In Travel

The Lavish Resort On Indonesia’s ‘Bali Of Yesteryear’ Island

Lombok, Indonesia’s untapped paradise, wins you over with its natural beauty and a different pace of life. Forming a part of the Sunda Islands, this lesser frequented, but equally appealing enclave east of Bali offers a mixed bag of fun in the sun, tranquility and serene relaxation.

Often described as the Bali of yesteryear, Lombok outrivals the Island of the Gods as it masters luxury living and sustainability. An exemplary case in point is the Australian-managed Selong Selo Resort & Residences.

The hotel

Situated on a lush hilltop in the south of Lombok, Selong Selo showcases postcard-worthy views of the bay below from all of its 23 luxury villas. Each villa features an infinity pool and a spacious outdoor area, lending the best panorama of the turquoise sea which changes colour as the day goes by.

Down mountain roads, Selong Belanak Beach is a short 15-minute drive away. Sand as white as washing powder invites to take a stroll across the broad bay. Gentle swells attract beginner surfers. Intermediate and advanced wave riders find a challenge at the two reef breaks, Mawi and Serangan, either side of the bay.

From the beach one sees the Selong Selo villas scatter around from the bottom of the hill up the steep slopes of the valley cut. Designed by Hong Kong Architecture and Design firm ALT-254, the flagship of the complex is a 7-bedroom, 1,140 m² villa located on the hilltop with a 360° view of the surroundings. The one- to six-bedroom villas provide flexible space for couples, friends, and families.

Selong Selo sustainability ethos

However, to see Selong Selo’s real and impactful extravagance, take a look behind the scenes of the resort’s operation. The estate banned not only plastic straws but also plastic bottles. Instead, Selong Sego sterilises and reuses glass bottles. Also, there are no plastic bags in the villa’s rubbish bins.

Waste is sorted and processed in the property’s waste management facility, always with a zero-waste philosophy in mind. Food scraps and garden cuttings are turned into a rich compost which the landscapers use to fertilise and mulch the villa gardens and the organic chef’s garden. This way, valuable nutrients are returned to the soil. Mulch also protects against water transpiration and subsequently reduces water consumption.

“Our worm farm helps to decompose certain types of waste,” says Robert Black, Selong Selo’s chief operating officer and illustrates the extra mile the management goes to protect the environment.

When sipping on a delicious cup of coffee at the Aura restaurant after a sumptuous meal, espresso aficionados enjoy the brew of Lombok’s best organic coffee beans. “Selong Selo sources the beans raw and unprocessed. We dry and roast on-site using biomass gasification technology,” says Black. “We use rice husks, a by-product of local farming, to generate clean gas fuel,” he further explains.

Selong Selo generates solar electricity and feeds the access produced during daylight hours back into the grid. Currently, cars drive guests around within the property due to the site’s size and the steep terrain.

However, the estate awaits the delivery of electric buggies to assess alternatives. If the three-month trial is successful, electric vehicles will replace the ones currently on-site.

Realising that sustainable living is a collective effort, in future Selong Selo plans on involving its patrons. “We are going to install a water and electricity metering system for daily consumption monitoring of each villa,” says Black. “When guests arrive, they get targets for energy and water consumption,” he adds. “If they meet their goals each day, guests will be given bonuses like a free drink or meal at the restaurant.”

The spa

Guests can also reward themselves and select a natural botanical treatment or a beauty ritual to heal, realign, and restore their tired bodies. A set of stairs leads from the common pool area along a meandering zen-like path to the spa housed in a canopied safari tent.

The therapists put together an appealing menu of massages, facials, and body treatments, both for ladies and gentlemen.

Living up to the sustainable philosophy, the spa manager sources only GMO-free ingredients from ethical and sustainable local farmers and growers for the oils and lotions used on the skin.

The writer was a guest of luxury villa management and marketing group Elite Havens. 

(All images: Selong Selo / supplied)

Published 13 September, 2019