Although it’s yet to welcome a single guest, Gran Meliá Lombok has already been hailed as the ‘Best Hospitality Development in Asia’. Here’s why.
8 August, 2022
Scheduled for completion in 2024, Gran Meliá Lombok is a beachfront resort currently under construction at Torok Bayon on the south coast of Lombok. Conceived by Invest Islands in conjunction with Bali-based Inspiral Architecture & Design Studios, the development was named ‘Best Upcoming Hotel Development’ in Indonesia‘ and ‘Best Hospitality Development in Asia’ at the PropertyGuru Property Awards.
As lead architect Charlie Hearn readily points out, the setting is something to behold. “The first thing I felt [upon visiting the site] 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,” he says.
Positioned as an ‘Eco-sensitive Five-Star Retreat’, Gran Meliá Lombok includes 125 units of five different types of accommodation – Kayma Moroccan tented suites, Aurora minimalist suites, Inspiral eco-luxury villas, La Residenza Bauhaus-style residences and Tent Beach Villas – as well as an ‘Oceanclub’ with a restaurant, spa, events pavilion, and so forth.
This differentiation of style was key. As Charlie explains, one of the architects’ main ambitions was to avoid sameness, and instead “create a series of individual villages”.
“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,” he says, adding that 75 per cent of the materials used in the project will be sourced from within Lombok, with the remaining 25 per cent coming from elsewhere in Indonesia.
These locally-sourced materials including bamboo, reclaimed timber, stone, and more will soften the project’s environmental impact. The hope is that, combined with the flowing forms of the various villas which mimic the undulating hills down towards the ocean’s edge, they will present as organic components of an already-stunning natural setting.
On top of that, in terms of meeting the ‘eco-sensitive’ brief, the plan includes the introduction of tree canopies and vegetation to offset the new buildings; water saving and low energy usage infrastructure will be employed; and the design will harness sunlight and sea breezes to help heat and cool the buildings.
As Charlie notes, the project’s social impact has also been an important consideration. “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,” he comments.
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