Jeeva Beloam - Romantic, Luxurious Beach Camp in Untouched Indonesia
Robinson Crusoe would turn over in his fictional grave should he learn that we were describing Jeeva Beloam (Lombok), with its chefs, massage therapist, complimentary airport transport, and humming generator as Robinson Crusoesque. But while we know that Robinson Crusoe didn’t have 40 staff members, turndown service, and a 30% discount on massages before noon, we love the idea of living like Cruise, the ideal of living like Crusoe. Jeeva Beloam is the luxurious, “deserted” beach resort we conjure up in our daydreams.
Jeeva Beloam is the ultimate boutique beach resort. The hotel is a member of Secret Retreats (www.secret-retreats.com) and has just 11 beachfront bungalows- luxurious simplicity with thatched roofs and limited AC - set in a deserted cove on the southeastern corner of Lombok with over 100 acres of forest preserve sloping up to the hills behind. If there's another beach in the world that's more perfect, we haven't seen it. The warm water is a deep turquoise that invites swimming at the edge of the white sand - sand so impossibly soft you sink to your ankles. But this isn't the unchanging flat water of the Maldives or Fiji, waves explode in white foam against rocky cliffs at the edges of the cove. All included pictures were taken during our 3 day visit.
Meals are enjoyed on an elevated platform at the center of the beach - picture a top-end, safari tent open on all sides. While alcohol isn't included, everything else is - meals are delicious and local fruit juices sublime.
A potential negative is the 2 hour drive-time from the airport. However, since the room price includes transport in a comfortable, air-conditioned van - we like to think of the transfer as a great way to catch a glimpse of rural Indonesia. Our driver happily detoured to a small, family run restaurant on our way from the airport to the hotel.
Resort Style Luxury Meets Isolated Beach Camp
Jeeva Beloam is one of the only hotels in the world that we'd recommend both for luxury and for an off-the-grid escape.
Just as “charming” is a code word for cramped in real estate lingo, “off the grid” and “eco-friendly” are often clues that AC is unavailable and towels are crunchy after a salt water wash and air dry. However, Jeeva Beloam is off the grid in the best way possible. Miles from the nearest civilization, the hotel has a large generator that hums into life in the mornings and evenings – providing AC and lights for guests. While the breezes blowing across our canopied bed made the AC mostly unnecessary, it was great to turn on for a few hours in the evening.
Jeeva's Beloam's off-the-grid location means that you won't be taking any calls on your cell phone or browsing the web on your iPad - the generator is only on for a portion of the day and the nearest WiFi is miles away. But with a view like this, do you really need to check your Instagram? During our visit we went three straight days without staring at a screen - for the first time in several years - and it added to the feeling of escape.
Deserted Islands are Best When They're not Islands
While you might imagine the ultimate beach vacation as being on a tiny Island in the South Pacific, the reality is that deserted islands aren’t the best place to experience deserted island life. We all love the idea of the tiny island with swaying palm trees and water on all sides, but a stay on a deserted island usually doesn't live up to expectations. Tiny islands are hard to build on, hard to stock with food, and hard to reach. We prefer our deserted island experience to be on the mainland, where rooms are luxurious, food is plentiful, and massage therapists arrive on time. If you've always dreamed of an isolated getaway, try Jeeva.
Rates - inclusive of transfers and food - start around $250 a night. It might be the most affordable place in the world to experience this level of service, beauty, and comfort.