“I find myself at a loss for words to describe Tugu. It is such an amazing place with lovely people that I really don’t know where to start! We stayed during the end of rainy season and were amazed to find we were almost the only guests there at the time. Sure it rained a couple of times in the afternoon, but there is plenty enough sun in the mornings so this really should not keep you from going there then. The hotel is on the northern side of Lombok, a path much less trodden by tourists there so definitely a bonus for us as we prefer to steer clear of mass tourism. It is a great place to stay in a peaceful surrounding while also being a good base to see other parts of the island. It is also only 30 minutes from here to the Gili islands and the hotel offers rides there on its own dragon boat.
The wow factor started for us the minute the car entered the driveway, the grounds on which the hotel sits encompass 6 hectares and all the buildings are well spaced apart. The entrance/reception is beautiful with antique wood carvings and a cooling carp pool where you sit while being registered with a lovely cool drink astound and soothe you after your journey there. We had booked a Svarga villa, but we were also shown the Aloon-Aloon villa and took this instead as the bathrooms are indoor (but not air-conditioned) whereas in the Svarga they are partially outside and we were worried about mosquito bites when using the bathroom at night. Both villa types were stunning and each villa, even of the same type, has slightly different compositions (e.g. different styles of beds) making each a very individual experience. The Aloon-Aloon villas are stand-alone, each with a private walled in garden and all the lights are controlled from what can only be described as a James Bond style control box on the bed side table. They are also close to the main restaurant and bar in a garden area with large coconut and other trees offering lovely shade and cool. The villas are huge, our own flat at home now seems so much smaller and cramped we wish we were back there! You have almost absolute privacy and the only thing we heard in our time there was the Muezin call to prayer that you hear anywhere on the island.
The hotel has two restaurants, the main one with a T-shaped pool in front not far from the Aloon-Aloon villas and reception area was the one we mainly used as the other (wedding) hall is only open three times a week if enough guests are there. This other hall was stunning, huge and high ceilinged with a range of captivating statues and antique art pieces and included a number of ceiling fans that were great for cooling you while you ate. We did not use the adjoining bar, but did take a look and it was just like a vision out of colonial and historic buildings from all over Asia. The main restaurant was smaller and had no ceiling fans, however, you have the opportunity to eat at various places on the property if it was not raining. We ate on a raised dais just in front of the beach a couple of times as there was a nice breeze there. Regardless of where you choose to eat the service is fantastic and the food is amazing. I am allergic to cucumber, Zucchini and related food stuffs while my wife is allergic to onion and garlic, quite a challenge for the kitchen who were amazing about it all and the staff were very good with us. We also did a cooking course with Sukma, which we thoroughly enjoyed and I learned an awful lot about Indonesian cooking in the process. I can only highly recommend this course.
The hotel also offers a number of activities and outings that we found very useful and excellently delivered. While the tours are pre-defined they are always very accommodating in changing the parameters of these if this is required.
There are two pools on the property all can use, some of the villas also heave their own private pools. The largest pool is around 2 minutes’ walk from the main reception and has it’s own bar on site. A small children’s pool leads into the main pool, which has a deep centre with sides you can walk on. There are several sun loungers around the pool and it is a great area for families. We mainly used the pool at the front of the main restaurant that is built in a T-shape. It is perfect for cooling off while staying close to the main restaurant and bar areas, I would say it could do with a little clean as some of the inside surfaces including lights did have a build-up of algae on them, but this in no way stopped us from swimming there.
Please do not get the wrong idea from my last comment, I have to say the staff are amazing and spend a huge amount of time cleaning in all areas of the hotel. The staff are wonderful and very attentive while also keeping a level of distance in order to provide the guests with a level of privacy. We got on really well with everyone and all staff made a huge effort to make our stay as fantastic as possible, I have to give particular thanks here to Ruslan who took the time to teach me a number of Indonesian phrases I found very useful while there.
The beach is amazing here with lovely white sand and direct access to the sea. The corals near to shore are a little bleached and covered in sea weed, but there are still amazing fish to see not far from shore. It might have been the time of year, but there were always strands of sea weed floating in the water that were a little off putting, but otherwise well worth a visit.
All around the hotel grounds and buildings there are amazing statues and details to be discovered while walking around. I think I could have easily spent another week there and still not get bored of discovering the place, I can only highly recommend a stay here and hope to be back some time myself too.
Room Tip: Ask to see the rooms available, you can then chose the best for your needs”