Is Lombok a sybaritic road less travelled or the new Bali? For many tourists and expats, Lombok has an understated charm of its own. We all love Bali; it has always been an island paradise, despite the recent ugly unfettered developments and gridlocked traffic. As tourist, we are still drawn to the culture, cuisine, and the genuine smiles of the local Balinese. It seems though, Bali’s little sister Lombok is about to come of age.
The shoreline of Lombok has an untamed beauty, with untouched sandy beaches and clean water. The coastline boasts spectacular surf with challenging rollers. The breathtaking views from the caldera and Mount Rinjani’s majestic glory are stunning.
For the indigenous Sasak, life has dramatically changed in Lombok, with ubiquitous souvenir shops sprouting overnight like mushrooms after a storm. So too the luxury resorts are starting to appear.
The Oberoi, a 5 star development was ahead of its time, and saw the potential of the island’s north shore long ago. The resort, set in 24 acres of idyllic tropical gardens, looks out over Medana Beach and has thatch-roof villas with expansive shaded terraced pavilions.
The picturesque Senggigi, with its protected beaches and stunning sunsets is the location for boutique Villas and stylish restaurants. The Gili Islands have always been a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. Gili Trawangan, site of hypnotic dance parties is also earmarked for future development of Spas, Villas and Boutique Hotels.
For the complex cultural mix of local families, the new airport in the island’s south is still a novelty, picnics and a family day out have given it a carnival atmosphere. Just 15 minutes from the airport is the beachside town of Kuta Lombok. With its unspoiled beaches, spectacular surf and tropical scenery it has long been a favorite for surfers. In response to a growing need for luxury accommodation, Reflections Beach Villas & Spa will be due for completion in mid-2013.
Will Lombok be the next Bali, only time will tell, but for affordable luxury and a chance to explore the road less travelled, Lombok, like the girl next door, might just be the one!