The Lombok Lodge is blue-green-gold on the outside (thank you, Lombok) and coconut-white on the inside (thank you, stylish Belgian owners). Further attractions include the pampering spa, glittering pool and charming, talented chef. Like what you see? This hotel is one of the luxurious stays in our Indonesian adventures…
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £348.78 ($478), including tax at 21 per cent.
Rates include daily à la carte breakfast, and a five-course dinner for two (or four guests if staying in the Luxury 2-Bedroom Family Lodge Suite, Ocean View).
Serious sunbathers should prep skin with an exfoliating scrub in the spa; clumsy sunbathers can treat parched skin to a cooling aloe vera treatment. The spa also has a beauty salon with a hairdresser, should your barnet need a trim.
At the hotel
Gardens, beach, boat, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, DVD player, preloaded iPod, Bose Bluetooth sound system, minibar, Hermès bath products, bathrobes, slippers. Family Lodge Suites also have a Nespresso machine and iMac.
Our favourite rooms
After spending time soaking up Lombok's warmth and colour, stepping inside the hotel's calm white suites is as refreshing as a long, slow drink of ice-cold milk. We particularly love the Poolside Lodge Suites for their Instagram-worthy ocean views and direct access to the pool deck and glittering infinity pool. These suites also have a cosy sitting area with plump armchairs, should you wish to curl up with a book or enjoy room-service breakfast in air-conditioned comfort. However, you can expect to spend most of your time outside on the little wooden terrace, which has an L-shaped sofa and a little table with chairs.
There’s a glittering pool in the gardens, with views of the bay beyond. At night, staff set tables around the pool for dangerously romantic dinners.
Marine-print bathers, to impress the local sea turtles.
If you can tear yourself away from the Lodge’s luxury, the hotel has a herd of mountain bikes for guests to borrow.
Babysitting by hotel staff can be arranged (US$8 an hour, plus tax). There's a kids’ menu, and the chef will happily adapt dishes for junior palates. Extra beds for under-12s (US$85 a person) and over-12s (US$125 a person) can be added to rooms.
By the pool, close to the resident musicians, who serenade guests with traditional Indonesian music. If you’re planning a proposal, ask staff to set up a candlelit dinner for the two of you by the yoga pavilion.
Bright white, like the hotel. Mrs Smiths: bring a glittering necklace for sparkly poolside dinners; a dash of cologne and a crisp shirt will do for Mr Smith.
Lombok Lodge’s chef, Jiwa Raga, has worked in fine-dining restaurants across Indonesia, so expect elegant dishes cooked with precision and flair. He doesn’t mess around when it comes to dinner, either – every night, guests are treated to a five-course extravaganza. Raga is equally adept at turning out local and western cuisine. For lunch, the lodge's new Italian restaurant, L'Osteria Lombok, serves up delicious woodfired pizzas, pastas, antipasti, salads and dolci (desserts).
There’s a lovely outdoor bar area by the pool, graced with cosy seating and ocean views. You can also enjoy zingy gingery cocktails and ice-cold white wine in the restaurant.
To make you feel relaxed (and keep you in bed), the hotel offers breakfast at any time of day. Italian restaurant, L'Osteria, is open for lunch between 11am and 3.30pm. Dinner is served until 11pm.
Order items from the restaurant’s menu to your room between 7am and 11am.
You’ll find the hotel in northern Lombok, overlooking Medana Bay and Mount Rinjani and within easy reach of the gorgeous Gili Islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan.
Lombok International Airport in Tanak Awu (central Lombok) is 60km away, a 90-minute drive. Alternatively, you can fly into Denpasar in Bali and get a boat trip over to Lombok, or hop on Garuda Indonesia's flight service from Bali to Lombok (roughly 30 minutes). From Lombok International airport the Lodge is a 60-to-90-minute drive – shared transfers can be booked through the hotel for US$55 a person, each way (must be booked in advance), from US$104 for transfers in a private car.
Don’t worry about wheels, you’re better off getting around by boat or booking cheap local taxis.
Blue Water Safari runs a speedboat service from Bali Serangan Harbour to Teluk Kodek in Lombok from 8am–10.30am. Tickets are from US$55 a person, each way.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you want to find out a little about Lombok’s culture, you can visit a Sasak village, such as Sade, located north of Kuta, which showcases the way of life and traditions of Lombok’s indigenous people, as well as the architecture of their buildings, constructed without metal tools. The 500 villagers eke out a living by farming and selling woven cloth to visitors. At Taman Narmada (water palace), the pleasure gardens and temple (and a fountain of eternal youth) were built as a replica of Mount Rinjani 200 years ago by the king of Mataram when he could no longer visit the volcano's sacred lake. The Lingsar temple complex combines Hindu and Muslim places of worship: entrance is free, but take along a sash or sarong to wear. You'll see stalls selling hard-boiled eggs outside the Pura Lingsar temple – these are not for emergency snacking, but for tempting the holy eels that live in its temple pond to the surface. Now that's entertainment.
The Oberoi Hotel on Medana beach, Tanjung has three dining spots to choose from: the casual Sunbird Café, which serves local and Continental cuisine; Lumbung restaurant, an open-air thatched pavilion in a coconut grove overlooking the ocean, and the Amphitheatre, where you can dine by flickering candlelight on the beach, entertained by Sasek dancers and traditional music. There’s also Tokek Bar, where light meals and potent cocktails are served on the sandy beach. Tugu Hotel (+62-370-6120111) also has a week’s worth of eating options, our favourite of which is Bale Kokok Pletok: an open-air space with a lofty thatched ceiling and views of the ocean, lotus ponds and the tropical landscape. Sample fusion food and Indonesian specialities here. Round off the evening with drinks at the hotel’s Lara Djongrang bar, a traditional hut decorated with 100-year-old wooden benches and tables.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hotel by Medana Bay and unpacked their binoculars and beachwear, a full account of their Indonesian luxury break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from the Lombok Lodge…
We could wax lyrical about the Lombok Lodge’s colour-saturated surroundings; we could write reams of poetry about its milk-white suites; we could ring in praises for its glittering pool. But we won’t (much). Instead we’d like to talk about its people. Ask staff at Lombok Lodge what time breakfast is served and they’ll answer with a question: ‘When would you like it?’ This is typical of the hotel’s approach: Lombok Lodge fits around its guests. When you arrive here, everyone gathers in the lobby to greet you, and when you leave, staff assemble to wave you off. When you eat dinner, the in-house band (made up of hotel staff from different departments) will serenade you, either by the pool or in the breezy restaurant. When you laze by the pool, they’ll bring you cold drinks and ice-cream, unprompted. When you arrive, you’ll love the temperature, the views and the delicious food, but when you leave, it’s the staff you’ll be sad to leave behind.