Christian Stan, at 25 Jan. 23, in News, Where to go next

Tucked away on a hillside along the south coast of Lombok, Indonesia, Somewhere Lombok is an unspoiled retreat conceived, designed, and run by sisters Valia and Claire Gontard.

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.

In the main building, the in-house restaurant is open all day and serves Indonesian fusion cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally sourced produce. The spa features two massage rooms, which can be connected for couples’ treatments, an intimate outdoor plunge pool with a design inspired by rainwater collection tanks, and an outdoor shower. Additional amenities and services include a small boutique stocked with local products and Valia’s photography prints, as well as regularly scheduled shuttles to and from the beach. Guests can also request shuttle rides to and from the nearby town of Kuta. Scooters are also available to rent, and if guests are looking for local tips, they can ask the staff, the majority of whom are from Lombok.

Somewhere Lombok is remotely situated on the south coast of Lombok, an Indonesian island east of Bali and west of Sumbawa known for its white-sand beaches and world-class surfing. Are Guling Bay, a renowned surf spot with 1.5 kilometers of stunning beachfront, is only two minutes away by car and the up-and-coming beach town Kuta is just a 10-minute drive. The island as a whole features unending breathtaking coastlines, lush mountains, and an abundance of preserved traditional Sasak culture. A number of surrounding smaller islands, locally called Gili, are motor-vehicle-free, offering undisturbed treks, pristine beaches, reefs, and even sea turtle hatcheries. Countless on- and off-water activities include surfing, fishing, hiking, rafting, paragliding, kite surfing, and mountain biking. The nearest airport is Lombok International Airport

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