“We seem to be missing something in the great debate over holiday destinations and I think it’s a shame”, says Alistair Speirs, Founder of Phoenix Communications and quite a well-travelled person!

It takes basically the same time to get to Lombok as to Bali so traveling isn’t the problem, it seems to be perception: Bali is ultra – cool, clubs and pubs, theme parks and malls, shops and restaurants a-plenty; and Lombok is just the laid – back neighbor, snoozing quietly in the sunshine.Well that’s not quite right. And it’s time to correct that perception.

Lombok is laid back, but if you want a five-star hotel, an outstanding dinner, an adventure or just a cool beachside bar, this is still your place. But with an added extra; a bonus, a treasure, no a few treasures actually. No traffic. No jams. No parking problems. No pollution. No noise of motorcycles. Or clubs pounding into the night. Fresh air and peace. Things that money alone cannot buy.

So if you want to go on an actual holiday, not just extend the stressful days of the city? Then it’s time to consider Lombok. And once you’ve chosen the island, let me take you to the beach resort that I consider to be one of the best in the world: Tugu Lombok.

First, it’s set on the (honestly) still pristine white sands on the west coast opposite the Gili Islands (where you can go to party if you want later!) and is a unique living sculpture set in the jungle. The bungalows, villas and suites are all real traditional buildings, some with private pools, all with an evocative atmosphere that entrances you on arrival and holds you till you leave.

The dining experience is completely different – to anywhere else – with an extraordinary main restaurant in a 15 meter thatched pavilion, topped with a giant rooster statue. The Lara Djonggrang Bar is a traditional hut lit by oil lamps and adorned with artifacts. It’s a bar you never want to leave.

But that’s not all: there’s the traditional afternoon tea on the beach, full moon barbeques and sunrise breakfast on the beautiful boat. It’s all a dream, but you can make it your dream. I have done it many times and have never had enough. So, if you are looking to really get away from it all. This is the place.

To find out more, visit tuguhotels.com/hotels/lombok

Alistair Speirs

Alistair Speirs

Alistair has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for 25 years. He started NOW! Magazines as the region’s preferred community magazine.