After our amazing (but not in a good way) adventure getting to the island of Lombok, we got some amazing views as our minibus hugged the coast and took us up and over the rocky ridges that separate the many beautiful beaches. Heading South, it took about 30 minutes to reach our destination. We were dropped off at the side of the road just north of Sengiggi, Indonesia.
We’d booked a few nights at the “Jati Mangsit cottages”, that we’d found on Booking.com It had rated pretty high in guest satisfaction, but yet offered a good price. The pictures looked great and some of the reviews were pretty positive.
I’m sad to say that the stay did not live up to those expectations. Yes, it’s a beautiful and nicely furnished property but the owner who runs it doesn’t seem to understand how to really run the place. We didn’t have any major problems but things certainly could have been done better. One example: We saw a dinner being set up for a couple by the pool and asked if we could do the same. They told us that in order to do so, we would have had to request it the day before. Well that’s perfectly acceptable IF they had told us the day before that is was even possible. They didn’t. We went hungry and they lost revenue.
First stop, our room to unpack and get changed for the beach. How to get there? We’re only 2 blocks away, but finding our way there proved quite difficult and seemed a little dangerous as the long route we found was through an empty lot with quite a bit of trash lying on the ground and lots of locals walking through the area. Even after we asked about a shortcut or better way to get there, no information was provided. Surely a little diagram in the hotel’s information book wouldn’t be too hard to do, would it? Were we the first guests to want to go to the beach? I think not. But it certainly seemed that way.
The pool area has lots of nice chairs and the rooms themselves are gorgeous. The upper levels have a private balcony with a ‘daybed’ that is outdoors and makes for great naps. The bedrooms have a slotted wooden door, which allows warm outside air to enter, so the aircon needs to run almost all the time. They’ve put screens on most of the places where bugs could enter but we got bitten plenty of times, mostly at night. If fresh air is your thing, you are able to open a staggering amount of windows and doors. The breeze in the early morning and evenings is quite nice. But the daytime humidity proved too much for us and we decided to keep the rain and bugs out, as much as possible.
The breakfast was quite a disappointment. Not much food and most of the tables are in direct sunlight. We did find a place in central Sengiggi (just 5 minute taxi ride away) that had great food and fast wifi, so we ended up there on several occasions. Also very close is a very large Korean restaurant, that we tried for lunch. It was so good, I went back the very next day!
From our room, the views were both breathtaking and humbling at the same time. Vast scenes of greenery and amazing poverty. Just below our window on the adjacent property was a small dirt compound. We could see chickens, goats and a cow along with several other cages containing who-knows-what kind of animals. The people living there obviously don’t have much going for them. As we’d walk past their property, they seldom looked at us. I wonder what they really think of tourists that can afford to stay at a resort, when they’ve got to grow their own food to survive. It really made me think.
On one of our walks, a large tree came crashing down and blocked the road. We managed to get around it on foot, but all traffic that small road was completely cut off from the main road. When we came back that way about an hour later, the tree had already been moved to the side of the road and people were cutting it up, presumably to take home for future use. I’d think differently if they had cut down the tree, but it was dead anyway. Waste not, want not, I guess.
Another pet peeve about the hotel, you must pay in cash. They were quite content to wait for payment until the morning we left, but carrying around a large sum of money past our ‘neighbours’ made me feel quite uncomfortable. Not a deal breaker, but another thing that could be improved.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay here. But it was definitely the place, not the people.