The newest member of Design Hotels in Southeast Asia rewards adventure-seekers with streamlined, eco-chic lodgings.
On Indonesia’s tourism scene, Lombok has long been overshadowed by the success of neighboring Bali, though an expanding cohort of boutique resorts along the island’s scenic south coast attests to its growing appeal for independent travelers. The latest retreat in the area is a joint project by globetrotting sisters Valia and Claire Gontard, who grew up in Hong Kong but have Indonesian roots: their own grandfather was born and raised on Lombok. Built atop a steep hillside overlooking the white-sand beach and reef break at Are Guling Bay, Somewhere Lombok offers laid-back luxury with just 20 pool villas, an in-house restaurant, and a spa.
To create Somewhere Lombok’s modernist look, the Gontard sisters teamed up with Hong Kong–based architecture firm SW Design and design studio Eight Partnership. An indoor reception area, restaurant, bar, and lounge open out to a lawn and infinity pool that afford sweeping vistas of the bay below. Accommodations have been arranged in four rows on the hillside, and are accessed via winding pathways and stairs lined with native flora, some of which were chosen to prevent land erosion and reduce runoff.
Inside the standalone villas, which offer 35 square meters of indoor space as well as 16-square-meter terraces with seating areas and mini plunge pools, the walls are decorated with prints of Valia’s own photographs of Lombok’s people, places, and landscapes. Eight Partnership, Claire, and Valia oversaw the interior design, with guidance from Hong Kong–based Studio Amal. Almost all the furnishings throughout the property were sourced locally: guests will find intricate handwoven rugs and textiles by Kriyatex, an atelier in Central Java; Casakaya’s handmade pottery and ceramic vessels; and woven baskets by Mami, whose workshop is less than a 15-minute drive from the property. Bespoke furniture like poolside tables and umbrellas were also produced by artisans on the island, while bath amenities come courtesy of Sensatia Botanicals, an Indonesian brand that creates vegan, reef-safe, and eco-friendly products.
Over at the main building, the all-day restaurant serves Indonesian fusion cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally sourced produce. The spa features two massage rooms that can be combined for couples’ treatments, a plunge pool with a design inspired by rainwater collection tanks, and an outdoor shower. The Gontard sisters recruited Bali-based consultancy Eco Mantra to introduce sustainable features into the design: an emphasis on natural ventilation and the use of high thermal performance building materials and reflective finishes reduce the need for artificial cooling. On-site facilities for harvesting rainwater and composting have been built, and graywater is recycled and reused.
Aside from regularly scheduled shuttles to and from the beach at Are Guling Bay, Somewhere Lombok offers rides to the nearby town of Kuta; scooters are also available to rent. The resort is a 40-minute drive from Lombok International Airport, which has direct connections to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
somewherelombok.com; villas from US$279