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NEWS

ISSUE 77

 

RINJANI FOR TREKKING!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

Major news in Indonesia this month is the eruption of Mt Merapi in Java. The volcano, which normally attracts thousands of visitors every year, suddenly started erupting and has created chaos in the area. Closer to home, Mt Batur, the volcano on Bali near Kintamani, has just been put on waspada alert and is closed for all trekking.
Of course, Java is a long way from Lombok and the volcanic eruptions there have no effect on our island. While some international flights to Jakarta have been suspended, flights into Bali and Lombok are unaffected.

Likewise, trekking on our famous volcano – Mt Rinjani – remains a popular attraction for visitors to our island. Rinjani, although being monitored by volcanologists, has had no significant activity since last June and Rinjani Trek Management tell us that all treks to the area, including to the magnificent crater lake, are open as usual. If you have a passion for volcanoes and trekking, come and climb our spectacular mountain!

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on http://www.thelombokguide.com/distribution.html or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

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A HINDU CREMATION IN LOMBOK

Photos and Text by David Clegg © 2010

The Balinese people are the descendants of the Hindu Majapahit Empire, which was based in modern day central Java. When Islam began to take hold throughout most of Indonesia, some 500-600 years ago, they fled to Bali, taking with them their cultural beliefs. Slowly over many years, some of them migrated to Lombok, mainly inhabiting what is now the Mataram and Cakranegara area, where they make up 10-15% of the approximate 3 million population of the island.

Hindus cremate their dead and consign their ashes to the sea, so that their souls may continue their journey to paradise. A cremation is regarded as a happy, family occasion rather than one of mourning, although often tears can be seen among some of the family members. The ceremony is called ngaben, literally “cremation” in the Balinese language, and it is one of the most spectacular traditions that can be seen on the islands of Bali and Lombok.

The body, after ritual washing, is wrapped in white cloth and placed high up on the funeral bier under a large ornate white umbrella. The bier or wadah – an ornate tall wooden structure resembling one of the ornate gateposts seen outside some Hindu temples – is decorated with glittering metallic paper cut out in various Balinese designs. Usually a barong mask with large bulbous eyes, or a large figure of Garuda (the mythical bird and Indonesia’s coat-of-arms), decorates the back of the bier. This structure is mounted on a platform of criss-crossed bamboo poles lashed together, and by means of which the bier is carried in the procession.
In the early afternoon the procession to the cremation site starts from the house of the deceased, lead by the women resplendent in traditional Balinese dress, carrying ornately arranged offerings on their heads. One of the women will normally carry a large photograph of the deceased, and another will carry an item of the deceased’s clothing hanging from a pole.

Behind follow the men, also in traditional dress, carrying a large gong suspended from a pole across their shoulders; while other musicians play flutes, small xylophones and gamelans. The village men then pick up the wadah by lifting up the bamboo framework and follow the procession. Attached to the front of the bier is a long piece of white cloth which all members of the family will hold onto, symbolically helping to carry the body to its cremation. Other family members and friends follow the bier on its often circuitous path to the cremation site.

During the procession to the cremation site, the wadah will be spun around a few times before continuing, thereby confusing any evil spirits which may wish to harm the soul of the departed. Usually a male member of the family will sit or stand near the body to keep the body safe during the procession, in which the wadah is often tilted from side to side at precarious angles while being spun around. The man holds a stuffed Bird of Paradise, a bird sacred to the Balinese Hindus which will help bear the soul of the departed to Paradise.
At the cremation site, on a raised concrete dais, the body is moved from the bier into the ornate open coffin, where it is placed face-down along with some personal possessions. Prayers are said over the coffin by family members while a Pedanda (Hindu priest) intones prayers and blessings. An orchestra of large gongs, flutes, gamelans and xylophones plays continuously throughout the proceedings.

Prayers concluded, family members leave the open coffin and the cremation begins. In the past, the funeral pyre was a huge mound of wood that would have to be kept continuously burning, but these days, two large paraffin pressure burners, connected by hoses to cans of fuel, are used to cremate the body, and are placed one at each end of the coffin.

Cremation typically takes about an hour and a half, whereas 20 years ago when only wood was used, it took 3 to 4 hours to complete. After the body has been reduced to ashes, they are collected in a special container and transported in a convoy of family members and musicians playing instruments to the beach, where a further ceremony with prayers takes place.

The ashes are then taken aboard a small outrigger fishing boat and, a short way out from the shore, are scattered onto the sea, from where the soul of the deceased will make its way to paradise.

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WHAT'S HOT!

• The next SENGGIGI COMMUNITY CLEAN UP DAY (Gotong Royong) will be held this FRIDAY, 19 NOVEMBER. Last month’s Gotong Royong was a big success with people from the Sheraton, Manna Kebun, Asmara and the shops in the Galleria all joining in to clean up the north side of town. It would be great to see those businesses in the south end of town taking part in this clean up – particularly as that end of town is looking so uncared for!

Hopefully, the Camat and Senggigi Kadus will lend their support this time, as they did last month, and once again Iwan from e-ONE rubbish removal will donate the services of his pickup to collect rubbish. Please DO NOT burn rubbish… just collect it neatly in piles on the edge of the street so that it is easy to pick up.
We are asking everyone to take a good look at the area in front of their business and make the effort to clean up their area and show that you care. A couple of hours are all it takes and it makes a big difference to the image of Senggigi. Best of all, your business will benefit from looking neat and well looked after! See you on the streets Friday morning!

• An excellent opportunity is coming up for anyone who has a new hotel or villa, or wants to redecorate existing properties. The Rotary Club of Lombok is having a special sale of paintings – at ridiculously low prices!  
The original artworks were donated to Rotary by the Holiday Resort when they renovated their guest rooms and now Rotary are selling the paintings at bargain prices to raise money for cleft lip and palate operations in Lombok. Rotary funds these life-changing operations, which are performed by generous doctors who donate their time and expertise to transforming the future of Lombok children with deformities.

The sale will take place over two days: Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November at The Office Bar and Restaurant in the Pasar Seni (Art Markets), Senggigi from 10am to 4pm.

The paintings are all original oil colours with nice wooden frames and prices start from just Rp 50 000 each (not even close to the cost of the frames!) This is a clearance sale so discounts are available for bulk purchases. What a great way to redecorate – and help out a very worthy cause at the same time! Phone Chris or Peter on 692252 for details.

• Our post, phone and inbox are running hot! Ever since we started our “Your Say” column, we’ve been flooded with letters, emails and phone calls. Seems like the people of Lombok have a lot to get off their chests, particularly about the problem of noisy motorbikes! As we translate these letters into Bahasa Indonesia so that all people can share the information, space is limited in each issue. To those people who are waiting to see their letters published, please be patient – we will publish your views in coming issues. And please keep the letters coming – we are always interested to know what things concern, annoy and delight you!

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YOUR SAY

Dear Lombok Guide

A big congrats to the team at The Lombok Guide for your fantastic distribution of The Lombok Guide in Bali!
As an expat living in Lombok, who sojourns to Bali regularly, I have been most impressed with the wide presence of The Lombok Guide, evidenced in many of the most popular restaurants and venues in Bali.
Always the latest edition and in good supply, the little guy (The Lombok Guide) stands proudly alongside the prestigious glossies such as Destinasia and Hello Bali.

Eagerly sought by the myriad of tourists passing through Bali, The Lombok Guide performs a noble job extolling the virtues of Magnificent Lombok.

For me, it brings a homesick tear to the eye and proves… you can take the girl out of Lombok, but you can't take Lombok out of the girl!!!

Heidi, Bali and Lombok

Thanks Heidi – and a special thank you to our Bali distributor, Fibrianto for doing such a good job distributing our paper in Bali! – Ed.

Indonesian:

Kepada Lombok Guide

Selamat kepada tim The Lombok Guide untuk distribusi koran anda yang luar biasa di Bali!
Sebagai orang asing yang tinggal di Lombok yang sering mengunjungi Bali, saya sangat terkesan dengan distribusi The Lombok Guide yang sangat luas, saya melihat sendiri di banyak restoran-restoran dan tempat-tempat populer di Bali.

Selalu edisi terbaru dan dalam jumlah yang cukup, sahabat kecil (The Lombok Guide) berdiri dengan bangga disamping majalah-majalah kelas atas, seperti Destinasia dan Hello Bali.

Selalu dicari-cari oleh beribu-ribu wisatawan yang datang melalui Bali, The Lombok Guide menampilkan suatu kinerja yang luar biasa dalam mempromosikan keindahan Lombok.

Ini membuat saya meneteskan air mata dan rindu akan rumah dan terbukti bahwa… anda bisa mengambil seorang wanita keluar dari Lombok, tetapi anda tidak bisa mengambil Lombok keluar dari seorang wanita!!!

Heidi, Bali and Lombok

Terima kasih Heidi – dan terima kasih banyak untuk distributor kami di Bali, Fibrianto karena telah melakukan pekerjaan yang bagus dalam mendistribusikan koran kami di Bali! – Penulis

 

EXPATS BEWARE IN SENGGIGI

I am an expat living in Senggigi, Lombok, and have lived in other areas of Indonesia for years. I have seen many tourists and expats fall victim to scams.

The latest scam in vogue is in Green Valley, where a number of expats either live or rent a house for holidays in beautiful Lombok.

This latest one has had a few expats pay out anything from Rp 30 million to Rp 50 million using intimidation techniques. The following is a rundown of this scam and it always involves an Indonesian person who goes by the name of DINO (unsure if that is correct spelling for his name).

Dino checks around, looks for expats renting houses, villas, etc., and finds out their names.
He then visits the police station to see if that person/s has registered a Report Certificate (Surat Tanda Melapor) with the local police, which all expats should do on arrival (unless you are in a hotel, where they do it for you).

Many people are unaware of this. There are no signs or information on arrival at airports/ports.
Once Dino has established that the person is not registered, he will watch your house for a while and then unexpectedly, he and others will turn up at your address with other people stating they are from immigration and police and ask to see your Report Certificate.

When you cannot produce the report, they will then threaten the expat with jail or offer to "fix the problem" for a large sum of money.

(Note: you can get anyone to go to the Police Station and register you, as long as they have your passport number and local address. The person registering you will have their name also on the report as a sponsor, etc).
I have heard that one expat had to go to a number of ATM machines to get the money for these crooks.
Whether these people are actually real police and immigration officers is unknown, however, this Dino is obviously getting a cut of the money. I have had immigration and police come to my place and do checks; they were very polite and helpful, so I am not convinced that these others are acting in the correct official way.

If you are living in Lombok, even temporarily, and have not reported to the local police station, please do it immediately and advise everyone you know about this rule. Too many innocents are taken advantage of with the various scams that exist in Indonesia.

(Name and address withheld on request)

 

Indonesian:

PENDUDUK ASING DI SENGGIGI, HARUS HATI-HATI

Saya adalah penduduk asing yang tinggal di Senggigi, Lombok, dan pernah tinggal di beberapa tempat lain di Indonesia selama bertahun-tahun. Saya telah melihat begitu banyak turis dan penduduk asing yang menjadi korban penipuan.

Penipuan terkini yang lagi tren adalah di Green Valley, dimana cukup banyak penduduk asing yang tinggal ataupun hanya menyewa rumah untuk liburan di pulau Lombok yang indah.

Yang terakhir ini telah menyebabkan beberapa penduduk asing mengeluarkan uang berkisar antara Rp 30 juta sampai Rp 50 juta dengan teknik intimidasi. Berikut ini adalah bagaimana cara mereka melakukan penipuan dan ini selalu berhubungan dengan seorang Indonesia yang bernama DINO (jika itu memang ejaan yang benar untuk namanya).

Dino berkeliling untuk memeriksa bila ada penduduk asing yang menyewa rumah, vila, dsb., dan mencari tahu nama mereka.

Kemudian ia mengunjungi kantor polisi untuk mengetahui apakah penduduk asing tersebut telah mendaftarkan Surat Tanda Melapor kepada polisi setempat, dimana hal ini adalah suatu keharusan untuk dilakukan setiap penduduk asing pada saat kedatangan di Indonesia (kecuali bila anda menginap di hotel, pihak hotel yang akan melakukannya untuk anda).

Banyak orang tidak mengetahui tentang hal ini. Tidak ada pengumuman ataupun informasi pada saat kedatangan di bandara.

Ketika Dino sudah mengetahui pasti bahwa seseorang belum melaporkan diri, ia akan mengawasi rumah anda untuk beberapa lama dan secara tiba-tiba ia dan beberapa temannya akan datang ke alamat anda dengan temannya yang lain mengaku bahwa mereka orang imigrasi dan polisi dan akan menanyakan Surat Tanda Melapor anda.

Ketika anda tidak bisa menunjukkan surat tersebut, mereka akan mengancam hukuman penjara atau menawarkan untuk "menyelesaikan masalah" dengan jumlah uang yang sangat besar.

(Pesan: anda boleh menyuruh siapa saja untuk pergi ke kantor polisi guna melaporkan diri anda, selama mereka mengetahui nomor paspor dan alamat anda. Orang yang melaporkan diri anda juga akan dicatat di laporan sebagai seorang sponsor, dsb)

Saya mendengar bahwa seorang penduduk asing harus pergi ke beberapa macam mesin ATM untuk mengambil uang demi membayar para penipu ini.

Apakah orang-orang ini adalah benar-benar polisi dan orang imigrasi, adalah tidak diketahui, bagaimanapun, Dino ini sudah jelas mendapatkan bagian dari uang tersebut. Orang dari imigrasi dan polisi pernah datang ke rumah saya untuk memeriksa; mereka sangat sopan dan sangat membantu, jadi saya tidak yakin bahwa orang-orang lain ini benar-benar orang yang berwenang.

Jika anda tinggal di Lombok, walaupun hanya sementara, dan belum melaporkan diri ke polisi setempat, lakukanlah secepatnya dan beritahukan siapa saja yang anda kenal tentang aturan ini. Terlalu banyak orang jujur yang tidak tahu apa-apa yang telah menjadi korban dari berbagai macam penipuan di Indonesia.

(Nama tidak dicetak atas permintaan pengirim)

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LOCAL SCENE

HALLOWEEN @ CAFÉ ALBERTO

Scary monsters, ghosts and ghoulies, and things that go bump in the night turned out in force to celebrate Halloween at Café Alberto on the beachfront in Senggigi

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MR FIXER

(Tongue-in-cheek answers to your personal building problems)

QUESTION: I have recently arrived on holiday on the idyllic and beautiful island paradise of Lombok and was shocked to discover the amount of filth going on. The public beaches, for instance, are full of people walking round practically stark naked.   Some of the slim beauties are wearing bikinis that are akin to underwear, with their G-strings so far up the crack of their bottoms it seems hardly legal! The local Lombok “beach boy gods” with their tattoos and shoulder length hair seem quite oblivious to their impact on a sensitive convent girl like me!

In addition, the open way other such filth is displayed in supermarkets makes my blood boil. Those “Johnny Bag” things (or condoms as they like to call them) are openly on sale in a public place. It’s disgusting! Pure filth! Such behavior in a public place shouldn’t be allowed. Why don’t these people engage in something more congenial like going to one of those nice karaoke bars for a bit of good clean fun like singing. A good sing song never did me any harm! Yours faithfully, Mary Whitehouse (spinster).

MR FIXER: I quite agree. You can’t beat a good sing song. My friend, George, tells me that there are girls in the karaoke bars who will bend over backwards to help you! He also tells me the shocking news that those “Johnny Bag” things are available in packets of three! The only time I’ve ever wanted to do it 3 times is just before I’ve done it once! Disgusting! 

QUESTION: My name is “Outback Bruce”. I come from Australia and I don’t stand any messing. I live on the beautiful island of Lombok with my Indonesian wife and two children. I have built a small villa and I work in the mining industry on another island; working 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off.

Last week I came home to find that the gas water heater for the shower had stopped working. The local plumber looked at the problem and said the sparking device had stopped working and I needed a new one. I rang the shop and told them the sparking device was f***ed and did they have a new one. The man in the shop said they were out of stock but that I could get a new one in Bali. As I had two weeks before I had to return to work, I thought I’d take a break to visit some friends, crack a few “tinnies” and get a new sparking device at the same time. I bought a plane ticket to Bali and, on my arrival, I got a taxi to the shop for the new part. 

Two hours later, I was still in the taxi stuck in traffic in that infernal congestion caused by the never-ending  f****ing road works. I phoned the shop to see how far away I was and they said I was another 2 hours away. A quick calculation told me that if I spent 4 hours in the taxi to get there and 4 hours to get back, plus who knows how long in the f****ing shop, I was going to miss my return flight back to Lombok. I told the taxi driver to turn round and take me back to the f***ing airport. He took the words right out of my mouth when he agreed immediately to my request and said, “Yes Boss, Bali’s f***ed Boss!” “Too  f****ing right!” I said and came home. 

Since my return the water heater has started to work again but I am worried that it may fail like before. What do you suggest I do about it?

MR FIXER: Gas water heaters are great once you have got them working. They work on a pressure differential principal. When water is demanded by opening the shower tap, a valve senses the difference in pressure between what is coming in and what is going out.  If there is no difference, the valve does not know you are asking for hot water. In other words, if the water pressure coming in is insufficient, it will not open. Check your water pressure coming in.

If your water heater is not too old, it is unlikely that the igniter is faulty. They are piezo-electrical crystal devices that are good for up to 1 million uses. If your gas water heater is more than 5 years old and is one with a pilot light that is ignited constantly, then first of all check your gas bottle to see if it is empty. If it is full, check the sparking device and pilot light to see if the spark wire has disintegrated. It should look like a spark plug with a bit of thin wire bent over at 90 degrees. Some water heaters generate the spark from a battery. So check the battery if there is one. If you have done all this and it still refuses to work, then it has gone the same way that Bali has. As you already know, the technical term for this is “f***ed”. Get a new one!

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WEST COAST ROAD LOOKING FINE!

As those who regularly drive up the west coast know, the local government is doing a fine job in restructuring the road to the north of the island.

Although the construction can cause delays and parts of the road where equipment is operating make for slow travelling, the overall result is looking very good and it is clear that the drive up the west coast will be a smooth and much faster trip in the future.

The major renovation of this road that runs along the coast, from Senggigi to Pemenang in the north of the island, was commenced on 18 January 2008.

he road is the main access to the north and to the Gili islands for those travelling from Senggigi. The only other road north is the inland road that runs from Gunung Sari through the Pusuk Pass to Pemenang.

Over the past two years, the old road has been widened and many of the steep inclines which caused cars and motorbikes to struggle up hills have been cut out, or in some cases totally re-designed, to enable cars and buses to travel the road easily and safely. Of particular importance is ease of access for tour buses in the future, as tourism in Lombok continues to grow.

The existing road was not properly designed when it was first cut through the mountains and, with the increase of tourism in Lombok and traffic to the Gilis and Rinjani National Park in the north, a major overhaul was necessary.

With many hair-pin bends, switchbacks and steep hills, the roadwork involves cutting through rock and hillsides to reduce gradients and smooth out sharp corners. In some sections, up to three metres of rock has been dug out and entire slopes have been remodelled. Wisely, rock removed from the hillsides is being used to build roadside drainage ditches.

Remodelling has been carried on the corners overlooking both Malimbu and Nipah beaches, creating wide shoulders where visitors can safely stop to view the panoramas at both these scenic locations. Other sections that previously had badly cambered corners have been widened and smoothed out, making driving up the west coast a pleasure.

We often complain when we see so many things not being done properly in Lombok, so it’s nice to see the government getting something so right!

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RINJANI MISSES OUT ON GEOPARK STATUS

Despite a lot of government hype over the past two years about the proposed nomination of Mt Rinjani for UNESCO Geopark status, the government has failed to lodge the application in time and our volcano has missed out on recognition as a site of world importance.

The opportunity for Mt Rinjani to be awarded Geopark status has been open since May 2008, when two geology experts from Bandung, (Dr IR Budi Brahmantyo from the Technological Institute of Bandung and Ir Igan S Sutawidjaja), conducted a tour of the Mount Rinjani National Park to collect data to support the proposal.

At that time, Rinjani would have been the first Geopark in Indonesia and the second only Geopark in South-East Asia, after Langkawi Island in Malaysia.

UNESCO Geopark status is awarded to sites around the world which have unique or significant physical attributes, archaeological, ecological or cultural value, and are of scientific importance. At present, there are 53 UNESCO Geoparks in 17 different countries.

The Rinjani National Park, and Mt Rinjani volcano, has a number of special attributes, including the caldera and crescent-shaped lake, the volcanic peak, waterfalls, hot springs, caves, old lava flows, the “new” volcanic cone and a variety of unusual rock formations; all of which make the destination highly suitable for the title of Geopark. In addition, Lombok’s famous volcano has significant archaeological and historical importance, particularly in the culture and history of the island.

According to local reports, the nomination of Mt Rinjani for Geopark status did not take place as government agencies failed to supply the necessary information in time to complete the application. Mt Rinjani covers four different regencies in Lombok and data should have been supplied by the North, Central, East and West Lombok administrations.

The Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism had set a September deadline for completion of nomination applications but government agencies, in particular the West Lombok Department of Culture and Tourism (Dinas Pariwisata), failed to supply the necessary documentation in time.

The lack of support from the government is a damning blow to the volcano’s potential nomination, particularly as UNESCO takes local government and community commitment into account, as part of the selection process.

Whereas in 2008, Rinjani (and Lombok) would have been the first Geopark in Indonesia, nominations have now been lodged for Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Mount Sewu in East Java and Mount Batur in Bali.

Rinjani will have the opportunity to apply for Geopark status again next year. We hope that the government and the Tourism Department can recognise the benefits to the economy and community such a designation would bring and hopefully, get their documents organised in the next year!

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LOCAL SCENE

MELBOURNE CUP @ THE BEACH CLUB

This year's Melbourne Cup Day was the biggest ever at popular Senggigi venue, The Beach Club. Mimicking venues throughout Australia, The Beach Club hosted a true Aussie Cup Day with fashions, prizes, sweeps, cocktails and a delicious barbecue lunch. The men had a good excuse to watch the TV and drink beer early in the day and the ladies had a chance to dress up in glam Cup Day fashions, complete with stylish and exotic hats – as is traditional for a day at the races!

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RABIES IN LOMBOK?

According to local press, a total of 400 dogs suspected to be infected with rabies have been culled in the city of Mataram this year.

The culling operations have been carried out by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (P2K) Mataram, from April to October 2010. This elimination process has been carried out by poisoning the food in locations where dogs suspected of having rabies hang around.

Most of the dogs that have been eliminated are wild and semi-wild dogs which are not owned as pets or belong to residents. As Bali continues to struggle with the problem of rabies and an alarming number of human deaths from the disease, many have feared that it is just a matter of time before an infected dog is smuggled into Lombok, introducing the disease to this island too. The threat of the spread of rabies from wild dogs is considered very high, as wild dogs can bite other dogs and humans.

In addition to reducing the risk of rabies, the department is taking steps to reduce the population of wild dogs that often roam around villages. While socialization of information about rabies to the community is a priority, many people do not understand the threat posed by rabies, and socialization programmes are time-consuming and costly.

The Department has announced that so far no humans in Mataram have been infected with rabies. The disease has only newly been discovered in dogs. They have asked the public not to kill dogs suspected of having rabies, or dogs that have bitten humans, because they need to establish whether the dog does in fact have rabies and how far the disease may have already spread.

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HOTEL VILA OMBAK WINS TOP AWARDS

Hotel Vila Ombak, the largest resort on Gili Trawangan, has scooped two prestigious awards in the past two months for excellence in the hotel industry.

Last month, Hotel Vila Ombak won a “World Luxury Hotel Award”, beating two other Indonesian finalists at The World Luxury Hotel Awards 2010.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for Luxury Hotels worldwide. The Awards were established as a celebration of the ultimate achievement in hoteliering and congratulates hotels that have taken the extra step by differentiating themselves from “good hotels” to “exceptional hotels”.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards accounts for all categories in the Luxury Hotel industry. Award winners set the benchmark for luxury hotels in achieving recognition for their world class facilities and service excellence.
For winners the World Luxury Hotel Awards are a symbol of excellence and for the discerning traveller it is a stamp of confidence and assurance when booking a hotel displaying the award. Luxury travellers increasingly use the award as a guideline when booking their accommodation, and the use of the logo increases international brand recognition.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards recognised a selection of the finest hotels from 54 different countries at the annual 2010 Gala Dinner.

Mr Imam Wahyudi, the General Manager of Hotel Vila Ombak, joined the celebration of “Legendary Hotel” winners at The 2010 World Luxury Hotel Awards Gala Dinner held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Hua Hin, Thailand on 8 October 2010 to receive the award.

Hotel Vila Ombak has been nominated for the awards since 2009 and won the 2010 “Luxury Hotel” Category. The Gili T resort is the only hotel in Lombok to win an award.
Six other hotels in Indonesia made the list, including:

Danoya Villa, Bali (Luxury Villa Resort),
Harris Resort, Batam (Luxury Island Resort),
Jamahal Private Resort & Spa, Bali (Luxury Boutique Hotel),
Kayu Manis Nusa Dua, Bali (Luxury Spa Hotel),
Suites Hotel Bali Royale, Bali (Luxury Romantic Hotel),
The Samaya, Bali (Luxury Beach Resort).

Nominees are voted on by an independent jury made up of journalists, travel agents, tour operators and guests whom stay at the hotels, through the World Luxury Hotel Award website. Voting is cast by a selected panel of 50 leading tour operators and travel industry consultants.

“Hotel Vila Ombak was very grateful to win the award. The awards encourage sustainable competitiveness, which bolsters staff morale and creates a heightened awareness of certain non-negotiable criteria within the luxury hotel industry,” said HVO GM, Imam Wahyudi, “It’s very exciting as a nominee but there are also consequences to fulfil to be a winner in the category awarded. Taking a challenge along with dedication, enthusiasm and leadership to maintain overall service excellence and build guest loyalty. Hotel Vila Ombak is celebrating its best year in 2010.”

The second award won by the prestigious hotel was an International Business & Company Award 2010 for “The Best Hotel & Service Excellence of the Year”, awarded by national company, Pusat Prestasi Indonesia (Indonesia Achievement Centre).

The Best Hotel & Service Excellence of the Year category vote was cast by industry experts, journalists, an independent jury and twelve government departments from four Indonesian ministries.

Accompanied by Ms Rina Indriawati, Sales & Marketing Manager, and Ms Rahayu Lestari, Public Relations Manager, General Manager Mr Imam Wahyudi accepted the award at the Sultan Hotel in Jakarta on 3 September 2010.

The International Business & Company Award 2010 was dedicated to Hotel Vila Ombak for remarkable work in supporting the growth of Indonesian tourism within the region, developing the property, and service excellence in achieving the goal of 100% guest satisfaction, as well as sustainable promotion in national and international markets.

“Gaining industry recognition by winning these awards becomes a driving point to developing our hotel with excellent service, as well as maintaining the standard already achieved amongst the management and staff at Hotel Vila Ombak,” Imam said.

Hotel Vila Ombak was one of the first established hotels on Gili Trawangan and has evolved into a world class resort over the past ten years. Last year, extensive development saw the addition of upscale Lumbung Family rooms, taking the total number of rooms available at the hotel to 110. This year the pool area and beachfront underwent extensive landscaping and a shopping arcade was created on its southern boundary. The hotel has also upgraded its beachfront, creating a stunning new undercover restaurant and bar facility.

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