Just last week, I penned about visiting Gili Trawangan – the largest and most lively island off the northwest coast of Lombok, scattered alongside Gili Air and Gili Meno, which are smaller in comparison. These three little desert islands have exploded in popularity amongst world travellers in the recent years, and each one boasts individual character and allure.

It’s true when travellers claim that Trawangan is the island for parties. During the day, they sunbathe or lounge around on clammy beanbags with a bottle of Bintang Beer in hand. Come nighttime, the myriad of bars come to life with loud music, flashing lights and not to be missed cocktail promos that never fail to entice the party crowd.

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Don’t get me wrong; I really did enjoy the entertainment. But, I also yearned for true tranquility and peace, away from the clamour and crowd. After doing some research online, I packed my bags and headed to Gili Meno not knowing what to expect as, apparently, it’s the quietest, most idyllic island that’s the best for snorkelling and diving.

Sandwiched between the other two islands, Meno is the least developed and a huge chunk of it consists of vast coconut plantations with grubby paths cutting through the island. Albeit its stillness, accommodation options are aplenty and travellers can choose from quaint budget homestays, mid-range bungalows and cottages, or splurge on luxury lodging.

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I went the lavish route and stayed at MAHAMAYA Boutique Resort – a chic and eco-friendly luxury property that’s situated on the northwest of Gili Meno; about 30 minutes walk towards the north of the main harbour. Established in 2012, this beachfront resort features a stylish mod design that’s softened with traditional influences for an ultimate tropical getaway.

I couldn’t help but to notice the stark contrast in ambience as I walked through the unkempt shrubs and soiled path towards the vicinity of the resort where chic looking architecture is erected alongside crisp, white sun beds and table settings facing the regal ocean. At that moment, I already felt gratified knowing that I made the right choice.

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Featuring beach-front villas and suites overlooking the resort’s two fresh water pools, MAHAMAYA offers a homey vibe with lots of privacy. I stayed in one of the spacious pool-view suites which came with a front terrace, king bed and a cavernous bathroom with an outdoor shower. Basic amenities like a minibar and coffee and tea making facilities were provided.

MAHAMAYA is committed to sustainability and preserving its natural environment, so the resort invests in modern eco technology. To conserve the island’s precious resources, MAHAMAYA operates a bio sewage water recycling system using reverse osmosis to provide a clean water supply for its guests. I was really happy with the fresh water supply.

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The resort is also built in a way that maximises air flow to reduce the use of electricity and air conditioning. Air conditioners are equipped in the rooms, but you won’t find a television anywhere. MAHAMAYA further reduces waste by providing general amenities like toothbrush and toothpaste only upon request. No shower caps or bedroom slippers are available.

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Free Wi-Fi is offered at the resort, but there isn’t anything exciting you can do aside from taking a dip in the two swimming pools, play boardgames or table tennis, read a book on the sun beds, go for a massage at the resort’s Ocean Spa, or go kayaking, snorkelling and diving. I wasn’t complaining though; it’s exactly what I wanted my ideal holiday to be.

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MAHAMAYA provides free equipment for water sports activities like snorkelling and kayaking. I enjoyed kayaking a lot, and didn’t even have to fork out extra money for a snorkelling trip on a boat with a guide. Strapped in my life jacket, I swam out in the sea as far as I could and marvelled at the wondrous marine life underwater. I also managed to see a few turtles.

If you’re up for exploring around the island, the resort also offers free bike rentals for guests. There’s a gorgeous salt lake and a bird park on the island. With a bicycle, a journey around the coastline of the entire island would take you about 45 minutes. By foot, perhaps it’d take you 1 and a half hours.

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For breakfast every morning, I got to choose from a variety of breakfast dishes that are prepared fresh and freshly blended fruit smoothies. On top of that, guests can help themselves to cereal, fruits, dessert, rice and two savoury dishes that are different everyday. Minimal, but absolutely satisfying considering you’re dining on the beachfront.

Speaking of which, watching the sunset is a must. It’s just you and your company enjoying the panoramic view of the sky, with no loud, intrusive music and no crowd. It’s such a pleasurable and unforgettable feeling. Sunsets and cocktails go hand in hand, so do take advantage of MAHAMAYA’s Happy Hour buy 1 free 1 promo from 4pm to 6pm daily.

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As the night approaches, the beachfront transforms into a romantic dinner spot that’s dimly lit with hanging decorative lights. The executive chef at MAHAMAYA has more than 10 years of culinary expertise and the food is mouth-wateringly delicious. I relished my medium rare Filet Mignon which had the perfect doneness while taking my time stargazing.

To get to and from the resort, you can charter a private boat that is arranged by the resort. Besides that, you can take a fast boat from the Bangsal harbour off Lombok, or from any of the Gili islands. From the harbour, you can walk, rent a bike to cycle there or take a cidomo (horse cart) to the resort.

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MAHAMAYA Boutique Resort is indeed a paradise hideaway that’s perfect for couples on a romantic holiday or for small families who wish to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy the pristine waters of Gili Meno. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and really felt disconnected from the world in a good way. Thanks MAHAMAYA, for reminding me what it’s like to really savour my getaway without the unnecessary distractions!

Check out MAHAMAYA’s official website and Facebook page to learn more about the resort! You can also book your stay at MAHAMAYA Boutique Resort via Hotels.com and enjoy exclusive discounts on the rates. MAHAMAYA Boutique Resort is rated “Outstanding” 4.6/5 on Hotels.com and there are plenty of reviews on the resort by other travellers worldwide.