Based on the number of tourists who stopped for a moment to snap photos, The Reef is indeed an intriguing new resort.
Managed by Karma Royal, a group that also operates the Karma Kandara in Bali, The Reef offers all the amenities that ensure a rewarding vacation.
Located on Gili Meno off of mainland Lombok, The Reef stands on an island known for its serenity and alluring landscape.
Along with the other two Gili islands, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno is a short boat ride away from Senggigi, a town on the western edge of Lombok.
On this quiet island, The Reef is the loudest place you will find.
Most of the noise comes from the resort's restaurant and lounge, where slow jazz and silky ballads set a relaxed mood. It’s not exactly loud music, but for the owners, that’s the way it should be.
“We’re doing everything by the rules here, and we stop our music at 8 pm,” resort manager Nyoman Suastawa said.
Whenever The Reef holds a party that involves a DJ, for example, they start in the afternoon and finish by 5 pm. It’s a new take on the expression ‘party ‘til you drop’.
Despite these gestures of goodwill, people are quick to point fingers on an island where privacy is prized.
“It must have come from them”, said one local resident, as loud music thundered on a recent Saturday night.
In fact, the music was coming from neighboring Gili Air.
“Sometimes authorities come here to complain about the noise, and we tell them ‘it’s not us, it’s coming from Gili Air!’” Nyoman laughed.
All noise issues aside, however, The Reef from provides excellent service.
The friendly and attentive resort staff never stops smiling, and even frequently helps non-customers with directions.
The resort’s 10 rooms are captivating, especially when one stops to consider that on an island with such limited resources, everything must be shipped in by small boat.
All the rooms are equipped with conveniences like hot water, bathtubs, air conditioning, cable television and WiFi.
But the real draw is right outside, in the paradise that is Gili Meno, where the sandy-bottomed water is perfect for a swim and even better for a snorkel.
There’s no need to hop on a boat either, as snorkeling can be done straight from the beach, and turtles are often seen hugging the shoreline.