FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
When you say Eco, what does that mean?
To us, Eco means natural, sustainable, plus enhancement of the environment. Our roads are built from local foundations and soils. Our buildings use natural materials, mostly sourced locally. We have built another artificial reef to enhance fish stocks in Ekas Bay with the Wildlife Conservation Society. We have blocked the capturing of birds. Our land is large (some 35 Ha) to prevent the spoiling of the environment with myriad small hotels, warungs and crowds, thereby sustaining our environment for the long term. We are managing our forests and planting at least 4000 new trees every year. Some varieties, like mahogany, will be eventually sustainably logged so that we can make our own furniture and buildings. We are developing a cosmetic line using our own plantations of aloe vera and the mystical Neem tree with its antiseptic and curative properties and our coconut plantations. We forbid the taking of fossils and shells from the beaches. And we never use sand from the beaches for construction. We ask the surfers not to walk on the precious corals around the surf breaks and have a single route across the reef to the surf. We never anchor the boats over coral. We only use two poisons in the Sanctuary, for bugs. The gardens are fully organic. All gardens are hand cut by our 5 gardeners. Many fences are “pagar hidup”, i.e. live fences made from rows of growing trees. As much as possible, we minimise the transport of goods to minimise greenhouse gases. Our gardens are beautiful with many varieties that grow in our relatively sunny climate. All our trees are grown from seed. Our rooves are mostly made from renewable grass (alang alang). We host International University students undertaking environmental projects, and we encourage guests to help with projects such as the artificial reefs. We work with government to improve district management plans. All our water is now from our own water capture systems and a local bore. Water from our laundry is re-cycled for building projects and washing vehicles.
We have plans to make our own drinking water from solar desalinators. We tried solar panels in the early days but unfortunately they were stolen. Now, the Resort has too many fridges and freezers to store the food, and so we are using government supplied electricity. We’d love to find an alternative that is cost effective and reliable. We want our environmental footprint to be neutral or positive, so that we can truly claim to be Eco. We want to give our guests the chance to relax and connect barefoot with the environment again, in the sea and on the land, to re-connect each person with their true spiritual needs. And some just feel good watching the sunset from the infinity pool with a Bintang beer or two.
Does the resort have a spa and yoga?
Yes, we have a beautiful spa at Planet. And a new massive yoga centre with our own instructors who cater for beginners to experts.
Do we have a surf school?
We don’t offer Surf School packages because guests prefer lessons with our full-time instructor whenever they want them.
Do you have sporting equipment for use or hire?
We have lots of sporting equipment and all is complimentary for our package guests. We have about 20 surfboards of different lengths from short to long. We have 4 kayaks and 6 Stand-up Paddle boards. Many of the women use the SUPS for an early morning paddle on the Bay before breakfast. The paddling is away from the waves over the beautiful calm waters of the Bay and many fish and turtles are seen. Staff on our bigger outrigger surfboat take people to the surf breaks and snorkel reefs. For the outdoor enthusiast, we have 7 mountain bikes and the trails are spectacular around the southern reefs. Our skateboard ramp has been made bigger and we have skateboards and safety equipment here. Snorkel trips on the boat to the Coral Gardens are complimentary and all equipment is supplied. Our half tennis court (with a wall) is big and fun for friends to compete.
Is there internet, Wifi and Television available?
Yes, we have free Wifi internet around the restaurant and pool. The internet is good about 90% of the time. International TV is in the guest games area and all the rooms have TV for DVDs. There are many channels, including the Aussie Rules footy on the weekend, BBC, German, French and movie channels. And the restaurant has hundreds of free movies on DVD.
Is the Resort just a surf camp?
We have tried very hard to make the Sanctuary a resort for everyone. Many families come and our ratio of men and women is now close to 50-50. While about 70% of our guests surf, some just play or learn in the safe waves and others enjoy the relaxation, massages, extensive menu, tours, pools, ocean and the bar.
I’ve heard the rooms have grass rooves, What’s that like?
The grass roof is natural and traditional. While more expensive than other roofing materials such as tiles, we are using the grass (alang alang) because it has wonderful insulating qualities, cooler than other rooves, and it looks fantastic. The grass is cut by villagers from the surrounding fields and woven onto bamboo rods. This brings work to the district and minimises our impact on the environment. It grows back quickly every year, providing an income source to the villagers. The rooves last about 10 years.
Is the resort like Bali?
The resort is not like Bali. However, if you were in Bali in the 70’s, it would bring back memories of coconut palms at Kuta Beach and no crowds at Uluwatu surf break. Absolutely no traffic, no hassling with salesmen or massage ladies, no concrete box rooms and no crowds or motor bikes running up behind you. It’s stunningly beautiful and enchanting with the white sand empty beaches, massive sunsets (which are much better than Bali!!) and unsurpassed scenery. The environment is healthy, including frogs and geckos. If you actually want to experience the world of 30 years ago, with all the luxury of the Resort, then Heaven on the Planet is for you. If you want manicured, overly polite staff, and every blade of grass cut with nail scissors, then you might be better off in a Bali 5-star.
Is it far from the Airport?
We are close to the airport now, since they moved the airport to central Lombok. It takes about 1.5 hours in our transport. We are a long way from the ferry terminal and the Gili Islands ports, about 3.5 hours, so we recommend that guests take the flights, which are actually less expensive than the “fast boats” and far more convenient and quicker.
Is the Resort suitable for children?
Many families come with kids, from unborn babies to young adults. Local village women are wonderful baby sitters for the youngsters, giving the parents a chance to relax over dinner or go surfing together. The Resorts are like a theme park for kids. They love the beach, paddling in the sea, looking for geckos, snorkelling, playing in the pool and our large toy box. Many play with the village kids. But remember that there are cliffs, waves, uneven steps and terraces that are not fenced. The kids won’t be wrapped in cotton wool, so it may not be suitable for every parent. Children under 2 are free and under 12 is half price.
What’s included in the package?
The package includes all your needs with all meals from our extensive a la carte menu, arrival/departure transport in Lombok, snorkel trips, surf boat, all sporting equipment and massages every second day. All you need to pay for is drinks (notably tea, coffee and water in the rooms are complimentary) and now many guests pay a drinks deposit of $100 before arrival so their holiday is completely “cash free”. We love to see the guests totally relaxed with no money thoughts … they can eat what they want, use the facilities, enjoy the resorts and simply relax. You are even allowed to bring your own duty free alcohol. We just want you to have a great stress-free holiday.
Is it good value for money?
Our comparisons with other Resorts shows that the Full Platinum package with the Villa is cost-competitive. For your comfort and the smooth operation of the Resorts, we have up to 45 staff. The Resorts “Heaven on the Planet” offers a unique option to fully enjoy one of the most beautiful places on the Planet with great surfing and many other activities. We have 3 swimming pools, activities room, internet, TV, complimentary massages, snorkelling trips and all the comforts.