Story by Iman Hidajat | Photos by Royal Avila Boutique Resort
Perched atop the imposing cliffs in the foreground of a volcanic hill overlooking Malimbu Beach, Royal Avila Boutique Resort is an architectural vogue blending an intimate tropical Mediterranean-inspired resort with Indonesian hospitality elegance.
Lombok’s diverse landscapes and unspoiled nature have further increased the island’s popularity recently. This growing trend brings a fortune for one of the island’s new resorts. Royal Avila Boutique Resort is blessed with its beautiful location in the northern part of the famous coast of Senggigi, combining the verdant hills of Pemenang village and the excellent hospitality many have vowed to return.
Upon entering the resort, guests are immediately captivated by its striking resemblance to Santorini. The blue ocean in the background and Santorini’s whitish and royal bluish colours match together seamlessly, giving charming and relaxing first impressions telling you that you have arrived home for a holiday.
Built on twenty-five thousand square metre of lush and tranquil land overlooking the Lombok Straits, Royal Avila Boutique Resort offers breath- taking vista. In the clear sky, Mount Agung of Bali stands majestically in the background, indicating that Lombok’s sister island can be seen from your vantage point. To your right, the famous Gili Trawangan is just a thirty- minute boat ride away from a nearby jetty.
The resort, featuring 54 suites, embodies the owner’s original vision for the property. Enchanted by the harmonious colours of blue and white, he envisioned creating a beach resort with a Mediterranean ambiance and an open-air design that blurs the boundaries between you and the refreshing sea breezes.
It was initially designed by StephenYona, an architect from Surabaya, before collaborating with Yanuar Kosasih for the final phase of this captivating resort that is showcased today.
When asked about the reason behind designing a boutique resort in Lombok with a Santorini-like aesthetic, Trisna Darmadji, the resort’s managing director, explained that there is a lack of luxurious Mediterranean-themed beach resorts in the area, especially ones that feature predominantly white architecture, reminiscent of the famous Santorini.
The image resembles Santorini. “I would say that the Mediterranean concept is currently gaining popularity, offering a fun and vibrant atmosphere with beautiful views, a relaxing ambiance, and healthy, delicious food,” she stated. “What sets our Mediterranean approach at Royal Avila Boutique Resort apart is that we have managed to retain its traditional charm, making it appealing not only to international visitors but also to local guests,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Yanuar highlighted the resort’s captivating cliff location and undulating terrain. “By constructing the rooms atop the cliff, we can provide all-ocean-view rooms, and the varied ground elevations allow architects to be creative in designing pathways that seamlessly blend with the surrounding nature and the resort’s picturesque landscape,” he elaborated.
When asked about the spaciousness of the restaurant compared to the resort’s capacity, Yanuar replied, “The restaurant serves a multi-functional purpose.” The open and breezy ambiance enables guests to savour their meals whilst relishing a vacation-like atmosphere. Additionally, the outdoor patio offers a dining experience under the stars in the evenings. “The restaurant can also accommodate wedding dinners or group gatherings,” he added.
Being locally owned, Royal Avila Boutique Resort has the freedom to create its own unique personality without having to compete with big-name five-star chains. This allows the resort to offer a personalized experience for guests to truly enjoy their time in Lombok.
“Unlike its sister to the west, Lombok presents its own set of challenges,” Trisna explained. “However, we believe that the beauty of something hard to reach lies in its hidden gem status. Royal Avila Boutique Resort is here to showcase the lesser-known side of Lombok,” she continued.
Trisna also highlighted the resort’s exceptional features, including the best infinity pool along the coast of Senggigi, a private beach for sunbathing, stunning sunset views overlooking the majestic Mount Agung in Bali, and an unforgettable romantic dinner experience at the iconic lighthouse, offering the best panoramic views of the surroundings.
The most lavish beach club and the most scenic sunset spot on the island must be Amavi’s Beach Club. Here, many can gather to enjoy small bites and fresh drinks whilst awaiting the best sunset view. And, of course, a Mediterranean adventure would not be complete without a spa experience. The Althea Spa offers guests to relax with exceptionally skilled therapists who can soothe the mind and body.
“Hopefully, Royal Avila Boutique Resort can show the other side of Lombok that can be playful, fun, reachable, comfortable, and most importantly, safe,” concluded Trisna as we ended our conversations over wine in the beautiful patio of Olive Bar & Restaurant.
Asked what kind of movie star the resort represented. “Gal Gadot!” Exotic, playful, beautiful, and accessible. She replied quickly with a laugh.
A pleasant first impression will always bring people back to where they have been. It is a memory that refuses to be forgotten. To Royal Avila Boutique Resort, many will return.