“You’ve heard it all before: ‘get away from it all‘, ‘find peace and tranquillity like nowhere else’, ‘paradise on earth‘,” says NOW! magazines Founder, Alistair Speirs, “but rarely does reality match the promo hype. But if you believe someone who has tried hundreds of hotels and resorts across Asia and the world, Hotel Tugu Lombok comes pretty close to achieving that.”
Tugu Lombok is located on miles of pristine virgin white sand beach on the northwest coast of the island, framed by the majestic sunrise over Mount Rinjani. Neighbouring an 18-hole golf course and virgin landscapes, where local life continues in today’s age much the same as it has done for centuries. Sadly, the whole area suffered damage in the 2018 earthquake which brought down many local houses but left the beautiful (and strongly built!) Tugu unscathed.
In the Indonesian language, Tugu means ‘monument’, and Tugu properties are monuments of art, history and culture of Indonesia. Tugu Hotels’ founder & designer, once a medical student-turned-lawyer that is now the owner of the biggest collection of fine Indonesian antiquities in Indonesia, designed these museum-esque hotels to house his antiques and to share with the world the romantic stories and legends of ancient kingdoms of Indonesia. The other hotels are in Bali, Malang and Blitar and soon to open will be the grandest of them all in Jakarta. Each property is unique and filled to the brim with works of art.
A truly Indonesian experience is achieved not only through the artful & luxurious Indonesian design and architecture but also from the numerous cultural experiences that guests can have. With magnificent ocean and mountain views, really cool dining venues and menus and award-winning Indonesian spa offerings, guests can hide away at Tugu, soaking in solitude, while being served by staff who pride themselves on their genuine hospitality. I was recognized by name wherever I went after the first five minutes. A real delight.
The main restaurant is housed in a rustic open-air space with a 15 metre tall thatched ceiling overlooking the ocean and one of the two swimming pools. (there are countless other pools with fountains and fish all over the property!). Connected through a bridge from the original Ampenan reception house, it’s creation was inspired by a Hindu Majapahit tale of a beautiful princess, Dewi Sri and the sound of a rooster (Kokok Pletok) was aptly chosen as its name since it signals the first sighting of the sun in the early mornings. Under the astonishing carved rooster roof which can be seen from miles and miles way, Kokok Pletok Restaurant serves Asian-tinged fine international cuisine, as well as authentic Indonesian dishes for which Tugu is renowned for. But guests are also able to dine casually as they lounge around the expansive grounds or on the beach (where breakfast is a treat) or perhaps request a more formal, romantic setting in one of the many small Bales. I was particularly impressed with the innovative and healthy menu choices, but also by the great cocktails and wine list.
To describe this sprawling, green giant artwork of a resort on the edge of a tropical lagoon would take too long so just look at the pictures and browse online then book. It is a unique and rewarding experience that you will never forget.