THE LOMBOK GUIDE
CURRENT ISSUE - ISSUE 264

Romantic Lombok photo by www.instagram.com/joe_mahir

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on our Distribution List or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

 
ROMANTIC LOMBOK!
 

Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday, 14 February and where better to celebrate love than in romantic Lombok...  with its luxurious resorts and beachfront restaurants,  it’s all about romantic candlelit dinners for two and magical moments with the one you love!

Aruna Senggigi offers good value room and dinner packages starting from Rp 2,150,000 net for two days, one night staying in a deluxe room, including breakfast for two and a romantic dinner on the beachfront or in the Rooftop Restaurant. See page 40 for details.

La Chill Bar in Batu Bolong offers a more laid-back option for lovers.
Kick back on the beanbags on the beach and watch the sunset across the ocean to Bali while enjoying romantic sunset music by The Jamming, special Valentine’s Day cocktails and mocktails, and gourmet pizzas. Get there early to snag the best spots! See page 27.

Puri Mas invites diners to celebrate love at the elegant Ballroom Restaurant overlooking the beachfront in Mangsit.

Puri Mas Romantic Dinner

Enjoy a delicious Seafood Banquet accompanied by a glass of complimentary red or white wine, and the famous Puri Mas cheesecake for dessert – all for just Rp 325,000++ per person.

Get there early for Happy Hour cocktails at sunset and stay for the romantic dinner! Bookings are recommended. See page 35.

Qunci Villas is one of the most romantic resorts on the island and an intimate candle-lit table for two at Quah Restaurant will put a shine in your lover’s eyes.

qunci romantic dinner

The elegant Valentine’s Night menu prepared by Chef Gianluca features five sensuous courses starting with Lime Wood Smoked Salmon, Fennel Purée and Squid Ink Rice Crackers, followed by Black Truffle and Potato Espuma with Porcini Dust.

Mains include Lobster Cannelloni with Pistachio and Beetroot, and Sous Vide Duck Breast with Raspberry Sauce and Rosemary Mousse. Finish with a Valentine Chocolate and Caramel Heart with Strawberry.  

Price is Rp 490,000 ++ pp for the 5 course dinner or Rp 940,000++ for dinner with selected wine pairings. Dinner starts at 7.30pm and bookings are highly recommended. See page 25 for details.

Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort is the place to impress your loved one! Enjoy a romantic dinner from 6 – 10pm served at elegant tables set up by the beach and accompanied by special violin and piano performances.

Sheraton romantic beachfront dining

Enjoy fresh sea breezes and beach views while savouring a delicious set menu for Rp 600,000++ per couple or with selected wine pairings at Rp 1 million ++ per couple. See page 19.

 
ROMANTIC SOUTH LOMBOK!
 

If you are staying on the south coast, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day in style at two of South Lombok’s most fabulous destinations.

Aura Lounge and Bar at Selong Selo Residences invites you to surprise your loved one with a special Valentine’s Dinner on the Aura wedding deck with fantastic views over Selong Belanak Beach.

Aura Private Dining

With your own private table set up overlooking the twinkling lights of the fishing boats in the bay, it’s a truly beautiful spot to ignite romance (or pop the question!)  Advance bookings are essential. See page 59.

Novotel Lombok Resort in Kuta is offering a romantic Valentine’s Dinner on the beautiful beachfront, which includes a complimentary bottle of wine per couple and a bouquet of roses for the ladies.

Novotel Lombok

Start with an amuse bouche, followed by Spring Chicken with Garlic Sauce, Smoked Salmon and Shrimp, and Asparagus Cream Soup.

After a refreshing Mint Lime Sorbet, choose either Pan-fried Australian Beef Medallion or Pan-fried Salmon for main course, and finish with Vacherin Berries for dessert.

Price for the dinner is Rp 988,000++ per couple (including wine and roses). Bookings recommended. See page 55.

 
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What's Hot
 

Chinese New Year, known locally as Imlek, falls on Friday, 16 February this year and the Chinese community in Lombok will be welcoming The Year of the Dog!

Many of Lombok’s top hotels and restaurants will be offering special menus to celebrate Chinese New Year including the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort (page 19), Qunci Villas (page 25) and gorgeous Aura Lounge & Bar in South Lombok (page 63).

To all our Chinese friends in Lombok and our Chinese readers around the world, we wish you gong xi fa cai! 恭喜发财

The ill-fated Lombok City Centre Mall, which opened in November 2015, is struggling to stay open just two years later, with most of its tenants already closing up shop.

Anchor tenant, Matahari Department Store closed its doors on 3 December 2017 and the Cinemaxx movie complex has also closed. Supermarket anchor, Hypermart, is rumoured to not be renewing its contract too.

Industry insiders say the location of mall on Jl Raya Narmada (east of Sweta) is not economically viable, even though retail in Lombok is booming, and LCC cannot compete with other shopping centres such as Epicentrum, TransMart, Giant, etc.

In comparison, the Matahari outlet at Lombok Epicentrum Mall is said to have consistently met its sales targets since opening and may even have plans to expand the store in the near future.

The future of the huge 8.8 hectare complex – which was planned to include a hospital, hotels, a convention centre and residential areas – is uncertain.

Blue Bird Taxi – called Lombok Taxi locally – is the safest and best performing taxi company in Lombok, and downloading the My Blue Bird app makes transport easy anywhere on the island.

The My Blue Bird app allows you to book your taxi easily online, show your location on a map to make it easy for the driver to find you, track your taxi’s location, share your location with family and friends, make credit card and other cashless payments, and more.

Now you can get even more benefits with the My Blue Bird app including discounts for a range of businesses and services in Lombok, for example 15% off visits to the Lombok Elephant Park and 10% discount at Kura Kura Waterpark.

Download the app from App Store or Google Play. For more details, see page 32.

 
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IT’S A MONTH YOU WILL LOVE @ QUNCI VILLAS!
 

qunciThis month Qunci Villas continues their annual ‘Month of Love’ programme of exciting events, hosting visiting chefs and artists at the stylish resort in Mangsit.
This is the fifth year in a row that Qunci Villas has hosted its highly successful Month of Love, which is a series of events celebrating romance and love of food and the arts.

From 5 - 12 February, Qunci will host artist-in-residence, Setu Legi. Setu will be demonstrating her talent as a painter and is happy to meet visitors and discuss her art. An exhibition of her work will be held on 10 February.

On Wednesday 14 February, Qunci Executive Chef Gianluca Viscaglia will prepare an indulgent 5-course Lovers Menu for Valentine’s Day in Quah Restaurant at the resort. See our Valentine’s feature article for menu details.

On Thursday 15 February, Qunci hosts a special Chinese New Year celebration with a ‘Prosperity Buffet’ in the Quali Garden Restaurant from 7pm.

The feast includes Chinese appetisers, a live cooking noodle station, braised beef ribs and more, plus fortune cookies and moon cakes. Price for the buffet is Rp 380,000++ and there are attractive beverage packages available.

On Sunday 25 February, Qunci will hold its 3rd Annual Ayam Taliwang Competition. The exciting competition sees top Lombok chefs competing to create the best versions of Lombok’s iconic dish – Ayam Taliwang (grilled chicken in spicy sauce).

Come along and join in the fun as the chefs create mouth-watering Taliwang on the grills set up in the garden. The competition starts at 10am and will be adjudicated by special guests – Master Chef Indonesia judge, Matteo Guerinoni and Jed from Foodie Magazine Jakarta, together with Resident Chef, Gianluca. Winners will be announced at 12 noon.

After the Taliwang Competition, enjoy a fabulous Sparkling Brunch from 12.30 – 3.30pm featuring a feast of tempting appetisers, Arabic Mezze, home-made pastas, grilled meats and seafood, cheeses, and delicious desserts (including a chocolate fountain and Qunci’s famous gelato). Buffet only price is Rp 320,000++ and well-priced beverage packages are available. See page 40 for details.

Finally, from 20 - 28 February, come and meet President Jokowi’s favourite painter – Kunara – and view his talent at work. He will host an exhibition of his paintings at Qunci on 27 February.

For more details and contacts, please see the Month of Love advert on pages 24 and 25.

 
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LOMBOK MARINA ON GILI GEDE
 

The planned marina resort on Gili Gede

The long-awaited creation of a world-class marina resort on Gili Gede is now underway.

The marina is the inspiration of marine tourism expert and Captain, Raymond La Fontaine, who has spent years petitioning Indonesian law makers and tourism authorities to support marine tourism in Indonesia.

Yacht Club“With more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, encouraging yachting and marine tourism makes sense for the country, not only for increasing tourism but also as a way of bringing economic prosperity to island communities,” Raymond told us when we visited last week.

“Indonesia is Asiana – the link between Australia and Asia – and needs to be developed as one of the major sailing destinations in the world, alongside the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Pacific,” he explained. “Lombok is an ideal location and the convenient mid-way point between Australia and other popular sailing destinations such as Thailand.”

His work over the past decade has finally paid off with the Indonesian government not only supporting the construction of Lombok Marina on Gili Gede but also making important changes to laws to encourage marine tourism in the country.

Now that he has the green light, construction is underway on Lombok Marina – located on the southern tip of the big island of Gili Gede in the beautiful southwest of Lombok.

The team assembling pontoons

The location of the marina is ideal, with deep protected waters surrounding thirteen pristine and undeveloped islands, reminiscent of the Caribbean. This means the marina can offer safe anchorage year-round for visiting boats.

The village of Tembowong on the mainland of Lombok is only a short 10 minute boat ride away, giving sailors easy access to other areas on Lombok and the International Airport.

Ray with a marine power pedestal to be installed on the mooringsOnce completed, Lombok Marina will be the only integrated marina resort in Indonesia featuring an international standard yacht club, being developed by Raymond’s company, PT Marindo.

The resort includes an elevated restaurant with stunning island views, a large resort swimming pool, a beachfront bar, Spa, mid-range accommodation as part of the resort complex, and 24 luxury apartments on the hill with views across the southwestern Gilis to Bangko Bangko.

The marina boasts a 110m concrete wharf (already constructed) with 200m of floating pontoons (under construction) and secure moorings for 60 vessels.

Facilities include long- and short-term moorings for visiting boats, fuel supply, fresh water, 24-hour security, provisioning, boat detailing, specialized repairs and services, rubbish disposal, and all other services expected from a world-class marina.

The marina will offer amenities to visiting sailors such as toilets and bathrooms, laundry facilities, WiFi and electricity hook up to their boats, as well as assistance with customs clearance and immigration.

We visited Raymond last week to take a closer look at the construction of the mooring pontoons, which is taking place at the workshop of PT Marine in Pantai Cemara, near Lembar Harbour.

Pontoons ready for towingOwner of PT Marine, Steve Knudson, is a precision engineer who operates a marine engineering facility for boat building and repairs, and has been instrumental in the construction of the pontoons.

200m of the pontoons, which are European-designed and manufactured in China, arrived in Lombok in 22 sections weighing over 16 tonnes. Steve, Raymond and their local team then had the massive job of assembling the sections.

Once assembled, the pontoons were moved to the waters of the estuary at Cemara and towed by sea to be finally put in place at the marina at Gili Gede.

Lombok Marina will be operational by 1 April 2018 and will celebrate its official opening on 22 October when it will host the Pacific Island Rally, the World ARC Rally and the inaugural President’s Cup.

President Jokowi, who has supported Raymond in his drive for marine tourism in Indonesia, will officiate at the opening of the President’s Cup and launch the one-week regatta of sailing around Lombok.

Launching the pontoons

 
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Take Some Time Out

Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say: “Esther, I’d like to ride in that helicopter.”

“I know Morris,” Esther always replied, “but that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars!”

One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, “Esther, I’m 85 years old. If I don’t ride in that helicopter now, I might never get another chance.”

To this, Esther replied, “Morris that helicopter ride is fifty dollars – and fifty dollars is fifty dollars!”

The pilot overheard the couple and said, “Folks I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take the both of you for a ride in the helicopter. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won’t charge you. But if you say one word, it’s fifty dollars!”

Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy manoeuvres, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still the couple didn’t say a word.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, “By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn’t say a word. I’m impressed!”

“Well, to tell you the truth,” Morris replied, “I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know, fifty dollars is fifty dollars!”

 
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