Something that really impressed us was the way the staff stopped what they were doing when we invited them to make up the numbers for a game of volleyball. It is rare to find a villa where the owner has encouraged his staff to go the extra mile to please guests in this way. To quote from the visitors’ book, “The staff are truly the heart of Anandita”. The kitchen produces some fine meals, with the emphasis on fresh fish and local produce - but remember that (if you wish to order from the suggestion menu) you need to give a bit of notice when ordering your meals or making your grocery list as the villa is a long way from the nearest shops. An easy alternative is to opt for the all inclusive meal package offered at the villa which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.
Nothing changes very much in Lombok, so when we returned to Villa Anandita for our three-year-update we were delighted to find that everything was very much as it had been, including most of the staff who remembered us from our first visit. Gusti the manager/activities manager delighted us with his energy and enthusiasm, taking us out for a long bicycle ride across the golf course and along rough tracks through the fields to the traditional market at Tanjung. Since our last visit, the complement of bicycles has gone up to 13 and the owners have added a spa pavilion with two massage beds (professional therapists will come to the villa to deliver soothing treatments). We were also pleased to find that the villa now has a WiFi internet connection, so it doesn’t feel quite so detached from the world. The property has been well maintained but the beach bordering the garden has suffered from a bit of erosion so it has got narrower, but it is still beautiful to look at and you only have to walk a short distance to reach a wider section of sand. Oh yes, there’s a new international airport in Lombok now, which is further away from the villa, so the journey is longer but you’ll see some gorgeous rural countryside en route.