The original article was published by SuitcaseMag.com. Read HERE.
Writer: SUITCASE Magazine
Experience a bygone era of Indonesian heritage and beauty at this enchanting art hotel on Lombok’s quiet coastline
Masterminded by traditional art collector Anhar Setjadibrata after he amassed a museum-worthy collection of Indonesian handicrafts over several decades, Tugu Hotel Lombok is a hymn to local heritage crafts, spotlightling Lombok’s artistic legacy with typical Indonesian heart and soul. Stretching across the white sugar sands of Sire Beach, all 37 suites are individually designed, embellished with unique antiques and ancient Javanese prints that depict the tale of Indonesian kings from times gone by. Every corner has a story to tell – from the Chinois-inspired koi ponds that encircle the colonial-style reception, to the bedrooms adorned with batik textiles – creating a timeless elegance that weaves the magic of the past with the comforts of the present.
The hotel’s commitment to cultural preservation runs right through to its staff, too – all of whom are genuinely passionate about Tugu’s legacy, eager to share their culture and even more eager to make each guest’s stay the most memorable and seamless experience it can be. And beyond hosting regular cultural evenings – where guests are invited to keep age-old traditions alive by immersing themselves in traditional music, dance performances, and storytelling – the hotel is also home to an on-site museum offering a treasure trove of historical artefacts and heritage artworks.
Whether overlooking the glittering ocean or verdant-green gardens, rooms offer breathtaking views that only add to the general ambiance of tranquility. Amenities are luxurious yet tasteful -think wheel-sized rainfall shower heads, huge copper bathtubs and sweet-smelling sustainable toiletries.
Tell us about the food…
Presided over by sculptures of Hindu deities, the dining room is set within a soaring poolside pavilion. At breakfast you’ll find coffee sourced from Tugu’s own plantation, as well as a three-course menu of deliciously nutritious pick-me ups – think everything from power bowls of frozen yoghurt and fruit to pancakes and eggs many ways. A complimentary afternoon tea (served from 4-6pm) showcases traditional Indonesian snacks like vegetable fritters and coconut jelly, while the hotel’s delectable lunch and dinner menu celebrates the vibrant palate of the archipelago with Sasak specialities, as well as intricate Javanese and Balinese flavours.
What about accessibility?
The hotel is set back from the beach in a large ‘T’ shape, so some rooms are fairly far from the central restaurant (where the main action happens). This said, everything is on the ground floor, so wheelchair access should be feasible throughout.
What’s the crowd like?
You’re just as likely to meet staycationing Indonesians as you are international holidaymakers here. They’ll mostly be well-heeled couples and families – although I didn’t feel out of place as a young(ish), solo traveller.
Things I should know
All communal areas are set under thatched, open-air pavilions, so be prepared to get a little wet if you sit at a side table during the rainy season (or order food and drink to your room, which staff are more than happy to accommodate on request).
Within a short walk I can find…
A slew of sleepy beach bars, known as ‘warungs’ – think family-owned wooden huts, not up-all-night boozers, plus a palm-fringed, 18-hole golf course and small dive centre – both of which can be booked at reception.