Easily our favourite
Rinjani Mountain Garden offers just a handful of character-laden rooms set in a magnificent location in the foothills of Gunung Rinjani, overlooking the ocean in the far distance. With a menagerie of well-cared for animals roaming around — geese, horses, cats, chickens, turkeys, dogs and even a hornbill — plus a large spring-fed, stone-lined pool to splash around in, and excellent German food, this is one of our most highly recommended places to stay on Lombok.
The main wooden and brick rooms are set in three separate buildings along a ridge that faces a shifting-blue ocean on the horizon. We took adjoining spotless, basic rooms that each had double beds with mosquito nets, shelves and temperamental hot water bathrooms without doors.
The rather Hobbit-like, alang-alang roofed rooms share a large stone terrace with basic cushion-strewn, bamboo deckchairs ideal for hanging out on, enjoying the crisp mountain air and expansive panorama. We were only charged 30 percent of the normal room rate for the second room we took for the children.
An upstairs/downstairs bungalow is also on offer, also suited to families, along with a single freestanding room. Camping may be arranged as well, though check in advance that it’s available.
The German couple running the place maintain a tight ship, with beautiful ramshackle gardens, bales to hang out in, and an excellent restaurant offering a range of Indonesian and German dishes. They smoke their own fish on-site — they used to run an entire business around it — and it’s delicious. All the food we had was outstanding, and not what you’d expect as really you’re quite in the middle of nowhere.
What to do? You can swim in the chilled pool along with the turtles and fish — it’s naturally spring fed, so it’s murky and revitalising rather than chlorinated and antiseptic. You can take walks in the stunning terraced surrounds. You can hang out and read books and look forward to your next meal.
Come evening, enjoy a sundowner of orange rice wine or a pink home brewed wine in the small restaurant with similarly expansive views. (“Haven’t you seen the price of Hatten?” the owner asked us, explaining why he brews his own.) Make sure you have the smoked fish — it’s simply amazing.
We had a bonfire one night where the kids roasted dough and marshmellows on sticks.
But most of the time we just hung out, playing Uno, reading and pottering around with the animals. There’s no TV. Barely a 3G signal. No crowds — day guests are not permitted to visit, so your tranquility won’t be destroyed by the arrival of a busload of tourists as it can be over in Senaru proper.
We could have stayed days and days here — well, actually, we did. Bring games, good books — and a flexible itinerary.
This is a place run for the love of it, not for profit. The aesthetic is wabi-sabi, eclectic and unusual, so don’t expect it all to run to plan, but expect to chill out and just enjoy getting back to nature.
Address: Teres Genit
T: (0818) 569 730;
Coordinates (for GPS): 116º25'12.77" E, 8º18'1.04" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
198,000 rupiah for two people
|124,000 rupiah||124,000 rupiah|
|Standard double room|
297,000 rupiah for two people
|235,000 rupiah||235,000 rupiah|
335,000 rupiah for two
|260,000 rupiah||260,000 rupiah|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Senaru