Hotel review: Living Asia Resort & Spa Lombok, Indonesia
Living Asia resort & Spa, is a tropical oasis located on Lombok’s north coast in the town of Senggigi. The resort is an ideal spot for couples and families wanting a quiet relaxing retreat in beautiful surroundings.
This hotel was the second stop on our Asia adventure and we had some trouble deciding between two separate resorts. The fella and I were looking for somewhere quiet where we could sit by the pool and enjoy amazing meals, but also with the option of being able to go into the town centre whenever we pleased. Living Asia Resort & Spa provided all these options, and much more. We spent four wonderful nights here, enjoying the infinity pool and spa during the day and then happy hour and moonlight walks on the black sand beach. This was paradise.
The appeal of Lombok
Senggiggi is located a 90minute drive from Lombok International Airport, and is often referred to as the ‘gateway to the Gilli’s’. Many tourist charters and boats dock at Senggigi and then make the voyage to the Gilli islands just north west of Lombok. Tourism has soared in this part of the world as people have discovered the bountiful snorkling and scuba diving options of these islands. The appeal of Lombok is that is has not yet been ruined by western tourism, and still retains it’s authentic charm. Senggigi is a town evolving to meet tourism expectations, with massage parlours, souvenir shops, tour providers and beach bars, all showing a strong presence in main town. Yet there are not Western brands or stores like 7/11 or Starbucks appearing in the area, so you are more likely to find a local family running the business rather than a franchise, which in my opinion makes it much more interesting.
The main issue I face when booking hotels, and it’s an issue I know many people face, is trying to work out where the hotel is in relation to the centre of town or local attractions. Living Asia is very clear on its website that it is located on the outskirts of town, and this works in its favour. The staff are more than happy to call you a taxi, and within 10 minutes and for AU$2.00 you can be in the heart of Senggigi. The hotel is located in the north of the town and is in a beachfront location. There aren’t any neighbouring hotels so it feels as though you have the whole beach to yourself. Though it’s not an idea swimming beach as the surf can be quite rough. It’s location is perfect if you are wanting to have long walks on a bare beach and to enjoy some quite. There is a local mosque nearby (I couldn’t identify it’s exact location) so that you can hear the religious call to prayer during the day, which it’s just beautiful to experience.
Arriving at Living Asia it feels as though you have stumbled upon a tropical paradise. The lobby is spacious and beautifully decorated to automatically feel relaxed and comfortable. The hotel rooms are built in a specific way- two story, stand alone bungalow huts, one hotel room onto of the other. The grounds of the hotel are lush, tropical and well maintained. You’ll often find gardeners tending to the grass, waving down from a coconut tree or picking fresh frangipani flowers. The beach front area is the main hub of the hotel, and is where most guests will hang out. The long infinity pool separated the restaurant from the bar area. It’s 1970s beach resort inspired architecture makes you feel like you have just stumbled upon a Bond Villains Lair. It’s very chic and beautiful.
Feels like I've hanging out in a Bond lair! Tropical weather, black sand beach, palm trees, infinity pool, happy hour cocktails! Lombok is turning on the spoils! #indonesia #lombok #lombokisland #ttot #wanderlust #wonderlust #wonderfulindonesia #poolside #travel #travelbug #travelgram #hungrybellytravels #mytinyatlas #mytravelgram #bond #archilovers #hotellife #hotel #beautifulplaces #beautifuldestination #picoftheday #passionpassport #ilovetravel #igdaily #ig_asia #instatravel #travelblogger
The infinity pool has priority location at the hotel, with it having unrestricted beach front views. The pool is a comfortable cool temperature that is perfect for escaping the heat. The pool itself is on a gentle slope, so there is a shallower kid-friendly area as well as a lightly deeper area with shade from an overhanging tree. There are plenty of pool lounges- we never had trouble securing a lounge- all of which have shade options of either an umbrella or under the shade of a large tree. The staff are attentive with fresh towels, food and drinks service, but it never felt intrusive or overbearing.
There are security guards patrolling the grounds which can give you great peace of mind. There is a security box which is always guarded at the front of the hotel, who will help you find a taxi at any time of day. Also there is always a security guard or staff member stationed poolside to help you navigate the rips in the surf, as well as keeping locals away who are peddling their wares. I found it particularly heartbreaking to see a young boy, who couldn’t be older than ten, selling bracelets everyday on the beach. He would sit next to the security guard hoping that one of the guests would buy some of his wares. I decided to stay strong on my no-buying-from-children policy, as this encourages them to continue selling rather than to pursue an education. It was very difficult to see this everyday, although I took comfort in the fact that the security team were also looking out for this young boy.
We booked a garden view room, which is the base room at Living Asia, and were lucky enough to secure a partial ocean front view. The room was spacious and featured a large king size bed with crisp linens, desk, large television, a well stocked mini bar, security safe and cupboard to unpack in. The room had excellent air-conditioning which was necessary in these sultry conditions. One of the key selling points of Living Asia was that all rooms feature an outdoor bathroom. Initially this was a big selling point for me- who doesn’t love the idea of showering in the moonlight! The reality however was that enclosed air-conditioned bathrooms win hands down. Although I did love the open rainfall shower, the large expansive bathroom, and the vanity with enough room to fully unpack, but not having airconditioning made it difficult. Having to consider things like insect repellent for everytime you need to visit the bathroom became a real drag. The room also featured an outdoor sitting area with chairs and table. This was the perfect spot to recline in the breeze (or to hang out washing).
The Living Asia hotel excels when it comes to food and beverage service. The restaurants provides all day dining with an extensive breakfast buffet and a la carte dining, as well as poolside and in room dining. The menu offers a range of delicious local and western style meals. Their breakfast spread is wonderful, with lots of variety as the cooked meals change daily. The breakfast buffer will cater to all tastes with fresh juices, fruits, salads, pastries, plenty of cooked Asian and western dishes, and an egg station where the chef will prepare your eggs fresh as per your requirements. We ate here every morning and we delighted with the tasty range of meals. Top highlight was the fresh omelette with assorted veggies. It was delicious.
We enjoyed a few poolside lunches and then a dinner in the restaurant. The serving sizes were very generous and all the meals tasted fresh and delicious. My top suggestion would be the satay sticks! Yum!
The bar was always open and had a great selection, especially fresh juices. There is also a 2 for 1 happy hour in the late afternoon! Cocktails are prices at the AU$10 mark which is very reasonable.
My favourite part of the day was the complimentary afternoon tea, with unlimited tea and coffee as well as local Indonesian treats. These dishes changed every day and included things like fried cassava and local cakes. Many of the guests would enjoy a day by the pool eating- breakfast, swim, lunch, swim, afternoon tea, swim and then happy hour. It was great hospitality.
The spa here at the Living Asia is open 9am – 5pm daily. We indulged and had a treatment one afternoon in one of their couples rooms. The fella enjoyed a traditional massage, which he enjoyed but felt a bit sore afterwards. Whilst I tried a facial, which was pretty good. The facial part was lovely, but I felt for a one hour facial the 20-30minutes of foot and leg massaging distracted from the nature of the treatment.
There staff here at Living Asia are wonderful and are truly the highlight of this hotel. They are always smiling, welcoming and willing to help you. The staff kindly assisted us in booking transfers, spa treatments at other hotels and helped secure us taxis whenever we needed. Nothing was ever too much trouble. I remember leaving the hotel and hearing a commotion above me. There was a staff member at the very top of a coconut tree chopping down fresh coconuts. He gave me a huge wave and shouted out a welcome. I returned the welcome with a big smile. It’s those moments that make a hotel so memorable.
The hotel is currently revamping it’s rooms, doing a few at a time. Having stayed in one of their older style rooms this is definitely a smart move on the hotels part. The rooms are dated and are in need of some desperate love and attention. A fresh coat of paint and a real scrub and polish of the floors will bring the standard of the rooms up, as they are currently comfortable but visually unappealing.
The Living Asia Resort & Spa is a real gem of a hotel. A quiet retreat, perfect for having quality time with loved ones and enjoying the beautiful beach and scenery. This is the ideal hotel for someone wanting to get away from it all, stare at the beach and know that they will be well looked after.
Cost- We paid AU $95.00 per night! Great value.
Have you been or are planning a trip to Lombok? What do you look for in a hotel?