Lifestyle

A SPIRITUAL DETOUR

By Andrea Dixon

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Lombok has undergone rejuvenation and evolved into a destination of unrivalled luxury at Medana Bay

The deep waters of the Lombok Strait owns an invisible line that delves into the heart of evolution and sits among the most important imaginary line in history; the Wallace Line, named by the famed British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace in 1859. The explorer observed that many animals, birds and flora changed dramatically at the line running through Indonesia and Lombok Strait (that separates Lombok and Bali).

One side of the Wallace Line is the Indian sub-continent with tigers and rhinos while across the divide are Australia’s prize marsupial. Wallace spent eight years travelling Indonesia by dugout canoes, steamer boats, schooners and by trekking on foot to find specimens of rare plants and animals to send to wealthy collectors in Europe.

I’d be an Indian here, and live content To fish, and hunt, and paddle my canoe, And see my children grow, like young wild fawns, In health of body and peace of mind, Rich without wealth, and happy without gold!

- Alfred Russell Wallace

Wallace recognised the importance of this line and its connection to evolution and the theory of natural selection, which he co-authored with Charles Darwin. The Oberoi Group links Lombok and Bali in ways that surpass nature and inextricably bind these two islands.Perched on the northern tip of Lombok, the Oberoi Beach Resort, Lombok has undergone rejuvenation and evolved into a destination of unrivalled luxury at Medana Bay, near Tanjung. Crystal clear water laps the pure white sandy beaches that flank the chic retreat. Think of the morning beach walks and equatorial sunsets where the sun dips into the ocean to welcome the night. Such a beautiful sight to capture indeed.

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Lombok, and it’s sister resort in Bali, is a pioneer of Indonesian architecture that set the gold standard for tropical design. The Oberoi Beach Resort , Bali was designed by the renown Australian architect Peter Muller – and Lombok followed the lavish model with open walled bales and buildings with pitched Alang-alang roofs that are sprinkled across nearly two hectares of manicured tropical gardens. It is a style that has become synonymous with Bali and Lombok as ‘tropical modernism’ and it is replicated throughout the world.

The design extrapolates local architectural traditions of family compounds crafted from stone and deeply respects the extravagant natural beauty of the area, which is abundant.There is no place within the hotel grounds where the eye rests on anything other than an aesthetically delightful point. The most spectacular view is of the infinity pool that mirrors the ocean and the sky. Rooms are cool and spacious with fragrant gardens and private courtyards that double as dining space with water features and local statuary. Sunken baths are also a pleasure to languish in. The rejuvenation of the hotel has injected it with rarefied elegance plus the high tech back office facilities to meet the demands of savvy travellers.

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Lombok is the perfect launching pad for day trips to the nearby Gili islands that are surrounded by brilliant coral gardens that house brightly coloured tropical fish, blue sea stars and fascinating underwater formations. Across the Lombok Strait in Bali is the original grand dame of luxury hotels on the island. 40-years old, the Oberoi Beach Resort, Bali continues to retain its position as the first and best among Bali’s destination properties.

The beauty of Muller’s original plan is set in mature and vast tropical gardens and conserved sand dune vegetation overlooking the ocean. It is near important Balinese Hindu temple and in the morning it is possible to hear the delicate music float on the breeze from a nearby pura. The Kura Kura restaurant is celebrated among global travellers and expatriates for the deliciousness and creativity of Chef Enrico Wahl’s outstanding fare. A mix of villas and lanai garden rooms are in thatched-roofed, stone buildings – some have private pools and all are decorated in soothing natural colours with local art from the creative centre of Ubud. The pillows and beds are feather soft and the tone is of tranquillity.

Among the charming daily activities is afternoon tea and cultural performance in the poolside amphitheatre. Local delicacies are served on bespoke china painted with images unique to Bali - women in traditional clothing, religious artefacts, images of temples and even Bintang beer and Bali dogs. The Oberoi Beach Resort, Bali is part of the historic fabric of the island. It holds the position as

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