How my premiere trip to Nusa Lembongan was memorable in many ways – bust mostly because of this perfectly fine resort.
First of all I have to acknowledge the fact that this is the very first time I stepped a foot on any of the Nusas. Yes, I am not kidding you. Fifteen years living in Bali, and I’ve finally crossed to one of their tiny sisters. Once arrived at the Jungutbatu beach and port, I was picked by the hotel’s concierge right there on the shore. Then it gets interesting when he asked whether I prefer to go to the hotel by car or by walking. I opted for walking almost immediately because, a. I have never been to Lembongan that I’m eager to explore, and b. if I had chosen for the car, we still have to wait for other guests to arrive. But I was a little fooled when it turns out we only needed to walk about three minutes to reach the hotel.
Entering the newly opened resort, I observed that it’s located on a rather steep hill, with the lobby being the lowest part of the property. The Tamarind’s narrow space is consistent until the rear end, making this a tight and packed piece of land that goes uphill. But after I inspected further, the design is actually very smart. Instead of doing some cut and fill on the land for a flatter surface and presumably easier access, the architect from Diastana Design took the challenge and decided to embrace that elevation into a prime feature of the resort.
There is no elevator to connect each level, nor buggy rides for driving in, but there are countless flight of stairs—don’t worry, it’s not that extreme that it will wear you out. What should be normal storeys in a building are split into several levels here. So if the lobby is the ground floor, my room, which started with the number 2, was not actually located on the second floor—it was on the fifth instead. This is not only brilliant to utilise the inclined property, but it makes a captivating layout too. Especially with the beautiful earthy design they applied—limestone walls, wooden beams and those bright greeneries and water elements here and there.
I also can’t blame you if by reading that description, you would thought that a slim land area makes for small confined accommodations. But again, The Tamarind impressed me. My room was more than spacious. It was huge. Big bed, big sofa, big bathroom, big television, even a big balcony that has another big sofa— with a view of the boundless waters of Jungutbatu. What the resort lack in surface area, they adjust generously in room space. Just like the rooms, all four villas has three-bedrooms and equipped with vast pantry and dining area, a balcony with prime view of the island and semi-outdoor bathtub—perfect for families with children. They only build two rooms in every level, while the villas are perched on that inclined ground so precisely, bringing us up from the denser alleys of the rooms to a neighbourhood on top of the hill that has a lovely infinity pool with a view that overlooks the majestic Mount Agung afar. The same goes for all the facilities here. From the Indica restaurant (which served excellent seafood, and diverse local and international selections), the spa and gym underneath it, to both the swimming pools—all seem to be rigorously stacked to create this beautifully intricate complex.
Another nice design feature that I adored were the analog photographs I found all over the resort. From the lobby, the restaurant area, to the wall above the sofa in my room. Hundreds of snapshots of nearly everything in the island (from the beaches, the landmarks to the people), showcased through the lens of Andy Waumann, which then unusually processed the films to produce a series of peculiarly stunning artworks. The room was also quirkily equipped with a copy of “How to Lembongan”, an in-house fully illustrated guide about what to do and explore around this tiny island – which I thought was both a thoughtful and astute touch.
Now the specific attention towards Lembongan itself is precisely The Tamarind’s main objective and con- cept. General Manager Nigel Douwes explained, “To stay at Tamarind is to have a getaway in an island that resembles Bali of the old times. Where the buildings are sparse, where there are no traffic, where all the attractions are just twenty minutes away—we want guests to experience it from the moment they step off the boat, until they leave. We try to enhance that with many activities inside and especially outside of the hotel.”
Jalan Jungutbatu, Nusa Lembongan
T: +62 366 5437 888