Kuta Lombok – Not Kuta Bali!

Heading to Kuta…Kuta Lombok – NOT Kuta Bali!

Always be sure to specify which Kuta you are going to when travelling in Indonesia. The bustling, touristy hotspot of Kuta Bali with it’s packed black sand beaches, should definitely not be confused with the quiet, pristine white sandy beaches of Kuta Lombok.

Kuta {Lombok, that is} also, locally known as ‘Kute‘ is a small village on the southern coastline of the island of Lombok. It’s far less touristy than its sister beach at Kuta Bali {but not too off the beaten track – Lombok is only a 25 minute flight from Bali} with endless blue skies, stunning white sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters, green hills in all directions and panoramic views to leave you speechless.

I’ve been a long time fan of Lombok for many years now, since the first time I ventured to Lombok in the mid-nineties, however not a lot of my time has been spent in the south of Lombok {due to being stuck on the Gili islands for far too long! Lets not go there!}. Although, the numerous times that I have travelled around Lombok, I have loved the village feel about it and the fact that it is not overrun by tourists, and yet it hosts endless beautiful beaches and coastlines around the whole island. Not to mention waterfalls, rainforests, volcanoes, temples…Lombok has it all really and more!

For years now, we’ve heard about the predicted tourist boom for Lombok, particularly Kuta Lombok, however I still don’t feel that the tourist boom has hit Kuta Lombok, as yet. {Thank goodness for that too!} Yes, there are far more tourists visiting the south of Lombok these days, especially surfers seeking that perfect wave, but Kuta Lombok is still fairly quiet when it comes to the tourist scene. I suspect majority of tourists, if they have made it out of Bali, they are most likely stuck on the Gili Islands and don’t manage to venture further afield, like to the south of Lombok. 😉

In 2011, the development of the new Lombok International Airport – ‘Bandara Udara Internasional Lombok’ situated in Tanak Awu, a few kilometres southwest of Praya officially opened and more recently the development of new main roads across the island, are both opening up more accessible pathways for expanding tourism in Lombok. And with Kuta Lombok only 25 minutes from Lombok’s new international airport, it’s the perfect place to base yourself for exploring other parts of Lombok, thus it’s only a matter of time before tourism does actually boom on the south coast of Lombok.

The number of passengers flying to Lombok increased by 34 percent to 3.4 million last year. In 2017, it is expected the number of passengers to climb to 3.6 million. – Jakarta Post

Also, you may have heard that the present government of President Joko Widodo {Jokowi} have launched a programme called “10 New Balis”, which is launching the development of ten Special Economic Zones {KEKs} or emerging tourist destinations in various parts of the country to stimulate the local economy and improve welfare conditions. He has also set a target of welcoming 20 million foreign tourists by 2019.

The 10 New Balis:

  • Lake Toba, North Sumatra
  • Tanjung Lesung, Banten
  • Kepulauan Seribu, Jakarta
  • Tanjung Kalayang Beach, Bangka Belitung
  • Borobudur Temple, Central Java
  • Mount Bromo, East Java
  • Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara
  • Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara
  • Wakatobi, South Sulawesi
  • Morotai Island, North Maluku

Click the link for a map showing locations of the 10 New Balis.

The Mandalika Resort is being called; “the next world class tourism destination”, located in the southern part of Lombok, in the heart of Kuta Lombok. Featuring more than 16km of white sandy beach, the Mandalika’s key facilities will include more than 10,500 hotel rooms, commercial and retail space, a theme park, eco park and water park, equestrian facilities, and a golf course {of course!}. The Mandalika has been designed as an ecotourism destination, incorporating Clean Solar Cell Energy, Water Desalination Plants and keeping over 51% of the resort as open ‘Green Space’.

The key objective of the Mandalika development plan is to ensure the lessons of Bali are learned. The objective is to take the very best of Bali whilst avoiding the excesses. The authorities recognise that the still pristine Lombok is an opportunity but it’s also a big challenge. Therefore, with a focus on environmentally sustainable development, the development plan for Mandalika is expected to take between 15 and 20 years.

From small beginnings, this laid back surfers retreat, ‘Kute Lombok‘ is due to fast become a lively beach destination. New bars and restaurants are slowly opening up and coming to life, from fresh seafood bbq to wood fired pizza, Mexican and Mediterranean. New hotels and private villas are slowly developing and opening up various accommodation options. New roads are being built and within the not so far future, this little surfing village, is predicted to become one of the national tourism icons of Indonesia, and even of the world!

So, let me tell you about my most recent trip to Kuta Lombok.

On my recent trip to Indonesia, I planned on having a stop over in Kuta Lombok before heading north to the Gili islands. As we had flown in from Jogja arriving late at night, it made sense to stay somewhere nearby to the airport. So, when I looked at accommodation options for Kuta Lombok; I knew there was one spot I just had to stay, and that’s the Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas. The Novotel Lombok Resort was designed to blend in with the environment, show-casing a wonderful example of traditional Sasak architecture and hosting a stunning private beachfront location, the Novotel is THE spot to be in Kuta, Lombok.

I had grand plans of travelling around the south coast of Lombok, exploring all the beaches that I have previously been to quite some years ago now and also revisiting the traditional Sasak villages in the area. Alas, I didn’t leave the Novotel! I just wanted to soak up this unique, peaceful environment and not leave the grounds of the resort and it’s picturesque private beach. Would you want to leave this view?

Selamat pagi Kuta Lombok!

So, let me take you on a little visual journey through the Novotel Lombok Resort and surrounds.

This beach right here – the Novotel’s private beach – no words needed and nowhere else to be!

When you need a break from the hot sun, the perfect retreat is wandering along the many pathways around the resort…beauty all around me from the swaying palm trees providing much needed shade in the heat of the day to the special touches of incorporating traditional Sasak style, design and architecture all throughout the resort.

 

Late afternoon wanderings along the beach, across a bridge and up a small hill….provided us with amazing panoramic views across the coastline and a spectacular sunset to end our stay at the Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas.

So, that’s my sum-up of my latest short stay at the Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas in Kuta, Lombok. Definitely a must if you are visiting the south of Lombok. And, do yourself a favour, go visit Lombok before it becomes one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations!

Since returning home from our latest adventure in Indonesia, all I have been daydreaming about is returning to Lombok and exploring just that little bit more {I’ve got a few new places already top of my wanderlust list for my next adventure!} or perhaps you’ll find me just chilling on the Novotel Lombok’s private beach. I really couldn’t think of any better way than to spend a few days on Kuta beach – Kuta Lombok that is, not Kuta Bali!

Have you been to Kuta Lombok? Love it?

Have you stayed at the Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas?

Where is your favourite spot in Lombok?

Have any travel plans of going to Lombok? What’s on your wanderlust list?

 

*Through this post, I mean absolutely no disrespect to Kuta Bali, I’ve been travelling to Kuta Beach Bali since I was 14 years old and still enjoy having a couple of days in Kuta when I’m back in town; it still holds a very special spot in my heart – even with all its craziness! 😉

**This is not a sponsored post – just little old me telling you what I think of the Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas. It’s a great place to stay, I highly recommend it, if you haven’t been there before then definitely check it out!

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