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NEWS

ISSUE 70

RAMADAN IN LOMBOK!

THE BERUGAQ… Coffee in a Good Cause!

NEW RP 1000 COIN AND RP 10 000 BANKNOTE

WHAT'S HOT!

CLEANING UP SENGGIGI!

LOCAL SCENE

MR FIXER

OUR SHOCKING AIRLINE SERVICES!

PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES END TO BLACKOUTS

EXQISIT NEW VILLAS AND YACHT CHARTER IN GILI T

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RAMADAN IN LOMBOK!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

This is an important month for many Muslims across Indonesia as Ramadan (the fasting month) starts on 11 August this year. Ramadan is a special time of reflection and self discipline for Indonesia’s Muslim community, with followers refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and extremes of emotion for the entire month.

This year Ramadan coincides with high season in Lombok, but visitors shouldn’t let that worry them. Despite what mischievous people in Bali might tell you, it’s business as usual in Lombok! All our restaurants and bars are open, hotels are doing brisk trade and visitors are welcomed at any time. Come and enjoy your holiday and, if a local person asks you to buka puasa (break the fast at sunset) with them, join in the happy feast!  

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

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THE BERUGAQ… Coffee in a Good Cause!

Every time we’ve been driving along the road from Ampenan to the airport, we’ve noticed a coffee shop on the right hand side called “The Berugaq”. Something about the nice chairs out the front looked very enticing, but it’s a busy road and it was difficult to stop on our way to and fro. We finally got a chance to investigate this interesting little coffee shop and found that it was definitely worth stopping for!

“Berugaq” is the local Sasak word for a raised platform or pavilion, used for resting and drinking coffee (sometimes called a Bale) and for this, The Berugaq Coffee House and Gallery is well named. Inside is a nicely decorated air conditioned space, with cosy chairs and seating arrangements and plenty of reading material for whiling away the hours. Most impressive are the walls, which are covered with fantastic artwork by talented local artists.

Chalk boards on the wall list a wonderful selection of all the popular coffees – Lattes, Cappuccinos, Mochaccino, Espresso – as well as Americano, local and gourmet roasts. There are also iced versions, hot chocolates, milkshakes, and delicious Italian sodas and Frappuccinos. All coffees and many drinks are available as “tall”, “regular” or “large”, the latter so huge it will satisfy any dedicated coffee addict!

But it is inside the glass display cabinets at the servery that the best things are to be discovered – home baked muffins, pies, jaffles, waffles, chocolate and carrot cakes, croissants and even real cheesecake! Under the guidance of their western friends, the cooks at The Berugaq have perfected cakes and pastries as good as those found in the west!

Settling at a comfortable table with a frothy Cappuccino, a large slice of apple pie for my partner and a piece of divine cheesecake for me, we meet Pak Kisid and Earl Case; two of the dynamos behind The Berugaq story.
Pak Kisid is a local teacher, a talented artist and secretary of his local church. He is also a dedicated member of a local “Yayasan” (charity organisation) called Yayasan Sopoq Angen (Bahasa Sasak for “One Heart”). Together with other caring Indonesians, three of whom are artists, Pak Kisid set up the YSA five years ago with one mission: to erase poverty in Lombok.

The Yayasan opened The Berugaq four years ago as a business to generate money for their charity projects and as a place for the artists to display their work. Part proceeds from the sale of the artwork also go toward funding the charity projects.

Yayasan Sopoq Angen works to improve literacy amongst poor communities, provide free health care to disadvantaged villages and supports young artists in Lombok schools.

Earl and his wife, Barb, who are members of the Global Development Association based in Canada, met Pak Kisid one year ago and were impressed with the dedication of the Yayasan.

“We felt confident with the honesty and integrity of the members,” said Earl, “They are all of mixed religions, so there is no one religious bias, and this is a charity that was started first by locals to help their own people.”
Seeing the Yayasan as a practical way that they could make a contribution to the underprivileged in Lombok, GDA members now work together with Pak Kisid and the other members and volunteers who make up this extraordinary group of people.

Upstairs at The Berugak three members teach English, with proceeds also going to fund the foundation. Barb Case teaches elementary classes and women’s education to Yayasan members, while another member, Andy, teaches TOEFL and oversees the Yayasan’s projects in East Lombok. Alex, who has spent more than 42 years in Indonesia, teaches many other classes. Conversational and professional English classes are available, with a recommended donation going to the Yayasan; although some special cases receive free education.

Yayasan members and the Canadian consultants work on a totally volunteer basis and receive no wages for their work.

Over the past year, YSA has conducted two free health clinics at Labuhan Pandan in East Lombok. At the last one, held at the end of June, two local doctors and six nurses checked the health, and prescribed and dispensed medication free of charge to around 350 people.

Currently one of the Yayasan’s major projects is introducing drip irrigation to farmers in the dry villages around Labuhan Pandan. Called “Demplot” the project is based on a one hectare demonstration plot and farmers are being taught how to use drip irrigation to water their crops and how to rotate crops. The project is also experimenting with different crops to see which respond best to drip irrigation.

Soils in Labuhan Pandan are generally arid and the area receives low rainfall, so subsistence farming has been the traditional practice here, usually with corn and peanuts as the staple crops. Under the Demplot project, farmers are now growing mixed crops including corn, tomatoes, chillies, melons and cucumbers with good success. The quality and size of the crops being produced indicates a positive result for the farmers using drip irrigation and goes a long way toward easing poverty in the community.

Who would have thought that a pretty little café on a busy road could be the front for such an important and worthwhile cause? Whether your motives are altruistic, or you’re just in search of good western-style cakes and coffee, a visit to The Berugaq is a must (and you’ll be helping a worthy cause)!

To entice you further, The Berugak is offering a free tall beverage with any purchase of one of their delicious jaffles (see the discount voucher on page 48). For more information or to help the One Heart Foundation, please call 0858 5829 5085 or email ecase@cheerful.com

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NEW RP 1000 COIN AND RP 10 000 BANKNOTE

Bank Indonesia began issuing new Rp 1 000 coins and Rp 10 000 notes, on 20 July 2010.
The new coin is made of nickel-coated steel and has a picture of Garuda Pancasila on the front. The reverse side has a picture of an angklung (a traditional Sundanese musical instrument made from bamboo) against the background of the Gedung Sate building in Bandung (an architectural landmark in Bandung that serves as the headquarters of the West Java administration).

Bank Indonesia says that the Rp 2 000 bill will be the country’s smallest denomination banknote once the Rp 1 000 coin takes the place of the existing Rp 1 000 bill.

The new Rp 10 000 note is similar to the preceding design, but the overall color has changed from reddish purple to a bluish purple, changing from the current red which often causes it to be confused with the Rp 100 000 note.
The new Rp 10 000 banknote features images of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, a national hero from South Sumatra, and a lisang, which is the name of the province’s traditional house.

In an attempt to prevent counterfeiting of the new notes, several security features have been included:
• A pentagonal shape on the right-hand side of the main image changes color (rainbow effect) when observed from certain angles;

• Small red (Omron) rings filled in white are scattered on the right-hand side of the main image;

• A circle that was previously invisible on the old notes, is now visible and noticeable to the touch (intaglio printmaking), and positioned on the right-hand side of the main image;

• The BI design logo framed by an ornament from the Palembang region, which does not change color (offset printing), is positioned on the bottom right-hand side of the note.

Bank Indonesia said it would print 719 million new Rp 1 000 coins and 820 million new Rp 10 000 banknotes this year.

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• Visitors to Lombok who have a taste for the high life will enjoy a pleasure flight with Sky Aviation. Sky is based at Lombok’s Selaparang Airport and operates two light aircraft, which are perfect for flying at low altitudes and exploring Lombok and nearby islands. One of the most popular flights takes in the magnificent west coast scenery, with a flyover of the Gili islands and the mountains of the north coast, before descending into the crater of Mt Rinjani, Lombok’s 3726m volcano. It’s an incredible way to see the famous volcano and the picturesque Crater Lake near the summit. Other trips take in the sights of the south coast, or an around-the-island flight gives a good overview of the size of the island and the awe-inspiring landscapes of Lombok.

For those with limited time, Sky Aviation also offers trips to Java to visit the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur, or fly across the islands to the east for a close encounter with the Komodo dragons… all possible in a one-day trip from Lombok.

These flights are an exciting and unique way to get a bird’s eye view of our beautiful island; the planes are safe, with internationally qualified pilots, and charters are reasonably priced. Phone Sky for details: (0370) 636 333. www.ptskyaviation.com

• Anyone who has ever visited the Secret Islands (the Gilis off the southwest coast, near Sekotong) knows that these islands are some of the loveliest in Lombok. Many of the islands are uninhabited, and most have wonderful white sand beaches and good snorkelling and diving. The problem with reaching the islands further south has always been the lack of accommodation. There is a resort on Gili Nanggu and two resorts (Secret Island Resort and Via Vaccare on Gili Gede), but the islands further south are as yet undeveloped. Of course, that is why these are the Secret Islands!

Now those wishing to discover the Southwest’s secrets can stay on Gili Asahan, where Dive Zone partners have just opened Pearl Beach Resort. Currently there are four charming bungalows set on a beautiful stretch of deserted beach on the east coast. Each spacious bungalow has a queen sized bed, generous semi open air bathroom with fresh water and hot showers, and a delightful terrace overlooking the ocean. There is also a restaurant serving a daily menu of tasty local foods with a western touch. Pearl Beach Resort is a first for Gili Asahan… a peaceful place to escape and unwind in comfort, on your own secret island! Ph: +62 (0) 819 0724 7696. www.pearlbeach-resort.com

• I visited Orchid Salon (in Senggigi Plaza, on the road to Senggigi Beach) last week to try out their new nail art. Nail art involves painting intricate decorations and designs onto finger and toe nails, and is all the rage in Jakarta and Surabaya. Although the girls working on the beach have been offering manicures with flower patterns and simple designs for years, the designs offered by Orchid Salon range in the hundreds, including flower designs, geometric patterns, even astrological signs and cartoon characters.

The nail art is applied by a computer operated machine to ensure that the intricate and detailed designs are perfect every time, and Orchid Salon has the only nail art machine in Lombok. I opted for a manicure and pedicure first, then nail art on my finger nails. While the whole process took a while, a professional manicure and pedicure is worth the time and so relaxing! Total price was about Rp 145 000, which is very good value! The result is startling… pretty, eye-catching nails and totally unique in Lombok.

While at the salon, I checked out the small range of clothes on display. Some very nice dresses and tops are on sale, with fashionable designs and a good range of sizes, not the usual “Indonesian only” tiny sizes! In addition to being the only nail art salon in Lombok, Orchid Salon also offers a complete range of beauty treatments such as facials and massages, etc., and the hair salon looks like it will be worth a visit soon! Ph: 0819 1593 2899

• The shopping complex on Senggigi main street that was formerly known as “Intan Galleria” has been undergoing a transformation over the past year and the area now has some interesting stores. Locally called “Galleria”, the shops were originally built by the Intan Laguna (now Santosa Villas and Resort) and for many years sat empty, eventually becoming run down and creating an eyesore on the main street.

New investment has seen many of the shops restored and the Galleria now houses great little places such as Anna’s Gift Shop, a t-shirt shop and PAS, which sells a good range of surf gear. The latest addition is Rambo Pet Shop, which has moved from in front of Happy Café to new premises in the Galleria. This business has expanded its products and has a good selection of English books for sale, as well as a pretty café out the front selling cold drinks, snacks and that delicious Indonesian dessert drink: Es Campur.

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CLEANING UP SENGGIGI!

Well done to Asmara Restaurant, who organised a Gotong Royong (Busy Bee) to clean up the main street in Senggigi on Thursday, 29 July 2010, and special thanks to those people in the business community who took part in the clean up.

It was great to see so many people showing that they care about the image of Senggigi. The team at Asmara did a great job, including Iwan who donated the services of his rubbish van to take away the rubbish, and Alan (a Senggigi resident) who brought along his pickup van to help.

Shop owners and staff from the stores in Galleria also did a great job cleaning up years of rubbish, accumulated from when the shops were still managed by the Intan Laguna (now Santosa Villas and Resort). It was a shame not to see the team from Santosa out on the streets; hopefully they will be out in force next month!

A happy surprise was the enthusiasm of the local tourist police from Senggigi Police station, who turned out to show their support and lent their muscles to the clean up effort.

The area in front of Galleria is now looking much better, with the exception of the Kedaton and Blue Tent areas. The Gotong Royong is a great way for our community to get together and show that they care about Senggigi's image. It's amazing how much can be accomplished in just a couple of hours!

The Lombok Guide will publish the date for the next Gotong Royong in our next issue please join in to make each clean up a success!

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LOCAL SCENE

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY WIDI & CEKO

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(Tongue-in-cheek answers to your personal building problems)

QUESTION: My husband and I have recently arrived on the beautiful island of Lombok with its white sandy beaches, laid back nightlife and relaxing beachside restaurants. Our intention is to relax and take a well deserved break, and possibly find a small villa for our retirement. 

After 40 years of marriage, I must say being in Lombok has put the life back into my husband. We have only been here a few weeks, and already my husband is behaving like a 19 year old! He has become much more amorous. In fact, no matter what I am doing, he won’t leave me alone. I can be ironing, cooking, cleaning the cat box or writing letters; he just comes right at me and won’t be dissuaded for any reason! I would like to know if there is anything that ucnn hlp m wth f unothel  gothsl  ehj fpslth flth3/  0… fshl (o……  dlks ..

QUESTION: Dear Mr Fixer, I am just writing to say how nice it was to meet you in the “Happy Café” in Senggigi last week. My ears have stopped ringing now and the loud music has cleared my sinuses quite nicely. 

Thank you for the building advice which will come in handy as I am currently renovating a small villa in the popular tourist area of Green Valley and I need all the help I can get. There is so much to do, including fixing the leaking roof and replacing the toilets. How do they use those things so low on the floor?  They look like athletes starting blocks with the foot positions on either side! With all the hassle of building and renovating, I seem to have lost my sexual appetite. My wife no longer arouses me and I was wondering if you could help. I am so distressed.

MR FIXER: Glad you are getting on with the renovations. It was also nice to meet you and your wife in “Happy Café”. Don’t worry about your arousal problem. If it’s any help, your wife does nothing for me either.

QUESTION: Tourism in Lombok (and Senggigi in particular) is really picking up. Most hotels and backpacker hostels are reporting increased numbers of visitors. New bars and restaurants are opening up almost every week. We even have 2 night clubs now, which has doubled the choice! When the new international airport finally opens in November, where are the new arrivals going to stay? Hotels are being built in the northwest of the island, but I am worried that the accommodation currently available may not be enough to cope with the extra arrivals. What do you suggest?

MR FIXER: I quite agree. Accommodation will be in great demand when the new airport opens. Already, things are getting busy. Just the other day, my friend George came home to find a man in his wife’s wardrobe!

Got a question for Mr Fixer? He’s always got a quirky answer your personal building problems! Just email your problem to “Mr Fixer” at kitadesign@hotmail.com

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OUR SHOCKING AIRLINE SERVICES!

The visit to Lombok by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday, 27 July 2010, highlights the disgraceful state of air access to Lombok.

Regular travellers between Bali and Lombok are all too well aware of the inadequacies of the air services between the islands. Merpati Airlines and Trans Nusa (two airlines serving the Bali-Lombok route) are regularly guilty of cancelled flights, delays and deliberate overbooking of flights.

When the President flew into Lombok last week he threw the usual lackadaisical airport system into further chaos, infuriating tour operators and tourists trying to make connecting flights. Apparently, it is usual protocol to close local airports to the public for two hours before and after the President’s plane lands. Last week, all flights were delayed not just for 4 hours (which would be unacceptable anyway), but services didn’t resume until around 3pm in the afternoon.

Hundreds of people were trapped at Selaparang Airport trying to get flights, some of which were confirmed for early morning departure. Worse, information and customer service from airline staff was non-existent; with staff laughing and shrugging their shoulders.

The result of this bedlam is that many visitors, who had booked early morning flights to make connecting flights from Bali to Europe in the late afternoon, missed these flights.

At the peak of high season, with thousands of tourists visiting Lombok via Bali, this incident highlights the woeful state of air services and one of the major problems blocking the future development of this island.

Anita Verhoeven is the Managing Director of Sunda Trails, a Lombok company that specialises in guided tours for groups from Europe. She sent the letter below to national newspaper “The Jakarta Post” and to The Lombok Guide, which highlights the frustration of promoting tourism here:

Letter: Tourists stacked for hours at Lombok airport due to visit SBY

“Today I was supposed to fly to Bali at 11.30 am. Owning a travel agency on Lombok, these are busy times for us. I have to pick up a group, which arrives in Bali at 19.10, so I thought if I take an early flight I will be in time. But, due to SBY’s visit to Lombok, there will be no tour leader waiting for the guests at the airport tonight.

We also had a group of 18 people, families, who were scheduled to fly from Bima (Sumbawa) to Lombok at 10.00 am. It was the same plane I would take to Bali. When I took a taxi to my office this morning I passed the airport, which was very crowded with police. The taxi driver told me that the president would visit Lombok today. I already started getting a headache because this means the airport will be closed and I got worried about my guests and my flight to Bali.

I called the airline and they said they were still on schedule, which surprised me. The group was already waiting at the airport in Bima from 08.30 this morning and you must know that there are no good facilities at the airport in Bima. Especially for families with children, it’s quite boring.

I had regularly contacted the tour leader there and until 13.00 there was no plane in sight. Then I got a text from him at 13.15 that there were taking off. I rushed to the airport to check in and was told that the plane would leave at 14.00.  At the airport were many angry tourists with connecting flights at 16.00. 14.30 came, but no plane yet and I went to the information desk for more news. The plane landed in Bali. Now they are scheduled to leave at 19.00 from Bali. So that means a whole day of holiday, for which people pay a lot of money, is wasted!


Now it’s 16.30 and the flight is delayed until 19.20 and the staff are still not sure yet.

I am very angry with SBY. We travel agencies put a lot of effort into promoting this country. And he helps us to ruining it by coming to Lombok and shut down our airport. Please, Mr President, stay in Jakarta to make traffic jams every day by closing down the streets if you go to your office but don’t come to Lombok anymore to bother us with bad image because people are stacked for hours at the airport without information.

You are only welcome if you can come on a normal domestic flight like other people do. I don’t understand why the airport has to be closed and people miss their connecting flights and parts of their holiday due to you.

If you want the community to support you then behave like one of them!”

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PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES END TO BLACKOUTS

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Lombok as part of his “Blackout-free Indonesia” campaign on 27 July 2010. Also attending were First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh and several other Cabinet ministers.

Speaking at a ceremony to launch what he called the “Blackout-free Indonesia” movement in Mataram, the President said that the scheduled blackouts that have been plaguing hundreds of regions in the country for years due to a lack of power supply were a thing of the past.

He acknowledged state-run electricity company PT PLN’s hard work in helping to end the blackouts.
“I will keep monitoring [the situation]… If it is really successful I will give my full appreciation to the company,” SBY told the ceremony, held in front of the governor’s office.

He said electricity was a basic need for domestic households, industries and the government and said it was concerning that many households did not have access to electricity and that others experienced frequent blackouts.

“By increasing the basic price of electricity, hopefully PLN will be able to supply power to more people,” he said, adding that 19 million families in the country did not have access to electricity.

The President said that the national government paid about Rp 55 trillion in electricity subsidies every year – and that it was primarily relatively rich families that had access to electricity. He said the subsidy must be reduced and allocated to only those who could not afford unsubsidized prices.

PLN President Director, Dahlan Iskan, said that on 30 June the company had ended a major power crisis affecting millions of people. The power crisis, which called for the widespread implementation of scheduled blackouts in certain areas, affected 200 cities in the country.

“As expected by the government, the crisis ended on 30 June. Supply is now sufficient,” Dahlan said, adding that PLN had solved the crisis by renting generators from third parties and repairing damaged generators.

Ideally, Dahlan said, PLN would have a power reserve of at least 30 percent of total demand to avoid blackouts in the event that generators went down.

He said the event had been held in NTB because the province had been most affected by the prolonged power crisis.

Dahlan promised that scheduled blackouts were a thing of the past, and would only be implemented again in the event of technical problems and not because of a basic lack of power supply.

NTB Governor Zainul Majdi said he hoped that bringing electricity to more areas would aid development and especially speed up construction of Lombok International Airport in Central Lombok, which is expected to boost the regional economy.

The ceremony, which many see as a public relations exercise, has drawn criticism across the region, with many saying that the PLN chief is telling the President what he wants to hear.

Critics point to the fact that, despite the PLN announcement that there would be no blackouts after 30 June, short term blackouts occur across Lombok almost daily. Despite Dahlan’s announcement that “supply is now sufficient” due to rental of generators, PLN Mataram admits that even with the extra generators, total supply does not meet the 110 MW required by the island during peak times and that there is no margin reserve in the event of machinery breakdowns or technical problems.

Furthermore, the current electrical supply is only sufficient for existing consumers; there is no provision for increasing existing connections or making new connections. It is estimated that around 150 thousand people in the region are still waiting for new electricity connections.

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EXQISIT NEW VILLAS AND YACHT CHARTER IN GILI TRAWANGAN

Lombok and Gili Trawangan will benefit from the exciting new high-level performance yacht charter and luxury villas that have just opened for business on Gili T.

The combination packages that are now being offered provide unique and exciting up-market yacht charter and luxury villa accommodation on Gili Trawangan and are a first for Lombok.

Unique New Services

True performance sailing catamarans have not been available for charter before and are now being built in Lombok by IndoCats, and will be servicing the growing demand for quality charter yachts in the area and abroad.
These thoroughbred catamarans (twin-hulled sailing yachts) have pedigrees with around the world ability and many racing successes, but are also fully equipped with the luxuries of life to give anyone that enjoys the sea a great experience and superb holiday!

These yachts have sailed at speeds above 20 knots -- much like a motorboat under full power, although guests can expect more modest speeds of 8-15 knots under sail during the charters.  
Lie back on the trampolines with a cool drink in your hand as the wind tousles your hair, with the sleek yacht slicing easily through the water and feel like a millionaire! 

Fully skippered, crewed and catered

The charters are fully skippered and crewed, with all needs of the guests served by three experienced crew on board. With the yachts able to accommodate up to six passengers (although four is the ideal number), this experience is ideal for a family, a group of friends or as a perfect romantic getaway, to be pampered and seduced.  Surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing – all are ideal, as the boat can take you to where you want to go!!!
Charters can do pick ups from Bali, Lombok or Labuhan Bajo (Flores) and can be of any length from four days upwards. Included in the charter are exciting extras like massage and spa services, tours in the different locations with highlights such as Mt Rinjani, Satonda and Moyo Islands and, of course, the Komodo dragons. Bali to Komodo is the most common week long trip but the beauty of having your “own” yacht is that YOU can decide on your own itinerary!

Luxury Pool Villas on Gili T

The other half of the combo is the newly-built luxury private pool villas in the hub of Gili Trawangan, next to Blue Marlin and only steps away from the main jetty. Walk into these oases of peace and tranquillity and let your stresses wash away in your marble lined villa, with rich wooden furniture, 5x3m pool, granite vanity and large screen TVs -- all in your own private and secluded space. 

Eat your meals on your private patio, swim in your private pool or lounge on the sun beds. Also available are many quality restaurants nearby, cidomo tours round the island, sunset cruises or day cruises, scuba, water sports, snorkelling, kayaking and horse riding on the island.

Fantastic Combos

From weekend “Unbeatable Value” and “Family Packages” to “Romantic Lover’s Packages” or the indulgent “Royal Seduction Package”, and the longer combos with thrilling sailing experiences, there are options to suit all tastes and preferences.  

We guarantee that it will be eXQisit!!!  All that’s missing is “U”.

For information and bookings, contact: 0370 629405, Mob: 081803764102, www.exqisit.com.

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