Arrival after dark, several hours late, but at least we made it. There are several taxi and tour stands between the baggage claim and when you exit the airport, so we grabbed a ticket with a set price from one, went to the ATM for cash and began the 1.5 hour ride to the resort. We had a nice taxi driver with decent English and tired enough that we didn’t even care when he asked if he could drop a friend at his village because his taxi wouldn’t start. He pointed out quite a few sights, even in the dark, and mentioned the fact that Mataram shuts down at 9pm.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted with a tasty virgin mojito and a cold towel for our hands and faces. The open-air lobby was a little noisy since it was near the road, but once past the resort things were quite peaceful. We were shown to a large room on the corner of property, very close to the ocean.
The bed was very comfortable and the drapes were a nice touch as we like a dark room. Several bottles of free water were available (and replaced during our stay). We actually had to turn the air conditioner up several degrees Centigrade as it was chilly in the room.
The bathroom was not air conditioned and nearly as big as the bedroom with a two open closets, a large 2-person soaking tub and a separate outdoor shower.
bathtub; sink area
We had nothing planned for our first day, so Eric wandered around and took some photos before we headed to the main pool area for breakfast. Breakfast was served in the outdoor pavilion with several a la carte choices. Service was pleasant but occasionally a little forgetful. The juice was a bit watery but I generally liked my coffee. Fresh fruit was always served before whatever main course you wanted. I ordered eggs each morning and Eric went for the french toast one day and eggs another.
Chairs outside our room looked to be relatively shady so we claimed them for the day. Available towels were rolled up on all the chairs and the annoying resort practice of ‘reserving’ chairs at 5am was completely non-existent here.
Before it got too warm we went for a walk down the beach; thankfully the hawkers near our resort thinned the farther we went. We noticed several small restaurants and quite a few boats.
Most of the day was spent reading and relaxing, really easy to do at Sudamala! Temperatures were warm and humid but there was a nice breeze off the water. Eric went for a quick snorkel off the beach and spotted some small fish, and surprisingly, some soft coral too.
All our laying around somehow made us snacky, so around 2pm we ordered fries and spring rolls on the sofas near the pool. There we heard about the happy hour from 5-7 with buy one get one specials on all the cocktails. The Lime crush / squeeze was Eric’s fave and mine was a martini with vodka and kahlua. Sunset was pretty and observed from seaside sofas…
Earlier in the day we had reserved a Lombok style dinner on the beach deck looking out to sea. It was a bit bigger than we expected…
Beef rendang was our favorite, and the chicken dishes good too. The bean soup was surprisingly good, somewhat nutty and not like the black beans we usually have in the US. Wine is generally expensive in Indonesia, so we went with the local Bintang beer, which is a standard warm weather lager.
Most of Tuesday was spent on a tour to see several waterfalls starting at 9am that will be covered in a separate post.
Sunset was partially blocked by clouds on our second night, and the touts prowling the border of the resort were more insistent. Eventually we had to yell at a few to leave us be after polite refusals were ignored – this is something Sudamala needs to better control.
For dinner we made a reservation with Square which had been recommended by our taxi driver and TripAdvisor. Like many of the restaurants in Senggigi they provided free transport from the resort, so after a three minute drive we were greeted and shown to our table.
We were seated upstairs on the patio with a fun view of the street. This evening we tried an Anker beer which was a bit toastier than Bintang, plus a gigantic water. Eric ordered the smoked duck salad and green curry, while I couldn’t resist the carpaccio and the specialty chicken dish.
As is the apparent custom in Lombok and Bali, our servers repeated our orders back to us, and overall service was a little slow but generally fine. More importantly, everything was very tasty. Our free ride back to the hotel was just a matter of telling the road attendant and hopping in the car.
The evening before, our hotel offered to box up breakfast for our early checkout when we made arrangements for a taxi. The ride to the airport was very quick, 1 hr, with lots of beeping and passing of other vehicles. We were glad we didn’t need to drive given all the motorcycles, horse drawn carriages, buses, trucks etc! . On our way out we also saw the new mosque under construction.
After our day trip in rural areas we noticed some differences between the north and Mataram city – helmets were only worn only around the city, and Mataram seemed cleaner, with less litter than the countryside, which was unexpected.
We really enjoyed our time on Lombok and we wish we had been able to spend more time there – we would definitely consider a return to explore more of the island in the future.