the scenery of the jungle treetops of Lombok rolling down to the village is truly amazing. The sea is only visible at a distance. As you look below and around the virgin greenery of palm trees, it is a sight for sore eyes.
Lombok boasts more than thousand mosques and it was possible to see a number of them from our perch on the balcony. They were also the source of many sleepless nights as they bellowed prayers right through the evening until dawn. We were slap bang in the middle of Idul Fitri holidays the Muslim religious period of fasting (Ramadan).
Staying at the Imaj Private Villas was a matter of preference really. If you want a quiet holiday and don’t want to indulge in the beach every spare minute, it is the place for you. We are action people so most days found our way to other parts of the island, the beaches, villages and some of the amazing pearl and pottery places.
Although the villa vehicle will take you up and down the tedious rally-car driver route, it is not recommended on a daily basis for those who want to laze about. It’s a mental barrier and you need to rely on the hotel staff members to get you back and forth.
There is no other place to eat other than room service and this virtually stops after dinner (8.30pm).
For Indonesian standards food menu is fairly overpriced aswell.
It might be handy to take some cold provisions when shopping in town to assure you that you will not starve through the night. There is ample room downstairs, but no kitchen or even a microwave oven if you were hoping to heat something up for yourself.
There are a number of little things that are not thought of by the management. For example, the TV and the DVD cannot be used together and the staff members have difficulty in assisting connecting it up when asked. A simple double adapter is not provided.
Villa staff members, like most Indonesian hotel staffs, are polite, friendly and helpful but lack training suitable for a top class resort. Some days they just miss cleaning the room or changing towels, even when the keys are left with them. Water has to be requested regularly since it’s forgotten. However, the point must be made that during the holiday period the villa was understaffed.
The shining light was the young manageress, Trifosa, who operated the place single handily, chipping in whenever there was a shortage of service and always sorting out an issue as it arose. She was our driver, waiter, and tour guide all rolled into one.
No towels? A phone call to Trifosa had it fixed. No extra toast in the breakfast order? Trifosa had more sent over and she checked if we had enough water while she was at it. A request to help us find a friend on the island? Trifosa not only helped us get there but used her contacts to help us locate the family. Wanting to entertain friends one evening with a dinner that would wow? Trifosa organised a mighty barbecue dinner (it has to be recommended) and made our guests feel a million dollars.
We did enjoy our time in the Villa despite the Ramadan night noise and the arduous journey up the hill.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.