Gili Trawangan is what passes for ‘busy’ on the remote cluster of islands off Lombok, Indonesia – but Ko-Ko-Mo offers an instant escape from the horses, carts and bikes of the main drag (no cars in this little slice of heaven).
A collection of private villas, it’s one of the island’s most luxurious retreats, where you can self-cater in serious style, although you shouldn’t miss the restaurant – more of that later.
Our villa, Anggrek, is one of seven two-bedroom villas hidden behind the high walls of the complex. When staff lead us through the large wooden door we’re struck by the sheer size of it – with its pool, sun deck and large open plan living room/dining room/kitchen, we could have one hell of a party here. But we’re here as a couple, and this is about relaxation and romance. Ko-Ko-Mo is a favourite with honemooners, and you can see why. Once that wooden door is shut and the staff have shuffled subtly out, the place is your own.
The style is relaxed modern mixed with traditional Indonesian: think soft cream furnishings, dark wood panellings, intricate stone statues and bursts of greenery. The semi-outdoor bathroom helps you feel close to nature and you can hear surprisingly little of the outside world, save the faint muffled beats from an unidentified bar. It’s very, very relaxing and hard to leave. “Bike ride?” “Sure, let’s just sunbathe for a bit first… then take a dip… browse the DVD collection… Fancy a beer from the fridge?” “Go on then….” And so it goes.
It is well worth stepping out for breakfast, however. The restaurant has a classy-looking indoor section near reception then, across the ‘road’, a beautiful beachside location overlooking the water. We’ve heard that Ko-Ko-Mo is the best restaurant on the island, but this may just be the best breakfast we’ve had all year on our travels – the toast with mushroom and goats’ cheese is eye-rollingly exquisite.
Naturally, we’re excited to try the restaurant that evening, and it doesn’t disappoint. Under the guidance of Sydney chef and restauranteur Matthew Blundell, they’ve created a very special menu blending local produce and flavours with prime Australian cuts. Highlights include Beef Carpaccio, Tenderloin and a very rich dessert I would remember better were the wine not so excellent, and free-flowing. Here’s to Ko-Ko-Mo – and to coming back one day.
Cathay Pacific flies from London Heathrow to Denpasar, Bali via Hong Kong with prices from £599 (Economy), www.cathaypacific.co.uk or call 0208 834 8888. Gili Trawangan is a 90 minute boat ride from Bali http://www.gili-paradise.com/fast-boats/ – most boats also call at Lombok.
From £83 per night for a one bedroom villa in low season.
+62 (0) 370 6134 920