Hotel Review : Aston Sunset Beach Resort Gili Trawangan
I realized that by now, I’ve been to countless hotels and resorts since my involvement in Tourism and Travel starting year 2007. Some were from work which is thorough hotel inspections, FAM Trips and group tour leading and the rest were from my personal trips to various cities and countries. I am thankful to get an opportunity to have this working experience in my life so from now on I wish to share my point of view / review on every hotels that I have stayed with the hope that it can help you to choose your hotel in near future.
I know some of you took hotel accommodation very lightly as long as it is cheap and can fit 10 of you in one room. But don’t you know that bad hotels not only can ruin your vacation memories, it also can pass you deadly virus and germs if their food preparation and house keeping department poorly maintained.
My husband and I choose Gili Trawangan for my early birthday getaway. As usual, I was the one who get to pick the hotel because to my husband, I can never go wrong with my knowledge and preferences. In fact, he always surprised with my choice and happy with the value of money he paid for.
We stayed in Aston Sunset Beach Resort Gili Trawangan from 24 to 28 October this year. To make the arrangement easier, I opt for the package available on their website, which is Island Exotic Package.
Aston Resort also have their own speed boat and able to arrange private transfer from Lombok Airport to the jetty and then to Gili Trawangan with additional cost. For us, we paid IDR 890,000 – One way.
After countless emails and requests which is poorly answered, we finally here for check in. We were greeted by all smiley staffs and were given a nice cold drinks with cold towel. That’s a standard value added service which I expected by a 4 star resort. And then came the trouble. Initially I booked 5 nights stay at the resort which is from 24 to 29 October, but then I decided to shorten our stay to 4 nights stay which I clearly emailed them on August 17.
When I checked with reception staff, apparently nothing has been changed in their booking system. So I showed them printed copy of emails and correspondence between their reservations department and I for the past 2 (TWO) months. So I urge them to change my date of check out immediately because by knowing hotel contract and policies – Any amendment, shorten stay or cancellation made 48 hours before check out date will result you 1 night cancellation penalty.
Still disbelieved with printed copy of emails I brought with me, the reception staff called their reservations department to check about my request. It took her for almost 10 minutes to get it done. Luckily, a manager on duty came around at the counter and told them to proceed with my request. I mean, what is the problem? The package is for 4 days 3 nights and I requested to shorten it from 5 nights to 4 nights, 120 hours before new check out date and no payment has been made yet.
And additional to my surprise, she also told me that the package entitles me to go for 60 minutes massage at their spa. Only ME. Not my husband. WTF? It was clearly stated in printed copy of email confirmation that the spa massage is for two person. Does she even look at their own website or being informed on current promotion and packages they are selling? I showed printed copy of their email confirmation to her again, pointed out what’s included in the package. I asked her to take a look at resort website if she thinks the printed copy that I brought is a fraud that I try to commit. But, hell no. She continued calling the reservations department for confirmation again. FML.
Next, I asked her about the 10% discount for bookdirect code (it was 10% discount back then. Now is 15%. Well, don’t mind about that. You will never get it). Actually, I have huge problem with Aston Sunset Resort starting from its website. THERE IS NO COLUMN TO PUT ‘bookdirect’ CODE WHILE MAKING THE BOOKING THROUGH THEIR WEBSITE. I did emailed them about where to put this ‘bookdirect’ Code but no reply on that. So you know what is the reception girl replied? “Oh, the 10% discount is only available for room booking only. Not on package” How should I know it is only for room booking not on package? Look at your website! And I have the email from them stating the 10% discount entitlement. It didn’t say for room only! This is very misleading. If I knew I didn’t get 10% discount for direct booking, I should have asked my local agent in Lombok to arrange this trip for me!
At this point, my blood started to broil. I haven’t got much sleep woke up at 4 AM for 8 AM flight, tired of 2 hours car ride from Lombok airport to the jetty, bumpy wave ride on the speed boat to this island and more bumpy horse ride to this resort and just to find out nothing is accurate?
After struggling with the check in we finally got our room key. Forget about free room upgrade or secret room types surprise. Just when I thought I had enough surprises at the reception counter, another surprise waiting in our room.
NO TROPICAL FRUIT BASKET IN THE ROOM!!!!!
Do you know you that, in hotel/ service industry, you have to honor the offers made on the website and email confirmation? Aston Sunset Beach Resort is such a rip off.
Besides broken wardrobe door, I am also not a fan of dark bed sheet. The bed is huge though. A California King size bed.
I must admit the room is huge. But still, for a 4 star resort’s room, something is missing. I have seen better room in 3 star hotels and resorts in Bali, Phuket and Krabi plus with white bed sheet.
Our balcony facing swimming pool.
The only feature that I can give thumbs up is their huge pool area with 4 type of depths
The bathroom is huge for a superior room but unfortunately no bath tub.
View you get for breakfast. Breakfast spread was okay. Not great. Just okay.
We also tried their ala carte menu for lunch and dinner. Price wise was fairly cheap and taste wise was okay. Better than local restaurants on the island however it wasn’t something memorable.
Aston Sunset Beach Resort offers BBQ buffet at night priced at RP150,000 per pax. Buffet here not including the whole fish and drinks. Only fish fillet, prawn, squid and beef fillet. The rest was 1 type of soup (clear soup), salad, sauces and white rice. From my opinion, the spread should be more variety. When no fruits and no dessert, it is a bad buffet spread.
On first night, we decided to pay the BBQ dinner and save the one that included in our package for later night. BBQ buffet here required you to pay cash on the spot and you will be given wrist tag. But during our hotel check out on 28th October, I saw charges on BBQ buffet dinner appeared on my bill. I mean, seriously? I had to act like an old stingy, calculative grandma during the hotel check out – ran through every single line and amount printed on the bill just like they don’t trust me during check in. So now it is my time not to trust them during check out.
Beach view of Aston Sunset Beach Resort.
Those who read my post on Gili Trawangan, you should know already that there is no swimming spot AROUND THE ISLAND. It’s a knee high water level up to 1 kilometer from the shore and full of corals.
And yes, as per resort’s name – you can have all the sunset view when you stay here. That’s the only good thing about this resort after the swimming pool. But the chances to see the mount Agung from here is like 50 – 50. It’s all depending on the clouds’ mood. If it’s cloudy, then, forget about it.
Beach area at night. During weekends night, it is very lively with the crowd and a live band singing all Bob Marley song and very quiet on weekdays night.
We spent quite sometime at the pool since we were very frustrated with the the beach around Gili Trawangan. The pool is clean and quiet except the menu sheet is moldy like they breed fungus on it. This is very inappropriate for 4 star resort.
I ordered Virgin Mojito and the staff who supposed to come up with the drinks wasn’t there. After few minutes waiting, lucky there was other staff willing to ‘try’ making the drink for me.
The staffs in Aston Sunset Beach Resort Gili Trawangan surely are friendly and appeared smiley all the time. They never missed to greet you every time they passes us by and they do gave good eye contact – meaning they put their attention on the guest. However, after 24 hours stay in this resort, I noticed that, that’s the only thing they capable to do (smile, greet and eye contact). But whenever I asked for something, for instance, spoon or fork when I was at their restaurant, it never came to our table until I have to request it again from 2nd staff/ waiter. From my experience in Aston Sunset Beach Resort, I can never get my request done from 1st staff/ waiter/ waitress. It always the 2nd and 3rd staff who finally deliver it.
I had minor accident on our 4th day stay in Aston. I fell from the bicycle and almost broke my right toe. It bleeds a little around my right toe and knee. It happened right in front of this resort hotel lobby and yes, the staff came running to me, helped me to get up and keep apologizing. I don’t understand why he keep saying ‘sorry’ to me while he got nothing to do with the accident. I was limping and my husband helped me walked back to the room. On our way to the room, the other guest saw it and starting to ask and so one of the staff was there too. She stopped and showed some concern and asked is there anything she can help or do. Well, that was very nice of her. So I asked her whether she can get me a bandage sticker and a pain killer or antiseptic liquid for the wound. She asked our room number and said she will get back to me as soon as possible.
And guess what? – Nope, we never heard of her until we checked out the next day. LOL. Seriously? This is a 4 star resort service? We didn’t expect the bandage, pain killers or antiseptic liquid is on the house and we are prepared to get billed for it. But I guess we think too much until the bill part when the staff didn’t show up even, not a phone call to our room to update us on our request. If I had a crazy open wound, I think I just bleed to death while waiting for them to bring me the bandage.
In a scale of 1 – 5, here is my score towards Aston Sunset Beach Resort Gili Trawangan;
Value for money : 3/5
Food : 3/5
Staff Service: 2/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Would recommend : No.
*This review is also posted on Trip Advisor.