The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Europe - RICHARD GUILLIATT

AS we lounge pool­side at Lom­bok’s Quinci Vil­las, dozily con­tem­plat­ing the dis­tant shape of Bali, 25km across the Lom­bok Strait, one of the re­sort staff notes wryly: ‘‘We can see Bali, but Bali can­not see us.’’ Lom­bok is in­deed a refuge from the tourist hus­tle of its near-neigh­bour, and Quinci Vil­las has earned its rep­u­ta­tion as the best re­sort on the is­land. Its 76 thatched-roof vil­las are set on 40ha of beau­ti­fully land­scaped gar­dens fea­tur­ing palms, frangi­pa­nis and lily-beds in­ter­sected by white stone path­ways. The re­sort’s pre­vail­ing aes­thetic is artful-rus­ti­cism — art­works and fixtures are crafted from tree-roots and stone, ac­com­mo­da­tion is min­i­mal (no tele­vi­sions) but taste­ful, and stools and ta­bles are carved from solid tamarind trunks. We spend days ly­ing un­der thatched pago­das by the three in­fin­ity pools that front the beach, oc­ca­sion­ally stir­ring our­selves for a mas­sage. Two open-air restau­rants serve pass­able In­done­sian and in­ter­na­tional food, and more tra­di­tional fare is avail­able from the fam­ily-run warungs along the beach. Lom­bok’s new air­port is now a 90-minute drive away, but the ef­fort is worth it. More: quin­civil­las.com.

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