Design a life of peaceful intention and laidback luxury at Lobster Bay Lombok Villas and Residences
The five-star hotel market is due for a shakeup and a new boutique resort is planning on doing just that.
Lobster Bay Lombok Villas and Residences is located on Lombok Island in Indonesia, the island right next door to Bali. Andrew Clarke, founder of Lobster Bay Lombok, has spent much time in the region working and traveling, so he has a feel for it when he says the tranquil island is “the next Bali.” His vision is clear. Take a direct flight to Bali for a couple of days of eating, shopping and the nightlife, and then it’s just a short hop to Lombok to take in empty white sand beaches and lush forests. He says the vibe is pure chill out. “We’re laidback and barefoot, not shiny and sparkly,” he says, “without sacrificing the luxury or the service.” Fashion designer and founder of Umbrella, Doan Quynh Nhi, is Andrew’s wife and Lobster Bay business partner. “It’s an exotic location,” she says, “that maybe isn’t someplace you’ve been to yet.”
Andrew and Nhi, based in Ho Chi Minh City, also have a deep understanding of what it means to live, work and holiday in Vietnam. Lobster Bay Lombok is the opportunity to really get away and have that chilled out holiday perhaps previous holidays closer to home didn’t quite deliver. Andrew says the resort offers an accessible exotic adventure.
He describes concepts in the hospitality and tourism industry, citing competitors such as The Anam, Banyan Tree and Six Senses. “Every decade or so someone comes in and shakes up the formula,” he says, clearly placing Lobster Bay as the next disrupter. The resort’s soft opening in summer 2020 will set a new benchmark for fivestar eco luxury. Set on generous land parcels and incorporating traditional Indonesian design, each of the 52 boutique villas has its own pool and spacious indoor and outdoor living areas. Buyers have their choice of oneand two-bedroom villas and each one of them has a sea view. The resort is spread out over seven hectares to ensure privacy and tranquility, something else he notes as unusual in this market.
People want experiences and Lobster Bay delivers: a 1,200 hectare eco-park is next door and there’s hiking and biking to waterfalls, tropical forests and volcanic lakes. Marine adventures include snorkeling, diving and sailing. Back on land guests and residents can choose from the Beach Club on the surf’s edge for toes-in-sand drinks, casual dining at SATU restaurant or in the Clubhouse overlooking the bay below. Lobster Bay operates under a farm-to-table principle with its own organic farm, use of seasonal local produce and chemical-free food, with many options for vegetarians and vegans. The resort also offers day-spa services, gym, tennis court, an organic garden for strolling and contemplation, shopping at the artisan food boutique and best of all, a Kids’ Club and pool to keep every family member entertained. Or you can just soak up the chill vibes by your villa pool and completely switch off. Whether you want to indulge, explore or recharge, Andrew says it’s all within easy reach.
Also raising the bar is the resort’s pledge to sustainability with certified and eco-friendly materials used throughout such as fully certified teak, off-grid water and electricity supply, electric vehicles, solar panels, and the no-waste and upcycling policy. Andrew says he’s committed to a “people, planet, profit” philosophy. “We’re building a consciously ecologically responsible property,” he says.“It’s been designed with deep respect for the environment and the people who live here.” Future plans include incentivizing rubbish collection and making ecobricks. Anjani Charity Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the resort which provides scholarships and training for youth and adults to transition the local community from subsistence farming to growing vegetable crops and fruit trees, as well as provide employment opportunities within the resort.
Andrew anticipates high occupancy levels due to basic supply and demand. There are currently no five-star luxury hotels in the area and demand is increasing in an opening market. Over the next two years south Lombok is expected to onstream over 2,000 new four- and five-star hotel rooms. The good news is the local authorities have future-proofed the island. The government has built new roadways and the airport according to a careful eco-tourism master plan, to absorb tourism in an intentional way.
Andrew says this has been a very personal journey of love and discovery nearly a decade in the making. When he first went to Lombok, there was no airport and no roads, and he lost his shoes in a muddy rut heading up the hill that was to become Lobster Bay Lombok. But the footwear was quickly forgotten when he got to the top and saw the view out to the Java Sea. He says he fell in love. Nhi laughs and agrees the views over the bay are stupendous, but there was something else special for her. “Oh, it’s the sunsets, of course,” she smiles. “They’re incredible!”
For more info on Lobster Bay Lombok Villas and Residences, visit www.lobsterbaylombok.com
Images Provided by Lobster Bay Lombok Villas and Residences