By Dian Hasan | August 20, 2010
With Bali’s continued rise to prominence as a world-class island destination that garners accolades from global travel industry and press, there is one island destined to capitalize on Bali’s fame: Lombok, the adjacent island East of Bali.
Lombok is often referred to as Bali 30 years ago, before the arrival of global tourism, but Lombok is in fact a very different place. With a natural beauty all its own, with its famous landmark, Mount Rinjani volcano with her 3-color lakes, and pristine beaches that rival the best in the world, and a culture that is fusion of Balinese and Sasak people, Lombok has plenty to offer.
Its less developed infrastructure is probably her best-kept secret, offering solitude and unspoiled beauty that beckons any weary urban soul to her shores.
Lombok’s newest resort is a testament to the island’s rise. And unlike Bali’s unchecked development of massive resorts, Lombok has taken the road less traveled, focusing on small-scale resorts – mostly in Villa compounds – that stay true to eco-friendliness and unobtrusive views of immediate surroundings. Such are the offerings of JEEVA KLUI, a gem of a small resort on Klui Beach, just North of Senggigi beach, nearby Lombok’s famous trio of Gilis of Trawangan, Meno and Air (Gili is island in the local language)
Along an uninterrupted stretch of curving beach, Jeeva Klui, “The Soul of Klui,” blends the full spectrum of sea, tropical foliage, and local culture with the natural beauty of Klui Beach.
From dramatic sunsets etching the volcanoes of Bali to the stone and thatch beach front suites framed by swaying palms, the natural simplicity of Jeeva Klui’s traditional design and Lombok’s splendid tropical environment create an ambience of modern luxury and laid back indulgence.
Jeeva Klui’s tropical allure embraces quaint touches of traditional village life. Great care was taken to conceptualize a resort with strong emphasis on providing the ultimate holiday experience, while at the same time being socially and environmentally responsible through sensitive design and green practices.
Wood and stone pathways lead through the gardens to the beach suites spread across the two hectare grounds. The resort melds an appreciation of local architecture and tradition with the look and feel of a Robinson Crusoe idyll allowing for an intimate and stylish base from which to explore Lombok’s spectacular natural beauty. Built using sustainable local materials, such as handmade terracotta tiles, bamboo weaves, stone and recycled timber, each suite exudes an air of authentic sophistication.
Located at the edge of the Wallace Line, Jeeva Klui’s magnificent 170 meter beach front commands views across the Indian Ocean to the islands of Bali and Nusa Penida as well as Lombok’s Sekotong peninsula. The beach at Jeeva Klui is protected by an offshore reef immediately in front of the resort that creates a calm “lagoon” perfect for a leisurely swim.
Upon arrival at Jeeva Klui, guests will be escorted to their suite where check-in formalities will be completed. Jeeva Klui’s total 27 suites include 18 one and two-story beach front suites, six two-story ocean view suites and three pool villas. All rooms have a private terrace with an oversized outdoor day bed and are equipped with either 32 or 37 inch flat screen televisions. All suites are a spacious 54 m2 although the layouts of the suites vary with the type of suite. WiFi is available in the public areas and in the pool suites.
Jeeva Klui works with local guides and small businesses to arrange bicycle and driving tours around Lombok as well as day trips to the Gili Islands.
Jeeva Klui manages a private 53-hectare forest conservation reserve in East Lombok near Tanjung Ringgit, renowned for high ocean cliffs and pristine deserted beaches. Picnic day trips to the reserve area can be arranged at Jeeva Klui. There are no bathroom facilities, running water, or electricity in the reserve area. Jeeva Klui is currently developing plans to begin offering basic over night facilities in the reserve area in mid 2011.
The Warung – a neighborhood open air restaurant – is a feature of Indonesian daily life. The Waroeng at Jeeva Klui is just that, a relaxed open air restaurant and the center of daily life at Jeeva Klui. Located on the vast oceanfront verandah and overlooking the swimming pool, the beach and the ocean beyond, Waroeng’s open air chic style and casual dining attitude reflects shades of an Indonesian eatery of days gone by.
Open throughout the day, guests are invited to enjoy a selection of Western and Asian dishes at the Waroeng long table, under the Banyan tree on the outdoor dining verandah, or on their own private terrace. Waroeng offers a limited room service menu for late night dining.
Wallace is a casual air-conditioned lounging space where you can sit and relax over a cup of coffee and enjoy a dessert or some tapas. The perfect setting to laze and enjoy a peaceful moment exploring the library of novels, DVDs and reference books on the history, art and culture of Indonesia. Take a moment to surf the web and check your email – if you must – on the computer, play a board game with friends or enjoy an after dinner drink in the evening.
Do absolutely nothing except swim, sunbathe, eat, drink, snooze and perhaps get a massage in between. Beach front cabanas feature chaise lounges, oversized cushions and fluttering curtains. A beach host makes sure you never lack for towels or cool drinks while lazing away the day.
The spa menu includes healing massages, traditional therapies, facials, and a choice of body treatments. Treatments can be enjoyed in the spa pavilion, the privacy of your suite or in a beach cabana.
The swimming pool is located in the center of the resort near Waroeng and measures nearly 25 meters in length. Soak up the sun on the timber deck, cool off in the ocean or take a dip in the pool, it’s all just a few steps away.
Lombok has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. A selection of handicrafts including jewelry and textiles, as well as a variety of convenience items, are available in the boutique located in the reception area.
A short flight from Bali, Lombok is coming into its own as a destination for travelers. Largely unspoiled and rural, Lombok is culturally diverse. West Lombok has a large Balinese Hindu minority that gives this part of Lombok a distinct flair. West Lombok is home to the Balinese era royal palace and several large Balinese Hindu temples. South and East Lombok are more traditional Sasak areas as reflected in the stone Sasak villages in South Lombok. North Lombok is home to Mount Rinjani, considered to be sacred by many inhabitants of both Lombok and Bali, and is where you will find vestiges of an animist culture in daily rituals and practices. Although Lombok is referred to as “Bali 20 years ago,” it is a culturally distinct and virtually undeveloped island that has numerous unique offerings for travelers.
Lombok is dominated by Mount Rinjani or “Gunung Rinjani.” Located in North Lombok, Gunung Rinjani is the second highest peak in Indonesia and is known as one of the best climbs in the Pacific region. The climb is usually undertaken in three days with day one spent climbing up the mountain, day two spent climbing down to the crater and the crater lake, and day three going back. Generally, it is best to take more rather than less time in climbing Rinjani as the views and scenery along the way are spectacular.
Also in North Lombok are the Gili Islands. Gili means island in the local language. The Gili Islands are comprised of three Islands off the Northwest point of Lombok: Gili Meno, Gili Air, and Gili Trawangan. Most travelers head for Gili Trawangan which is the most developed of the three islands. The Gilis, a backpacker haven, are renowned for crystal clear waters, great snorkeling and an “anything goes” lifestyle.
Senggigi Beach is in West Lombok. With wide beaches, a dramatic mountainous coast line and views across the Lombok Straits to Bali, Sengigi is a well-established tourist destination with a variety of hotels, restaurants, and essential infrastructure ranging from ATM machines to car rentals.
Kuta, in South Lombok, is the center of Lombok’s surfing culture. Kuta Lombok is acclaimed for its beaches and surfing. Mostly undeveloped and relatively dry, South Lombok is completely unlike the Northern and Western parts of the Island both physically and culturally.
Although diverse in its offerings, Lombok is a relatively small island. From Gunung Rinjani in the North to Kuta in the South is about a five to six hour drive. Senggigi is approximately equidistant between Gunung Rinjani and Kuta. The boat departure point for the crossing from mainland Lombok to the Gili Islands is about a 20 minute drive from Sengigi. You can also get to the Gili Islands from Sengigi in about an hour by boat. It is about three hours from the Gili Islands to Gunung Rinjani and about seven hours to Kuta including the crossing time.