When Invest Islands, Lombok’s leading real estate investment company, started planning to develop Gran Meliá Lombok, the new five-star resort on the island’s south coast, it set out to create a resort so extraordinary that it would elevate Lombok’s travel and hospitality industry to new heights.
In pursuit of this goal, the company’s co-founders, Kevin Deisser and Jack Brown, discovered a breath-taking plot of beachfront and hillside land at Torok Bay, a sheltered crescent-shaped stretch of sand overlooking the Indian Ocean and framed by emerald headlands and rippling rice fields. This stunning setting provided a beautiful blank canvas on which to produce an architectural work of art.
For the project’s lead architect, Charlie Hearn, director of Bali-based Inspiral Architecture & Design Studios, the impact of Gran Meliá Lombok’s location was instant. Gazing out across this coastal scene for the first time, he was instantly struck by the area’s blissful serenity and endless vistas.
“The first thing I felt was that it was a “millionaire’s view”’. It was absolutely spectacular with layers of different colors disappearing into the distance. It felt very special,” Hearn revealed.
This exquisite natural scenery provided the inspiration for the design of Gran Meliá Lombok. Hearn and his team at Inspiral felt a responsibility to create a resort that blended seamlessly into the environment. The lines of the landscape are reflected in the flowing form of the villas and resort buildings, which roll and curve with the contours of the hills. Natural materials such as bamboo, reclaimed timber and different types of stone have been embraced throughout, with 75 percent of the building materials sourced from within Lombok and nothing imported from outside Indonesia.
Lombok’s local influences also played an important role in the design ethos. Inspiral strived to deliver a project that looked and felt completely authentic, while also being highly distinctive.
“The masterplan was to create a series of individual villages, rather than buildings being carbon copies of each other. Different parts of Indonesia have their own unique architectural styles so we tried to incorporate elements of those. Not so much in terms of the look of the buildings themselves – we didn’t want to create a pastiche – but more in terms of the craftsmanship techniques, details and finishes,” Hearn explained.
As a result, guests and investors can choose from a collection of beautiful hillside duplexes and one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, all fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology, luxurious interiors and private pools. Distinctive concepts include KAYMA Moroccan tented suites, AURORA minimalist villas, LA RESIDENZA Bauhaus-style residences and the company’s signature INSPIRAL eco-luxury villas, all of which are nestled among swaying palm trees and frame “millionaire’s views” from panoramic windows and alfresco living areas.
As with every project co-created by Invest Islands and Inspiral, Gran Meliá Lombok will have a low carbon footprint. As well as using sustainable building materials, the design will harness sunlight and sea breezes to help heat and cool the property, and rainwater will be harvested throughout the resort. Using this approach, Hearn said he wants to “set a benchmark” for development on Lombok.
“We want to set the standard and help to raise the quality of development on the island. Lombok will have more tourism and development in the coming years, so it’s important to do it in a way that is sustainable and respectful of the local culture and environment. This is one of the reasons I love working with Invest Islands; they set up foundations, build schools, do a lot of environmental projects and reinvest a lot back into their communities. I think that is fantastic,” Hearn concluded.
“It is always wonderful to work with Inspiral as they share our vision for creating exceptional properties that are sensitive to their destinations. This is exactly what we aspire to achieve and it is great to see this architectural ethos coming to life at Gran Meliá Lombok. By blending the best elements of Indonesian heritage with 21st Century modernity, our owners and guests will be able to enjoy luxury and serenity in a truly unique setting on Lombok’s south coast,” said Jack Brown, Co-Founder of Invest Islands.
Gran Meliá Lombok has already been named as the “Best Upcoming Hotel Development” in Indonesia and “Best Hospitality Development” in Asia at the PropertyGuru Property Awards. Currently under construction, the resort is scheduled to open its doors in late 2024.