Should Hotel Reviews Really Look Like This? – Prasana by Arjani Resort

Submitted by mumunmumun on 10 February 2018   •  Destination   •  Bali

I’m very happy that we have a lot of active travel bloggers in Indonesia now. It’s nice to have more online content for traveling, especially since I rely much of it for my travels. Compared to when Indohoy started in 2009, it’s easier to find information about a destination. But, it had occurred to me that some contents are too good that we’re actually diminishing what travel bloggers do best in the first place: telling the truth.

Private pool in Prasana by Arjani Resort

There was a time when bloggers just relied on their pocket camera. It may not be as good as today, yet they made believe-able photos which usually are accompanied by an honest and relevant caption or review. As technology developed and became cheaper, travel bloggers started to create better pictures, much like photos in Conde Nast Traveler. Of course, they could then make an income. The readers and the hotel management liked it but I think, some content eventually went a little too far. Pictures were undistinguishable to magazine photos, like out of a brochure. Some reviews were written whatever was in the product knowledge of the hotel, word for word.

Resort room at sunrise villa Prasana

Infinity at sunrise villa Prasana

The neat version of the master bedroom of Prasana

Clearly I’m not one of the bloggers that can make a really beautiful pictures.

Not going too deep into it as people have their own choices and reasons, I realized with this long run of beautiful pictures of hotels, I long for the old days where things looked more real; where beds were a little (maybe a lot) messy, when we woke up with medusa hair, and when the first smile in the morning was from that first poop of the day.

Bear with me. I thought in this post I’d take pictures of my real hotel room and how it really looked when somebody is really staying in it.

I took these pictures when staying in Prasana by Arjani Resort. I was on a trip with #IWHCreators and we had a few night stay at one of their private villas in Uluwatu, Bali. I stayed in a 2-bedroom 2-bathroom villa with a private pool, along with three others; Valiant Budi, Ramon Tungka, and a liason. Other villas were private with only one bedroom, one spacious bathroom, a kitchen, lounging area, and a private pool. The pool was about 1.2 meters in depth and good enough to chill under the hot Bali sun. Each occupied by travel bloggers and vloggers Trinity Traveler, Commaditya, and Debbie (here’s her blog on Prasana).

Pool at 2-bedroom villa at Prasana

By request, we had floaties ready by the pool. Did I come close to Taylor Switf?

Taylor Swift inspired Prasana

Photo by Debbie Leksono. 

The design of the villa was simple, wasn’t too ethnic. A little bare to my comfort but possibly a nice touch for people that are looking to retreat from the hectic clutter of lyfe.

The bed had such soft white sheets (my fetish) and it felt like I had slept in a cloud. There was really no need for a 39-inch TV in room with a bed that smelled the soft scent of fresh linens. Predictably, both nights I slept like a log.

Used master bed in Prasana

The bathroom was huge. It was probably twice my room back in Jakarta. Possibly better visualized with my suitcase lying on one of the tables, as you can see there was a corner for the dressing area. AND… for the open bathtub on the other side of the shower room; one I didn’t have the pleasure to try. Again, it was huge!

Main bathroom in 2-bedrom villa in Prasana

A special table for suitcases at Prasana

Open bathtub at Prasana

I do have to mention Prasana’s decision to use Sensatia, a local brand made of natural ingredient, was a good one. The smell was deliciously fresh of lemon grass and flowers. With the label on it, guests can easily recreate part of their Prasana experience with the scent that they can purchase in stores or online.

Amenities at Prasana

With no walls in the lounging area, it’s easy to enjoy time in the common area whether it be on the couch or in the pool. I could also see a messy kitchen is presumably a working one.

Infinity pool with real people in it - Prasana

Open lounging area at Prasana Villa

Pool area after occupied - Prasana

Struggling to get on an off the swan floatie - Prasana

However, I still couldn’t resist the temptation to still make nice pictures of untouched dishes served in front of me. Usually, food bloggers can make intriguing photos to evoke our imagination of the taste. Whether it really does taste good, is debatable. More often, the picture deceives me. But the fact that the food was so beautifully plated, inspired me to make a nice picture as it was art.

The food didn’t have the same kick of spices and herbs as traditional Indonesian dishes, but by golly was it good! The restaurants should be a running business on its own. The taste adapted to foreign taste buds, being mild.  Well, except for the dessert. They surely were generous about dessert. One of the most memorable was the chocolate mouse. My tongue was like gliding through the rich chocolate ganache after I had to crack in the outer crust of cake. I think it was a tear from the chocolate gods.

dinner entree at Prasana
Real lunch at the outdoor table Prasana

A real lunch.

I don’t think one experiment can make me come to a conclusion. But turns out, a messier room lets me show you the scale of the room and the feel of the space. And for the time being, it’s an interesting experiment with a hypothesis, if a room looks good messy than you can bet your ass it’s really comfortable. You can expect to see more ‘real’ pictures of accommodation from me soon. I don’t have the confidence that it would do well in terms as being popular photos, but I think it would give more real insight to what a hotel and accommodation really looks and feels like when occupied. What do you think?

Thank you Prasana by Arjani Resort for the stay and the time to let us be creative and have a say through this post. 

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2 years ago

Love it!

2 years ago

As I said on Twitter, I do love this realness. A lot of the times I am allured by the photos, only to find them disappointing in real life. Like in this post, you can tell that the resort is nice, even though you didn’t edit it. So you know how in they have the pictures provided by the hotel and also pictures from the customers? Yeah that’s probably how I like it, a little bit of both world 😉