08 Thursday May, 2014
Ampersand has recently returned from a research tour of Lombok & the Gili Islands and have one thing to say: GO NOW! Lombok is like Bali was 25 years ago: wonderfully relaxed and ravishingly beautiful. Now is the 'sweet spot' in the luxury tourism cycle of the island – the perfect moment in time to visit. Luxury has arrived (more of that below) but authenticity remains and, crucially, it does not yet feel spoilt and overrun if you choose your spot wisely.
We highly recommend visiting the Gili Islands – as often as you can – but do not stay here. There are currently no hotels on the Gili Islands we would recommend to an Ampersand client; some are billed as ‘luxury’ but they are not. Far better to stay somewhere fantastic on Lombok and take a 10 mintute private speed boat to the Gili Islands for day trips. Enjoy world-class scuba diving and snorkelling, stop for lunch at a local eatery or enjoy a private picnic, then return to the lap of luxury on Lombok!
Lombok ticks all the boxes for a charming and rustic beach break, but you can forget what you remember from your backpacking days – she now rivals Bali for first-class style and service. Luxurious options are popping up in the northwest, specifically in Malimbu and the Sira Peninsula, which has a remarkably innocent and untrampled vibe. You have white sandy beaches, cows strolling idly through coconut groves, sweet local villages with mosques humming with the call to prayer. You’ve got sunset views over Mount Agung in Bali, sunrise views of Lombok’s own volcano, Mount Rinjani, and the Gili Islands within grasping distance.
There is also something very exciting happening at the exact opposite end of Lombok island: an incredible new eco retreat on the remote south-eastern peninsula set on one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen…
Here are Ampersand’s Top 10 Luxury Lombok properties:
1. Ibiza-chic with an Asian twist… Lombok Lodge [9 room hotel]
2. Ampersand’s favourite family villa… Sira Beach House [6 bedroom villa]
3. Eco-retreat in the unspoilt southeast… Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp [11 room resort]
4. Cliffside James Bond villa… Malimbu Cliff Villa [4 bedroom villa]
5. Ethnic boho-boutique… Hotel Tugu Lombok [18 room resort]
6. Homely tropical paradise… The Anandita [4 bedroom villa]
7. Austin Powers, eat your heart out!… Villa Sapi [5 bedroom villa]
8. Charming (& affordable) all-rounder… Jeeva Klui [35 room resort]
9. The perfect wedding venue… Sepoi Sepoi [5 bedroom villa]
10. Classic Oberoi: service, style, space (& no surprises!)… The Oberoi Lombok [50 rooms, 32 villas]
For more tips or to book your tailor-made tour of Indonesia please call +44 (0) 207 819 9770 or email email@example.com