Set in the ideal location just 50 meters from the Gili Trawangan Harbour is the bohemian paradise, Pesona Beach Resort. I was invited to stay in the cozy deluxe room for a few nights as I spent time swimming with the resort’s friendly neighbors, wild sea turtles! Pesona is located on a pristine white sand beach that the lovely staff works hard to keep clean at all times. Their dedication to sustainability is just one of the many reasons why I loved staying at Pesona Beach Resort. Pesona was the perfect place to unwind on Gili T between adventures exploring the island. Here are five reasons why you’ll love the exotic beach-side Pesona Beach Resort.
COMMITMENT TO ECO-CONSCIOUS PRACTICES
Pesona Beach is always evolving to become more sustainable both socially and environmentally. They introduce new eco-conscious practices often to respect the island’s nature, culture, and animal life. For starters, they’re located only a few minutes walk away from the jetty where boats transport travelers so there’s never a need for the guests to ride the unethical horse carriages seen around the island.
The resort was founded back in 2007 and staff used to collect over 100 plastic drinking straws littered across the house beach each week. Each straw poses a lethal threat to the sea marine animals that often consume discarded plastic. Although it can take over 250 years for a single plastic straw to degrade when it does it breaks down into microplastics which are easily ingested by fish. The toxins in the microplastic poisons the fish. The solution was simple. The resort went fully plastic straw-free and now serves drinks without any straw, or with vibrant printed paper straws which natural decompose. It’s time to #stopsucking. For those who absolutely must have a straw Pesona sells locally made reusable pyrex glass straws from The ECO Initiative that are strong and easy to clean.
The eco efforts carry over to a ban on plastic bags and cups making Pesona Beach Resort a plastic-free paradise. Pesona uses upcycled glass cups made from repurposed vodka bottles and ashtrays made from the base of champagne bottles. Any waste from Pesona Resort is carefully sorted and recyclable materials are then used by the Gili Eco Trust. The NGO breaks down the recycled goods to build eco-friendly building materials such as bricks and crushing glass to create sand. Gili Eco Trust also collects leftover food from the Pesona Resort restaurant and puts the organic waste in compost to create natural fertilizer.
Pesona’s devotion to reducing waste on Gili T carries over to training local staff about the benefits of recycling and avoiding plastic. To help staff transition into a less harmful lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint at home Pesona provides everyone with reusable bags to take home in hopes of reducing the amount of plastic used back in their villages in Lombok.
The green incentives are apparent in the guest rooms where toiletries are stored in refillable ceramic containers. The bathrooms are intentionally only equipped with showers, instead of bathtubs. Although I am a spokesperson for eco-friendly travel I had never really considered how much water it takes to have a single bath, which makes my love of a good soak a guilty pleasure. I learned from the Pesona Beach blog that showers typically on use about 10-25 gallons of water but a bath can use up to 70 gallons! Avoiding water usage isn’t always the solution to becoming a greener traveler. It’s actually better for the environment to use a water hose instead of toilet paper when using the restroom. All of the bathrooms at Pesona are equipped with a bum gun, use it! Toilet paper will block the sensitive septic system on the island and could result in wastewater being spilled into the ocean.
Of course, there is no plastic in the room. Guests may refresh with potable drinking water from the darling reusable glass water bottles and cups that are made from recycled liquor bottles. Pesona is also a proud participant in the RefillYourBottle movement and will refill your personal water bottle with drinking water free of charge. The restaurant is always introducing greener practices such as using reusable containers for butter and jam at breakfast instead of plastic single-use tubs.
BOHEMIAN BEACH VIBES COURTESY OF BEAUTIFUL DECOR
The team at Pesona beach have an acute eye for detail and have enhanced their beach-front property with colorful adornments to create the perfect bohemian vibe. The decor is inspired by vibrant Indian color palettes and brought to life through locally made Indonesian design elements. The infinity pool that overlooks the ocean is equipped with floating bean bags and surrounded by the wooden tables, chairs, and hanging plants that provide a chill ambiance for the laid-back restaurant and bar. To complete the aesthetic Pesona even has its very own Gili beach swing!
The open-air dining area is framed with hand-painted murals of aquatic life complemented by colorful throw pillows. Upstairs at the Pesona Sky Lounge a massive mural of a cheerful peacock that seems to change colors throughout the day as the sunlight shines on its mystical feathers.
FANTASTIC, FRESH, FLAVORFUL FOOD
Pesona was the very first restaurant on Gili T to serve Indian food, and they still do it best! Over the last decade, they’ve expanded their menu to also offer Indonesian, Thai, and western inspired dishes. The restaurant is also vegan-friendly and has an array of plant-based dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The open-air beach-front restaurant is the perfect place to relax and people watch as you enjoy a delicious meal.
Breakfast is included in the price of the room and served each morning by the pool. I was treated to a wonderful meal at the restaurant. We started with the drool-worthy hummus and beetroot feta dip platter, followed by a salad full of farm-fresh veggies and linguine doused in homemade pesto. I happily washed the memorable meal down with a glass of locally produced Happy Kombucha before trying the pink beach smoothie bowl and my favorite, churros with coconut caramel sauce! To say my tummy was content would be the understatement of the century.
BLISSFUL SPA TREATMENTS AT AZURE
Tucked behind Pesona Beach Resort away from the chaos of the main drag is the wellness oasis, Azure Spa. The in-house spa continues to be the top-rated spa on Tripadvisor a notable feat as spa competition is fierce on Gili T. After a morning spent swimming in the sea I visited the Azure Spa to try the signature full-body massage. I was greeted by beachy decor of rustic wood light fixtures and turquoise throw pillows that instantly set the mood of a tropical paradise. After donning an ultra soft sarong that matched the color palette of the spa I was given a traditional foot cleansing ceremony.
My worries melted away to the tune of Indonesian instrumental music that played lightly in the room as the expert therapist used strong pressure and all natural locally produced oils to ease my aching body. I’m not usually satisfied with the pressure of many massages. Buy my lovely therapist at Azure didn’t hesitate to climb on top of the table to use her entire body weight to treat me. After the massage concluded I simply floated away back to the sea to embrace my state of zen and float in the glowing golden hour water.
STUNNING PRIVATE WHITE SAND BEACH
Gili T is known for pristine white sand beaches but the cleanest of them all is the strip of beach that is Pesona’s front yard. The staff routinely collects trash from the beach in order to maintain it’s beauty and to avoid plastic and rubbish from harming the sea turtles and other aquatic life that live right off the shore at the house reef. Simple wooden and cloth lounge chairs dot the beach and beckoning guests to unwind with a good book, watch the boats float by, or simply enjoy the spectacular views of Lombok and the volcanic Mount Rinjani.
Although the beach is very well maintained by the Pesona beach staff do your part to be a responsible traveler and participate in the resort’s green dedication by removing any rubbish you may find on the beach. If you happen to be staying at the resort on a Friday you can join in on the weekly Debris Free Friday beach clean up at 5 pm. For an hour staff, guests, and locals gather together to do a sweep of the beach and clean up any litter. You’ll be rewarded with good karma, and a complimentary ice cold beer!
Thank you Pesona Beach Resort and Spa for hosting me. All opinions and photos are my own. Please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.