Keen for a day of tranquility, beauty and classiness? Head up to the Aura Lounge and Selong Selo Residences, a world away from the hustle
and bustle of Kuta, Lombok.
Keen to get out of town, we jumped on our bikes and cruised up towards Selong Belanak. Up the twisty road over the hill, through a friendly village
and past fields we arrived at Selong Selo Residences. Admittedly, this wasn't my first visit. The first time, we packed up the car with
family and friends and ventured up to the newly opened Aura Lounge. We were blown away by the breathtaking scenery, the massive lawn and the
breezy open air restaurant. To the tune of lots of Wows! and Ohhhhs! everyone was in the pool in one second, and can I say how gracious
and hospitable the staff were too at our rowdy lot of little kids dive bombing and all the rest of their general malarchy. I think we had a pizza
to share and maybe a cocktail but to be honest, the pool was the star of that visit. The 2nd trip was a bit disappointing; the weather was blustery
and hot, the pool emptied for repairs and the food not quite there. So to be honest, I was very interested to head back up to see how things
had panned out in the months since.
And boy, was I impressed. You see, the thing about Aura Lounge and the surrounding residences is the location. Its just so damn pretty. Perched
high up on the Jabon Hills some kilometers back from the beach, it has the most breath taking vista of rice and tobacco fields on the plains below,
and then Selong Belanak beach basks in all its horseshoe bay glory, resplendent with local fishing boats and those glistening waves. It really
is the true star of the place, and wherever you are, that view is the real Diva. Landscaping is supreme, with a huge green lawn stretched out,
coconut trees, lemongrass and tropical greenery bordering everything. My eyes have so much to drink in!
Lunch time rolled around and no way was I going to pass on food. I chose the Tuna Sambal Mata, which is my firm favourite. Tender tuna steak,
with a delicious lemongrass, tomato and pineapple, and chilli salsa. A good kick of Balinese flavours, and so so fresh. Being a tropical
girl, I paired it with the pineapple basil coconut water, which was amazing. This is now my go to at home, though I still can't make it anywhere
near as good! One of these days... Our friend had the beef curry, this lovely, spicy yellow curry with all the flavours. The food definitely
didn't disappoint. On the higher side for Lombok, but not much more than a lot of Kuta establishments, and considering the surroundings, a price
we are very happy to pay.
After lunch, we cooled off in the infinity pool, where again, you sit leaning over the side, admiring the view. Perfect. For the time being,
the pool and Aura Lounge are open to the public, with a minimum spend on weekends. Eventually, it will be private for the residents of Selong
Selo Residences only, so be sure to get up there while you can!
Selong Selo Residences
Then it was time for a looksie around at the villas. Again, just WOW. WOW. WOW. Bear in mind that this is a work in progress, and to date, there
are 8 villas open to the public, and by completion, an exclusive community of 60 villas across a variety of collections. A spa and full gym and tennis
court facilities are in the plans too! The villas can be bought outright as predesigned, turnkey villas or designed individually for each owner.
If you are not in the buying market, but still want to spend the night, these can also be rented out, and fall into two design categories. The
Bespoke Villas are built to the highest standard according to the owner's requirements. A classy, minimalistic, open design, with wood panels
and concrete, open air living room, and bedroom opening onto a private lawn with infinity pool. Across the lawn, down past the pool, past a terrace
with a dining table (very Mediterranean sheik) , and down more stairs to a stand alone separate bedroom and living room. This one even has a
staircase down to a private massage room! All of these rooms are built on the hill, overlooking the view, and all so private. Perfect for 2 couples
really, with enough distance between to guarantee privacy, but the common pool/outdoor dining level to hang in together.
Then in the buggy we jumped to go check out the Kayu (Wood) Villas, the predesigned villas. Invoking memories of childhood wooden cabins, these are
made of ecological sustainable building materials, and are simplistic in their luxury. The one we viewed was 2 bedrooms but all on one level with the
bedrooms separated by a open plan kitchen and living area in the middle. Beautiful sliding doors have that wonderful appeal of being able to
bring all that glorious view in, or, slide them across for a cosier, comfier feel. Pretty much, my perfect house. A long infinity pool
along the front of the villa, a wonderful mango tree shading it all, and again, that blimmin' view!
What the Australian owners have going on here in Selong Selo is very special. Every thing has been thought out beautifully, with no attention to
detail spared. If I could afford it, without a doubt I would be lying in that bathtub, with a glass of good, imported red, taking in that Selong
Belanak view, with the doors flung open and the breeze cooling me down. I'll keep saving.