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“Wow. What an awesome place to chill-out!”

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Pesona Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #25 of 40 Hotels in Gili Trawangan
Reviewed March 11, 2012

Where to start!?

We were looking for a slice of paradise to call ours for a week and hit the jackpot with Pesona resort.

The thing that really stands this place out on the island is the service which is exemplory. Our hosts Sumeena and Sandesh made a huge effort to make sure we were happy and anything we wanted or needed was no trouble. This focus on service also really comes out in the rest of the staff who are always friendly and helpful. Sometimes we would get back to the resort and even get a 'welcome home' from the staff at the entrance. Small things which went a long way to making this a v special experience.

The Indian food was so good we ate at least one meal from the restaurant every day, knowing that we struggle to get as good anywhere in Sydney!

The only slight niggle was a lack of water pressure in the shower in our bungalow, but other than that the accommodation was just what we needed, cleaned every day and everything working perfectly in it.

Massive thanks for a great trip!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank A1k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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348 - 354 of 521 reviews

Reviewed March 6, 2012

We actually only stayed one night at Pesona, but since we hadn't booked ahead (do that!) it was difficult to stay in a room more than one night due to the popularity of the place. Which is well deserved we have to say - and all thanks to Sameena who runs Pesona together with her family. She is lovely and very helpfull! The pool area and the restaurant are the best hang out places on the island (where u also can put on a movie). You can however find rooms for better value than Pesona (500 000 for a bungalow without fresh water) but they are perfectly ok and the lovely vibe are priceless...

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank Sobe03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

We loved our stay at Pesona. Amazing hosts, super chill vibe and fantastic location. The prices are very reasonable considering all the great amenities this hotel has to offer. If we ever make it back we will be sure to book a bungalow in advance. Best of luck Pesona.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank deegeedoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

We booked Pesona Resort after reading the great Tripadvisor reviews. I’ve used tripadvisor in combination with a few trusty travel guide books over the past 4 years and have never been steered wrong until Pesona. During our experience, the owners were not in residence and had a management team running the hotel on their behalf. I’m assuming this was part of the overall problem because all of the positive tripadvisor reviews rave about the amazing owners.

What we liked:
-Nice pool area with a bar nearby
-Easy access to the beach just across the dirt road
-Good Indian Food
-Location walking distance from the fast boat drop off

What we didn’t like:
-The web site photos did not appear accurate. The private villa room was DISGUSTING with stained and leaking walls and a dirty bathroom (see photos)
-Bar frequently didn’t have the fruit or other ingredients to make drinks on their menu
-Dishonest hotel employees (not the owners)
-The Bar regularly overcharged us for happy hour drinks (forgetting to give the 3rd drink free) so paying always became difficult with everyone trying to explain through language barriers that they had been overcharged.
-The beach closest to the hotel is filled with boats and not a great place to lay out or go swimming.

OUR EXPERIENCE:

We booked 1 deluxe bungalow (500,000 RP) and 1 upstairs villa suite (800,000) 3 weeks in advance of our stay. During the time leading up to our stay, we exchanged over 11 emails with the owners coordinating our travel and such. The owner, Sandesh, even offered to arrange travel from Bali to the Gilli Islands for us by boat at the cost of 1,000,000 RP per person (about $100 USD). We were thankful for the help as we were traveling in Cambodia at the time and could not book advance tickets ourselves. Thankfully, due to our lack of internet connection while traveling, we were unable to secure payment for the tickets and ended up purchasing them through the owner of the villa we stayed in while in
Bali – he charged 800,000 RP per person for the SAME exact tickets on the SAME exact boat. There were no restrictions or special pricing, just a better price if you book elsewhere.

We arrived and were told that due to the rain, our deluxe bungalow #1 (our room apparently) wasn’t ready and that our second room would have to be the downstairs room of the villa for the same price. I was surprised and especially upset that the owners had not told us about this problem before we arrived as we had spoken by phone to Sandesh the night before. Samina, Sandesh’s wife, spoke to us by phone when we checked in and apologized that due to the recent rain, there were issues with the last remaining deluxe bungalow and requested that for just 1 night we stay in the downstairs villa room. She made a reference to it “being Indonesia” and needing to be flexible. We had spent 4 weeks traveling all over SE Asia in far more under-developed countries than Indonesia and never encountered the disorganized and amateur management that we experienced at Pesona.

We went to look at the downstairs room of the villa and it was nothing more than an oversized closet! It is marketed as a downstairs villa room, but after seeing it in person and staying in a real villa in Bali, we were surprised. Besides the sliding glass door for entry, there wasn’t a single window in the room. The manager told us that the upstairs villa room (which we had booked for our parents) had an extra queen sized bed in it and that for an additional 200,000 RP we could stay there. We said we would stay there for 1 night and then move to the deluxe bungalow the following night which she said would be no problem. While having drinks by the pool that day, we proceeded to watch as 3 different groups of people arrived for their reservations and also had issues with their rooms.

That evening we met a group of 3 traveling together who had arrived late that evening. Their room key had the number 1 printed on it so I asked if they were in the deluxe bungalow #1 and pointed to the actual bungalow. Indeed, they had arrived late in the day and were given the deluxe bungalow #1 (the room that we were told we couldn’t have despite reserving 3 weeks in advance due to repair issues). Apparently the issues were fixed during the day but Pesona allowed a new customer to take the room instead of offering it to us.

The next morning at around 9AM we went down to the front desk to inquire about moving into a deluxe bungalow. The manager said there weren’t any available as they were now fully booked and she assumed we would continue to share a room with our parents. I reminded her that she had promised me the deluxe bungalow the previous morning and pointed out that someone had checked in late the evening before was given bungalow #1 after all. She apologized for the “miscommunication” and said if something else became available during the day that she would let us know.

Obviously, the great reviews of this place indicate that a positive stay is probably possible. To ensure a positive stay, I would recommend that travelers make sure the owners will be in residence during their stay and do NOT book the villa. It’s a rip off and much more run down than the bungalows. The room had stained walls (and what appeared to be mold) that leaked when it rained and the bathroom was filthy (see photos). The shower and sink water is salt water which is nasty when you brush your teeth. We didn’t have any hot water over the course of 2 nights and 3 days. Management said they were “working on it”. Overall the hotel fits great if you are backpacking. My husband and I commented that we would have loved the hotel 10 years ago in our backpacking days because for the backpacking crowd, this is truly an upscale treat. During our stay the crowd was almost entirely a late teen and college crowd so things got crazy at night lasting into the early morning.

We adored the Gili’s so after 2 nights at Pesona, we moved to the Manta Dive hotel, which had similar rates for a far better experience. Clean bathrooms, hot water, and the bathrooms sinks weren’t salt water! In the end, we were hoping for a relaxing vacation and wanted warm showers and less hassle. There are so many adorable hotels for the same price range on Gili T. I’m sure many people stay at Pesona and have lovely experiences, but if the owners won’t be at the hotel during your stay, save yourself the headache and book elsewhere so you can enjoy your holiday.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank kskwared
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sannygowda, Owner at Pesona Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 5, 2012

This review has already been removed by TripAdvisor and now, reposted by you. We are again talking to TripAdvisr about removing this review.

This review is very damaging as it’s NOT based on facts, the reviewer has made assumptions and used guess work to come to conclusions.

We were disappointed to receive such a harsh review in light of all the excellent reviews we have received over the last year. We work very hard as owners of a family run resort to deliver excellent customer experience to guests who chose to stay with us while on holiday on the Gili Islands. This is clearly reflected in the many returning guests and great customer feedback. A review like this, not fully based on facts, can be very damaging. You are right, we were on holiday ourselves during your stay but this should not have caused the massively bad experience you write about so we shall address every issue in turn having spent a great deal of time investigating the claims you make. There are challenges in running a successful business in Indonesia which can affect our daily running of the business; one cannot fully appreciate this until you do it for yourself, however that being said we try to minimize the impact on to our guests!

Firstly, our website pictures are not “Photoshop”, but we are flattered you think they are!

Backpackers Hotel – this is not really a bad thing, we pride the relaxed, friendly and social vibe on our resort which all people from all backgrounds and ages love. Our reviews clearly reflect that we have such a wide variety of people that stay here from company directors, families to backpackers.

Dishonest Hotel Employees - this is the most shocking and offensive part of your review. Our management team is staff that has worked for us for years and we know them well. Having looked into your claims about the rooms, I can assure you the bungalow booked for you was NOT sold on the night you checked in. In fact, our staff did give the key to a guest who was booked into another room so that they could change in private in the bungalow that you were booked into while her booked room was cleaned. NO ONE stayed in that room that night. Further, all your claims of mixed up bookings are incorrect; all pre booked guests were accommodated as planned. The honeymoon couple you mention were NOT a pre booking, they just took the room as a walk in guest for 1 night and infact wanted to extend their stay but we had no rooms.

Bar not having Fruit – due to recent high winds and cancelled boats from Bali, there have been issues in getting hold of imported fruits such as strawberries for our famous ‘Mohitos’, so I apologise that this impacted you during your stay.

Bar Over Charging – The bar does not set the rules, the cashier takes your payment and they are quite aware what times Happy Hours are from and to. We have never had a problem with overcharging in the past (whether we are here or not).

Travel to Gili – I’m happy that you were able to get to the island cheaper than I could offer you. This is because there are lots of cheaper and longer ways to get to the Gili’s which I don’t book due to reliability, customer experience and safety. Additionally, your cheaper ticket probably had restrictions on it which your agent never told you about. These cheaper tickets can leave you stranded and out of pocket if there are any delays, changes of plan or dates as they will not be accommodated for. Also we do have bad weather and we always get a refund for guests if this happens and your ticket must be cancelled. I know there are ways of selling cheaper tickets but we do not offer these.

Stained walls and pictures – we did have a leak in the room recently due to the heavy rains and we will patch this up ASAP once the wall is dry. These things happen in rainy season!

Salty Water – We have never advertised that we have fresh water, either through emails or on our newly updated website. This is a salt water island and only a few places offer fresh water.

I’m glad you enjoyed your stay on the Gili Island, it is a beautiful place.

Kind regards, Sandesh & Sumeena

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

Visitied Gili T for the third time in February and decided to try out Pesona after reading great Tripadvisor reviews. Wasn't a bad hotel, but having stayed in 2 other properties on Gili T, we've experienced better for the same price. We didn't end up staying in the room originally booked as the hotel was pretty busy and I think may have overbooked which was fine, but what bothered me was that we only had hot water 1 out of 3 days. Pool area is very nice, but there are only 6-8 lounge chairs so they were always full. I probably wouldn't travel with our children here as the party scene at night was very loud every night we were there. The hotel restaurant specializes in Indian food which we enjoyed, but as I'm assuming the food is made fresh, took 45 minutes to an hour to even get an appetizer. Service in general in the Gili's is slightly slower, which is part of the overall charm, but Pesona had much slower service than any of the other hotels we've stayed at and restaurants we've eaten at.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Adventurer4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sannygowda, Owner at Pesona Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2012

After speaking to my staff from both the restaurant and the hotel I find your rating a bit brash. The staff and myself as an owner have worked very hard to build up Pesona Resort’s facilities, reputation on the island and with our guests, which as you say is clearly reflected with the majority of our reviewers.

With regards to VALUE we offer all our guests free Wi-Fi, pool towels, hammocks on each balcony, security box in all rooms, rooms cleaned daily, great breakfast, air-conditioned rooms, a back-up generator during power cuts on the island, room service, welcome drinks, private beach area, welcome talk about what to do on the island, booking transfers, fully stocked bar with imported wines and spirits, Big Screen for key live sporting events and daily movies in the day or evening, Fresh Indian food, fantastic Sheesha lounge, yummy cocktails and off course service with a smile!

Now, I’ll try and answer each of your points:
- Firstly, we may not have been present during your stay as I don’t recall any guests in February who were not accommodated in the room they originally booked - otherwise I would have informed you prior to their stay (and FYI we don’t overbook). With regard to the hot water not being available on 2 days, this may be due to some rooms use Solar Powered hot water and as it was heavy rains recently and no sun, you may have been impacted. However, if you had taken the time to speak to reception this would have been explained to you.
- Thank you for your compliments about the pool area, I agree it is lovely and we have 10 sun loungers and plenty of comfortable tables/chairs around the pool area to sit.
- With regard to the Indian food, I’m glad you enjoyed it. All our food is lovingly prepared using the best imported ingredients and off course it’s made fresh. If the food was delayed, I’m sorry, it could have been for a number of reasons. However, we do warn our guests that as each dish is tailored individually and spiced as the guest wants it, it may take a bit longer to come out!
- As to the service being quicker, I’ll inform my restaurant manager with this feedback.

Thank you Sandesh and Sumeena

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2012

My husband and I had such a great time in Gili and were so happy that we stayed at the Pesona Resort. Here are just a couple of reasons why:

STAFF: Friendly and accommodating! We arrived before check-in but the staff offered to expedite getting our room ready and recommended a great lunch spot right on the beach to help us pass an hour while we waited. They also helped us organize a snorkeling trip as well as to choose many wonderful dinner and lunch spots that we may not have stumbled on without recommendations. Overall, they were very helpful and always available to schedule fun activities or just help you plan a great vacation experience.

RESTUARANT/BAR: Pesona has a fantastic Indian restaurant which is the only of it's kind on the island. We took advantage of this our first night and enjoyed a fantastic dinner complete with delicious and authentic Indian food (my husband would know - he's from India). It was the best food we had while we were there. We hung around the bar afterward and enjoyed some quality sheesha and made a few new friends which made for a really fun evening.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Beyond the resort being in a great central location overlooking paradise, it is beautifully decorated and has a modern chic vibe which embodies relaxation. We stayed in a villa for 3 nights and it was perfect . The rooms were clean, air-conditioned and very comfortable. We also really enjoyed the outdoor seating area where they play movies on a big screen TV which is perfect for those nights when you don't feel like going out, but don't want to sit in your room.

Last but not least, we had the pleasure of getting to know the owners, Sandesh and Sumeena during our stay and they are the most down-to-earth and delightful people! They not only helped us make a lot of the arrangements prior to coming, but offered plenty of advice to ensure we had the best time possible while we were there. We can't thank them enough. They hold their staff to high standards and have created a top notch establishment that we cannot wait to visit again! So yes, WE WILL BE BACK!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Courtney R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

It's difficult to leave a place that feels like home in paradise. This place has everything you need and more...fantastic location with views over to Lombok across turquoise waters, friendly staff always smiling, delicious food, films for wet weather, cold beer, lush cocktails, great tunes and SHEESHA...

We had hot water, air con and a cleaned room daily. What more do you really need?? (Apart from all of the above??)

The owners Sumeena and Sandeesh are very hands on and dedicated. They really can't do enough for you...no matter how big or small, nothing is a problem.

Thanks guys we'll be back!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank JussTimAli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pesona Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Jl. Raya Trawangan, West Nusa Tenggara 83352, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Nusa Tenggara > Lombok > Gili Islands > Gili Trawangan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Gili Trawangan
#8 Spa Hotel in Gili Trawangan
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Gili Trawangan
Price Range: $39 - $69 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pesona Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pesona Beach Resort is located on the idyllic island of Gili Trawangan, just off the northwest coast of Lombok. Situated just a short walk south of the jetty on Gili Trawangan, Pesona Resort is an ideal place to spend your time here. We recently opened a 5* Dive center called Dive Central Gili which is PADI certified and a Spa to pamper yourself with all sorts of treatments. The pool overlooks the white sandy private beach and the turquoise ocean, with Gunung Rinjani as its backdrop. We have 6 types of accommodation available to our guests (2 Bed Villa Suite, Villa Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Sea-View Rooms, Deluxe Bungalows & Standard AC Rooms. All of our rooms are considerately furnished with quality in mind and have en-suite western standard bathrooms. If you want to experience something different from the local nasi dishes or the western fusion menus, why not come for some authentic INDIAN FOOD? Our specialist chefs lovingly prepare the food using the best imported ingredients and we have a comprehensive menu of authentic Indian cuisine to delight your taste buds as well as a new Lunch Menu serving up western food. The Sheesha lounge on the beach is a perfect way to end of the evenings. Book transfers from Bali or Lombok through easygili transfers to get here! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pesona Hotel Gili Trawangan
Pesona Beach Resort & Spa Gili Islands/Gili Trawangan

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