Tugu Hotel Lombok
We had a feeling that squeezing in two nights on Lombok would be well worth it when we heard about Tugu Hotels. We were staying on Bali in some beautiful properties and didn’t necessarily want to spend more time on a plane or in a car, but when we arrived at Tugu, we knew we made the right decision. Lombok is quieter than it’s tourist-ridden neighbor and the locals are ecstatic to welcome any visitors. We arrived during burning season and drove through clouds of smoke coming from the fields on either side of the road – a sure sign that this island is still predominantly agricultural.
Our room was one of our absolute favorites in Asia. We entered from the beach, walking across a well manicured stretch of glass into our private courtyard surrounded by bushes and trees. Our plunge pool sat in the middle in front of a shaded day bed, picnic table, and stone steps up to the back door of our villa. The wall facing the beach was all windows and behind them stood our massive four poster bed. I will never get sick of waking up to a view of the ocean and the sound of waves!
The huge bed had plenty of room in the villa with its soaring ceilings. Massive mirrors that matched the splendor of the wooden bed frame stretched from a low vanity almost to the roof. A large desk provided plenty of space to spread out our notes, although we opted to work in our courtyard or on a day bed in the sand instead.
The room continued to impress as we walked on through the walk-in closet into the outdoor water closet with his and hers sinks. The shower, which was outdoors but completely private, separated the villa from the grand stone bathtub. Shielding the bathing area from view was a wooden wall with a door opening into our front yard with a fish pond and water features. That’s right, our villa had impressive front and back yards, a carved stone tub and outdoor shower, a plunge pool and a beach view. What more could you ask for?
Two days at Tugu was not enough to get our fill of the food. The breakfasts were so good we wanted to have it three times a day until we tried lunch and dinner. Our plunge pool tempted us to order room service and we had lunch in our courtyard while we caught up on work and listened to birds and waves.
For breakfast, we enjoyed an unrivaled array of fruit. Healthy and hearty options featured local ingredients and delicious flavors. We were offered a choice of coffee in a variety of styles and chose the Balinese, of course. Admittedly not my favorite style, it was thick and strong, but is worth a chance. The fixed breakfast was way too much food, and the second day we opted for individual dishes. Banana pancakes, homemade yogurt and muesli, omelets, bacon and potatoes were all amazing.
On our second night we were treated to a candlelit dinner on the beach, dining with our toes in the sand. Our dishes: oxtail and baby chicken and fried calamari as an appetizer, were not as delicious as the yellowtail in pandan leaf and beef in red curry we had the previous night, but the ambience was incredible.
Tugu offers some day excursions to nearby islands with spectacular snorkeling, but we couldn’t tear ourselves away from the property. We wanted to savor the atmosphere, so we settled for walks along the pristine beach and swims in the central swimming pool instead.
The hotel offers kayaks and masks for rent, so guests can swim out to the small reef in front of the property to see fish. The water is beautifully clear and calm. There is a reef restoration project off shore that the staff didn’t seem to know much about, but perhaps there will be even more coral there in the future. You can swim out to a floating platform for a break and to enjoy the sun. (Now is a great opportunity to mention the Indonesian heat. Good Lord, don’t forget your sunscreen.)
The whole serene setting is one of the truest escape we’ve ever experienced. The long but scenic drive from the airport ends with a turn down a dark, dirt road likely to give many visitors a fair amount of hesitation before they turn into the grand entrance of the resort. The decor includes antiques from around the world with mythical creatures everywhere. While in the main pool, don’t miss the giant bird perched on top of the restaurant.
Our stay at Tugu was one of our favorite experiences in Asia. The staff were amazing and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location. Tugu is a prime example of secluded, off the beaten path luxury with only 36 rooms on its expansive property. If you’re planning a trip to the popular island of Bali, consider flying one island over to Lombok just for a chance to enjoy this amazing place!
- Well worth the trip to get here! Tugu is amazing; stay as long as possible!
- Don’t plan too much during your stay. Enjoy your surroundings, eat lots of amazing food and maybe try the spa
- Tugu is a wonderful location for a destination wedding! They have an amazing honeymoon suite
- Try the bircher muesli and the yellowtail in pandan leaf
- Don’t miss the sunrise! You can fall back asleep on a day bed on the beach
- Visit Tugu online to make a reservation
Poplar Travels was a guest of Tugu. Our opinion is always our own.