Lombok As You’ve Never Seen It Before

Out of the 17,000 or so islands that make up Indonesia’s archipelago, Lombok is perhaps its most intriguing. 

With waves that rival the quality of Bali and the Mentawais plus an ancient local culture rooted in Indo’s own version of magical realism, this tiny landmass on the boundary between the Oriental and Australian faunal regions is beguiling in every sense of the word. 

It’s also home to Xanadu.

Intrepid travellers, meet Lombok

While Bali is no doubt the most famous Indonesian island, Lombok is slowly stealing the spotlight with its own brand of raw yet understated beauty. And while it can easily stand on its own, having Bali as a frame of reference allows us to articulate just how different Lombok really is. Hint: VERY.


Lombok’s climate is subject to the same meteorological forces that shape Bali’s, meaning it has two seasons: dry and wet.

The former runs from May to September while the latter occupies the rest of the year. It’s worth noting here that Lombok typically sees less rainfall than Bali, which means wet season could be more aptly called “showery” season. The beauty of this is that you can visit during the wetter months and still enjoy plenty of sunny days.

Sea temperatures year-round rarely dip below 25°C, so you can leave the wetsuit at home. Land temperatures vary between 24-32°C depending on the season and altitude, which brings us to our next point.


Despite its small size (4,607 km2), Lombok has a robust topography.

It’s a lush volcanic island with its highest peak and Indonesia’s second-highest, Mount Rinjani, standing at 3,726 metres. It’s also surrounded by coral reefs, particularly in its southern and western coasts.

Tropical rainforests and hot springs give way to waterfalls and mangrove forests. All of which can be seen or sampled in the span of a single day. 

The Gili Islands, known worldwide for their party scene and as a diving hub, are situated in Lombok’s northwest. While Gili waves don’t compare to those on Lombok, it’s worth exploring these reclusive postcard-perfect islands to tick them off the list.


Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Lombok life, and the source of its biggest differences with neighbouring Bali, is its culture.

The original inhabitants of Lombok are the Sasak people. They descend from a mix of Austronesian seafarers and indigenous Melanesians. As the largest ethnic group on the island, their traditions, rituals and customs form the backbone of Lombok’s culture.

Since the introduction of Islam (the dominant religion on the island), various elements of Sasak culture have been diluted. Xanadu actively partners with local community-led initiatives to preserve and promote traditional Sasak practices, which guests can experience firsthand during their stay.

The town of Kuta, not to be confused with the noisy, smog-choked town in Bali, is the epicentre of surf culture in Lombok. If you dream of a quintessential Indonesian surfing experience, this is where you’ll find it.

There’s a thriving international influence here, with Australian-style coffee shops, European bakeries and Mexican taco eateries all doing a roaring trade. Watering holes aren’t in short supply either. After the sun sets the bars come alive with surfed-out souls swapping stories about their best waves.

It’s a heady mix of the familiar and the exotic, and its given rise to Lombok’s reputation as a surfer’s paradise that strikes the perfect balance between modern comfort and traditional charm.


Desert Point, Gerupuk, Ekas, Mawi and perhaps the dreamiest beginner beach ever, Selong Belanak, are just a few of the iconic breaks on Lombok. 

Magic is one way to describe them all, but each one has its own unique characteristics that cater to different levels of surfers. On the whole, Lombok is generally considered to be more user-friendly than Bali when it comes to waves. It’s also much less crowded than its sister island, making for a more relaxed and authentic surf experience.

Another feature of Lombok’s waves is that while some can be reached by scooter or transport, others are only accessible by boat. This only adds to the adventure, and it’s easy to imagine yourself slowly motoring towards an empty sunrise lineup before diving into bath-like water to catch the first perfect peelers of the day.

As for Lombok’s best surf season, you can ride epic waves here all-year round. The wet season sees smaller, cleaner swells and gentle offshore winds that are perfect for beginners, longboarders and intermediate surfers looking to improve their skills.

The dry season brings bigger, more powerful waves that will challenge even the most experienced surfers. Plus, the offshore winds are stronger, making it a great opportunity for barrel-hunters seeking an inside-out view of the tube.

Xanadu Village and Xanadu Retreat

If Lombok is the star of the show, Xanadu’s two locations (Xanadu Village and Xanadu Retreat) are the supporting acts. Simply put, they make falling in love with Lombok easy. 

Both locations are beautifully designed and imbued with Xanadu’s unique blend of understated style. You can eat, sleep, stretch and surf your brains out or just relax – it’s up to you. No matter which path you take, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and already making plans for another visit.

Xanadu Village

Located only 5 minutes from Kuta centre, Xanadu Village is a stylish but budget-friendly surf and yoga camp that caters to a maximum of 12 guests per week.
It offers a balanced package that includes surfing lessons, yoga sessions and fun activities such as trekking and snorkelling. It’s also situated in a quiet cul-de-sac just a short walk from the bustling Kuta town, providing easy access to local shops, cafes and restaurants.
Accommodation-wise, don’t expect tents and sleeping bags. The rooms are modern, comfortable and designed to give a casual but chic vibe. Other amenities include an outdoor dining area, yoga shala and a dreamy pool that doubles as the perfect chill out zone after a day of surfing.
For anyone seeking a tasteful surf and yoga experience that won’t break the bank, Xanadu Village is the perfect choice.

Xanadu Retreat

In keeping with Xanadu’s down-to-earth vibe, Xanadu Retreat is all about blending luxury with a homey feel.

Yes, the vaulted ceilings give it an almost monastic feel, and the Scandinavian-style architecture offers a touch of modernity. But it achieves all this while staying true to its Indonesian roots. The result is a considered, light and airy space that immediately puts you in a state of calm.

Design aside, Xanadu Retreat elevates the surf and yoga experience by being detail-oriented. Everything is taken care of so you can focus on the experience itself. From daily housekeeping to freshly prepared meals using locally-sourced ingredients, blackout curtains and even a social host to ensure your needs are always met, you can relax into your vacation without any worries.

Surf strength training, ice baths, guided meditations and cultural workshops round out the experience. The infinity pool and shala with ocean views are just icing on a very delicious cake.

The Xanadu Way of Life

Lombok and Xanadu can all sound too good to be true, but we assure you that it’s not just a dream. It’s a way of life that anyone can partake in.

From surf and yoga packages to cultural experiences and luxury accommodation, there’s something for everyone at Xanadu. The unifying thread, however, is the emphasis on your experience.

Surf sessions, yoga classes and other activities are all optional. If you want to lounge by the pool all day with a drink in hand, reading that book you’ve always wanted to finish, you can do that too. There’s zero expectation or pressure to participate in anything you don’t want to.

But if you do feel like trying something new and stepping out of your comfort zone, Xanadu is the perfect place for it. With a supportive and inclusive community, experienced instructors and a beautiful setting, you’ll find yourself embracing the Xanadu way of life in no time.

See below for more reasons why Xanadu is the ultimate destination for surfers, yogis and anyone looking to reconnect with themselves in paradise.

  • Package for all preferences and budgets
  • Special surf weeks with noted international longboarders
  • Surf theory sessions led by experienced surfers
  • ISA certified surf coaches
  • Xanadu Retreat operating (almost) at net-zero
  • Active participation in local initiatives and community-led projects
  • Healthy, locally-grown meals and snacks, with vegetarian, lactose/gluten intolerant and vegan options available
  • Close access to some of the best surf breaks in Lombok
  • Local staff with excellent English skills
  • Eco-friendly practices such as waste management, solar power and rainwater harvesting
  • Unique cultural experiences, such as batik making workshops and traditional Sasak village visits
  • Spa treatments and massages using natural local ingredients
  • Daily guided meditation sessions overlooking the ocean
  • Fantastic range of longboards for use (handmade in Indonesia)