Somewhere Lombok is remotely situated on the south coast of Lombok, an Indonesian island east of Bali and west of Sumbawa known for its white-sand beaches and world-class surfing. Are Guling Bay, a renowned surf spot with 1.5 kilometers of stunning beachfront, is only two minutes away by car and the up-and-coming beach town Kuta is just a 10-minute drive.
Tucked away on a hillside along the south coast of Lombok, Indonesia, Somewhere Lombok is an unspoiled retreat conceived, designed, and run by sisters Valia and Claire Gontard. Communal areas open to unparalleled views of Are Guling Bay, a world-renowned surf spot, and 20 standalone villas feature mini plunge pools overlooking the lush greenery of the valley and village below. Everything from the building materials to the décor is regionally sourced and produced, with the Gontard sisters’ overarching ethos being that of creating a sustainable and responsible destination for modern travelers.
When sisters Valia and Claire Gontard joined forces in 2014 to rebrand the restaurant affiliated with their father’s boutique hotel in Niseko, Japan, they realized a new goal: to create a destination of their own. Flash forward to today and the sisters are opening Somewhere Lombok, a conscious villa-only resort on the titular unspoiled Indonesian island, just a 30-minute flight east of Bali. Drawing on Valia and Claire’s combined backgrounds in the hospitality industry and extensive travels, the property is a spirited retreat – one that is inspired by and mindful of Indonesia’s culture, environment, and local communities.
The sisters grew up in Hong Kong, but they’ve spent much of their adult lives moving around the world in places ranging from Japan to Canada to the UK. Then, two years ago, Valia, 29, resettled in Lombok, while Claire, 31, moved almost a year ago with her two children and husband. “Our Indonesian roots brought us back to Lombok to create a place that combines our passion for design, authentic experiences, and travel,” they say. “Our grandpa was born and raised on the island and is the reason we discovered Lombok in the first place. We completely fell in love with this island and its people and are so thrilled to be able to honor him by starting our first project together, here, in his home.”
From the very start, the sisters have led this project on every level, from the business side to the creative elements. Once they secured a 6,300-square-meter plot atop a steep hillside with stunning views of Are Guling Bay and Prabu Village in the valley below, they created what is now a luxe nature hideaway with a restaurant, spa, and 20 independent villas. Here, contemporary living is defined by notions of responsibility, conservation, and sustainability; architecture finds inspiration in the natural surroundings; and guests can unwind and relax but also explore untouched landscapes and surf world-class waves.
Somewhere Lombok’s architectural concept was developed by Claire and Valia in collaboration with SWDesign and the Hong Kong-based branding and design studio Eight Partnership. The central communal space features an open-plan indoor area with the reception, restaurant, bar, and lounge, as well as an outdoor lawn and infinity pool overlooking the bay. With sustainability a primary concern, this area and all of the villas are oriented towards the south to maximize natural light. Plus, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property offer unparalleled sunrise and sunset views. Other key features, conceived together with the consultancy Eco Mantra, include natural ventilation, high thermal performance building materials, and reflective building finishes. There are also onsite facilities for harvesting rainwater and compositing, and greywater is recycled and reused.
Eight Partnership, Claire, and Valia also oversaw the interior design, with additional guidance from Studio Amal. The result is an elegantly simple and welcoming atmosphere filled with neutral tones and natural materials like wood, concrete, and local stones. Almost all of the furnishings throughout the property were sourced locally through the sisters’ own network and in-depth research. Three standouts from regional artisans include intricate handwoven rugs and textiles by Kriyatex, handmade pottery and ceramic vessels by Casakaya, and woven baskets by Mami, whose workshop is less than a 15-minute drive from the property.
In each of the serviced villas are additional locally produced objects, including natural marble trays by Maharani Decoration and linen bed skirts by La Luna Linen. Walls are adorned with prints of Valia’s own photographs of Lombok’s people, places, and landscapes. Bespoke furniture like poolside tables and umbrellas were also produced by artisans on the island. The villas themselves boast 35 square meters of indoor space alongside 16-square-meter terraces equipped with cushioned seating areas and mini private plunge pools. The 20 standalone buildings are spread across four rows staggered on the hillside, with privacy established via winding pathways and stairs lined with 100% indigenous, non-invasive vegetation – over 50% of which was also specifically chosen and planted to prevent land erosion and reduce drainage. The marble bathroom trays hold amenities by Sensatia Botanicals, a popular Indonesian brand known for vegan, reef safe, and environmentally friendly products, and every bathroom has a Toto toilet suite. Guests are also welcomed with homey touches, like a basket filled with fruit, coffee, tea, and cookies, and a rattan beach bag to use during their stays.
In the main building, the in-house restaurant is open all day and serves Indonesian fusion cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally sourced produce. The spa features two massage rooms, which can be connected for couples’ treatments, an intimate outdoor plunge pool with a design inspired by rainwater collection tanks, and an outdoor shower. Additional amenities and services include a small boutique stocked with local products and Valia’s photography prints, as well as regularly scheduled shuttles to and from the beach. Guests can also request shuttle rides to and from the nearby town of Kuta. Scooters are also available to rent, and if guests are looking for local tips, they can ask the staff, the majority of whom are from Lombok.
Somewhere Lombok is remotely situated on the south coast of Lombok, an Indonesian island east of Bali and west of Sumbawa known for its white-sand beaches and world-class surfing. Are Guling Bay, a renowned surf spot with 1.5 kilometers of stunning beachfront, is only two minutes away by car and the up-and-coming beach town Kuta is just a 10-minute drive. The island as a whole features unending breathtaking coastlines, lush mountains, and an abundance of preserved traditional Sasak culture. A number of surrounding smaller islands, locally called Gili, are motor-vehicle-free, offering undisturbed treks, pristine beaches, reefs, and even sea turtle hatcheries. Countless on- and off-water activities include surfing, fishing, hiking, rafting, paragliding, kite surfing, and mountain biking. The nearest airport is Lombok International Airport.
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