7-bedroom Villas in Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok, Bali’s beautiful next-door neighbour, rarely receives the attention she deserves. Although there are only 35km of sea between these two islands, the physical and cultural distinctions are considerable. Towering mountains, mighty waterfalls, pristine white-sand beaches, magnificent coral reefs, pearl encrusted shores, a unique Sasak culture and tranquillity are among Lombok’s many charms.

In general, Lombok entices the more adventurous travellers who have, perhaps, already explored Bali and are hungry to journey further afield. The island is also a haven for those in search of peace and quiet. A visit to Lombok is an opportunity to explore a natural paradise, trek the Rinjani National Park, enjoy some fantastic diving and snorkelling, surf some of the best waves in Indonesia, and encounter a traditional, rural way of life exposing a fascinating integration of Muslim and Hindu cultures. Visitors are welcomed at the splendid Sasak festivals and Hindu ceremonies, and the island produces some remarkable handicrafts. In the tiny villages artisans can be seen at work creating textiles, baskets and pots.

Predictions in the early ‘90s that Lombok was following fast on the heels of Bali in terms of tourism were never actually realised. Likewise it is a misconception to view Lombok as the Bali of 20 years ago, comparisons are inevitable but contrasts are marked and the two islands differ in almost every respect.

The beaches in Lombok are beautiful. The roller-coaster road hugs the dramatic coastline around cool coconut groves, sweeping bays and towering headlands. Although there are a few luxury hotels and villas in the area north of Senggigi, huge expanses of Lombok’s shores are totally undeveloped with just a few small villages dotted inland. Many of the beaches are festooned with candy-coloured jukung. These traditional canoe-shaped fishing vessels are crafted from a single hollowed out tree trunk, with bamboo outriggers and a distinctive prow decorated and shaped like a marlin’s head. Some of the island’s most spectacular coastal scenery can be found on the southern shores. Windswept sandy beaches and picturesque bays are separated by headlands and awesome rocky outcrops. The glorious crescent-shaped beaches of Lombok’s Kuta (often confused with Bali’s Kuta) and Tanjung Aan are famous for their surf breaks, and when the tide is out, the bays turn into shallow pools of turquoise water.

In October 2011, Lombok's long awaited Bandara International Airport opened near the township of Praya, about 40km south of Lombok's capital, Mataram, and approximately a two-hour drive from the north-west of the island, which is home to most of Lombok's luxury private villas. Although this new airport currently (Jan 2013) only offers international flights from Singapore (Silkair) and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Air Asia), regular connecting flights from Bali's Denpasar Airport take only 25 minutes.

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Selong Selo - 11B Villa Maleo (7BR)

Selong Selo - 11B Villa Maleo (7BR)

Indonesia » Lombok » South Lombok » Selong Belanak

Stepping into the seven-bedroom villa at Selong Selo felt like we were dreaming. Could such luxury truly exist? It was all that we had imagined, and more.

We were a large group of friends, including two couples without kids. Needless to say, the couples called dibs on the one-bedroom units to get their own little private oasis. No one minded, though. Each room was gorgeous. The kids, super happy in their bunk bed room and adults who couldn’t get enough of the views from theirs.

No one really retreated to their rooms during the day. The spacious living room was the hub of activity in the daytime, with kids splashing in the pool outside and the ladies getting a tan on the sun loungers. We usually enjoyed our meals in the restaurant, though we did request the butler to arrange for a barbecue on our deck one evening. It was perfect - with the twinkling fishing boats below, and delicious food made to order, we wished the night would never end.

I won the lottery to stay in the master bedroom upstairs, and though I was tempted by the patio outside, I chose the master bedroom downstairs instead. Opening up onto the wooden deck, it allowed us to walk out and dip our toes in the water whenever we wanted. Always the bookworm, I also loved the hammocks, hidden away on a deck in the corner.

The design of the villa is brilliant- such that everyone gets their own space and privacy. Yet, when we wanted to hang out together, there was always the pool deck or the air conditioned living room to meet up in.

We also took the shuttle down to the beach a couple of times during our stay. Some of us took surfing lessons and did a fairly decent job by the end of the trip.

The seven-bedroom villa at Selong Selo is the perfect holiday home for a large family or a group of friends with children. The bunk bedroom is a huge hit and with a media room and multiple pools, there isn’t a dull moment here.
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From $1,234

Bedrooms 7

Sleeps 12-19*

Rating 8.9

* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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