Ancient Dreams & White Beaches: Tugu Lombok
Published 01 December 2008
Oops, they’ve done it again! The Tugu once again has created an amazing resort, this time in Lombok and guaranteed to become another Indonesian icon. Trauts checks in to check out what’s happening again in the Tugu world.
Text by David Trauts
The Hotel Tugu Lombok on Sire Beach, Tanjung, north Lombok, was just recently opened and is another classic and rustic Tugu resort created by Anhar Setjadibrata and his daughter Lucienne Anhar. The resort is set on six hectares of coconut plantation and neighboured by an 18-hole golf course on one side and a pristine white beach with tranquil, clear waters on the other.
The centrepiece of this secluded property, a property which the Anhar family has owned since some 20 years ago, is the awe-inspiring, almost gothic and high vaulted, main restaurant building, the Bale Kokok Pletok. This piece of Mahabharata inspired architecture, at night especially, could be mistaken for an ancient ‘Chariots of the Gods’ style spacecraft perched ready to soar over Mount Rinjani not far away. Just like all Tugu hotels and restaurants the lighting sets the mood. Besides its almost supernatural character it is also home to enormous, hand-crafted statues of gods and creatures from the Mahabharata tale which make up the pillars supporting the roof structure, furnished with locally sourced antique tables and chairs, and lamps resembling small bush fires hanging from the ceiling. The motley brick floor may be a little dusty but the space is enormous in both size and concept. The restaurant fronts onto a 270 m2, salt water swimming pool that beckons guests during the day to a languid splash or a baking sun bathe.
The resort’s lobby is a 100 year old, reconstructed house from the old capital of Lombok, Ampenan. It was once the home to a Chinese merchant and reception house during Dutch colonial times and now is the place where guests start and finish their holiday on the beach in north Lombok. Being the daughter of lawyer and art collector Anhar Setjadibrata, Lucienne Anhar was brought up with taste, style and a certain old world charm. She was educated in hospitality in Switzerland and the US and has spent near half her life designing, creating and operating resorts and restaurants all over Indonesia. She had just arrived back from a worldwide tour encompassing Paris, London and New York when we met at the Tugu Resort Lombok.
Lucienne is, at her tender age of 30, a worldly sort and is a glowing example of the modern Indonesian woman; a touch of the jet-setter, but with her feet planted firmly on the ground. She was involved in the Lombok resort from the conceptual stage with her father and followed the construction right through to the end. “We had this land for years before doing anything with it,” she starts.
“There was nothing around here when we bought this property but with the beautiful white beaches we knew it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world caught up. It was my father’s idea to use the Mahabharata theme and in particular the central area and I helped to implement it.”
The accommodation is segmented in three areas. The seven Bhagavat Gita suites (USD 450++) are housed in a single colonial-styled building, all with their own private pools, fronting onto a grassed communal area and then direct access to the beach. The single bedroom is high ceilinged and enormous with the largest four-poster bed imaginable and 300 threadcount cotton linen and goosedown pillows offering an opulent sleep. At the rearside is an indoor/outdoor bathroom with distinctive Tugu-style tap fittings and modern bathroom fixtures and a private garden area. The total area of the suite is 425m2 and the bedroom area is 80m2. The six Aloon-Aloon bungalows (USD 225++) are 78m2 each and feature oversized wooden and copper sunken tubs and are open to lush gardens. The five Kampong bungalows (USD 175++) of 50m2 each offer a traditional, eco and authentic Lombok village house atmosphere.
Dining is also of the highest Tugu standards with a number of tantalising local and international dishes on the menu in the two restaurants; the Warung Tugu; a village-style eatery and the out-of-this world Bale Kokok Pletok we’ve already mentioned previously. It’s also possible to dine in a selection of small bales (huts) along the beach edge or around the gardens, or of course, room service is always available.
The Tugu Resort Lombok is an experience in Indonesian and Lombok history and art. It’s not the typical luxury villa with straight lines, square boxes and minimalist ideals, but it does offer a glimpse into the past while enjoying the luxuries of the present. It’s a romantic setting ideal for honeymooners or couples, with spacious gardens to meander and a beautiful, idyllic beach to while away the hours in the company of loved ones. However, with the golf course, snorkling, nearby sightseeing opportunities and the Gili Islands not far away there’s also plenty of distraction to be found for the perfect holiday break.
Hotel Tugu Lombok
T: +62 370 620111