Wonderful Weddings in Lombok

in Destinations/Weddings by

Imagining the romance of a wedding comes easy in the idyllic landscape of Lombok. Uncrowded vast beaches, tropical greenery, and the nature-rich Gili islands in the horizon, replete with sea turtles and exotic fish – there’s a feeling of discovering an untouched corner of the Earth. When it comes to destinations – and especially destination weddings – it doesn’t get much dreamier.

And which other place but Lombok delivers a marriage of stunning settings, exotic décor, highly experienced event planners and spectacular destination-in-themselves villas? Another compelling reason for a Lombok wedding is the complete lack of stress. You’re on island time, with skilled masseurs and beauty therapists on-call. Need more persuasion? Your celebrations can start long before the ceremony itself; your friends can plan a holiday around your special day, and organise all sorts of pre-wedding events at one of our fabulous villas. All villas have in-house gourmet catering, so there is no stress about the cuisine at the wedding. And the icing on the cake? The bride and groom don’t have to fly elsewhere to enjoy the most romantic and memorable honeymoon imaginable….it starts the moment they wake up the next day.

Here’s our selection of the best wedding villas on the island of Lombok:

Sira Beach House

Six-bedroom Sira Beach House sits on six acres of beautifully manicured lawns. The distinction between beach and garden is blurred on this beautiful beachfront. Open-sided living and dining rooms boast vaulted thatched roofs and a magical, dreamy bale completes the look.

Take your vows with the sand between your toes, enjoy a wedding breakfast under the shade of the coconut palms, surrounded by verdant greens, or dance the night away under the twinkling stars. Sira Beach House is utterly photogenic and the memories of your picture-perfect wedding will never fade.

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Last night sunset #sirabeachhouse.

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Villa Sepoi Sepoi

Designed around a central courtyard,

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Between Bali and Lombok, The Famous Wallace Line

in Culture/Destinations by

Alfred Russel Wallace was a British naturalist who lived from 1823 to 1913. He is recognized for independently forming the theory of evolution through natural selection. In 1858, before Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, Wallace’s paper on the subject was published jointly along with some of Darwin’s writing. Throughout his lifetime of exploration and study, Wallace became the world’s foremost expert on the geographical distribution of animal species.

Wallace was fascinated by the biodiversity in Malaysia and Indonesia, where in 1859 he charted to an exact physical boundary the separation between fauna which is native to Asia and that which is found in Australia. ‘The Wallace Line’ runs between Bali and Lombok and between Borneo and Sulawesi.

It is estimated that as recently as 15,000 years ago, sea levels were more than 110 metres lower than they are today. Most of the islands that comprise present day Indonesia and Malaysia were one landmass, now referred to as Sundaland. Nearby Australia, and Tasmania also comprised a single landmass which is sometimes called SahuI.

That Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali were once connected is commonly accepted among Indonesians without the need for scientific evidence. Ask an Indonesian how Bali came to be its own island; you may hear a tale about how a giant magic dragon isolated a dishonest gambler.

Lombok was not connected to Bali, neither by ancient lands nor legend. Although the distance between Bali and Lombok is only 35 kilometres, the Lombok Strait is so deep that it has been filled by water for millions of years.

Lombok is east of Wallace’s Line, in the region known as Wallacea, consisting of islands which were not connected to either ice age continent. This area shows a history of inhabiting animals which were capable of island-hopping. Present day islands including Lombok and the Lesser Sunda Islands have much of the same Australasian fauna as SahuI, but not the same animals as Sundaland and mainland Asia.

Wallace identified the 250m depth of the Lombok Strait as the single most compelling explanation for the differences between Asian and Australian animals. It caused various species to remain isolated from each other on opposite sides of the Lombok Strait through centuries of migrations and evolution.

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Elite Talk with Executive Director Riyaz Moorani

in People by

Elite Havens’ Executive Director, Riyaz Moorani, has travelled the world but one of his most intriguing journeys has been his career path. A chance encounter with a fellow expat nearly twenty years ago set him on a course for success in the luxury tourism sector. We caught up with Riyaz to find out how meeting Jon Stonham led to the foundation of Elite Havens, and how he helped grow Asia’s leading villa company.

Elite Havens: What can you tell us about your role at Elite Havens?

Riyaz Moorani: As one of the Executive Directors of the company, I do a little bit of everything. I am responsible for the technological aspect of the company, so I work with all the other departments to see how we can use technology to help them become more efficient.  I am based in the Manila office, and there are about 10 people in the IT team, 20 in Reservations, 7 in Content, 16 in Accounting and Finance and HR. We have about 60 people in Manila.

EH: Have you been doing this for the company since it began?

RM: Yes. Since our Asia Hotels days, Jon has taken care of the ‘outside’—dealing with our customers and the marketing aspect of things, and I’ve always taken care of the ‘inside’ of the business—the technology and operations side of things. This partnership and division of labour has worked well for many years.

EH: So I take it your background is in IT?

RM: I’ve always worked in IT but along the way, it became more of a mix of IT and business: looking at a business and studying how to apply technology to it, rather than just pure IT.

I was working at my first job in Canada and our company sent me to Malaysia for a one-year project. I liked it so much there that I ended up staying for five years instead of just one. I was in charge of designing and running a very large operating system for a phone company. Then a phone company in Hong Kong asked me to come and build a similar system for them. So, I moved to Hong Kong and lived there for almost 11 years and that’s where I met Jon. We became good friends and we decided to start Asia Hotels.

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Treat Professional Burnout and Recharge at Selofit

in Destinations/News/Recreation/Wellness by

Life is an endless loop of chasing the clock. Work, traffic, chores, to-do lists – one by one the stresses pile up and inevitably affect your mental framework and productivity levels. The only way to break the loop is to step out from the circle.

Reboot yourself at Selofit, a Revitalisation Camp held at Selong Selo Resort & Residences, Lombok. The camp is designed for working professionals who need to recharge themselves and return with a renewed zest. Get back to the working world with a positive energy, and the ability to set new goals and achieve them with confidence.

Unlike a bootcamp or a yoga retreat, Selofit aims to instil a deep sense of well-being. The program has been built by Will Harvey, an experienced mind-body coach who likes to incorporate lifestyle changes and a change of mindset into your healthy living routine, to help you make a sustainable difference in your life. Expect an introduction to balanced nutrition, along with being taught empowering skills, all this supplemented with high intensity workouts.

“I played Australian football when I was younger,” shares Harvey. “That was my sport, I even represented Australia at the junior level. I’m an outdoorsy person and always wanted to help people get healthy and fit. As I evolved in the personal training business, I realised that fitness training alone wasn’t enough. You need a holistic approach. Your emotions affect your body, and thus your productivity. You can not just do one thing and ignore the other aspects, if you wish to optimise your health.”

Not your regular retreat, there’s plenty of fun and play at Selofit too. The package includes accommodation in a luxurious Selong Selo villa, which comes with your own private pool. Connect with nature as you gaze at the endless vistas, listening to the sound of crickets, a gentle tropical breeze blowing by. With a sense of being cut-off from the world, there couldn’t be a more befitting venue for this course.

Attendees of previously held Selofit Camps can’t stop talking about it. Nigel Hobler shares his experience, “The training and diet programme at Selofit were so well balanced. They were artfully combined with other activities, such as spearfishing and surfing. I can’t wait to be back for the next one!”

It’s not hard to understand why Selofit has such a lasting impact on attendees.

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Enjoy Gastronomic Delights at Selong Selo

in Destinations/Dining by

Foodies and gastronomy aficionados are sure to have a great time at Selong Selo Resort & Residences in Lombok, which arguably has the best food on the island. The estate is built on the ethos of community-tourism and eco-friendly initiatives. It offers a slice of unadulterated paradise, and the chance to connect with oneself, amidst serenity and natural splendour, with a minimal eco-footprint.  

Selong Selo’s farm-to-table dining is an extension of this very ethos.  Seafood served here is freshly caught by local fishermen, and the local youth are offered food service training and career opportunities in the estate’s kitchen and restaurant. The founders of Selong Selo are keenly progressing in their vision and offering of a community food system.  This revolutionary approach allows the integration of production, processing, distribution and consumption as one, to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place.

The estate has a garden complete with its own chickens and its own organic farm, which grows vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, kale, etc. They even have an herb garden with parsley, thyme and a wealth of other plants, herbs and spices. Because chemicals have been virtually eliminated from Selong Selo’s dining ethos, you can be assured of only the best produce and ingredients being used in the delicious food you are served. What’s more, your kids can also enjoy tours of the chicken and vegetable farms, to get close to nature and see how livestock and plants are grown.

If a gastronomic holiday with astounding sea views sounds like a great experience, you will love your stay at Selong Selo, where each private pool luxury villa comes with a fully equipped kitchen to create gourmet masterpieces. Don’t worry about ingredients. The butler is on-hand and can arrange for groceries to be delivered straight to your doorstep. Cooking made easy. 

There is a large variety of dining options in Selong Selo, so get going and enjoy the fresh, farm-to-table goodness.

Aura Lounge and Bar

The estate’s restaurant, Aura Lounge and Bar, which enjoys fabulous views from its hilltop location, serves delicious pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and main dishes. If you’re craving to try something more local, select one of the plates native to Lombok, like their sumptuous Nasi Goreng.

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