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  • 7 Beautiful & Affordable Muslim-Friendly Villas in Gili Islands, Indonesia, You Can't Miss

    Want to enjoy a perfect family gateway or a romantic short escape but can’t decide where to go? Then, look no further than Lombok, an island full of adventures and beautiful destinations located in Indonesia. One of the best things to be found in Lombok are the incredibly luxurious Muslim-friendly villas and hotels that are complete with spectacular ocean views. You could see the beautiful view of the great Lombok oceans and the magnificent sunrise right from your room’s balcony. Do not worry about the facilities, they provide A to Z amenities including prayer mats and halal food places and also a sports center for some crazy sports activities. Here are some excellent oceanfront choices we’ve researched for you! 1. Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa Credit: Puri Mas Traveling can be a solution to inhale your energy and exhale your stress especially when you're in comfortable and affordable accommodation with beautiful scenery. Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa is one of the iconic resorts in Lombok that provides you a place to enjoy the sunset from your room’s balcony. Within just a few minutes walk, you will find the Senggigi Beach, Klui Beach and other touristic areas. When you come to this resort, you will see its rich heritage stand strong through its architecture, sculpted archways, and manicured tropical gardens. Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa is located in Senggigi City which is just an hour drive from International Lombok Airport. To offer the perfect mix of romantic luxurious living and stylish, Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa provides you a cool and refreshing outdoor pool, a fitness center, a luxurious spa with a wonderful menu of treatments, free Wi-Fi, car rental services, restaurant with a halal food menu and dry cleaning. Address: Jalan Raya Pantai Mangsit, Senggigi, Batu Layar, Mataram City, West Nusa Tenggara 83355, IndonesiaContact No.: +62 370 693831Room Rates: Prices start from SGD 90 Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email 2. Desa Dunia Beda Beach Credit: Desa Dunia Beda on Facebook If you need a short gateway with your partner where you can fill your eyes, heart, and soul with amazing sights and immerse yourself in cultural activities, then check in to Desa Dunia Beda Beach Resort would be the best choice! This resort opted for traditional constructions from Java named Joglo and Rumah Kampung, old teak houses renovated and their mission is to give full privacy and comfort to the guests. You will have access to a range of amenities for an enjoyable stay, such as garden and pool pavilions, saltwater swimming pool, Wifi, minibar, mini library, leisure corner with chess and backgammon, beach bar and grill corner, bike rental, traditional massage and many more. For those who really want to experience the crystal blue water, you can go scuba diving, snorkeling or fishing trips. And if you want to celebrate an anniversary or your partner's birthday or just want to have a private gateway then a romantic dinner on the beach side or garden area is a must! From its restaurant and bar, enjoy the fantastic view of the beach and the sunset in a natural environment, while digging into the delicious local cuisine and BBQ prepared by Indonesian chefs. Address: Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah, North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, 83355Contact No.: +62 811-390-676Villa Rates: Prices start from SGD 109 Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email 3. Katamaran Hotel & Resort Credit: Katamaran Resort Need an unforgettable journey to rejuvenate with the balance of body and soul? Then, let’s try to spend a night or two in Katamaran Resort when you visit Lombok. It is located right on the beachfront of the exquisite Mangsit Beach in Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia. There is a myriad of activities that you can do in Katamaran Resort. First, pamper yourself to an intimate dining experience in ocean beachfront. Indulge in a private butler service and enjoy delicious halal food such as Tagliolini Pasta sauteed with Crab and Tomato Sauce or Wrapped and Baked Seafood Cartoccio with Potato and Mushrooms. Second, if you have a family trip why don’t you arrange a surprise afternoon tea for your family? There is a great spot to enjoy high tea with the family in this resort and enjoy the delectable menu, featuring the Tuna Croissant, Sweet Roll Cake, and Macaroons. Moreover, if you are someone who enjoys diving, fishing, snorkeling, or sunbathing by the beach or just relaxing at a place to witness beauty of nature, you should visit Gili Nanggu, Gili Sudak and Gili Kedis. This resort makes it really simple for you by preparing a special package that is approximately SGD 191 (Rp1815,000) per pax. You can also get your boost of adrenaline in the Rinjani Trekking package which requires two days to conquer the mountain, the package price is around SGD 522 (Rp4961,000) for 2 pax. Address: Jalan Raya Senggigi, Senggigi, Batu Layar, West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, 83355Contact No.: +62 370 6197 888Room Rates: Prices start from SGD 106 Website | Facebook | Instagram  4. Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel Credit: Kila Hotels on Facebook For those who love shopping, this hotel would be the perfect option! Killa Senggigi Beach Hotel is surrounded by shopping malls and markets. They offer plenty of facilities and service such as a fitness center, badminton area, tennis court, swimming pool, a whole menu of spa treatments and rooms that feature a view of the ocean. Here at Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel, your vacation will be a perfect experience! One that is filled with exquisite food, exciting activities, a retreat for the body and soul, and an atmosphere of tranquility and romance. Surely, the perfect ingredients for the best getaway! Address: Jalan Pantai Senggigi, Senggigi, Batu Layar, West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, 83355Contact No.: +62 370 693210Prices: Prices start from SGD 59 Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email 5. SunsetHouse-Lombok Spend your night in this boutique hotel to catch the mountain and sea view! Just 5 minutes away from the Senggigi Beach, in front of Batu Bolong Beach and just 10 minutes walk from Senggigi Centre or 1 hour 15 minutes drive from Selaparang Airport. This hotel provides free tickets to a traditional dance that performs every Wednesday and Saturday after sunset, so you can enjoy the local experience! In the afternoon, take your time and relax in its large outdoor pool and take some time off and lounge by the pool. Then, enjoy a stroll in the hotel’s tropical garden. Surrounded by a fish pond, dine at the hotel's restaurant, serving you an international menu with Italian and Asian specialties. Address: Jalan Raya Senggigi No.66, Batu Layar, West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, 83355Contact No.: +62 370 692020Room Rates: Prices start from SGD 55 Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email 6. Qunci Villas Credit: Qunci Villas Qunci Villas will make your visit to Lombok truly memorable with providing excellent accommodation and personal service. Its rooms are all located on the beautifully landscaped beachfront property and boast either ocean, partial ocean or garden views. If you just want to pleasure yourself, it has a swimming pool to make you chill out. The chic and sophisticated decoration of this hotel provides a mix of modern architecture and traditional decoration. Forget your job for a while, take a deep breath and enjoy the beautiful green mountain and palm treed, and the Lombok sea views. It has also spa treatments, bar and lounge, library and foreign exchange services. Address: Jalan Raya Mangsit, Senggigi, Mangsit, Batu Layar, West Lombok, West Nusa TenggaraContact No.: +62 (0) 370 693 800Villa Rates: Prices start from SGD 113 Website | Facebook | Email 7. Jeeva Santai Villas Credit: Jeeva Santai Villas This villa is known as the “Peaceful Spirit’ homestay offering an intimate and luxurious selection of 14 villas and suites that will surely have you relaxed in no time. It is also known as a peaceful oasis due to its simple and elegant concept, channeling a calming and blissful atmosphere. This villa offers plenty of facilities, such as a private pool, restaurant, library, and free transport to all the amenities at Jeeva Klui, located only 2 kilometers away. Want to enjoy some of the best sunsets in the world? Don't you worry! You can enjoy it from the Sunset Terrace at Pearl’s! Surrounded by Mangsit Beach, the coast of Lombok, and further across the Indian Ocean to the islands of Bali, the Sunset Terrace at Pearl’s is a popular spot for guests. Address: Jalan Raya Senggigi, Batu Layar, West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, 83355Contact No.: +62 (0)  370 619 7123Villa Rates: Prices start from SGD 140  Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email We’ve done all the recommending the best Muslim-friendly with beautiful views, so all you need to worry about is booking your flight, preparing your pre-vacation glow and jet-setting off for a short escape of a lifetime!...

  • Traveling In A Big Group? 10 Huge Villas in Malaysia That Are Worth Every Penny

    In the past, the idea of staying in a villa was a far-fetched dream but as times change staying in a villa has never been so simple, affordable and sensational. So whether you're looking for a palatial home for your Malaysian holiday, a change of air on your mini weekend getaway or even a villa for your event, we've got you covered! via GIPHY This article will list you 10 Villas in Malaysia that'll accommodate families or group of friends and making your luxurious getaway a dream come true. Feeling like Royalty 1. The Villas At Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa Credit: Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa StyleOpulence in the midst of nature. These villa styled rooms, feature greenery and private swimming pools a few steps away from the private balconies. The furniture is a mixture of wooden features with cotton and rich deep colours to create the effect of pure indulgence. AmenitiesPrivate swimming pools, outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre, balcony. 24hr Front desk and rapid bus transit to take you to Kuala Lumpur city center or to nearby shopping and entertainment mall or even the Sunway Lagoon theme park. BudgetOn a higher end at $400 a night for two people but considering the unique experience and 24hr service available this resort is giving you a royal experience as well as beautiful accommodation. LocationPesiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia Review: 8.8Website 2. The Bird of Paradise Villa at Genting Sempah Credit: Karla Cheah on Airbnb StyleMulti-story home with extraordinary architecture. Open spaces with colors and comforts of being inside. Art plastered all around the house, pool table and relaxing spaces. Jacuzzi and swimming pools. So grand that huge functions can be held here. AmenitiesVarious balconies. Swimming pools, games room, (additional options such as bbq foods). Caretaker within distance, big car porch, steamboats. Hotel amenities such as 24hr building staff and basics available. Budget$700 for 22 people, a slightly more expensive split. OverallOne way to find villas in Malaysia is to look at villas in resort complexes. This offers much more than a grand home experience as you will have access to restaurants and other entertainment facilities, especially useful for longer stays and bonding experiences. In addition to this room services and every-day cleaning will make you feel like royalty. Review: 4.5/5Website Cheaper Villa options Having a tighter budget does not necessarily mean having a lower standard of a villa. 1. Villa 23 @ Cyberjaya Credit: Dream Scape Management on Booking.com StyleA combination of rustic and modern, this beautiful home incorporates wood with darker tones. Clever use of lighting and space allows lighting to be adjusted for mood and ambiance. AmenitiesFeaturing a hot tub and Jacuzzi, air conditioning, WIFI, fully equipped kitchen, towels, sound-proof rooms. Top- notch security with electric passwords. Daily housekeeping and laundry. BudgetThis house can be rented by room or in its entirety. The prices start as low as $10 for one room and only go up to $80 for the whole complex. LocationJalan Fauna 1, 63000 Cyberjaya, Malaysia Reviews: 8.4/10Website 2. Villa @ Elevia Residence Credit: Villa @ Elevia Residence on Booking.com StyleA grand place using sleek decor with straight lines and geometric designs pops of color are splattered around the house which brightens the space but still keeps a running theme. AmenitiesPool, fitness center, BBQ facilities, terrace, garden. Air conditioning, Free parking, Free wifi. Budget$120 for a place that can sleep, 6 guests. More beds can be added for additional fees. LocationJalan Puchong Utama 7, 47150 Puchong, Malaysia Reviews: New villa so unreviewedWebsite 3. Vista Rio Melaka Credit: Victor on Airbnb StyleThis home incorporates culture with timeless elegance. The staple red laid around the house really brings this home to life with a taste of Malaysian culture. The home gives a high-class decor with dark mahogany dating to historic elegance as well as being paired with sleek white furniture and marble tiles to incorporate a modern touch. AmenitiesAll essentials are offered for a hotel experience, air conditioning, heating, patio or balcony with a beautiful view. Completely verified by Airbnb. Budget$66 dollars a night for 7 guests. OverallBeing on the cheaper side, the amenities and ambiance are perfect for parties, corporate events, and personal experiences. The point of this villa-esque experience is to feel removed from your everyday life and these unique villas and units styled as villas enable you to experience a new home dream. Website Affordable Villas 1. Twin Villa Homestay Credit: Twin Villa Homestay on Booking.com StyleMore on the opulent, luxurious side this villa is furnished with draperies and Victorian-inspired furniture. A villa is a grand place that fills all the senses with its beauty and elegance. AmenitiesA 4- bedroom Villa with flat-screens, fully equipped kitchen, free toiletries, outdoor pools and relaxing outdoor furnished spaces including in the dining area, balconies and terraces. BudgetJust under $300 for up to 14 guests. A steal! Location6 Jalan Badik 11/4, 40100 Shah Alam, Malaysia Review: 9.8Website 2. Cyberjaya Cristal Villa25 Credit: Cyberjaya Cristal Villa25 on Booking.com StyleA uniform style runs throughout the whole villa with the colors blue, black and white. This really ties the whole house together and creates the impression of an even more palatial villa. The sleekness extends from the exterior to the interior. Tile and marble floors with splashes of interesting portraits, landscapes create a sleek and expensive experience. AmenitiesFitness center with a spa extension including a jacuzzi and spa. Variety of pools including a fenced pool for privacy, infinity pool, City and landmark view as well as mountain views, giving you a versatile home. Budget$360 for up to 20 people, making it $18 each. Location25 Villa Diamond, Jalan CSR 2, Cristal serin residence Jalan Fauna 1, Cyber 9, 63000 Cyberjaya, Malaysia OverallThese grand spaces are slightly higher in the price range but are still affordable when considering the amount of space offered. They are perfect for big groups of friends or family which allow the price to be divided into great prices that please all the guests. Review: UnreviewedWebsite Lofts as a means to a Villa 1. The Panorama @ Georgetown Credit: Ben on Airbnb StyleThis beautiful loft will change your meaning of loft, the panoramic windows open out onto a view of wide expanding water and the view of the Penang Bridge. The white theme allows light to rebound and the beautiful touches of glass and white is an exceptional way to highlight the uniqueness of the villa-esque accommodation. Amenitiesspectacular view, pool, gym in the building, fully equipped house, elevator. BudgetLess than $60 for a night for up to 7 people, it is honestly a bargain. LocationGeorgetown Reviews: 4.5/5Website 2. Templar Park Rainforest Retreat Villa Credit: Saw on Airbnb StyleA wooden retreat in the midst of lush green, sliding doors leading directly into the wilderness. Open spaces with stairs leading up into private cabins as well as gazebos with furniture molded from nature. An eco- friendly home with roof solar panels. Perfectly designed home to feel in the midst of nature but not be deprived of modern luxury. AmenitiesView of Anak Bukit takun, verandah, gazebo, double-decker beds, trampoline, hammocks, swings, open parking. Swimming pool and terrace, green open spaces, golf course as well as a sauna. A waterfall 5 minutes away. Budget$240 a night for up to 16 guests LocationRawang, Selangor, Malaysia Review: 4.5/5Website 3. Rimba Hang Kasturi, Melaka Heritage Residence Credit: Rachel on Airbnb StyleNot the usual luxury, sleek design a more edgy design incorporating unfinished walls with wood and greenery. The clash of urban in nature creates a clashing unison of decor. It manages to transport you away from what you think you know in design. AmenitiesPool with open green courtyard to allow nature to enter. 3 bedrooms with 7 beds, a smaller place for a big group. Budget$310 dollars for 14 guests. LocationUNESCO World Heritage Site of Jonker Street, Melaka. Review: 5/5Website So, here are 10 different options to give you a taste of different villa-esque experiences available to you in Malaysia. Whether you a group of friends, or a want to have a family reunion or a couple retreat, so many options are out there to suit your criteria. No more excuses now, you may go fulfill your villa dream....

  • Witness Beauty And Experience Excitement At These 9 Islands In Indonesia!

    The archipelago of Indonesia is made up of at least 17,000 islands which are blissful spots that will entice anyone yearning for a tropical getaway. You can get immersed in the local culture when you visit the islands in Indonesia, and marvel at the unique features of each island. If exploring tropical jungles or enjoying the vibrant sunset on a secluded beach sounds appealing, a vacation in Indonesia might be just what you need. Here are 9 of the most exciting and beautiful islands in Indonesia you should visit for your next trip! Visit These Amazing Mosques in Surabaya - Indonesia 1. Bali Picture: NomadCapitalist Bali attracts numerous travelers for its charm - from natural beauty to city attractions, and of course beaches. You can also stay at eco-lodges or traditional style hotels for a unique experience. There is just so much to explore and boredom is never an option! You can take in a serene view of the winding green Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud or spend a fun day out at the white sandy beaches of Seminiyak or Jimbaran and take a dip in the clear blue waters. Picture: MountBaturTrekking If you are feeling adventurous, try trekking up the famous Mount Batur to catch the beautiful sunrise. You can even go flyboarding at Tanjung Benoa Beach in Nusa Dua for a great thrill. Last but not least, don’t miss out on a water splashing experience at the Waterbom Bali park especially if you are traveling with your family. Finding Halal food here wouldn'n’t be too hard. You can drop by spots such as Bale Udang or the cafes that line Jimbaran Beach. You can also opt for some delicious seafood or vegetarian options at other dining spots too. 2. Lombok Picture: JourneyEra From luxurious accommodation in tranquil locations to unspoiled natural landscapes, Lombok is really ideal for a peaceful vacation. Lombok is the idyllic getaway for a honeymoon or relaxing vacation in Indonesia, especially if you prefer a chilled-out exception to Bali. It is best known as a surfer’s paradise because of its attractions such as the Tangsi Beach, with its pink sands and excellent spots for diving and snorkeling. If you are a nature buff, trek along Mount Rinjani, where the Segara Ana lake reflects the blue sky or drop by Senaru Village to take in the lush green setting. You have an option to trek to Tiu Kelep Waterfall as well. When it comes to Halal food, Lombok is known to be quite Muslim-friendly. You will easily find great restaurants that serve the local fare, as well as big chain restaurants such as KFC and Mc Donald’s. 3. Gili Islands Picture: Bali Pocket Magazine After Lombok, head down to the Gili Islands to continue your island adventures. Gili Trawangan is ideal for diving and exploring vibrant streets at night, which is great if you are looking for a lively holiday. Gili Meno is just 2km long and great for that peaceful romantic trip and for those looking for a serene spot - and there is a bird sanctuary as well. For thrill seekers, Gili Air has a lot to offer in terms of beach activities such as parasaling. There are plenty of places that serve excellent seafood and more Halal food spots on Gili Trawangan. You can really experience the local flavours at the islands. However, you can enjoy swimming, diving, snorkelling, kayaking or admire the sunset at all three islands mentioned so far. 4. Bintan Island Picture: Bintan Resorts Bintan is a known favourite weekend getaway among Muslim travelers in Singapore. From lush mangrove forests to delightful beaches and plenty of engaging water sports - there is something for the adventurers and beach loungers alike! Some of the highlights of Bintan island include the seaplane rides, where you can get an impressive view of the island scenery, and the Sultan of Riau Grand Mosque on Penyengat Island. Bintan Island is dotted with gorgeous resorts which makes this the perfect spot for relaxation, honeymoons or big family vacations. You will be pleased to know that finding Halal food won’t be a problem here - you can easily visit the Pujasera Hawker Stalls or simply go for the delicious seafood options. There is a popular restaurant known as Sederhana Restaurant Nasi Padang as well. 5. Wakatobi Islands Picture: Wakatobi.com The Wakatobi Islands are best known for diving and snorkeling spots that are teeming with brightly colourful marine life and coral gardens. If you are a beginner or an advanced diving enthusiast, do drop by The Wakatobi National Park where you can appreciate the underwater scenery. The island is located within the Coral Triangle and is ideal for an escapade for something quieter rather than the ever-popular Bali. If you prefer something more engaging – motorcycle tours, kayaking, and kitesurfing are some of the livelier things to do on the Wakatobi Islands. It might be a bit hard to locate Halal food on the Wakatobi Islands, but there are few spots such as WarKop Sombu DIVE and Kopi Paste Shop that you can visit. There are plenty of seafood options here as well. 6. Flores Picture: CruiseMapper This beautiful island with lush greenery gets its name from the Portuguese word ‘flores’ which means flowers. The island beaches are known for their pinkish sand that frames the blue waters. You can swim or dive in this serene paradise. Some of the unique aspects of the island include the uniquely beautiful crater lakes on Mount Kelimutu with their ever-changing colours. Liang Bua Limestone Cave, is another unique aspect of this island. Home to a number of fossils, it would definitely appeal to trekkers and backpackers. In addition, when it comes to Halal food options, there are a few restaurants that serve Halal food such as Blue Corner and Warung Mama. You can stick to seafood or vegan/vegetarian options as well. 7. Komodo Island Picture: Unesco World Heritage Centre After your trip to Flores, head to the home of the famous Komodo dragons – Komodo Island. This island, with its diverse marine life and gorgeous coral gardens, is ideal for those who enjoy diving and snorkeling. You can stroll along the pink sandy beaches and enjoy the beautiful sunset too. Even though island is quite popular among tourists, don’t let that deter you from enjoying the wonderful scenery or going trekking among the dormant volcanoes. Of course, you must visit the famous Komodo National Park to observe the Komodo dragons and enjoy the wonderful outdoors. Do note that there are very few restaurants on the Island. However, the island has a Muslim majority so you have high chances of finding Halal food options. Do not hesitate to ask the locals for help. 8. Belitung Picture: Indonesia.Travel Belitung is a peaceful getaway from the bustle. Located east of Sumatra, it is notable for its white sandy beaches lined with large granite boulders. You can enjoy a swim in the turquoise waters, or go snorkeling to admire the diverse marine life and bright corals at the Tanjung Tinggi Beach or Tanjung Kelayang. Some island highlights include the Danau Kaolin or the Blue Lake where you can take insta-worthy photos. You can also climb the old lighthouse on Pulau Lengkuas for a bird’s eye view of the area. When it comes to Halal food options, you can stop for some delicious seafood at Pulau Kapayang or enjoy most of the restaurants on Belitung as the island is a seafood heaven. However, it might be hard to locate Halal restaurants on this island. 9. Nusa Lembongan Picture: AirBali Nusa Lembongan is a tropical paradise which is located southeast of Bali. The first things you will notice as you approach the island are azure waters and unique rock formations. Along with some great resorts, the island is another spot that is extremely popular for snorkeling and diving sites. If you’re for up something adventurous, you can head to the famous Blue Lagoon for cliff diving! Nusa Lembongan is ideal for beach lovers who doesn’t mind small crowds and loves breathtakingly gorgeous ocean scenery. From catching the sunset at Jungut Batu Beach to unwinding at Mushroom Bay, this island is a great spot for a beach holiday in Indonesia. Unfortunately, finding Halal food on this island will be quite a challenge. However, you can stick to the seafood or vegetarian/vegan options during your stay. Read more about Indonesia...

  • Glamorous Camping! You Need To Try These Top 10 Glamping Spots In Asia

    If you’re not familiar with the term “glamping”, fear not – you’re not alone. The first time I heard the word “glamping” I didn’t know what it meant. Clearly I’m not following the trend. When I looked into it though, I realised it was exactly the kind of thing I enjoyed – being one with nature minus all the icky stuff: the heat, bugs, and make-shift bathrooms! Glamping is basically the words ‘glamorous camping’ put together. And who wouldn’t like some of that? via GIPHY We scoured all the glamping spots we could find in Asia to come up with these top 10. They have adventure, relaxation, the modern comforts that you are used to, and all the nature you want to be a part of. Even with all the luxury the rooms afford that makes it feel like you’re in a bubble, the view right outside your window and door reminds you that you are a world away from your regular life and its responsibilities. Get ready for a rejuvenating trip! 1. Trizara Resorts, Indonesia Picture Credit: Trizara Resorts Facebook You’ll feel like you’re camping alright, in these tent-like structures. Trizara Resorts believes in disconnecting from electronics and connecting with nature, and whether you are a solo traveller, couple or a group, they have a host of activities to make that possible!  Picture Credit: Trizara Resorts Facebook There’s nothing like making new friends on your travels, and some of the best ways to do that are through team sports. Engage in an archery battle, relax with some yoga, go paintballing, or play futsal. There’s the bungee trampoline, flying fox or high rope for those adrenalin junkies, an Amazing Race or Treasure Hunt for some afternoon fun.  Picture Credit: Trizara Resorts Facebook They also have off-site outings like hiking and off-road for those who want to explore. All this and more with the home comforts of a good bed to ensure a great night’s sleep and an attached bathroom amid other luxuries! In line with their policy, they don’t have a TV though, because they don’t think you need it! Address: Jalan Pasirwangi Wetan, Lembang, Bandung. Jawa Barat.Price Range: From SGD$227/nightContact: 022 82780085Email: trizararesorts@gmail.comWebsite: www.trizara.com 2. La Cocoteraie Ecolodge, Indonesia Picture Credit: La Cocoteraie Ecolodge, Indonesia Facebook If you’re looking for a place to go for a special occasion, look no further. La Cocoteraie Ecolodge is a small hotel set in the middle of breath-taking beauty. The staff is like family, which makes your experience there that much warmer, friendlier and more comfortable, and they are willing to decorate your room according to your requests, which makes for the perfect special holiday.  Picture Credit: La Cocoteraie Ecolodge, Indonesia Facebook There are no motor vehicles allowed on the island of Gili Trawangan which means you get there by boat, and then take a horse and cart, cycle or walk to the hotel. It also means that the beauty and peace of the island is undisturbed, allowing you to have a holiday of another level. Lounge by the pool, explore the island (it only takes about an hour to walk around the whole place) or seek adventure in the sea.  Picture Credit: La Cocoteraie Ecolodge, Indonesia Facebook You get a bicycle and snorkelling gear to use for free once you arrive, so you can get those muscles working, or simply lie on the beach with the sky as your screen to enjoy the sunset or star-gaze. The perfect place to go glamping in Indonesia. Address: Gili Indah, Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara 83352, IndonesiaPrice Range: From SGD$105/nightContact: +6281907976985Email: lacocogili@gmail.comWebsite: www.lacocoteraiegili.com 3. The Canopi, Bintan Picture Credit: The Canopi The Canopi is known for its water sports, so if you feel like a fish in water, check it out. You can take it slow while still toning those muscles on the water tricycle, have a bit of a Wipeout experience by attempting to scale obstacles in the water, of shoot for the sky in the Jetovator!  Picture Credit: The Canopi Water slides keeps kids happy, kayaking, parasailing and more are all part of the Water Experience. If you want to take a break on dry land, try your hand at the shooting range, or explore Treasure Bay Bintan’s private forest in a UTV or an ATV off-road adventure.  Picture Credit: The Canopi Based on what kind of nature buff you are, you can pick the Garden Tent, Lagoon View Tent, Safari Tent or the Glamping Deluxe Tent. Each one features a four-poster bed, air conditioning, wifi, mini fridge and more. Address: Jln. Raya Haji KM 01 Kawasan, Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi, Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29152, Indonesia.Price Range: From SGD$165/nightContact: +62 770 - 69 - 2252 / 2253Email: reservation@thecanopi.comWebsite: ​www.thecanopi.com 4. Glamz at Genting, Malaysia Picture Credit: Glamz  Not too far away from Kuala Lumpur, you can forget that the city even exists. Have a vacation at the all new Glamz at Genting, with tents that are pretty cosy but offer you creature comforts like no other regular tent does! The indoor facilities are comparatively less than the other places mentioned above, but the surrounding nature and the cool weather that you immerse yourself in makes up for it.  You can opt for a cozy night in one of the Bell Tents or experience the one-of-a-kind dome room. The dome rooms are mostly for couples on vacation or even for families with children. The dome rooms are relatively spacious for its price! However, if you're traveling with friends or looking for a more 'camping-like' experience, we definitely recommend the bell tents! To elevate your glamorous experience, you might even want to try the VIP Dome with Private Jacuzzi ;) Address: 1, Jalan Meranti, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang, MalaysiaPrice Range: From SGD$86/nightEmail:  hello@glamz.com.myWebsite: glamz.com.my 5. Kamu Lodge, Laos Picture Credit: Kamu Lodge Kamu Lodge differs from the rest of the glamping resorts by providing you with the opportunity to integrate yourself with the locals. Allowing you live like and observe the locals, Kamu Lodge’s speciality is slow travel, which helps in creating memories that last a lifetime. Picture Credit: Kamu Lodge Facebook They encourage their guests to get up close and personal with the paddy fields and process of harvesting rice, net fishing and gold panning (an easier method of mining and you can keep anything you find!). You can also trek through the forest and have a picnic at the waterfall, try your shot at the archery range available, or get a massage at the Kamu Spa, with all the local curative herbs being used to soothe your body. The lodges are hybrids and environmentally friendly. Picture Credit: Kamu Lodge Facebook They have thick walls to keep the elements out, solar panels to source the electricity, and built with natural resources but still including a bed and a hot shower. They may not be luxury tents, but you still have basic comforts that give you a good night’s sleep! Address: Ban Nioy Hai, Muang Nga District, Oudoumxay Province, 06000, LaosPrice Range: From SGD$185/night (April to October); SGD$227/night (November to March)Contact: +856(0) 20 5603 2365Email: info@kamulodge.comWebsite: kamulodge.com 6. Hintok River Camp at Hellfire Pass, Thailand  Picture Credit: Hintok River Camp at Hellfire Pass หินตก ริเวอร์ เเคมป์ ณ ช่องเขาขาด Facebook Home to two World War 2 sites, Hintok River Camp is a favourite amongst history buffs. Even if history is not your thing, Hintok is worth a visit as they have been honoured with many titles, including one of the top 10 adventure resorts, top 7 gorgeous places to go glamping in Thailand, Thailand Boutique Award and 3rd Amazing Back-to-Nature Hotel in Thailand. Picture Credit: Hintok River Camp at Hellfire Pass หินตก ริเวอร์ เเคมป์ ณ ช่องเขาขาด Facebook Hintok River Camp is a tented camp that sports gorgeous views along with their natural spring pool – the perfect place to lounge about and drink in the view. The tents are air-conditioned with private bathrooms, a hot shower and more, and you step out of it into another world of beauty. On-site activities include the museum, mountain biking, a sheep enclosure, Thai massage, a trekking trail, and more. In the vicinity of the Camp is Treetop Adventure Park to satisfy your adrenalin cravings with their zip line, flying fox, tightrope, and more. You can also enjoy canoeing, bamboo rafting, exploring The Lawa Cave and gorgeous waterfalls. Address: 109 Moo 9 Ban Wang Khamen, Tambon Thasao, Saiyok, Kanchanaburi 70150, ThailandPrice Range: From SGD$230/nightContact: +66(0) 81 754 3898Email: info@hintokrivercamp.comWebsite: www.hintokrivercamp.com 7. Elephant Hills Floating Luxury Camp, Thailand Located close to popular destinations like Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui makes getting to Elephant Hills easy, but it still manages to feel like another world once you get there. Elephant Hills is Thailand’s first luxury camp, and it consists of luxury tents on solid ground as well as the floating tent camp on the Cheow Larn Lake. You have to book a tour package with them – you cannot book rooms individually – so your stay will include experiencing both tented areas, as well as interacting with and observing elephants in the most ethical way possible. Don’t worry, they are all about conserving wildlife as well! In addition to offering you little luxuries in your tent like a comfortable bed, a hot and cold shower, and electricity amongst other amenities, their rooms are built responsibly, using solar and wind energy and a unique waste management system for sustainability. Elephant Hills is set is some of the most beautiful natural landscape, and part of your tour allows you to go trekking and explore on of the world’s oldest evergreen forests. The Jungle Lake Safari gives you a well-rounded experience by letting you roam in the wild, as well as taking you to civilisation – the market, to be precise – where you get up close and personal with the people, food and culture. There is a guide on hand to translate as and when you need it. You aren’t always chaperoned though! You are free to enjoy the scenery and gorgeous sunset from your tent deck, jump into the lake like it is your backyard pool from that same deck, and explore the surroundings in a kayak by yourself. It is a truly rejuvenating experience and something everyone should try at least once in their life! Address: 170 Moo 7 Tambon Klong Sok, Panom District, Suratthani 84250 ThailandPrice Range: From SGD$850 for 3D2N Safari Tour+ Package (room included)Contact: +66 5200 1186 / +66 5200 1196Email: info@rainforestcamp.comWebsite: rainforestcamp.com 8. Jungle Beach Camp, Ahungalla, Sri Lanka Standard Glamping Tent Deluxe Glamping Tent Picture Credit: Jungle Beach Ahungalla Jungle Beach Camp is another great location to lose yourself in nature. On the tropical island of Sri Lanka that offers diverse landscape like green mountains and blue seas, Jungle Beach Camp is set in the south which is the prime location for beach holidays. Take your pick between the Standard Glamping Tent and Deluxe Glamping Tent (the former can host four people while the latter, six) whether you are a couple, family, or a group of people. Picture Credit: Jungle Beach Ahungalla Their thatched roofs and wooden structure makes you feel like you’re roughing it out in the wild but with the comfort of an en-suite bathroom, shower, and a warm bed to name a few. Experience Sri Lankan hospitality through the service, delicious food, a relaxing Ayurveda massage, and more. Soak up the sun on the beach, try your hand at the waves, or get involved in a game of volleyball. Picture Credit: Jungle Beach Ahungalla Watersport Get your adrenalin going on a jet ski ride, diving, snorkelling or deep sea fishing, or whale watching. Your holiday here is what you make of it! Address: Wathuregama, 80562 Ahungalla, Sri LankaPrice Range: From SGD$222/nightContact: +94 776 216 328 or +94 775 959 40Email: junglebeachahungalla@gmail.comWebsite: www.junglebeachahungalla.com 9. Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, Sri Lanka Picture Credit: Madukelle Set in the Knuckles Mountain range lies Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge. Waking up to breath-taking views of green mountains and blue skies as far the eye can see, to the chirping of birds and morning nature sounds, you feel like you’re in another world. Sri Lanka is known for its tea plantations which make for some of the best views. Honeymoon Suite Picture Credit: Madukelle The deluxe room is a sturdy canvas tent – which makes you feel like you’re camping in Asia – with a bed, desk, attached bathroom, hardwood floors and a porch where you can sit out and appreciate the incredible beauty at your feet. There are also net-covered windows (much like ones found in tents) that can be closed off with the canvas or opened up to let in the breeze and view from the comfort of your bed. They also offer honeymoon suite that comes with a private dining facility, a bathtub, and many more little details to make your stay enjoyable. There is a family lodge available as well. The Lodge offers a dining area with incredible views, a library with internet, an infinity pool, little cosy spots within the plantation – perfect for getting lost in a book, amongst other facilities. There are many places nearby to go hiking, trekking, wildlife watching, or even to the city if you’re missing the city life. Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge offers day trekking, night camping, cooking Sri Lankan dishes with a chef, waterfall excursions, tea picking and a plantation visit, and a few other activities to get you up close and personal with the surroundings. Each activity is priced differently and is not included in the cost of the room. There is plenty to see and do at Madulkelle, and it is perfect for an adventurous holiday or a relaxing one. Address: Madulkelle - Habaragala Road, Kandy, Sri LankaPrice Range: From SGD287/nightContact: +94 (0) 813801052Email: info@madulkelle.comWebsite: www.madulkelle.com 10. Jetwing Kurulubedda, Sri Lanka Picture Credit: Jetwing Kurulubedda The Jetwing range of hotels manages to integrate luxury with nature beautifully, and they have a whole range of locations in different natural surroundings for just that purpose. Located in the southern region of Galle that is commonly known for its beaches, history and food, Jetwing takes you instead to the jungle a little away from the coast, to a world of its own, hidden away among the lush greens and paddy fields. Hosting 6 luxury villas, Jetwing allows you to be one with nature in absolute comfort. Picture Credit: Jetwing Kurulubedda Views of paddy fields and the sound of a flowing river nearby never sounded so good! Spacious rooms, polished wooden floors, attached bathrooms, air conditioning, a tea and coffee making facilities are just some of the comforts they have thought of in the basic deluxe room. Picture Credit: Jetwing Kurulubedda Take your holiday a step further by getting the booking one of two stilted Dwellings that offers a rain shower, private plunge pool and the symphony of birds that share the habitat. Get lost in this world within itself or head out nearby to one of the top beaches in the world – Unawatuna Beach, for the Mahamodara River Safari, the Kottawa Conservation Forest, the Handunugoda Tea Estate, get behind the scenes of a Cinnamon Peeling Centre, or explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Galle Fort. Address: Jetwing Kurulubedda, Galle, Sri LankaPrice Range: From SGD$181/nightContact: +94 91 2223744, +94 114 709 400Email: resv.lighthouse@jetwinghotels.comWebsite: www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingkurulubedda...

  • 6 Reasons to have a Muslim-Friendly Family Beach Holiday at Lombok

    Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana   Indonesia is globally famous for Bali Island, but did you know that there are other beautiful islands just like Bali? Lombok is just next to Bali; it has equally beautiful, sandy beaches all over the island and picturesque lakes, waterfalls, cliffs and mountains, yet it's less congested with tourists.  With several direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bali, Jakarta and other cities in Java Island, this island has attracted both local and international tourists, though it's still not as famous as its neighbour, Bali. This article will highlight why Lombok is worth visiting, especially by Muslim travellers. Despite its close proximity to Bali, it is interesting to know that the vast majority of the population in Lombok is Muslim. In fact, in Indonesia it's known as The Island with a Thousand Mosques (or "Pulau dengan seribu Masjid" in Bahasa Indonesia). This is because you will find Mosques, big and small, every 100 meters or so in Lombok, so you will hear the Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) synchronously when it is prayer time, just like in the old city parts of Istanbul, Turkey Lombok's Traditional Culture Furthermore, the following six reasons can be proposed as to why Lombok is the perfect place for a Muslim-friendly beach holiday. Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana   1. Less  Crowds Lombok is still not as congested with tourists as Bali, meaning that the beaches are relatively less crowded. This is better for us if we want to have a peaceful beach holiday. We can comfortably wear a burkini (swimsuit for Muslimah) or be donning a full hijaab and abaya and go swimming freely. We will surely have a wonderful time with our family there. Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana   2. The Beaches The sand in Lombok beaches come in many magnificent shapes and colours. In the beaches in the northern and western parts of Lombok, such as Senggigi Beach, you will find darker sand colour, ranging from greyish to black with smooth textures and gravel. In the southern and eastern parts, you will find beaches with white or lighter-coloured sands, and....... pink sand! Yes, pink sand! Can you imagine that? You will be amazed if you come to this majestic pink beach in Eastern Lombok called Tangsi Beach. Slightly before noon is the best time to see the pink sand colour, clearly accentuated by the sun. The crystal clear blue water of the beach completes the experience. We also recommend that you visit Southern Lombok, where equally beautiful beaches can be reached by only a 30-45 minute taxi ride from the Lombok International Airport. Here you will find light and gravel-textured sand in Mandalika/ Kuta Beach in the Pujut area. Don't confuse this with Kuta Beach in Bali though, for the difference is like the sun and moon! On the other hand, a powdery white sandy beach awaits you at Seger beach, which is very close to Mandalika/ Kuta Beach. These beaches in Southern Lombok are known for their big waves, so it is ideal for those who love to go surfing. Not far from many beaches in Lombok, you will find many little islands called Gili in the local language. There are many activities that you can do in these Gilis, such as snorkelling from one Gili to another, diving, boating and other water activities. Gilis in Lombok are very famous since they all boast a variety of fish and coral, so it is surely a heaven for divers. If you have not done snorkelling, but are tempted to try, you can surely do it here. You can rent a private motorised boat for the whole family or group, with the driver and guide. They will provide you with all the snorkelling equipment, and the step-by-step guidance you need. The best part is that it comes at a reasonable price, and will be a great and wonderful experience to try there. The famous Gili to explore is the Gili Trawangan at the northern part of Lombok. However, due to its fame, there are often many tourists visiting there as well; the less crowded yet very beatiful Gili is the Gili Petelu at the eastern part of Lombok. You can reach Gili Trawangan from Senggigi Beach and Gili Petelu from Tangsi Beach (the one with the pink sand). Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana   3. The Luxurious, Affordable Hotels You will be pleased to find that there are many luxurious hotels in Lombok with very reasonable rates compared to other resort Islands, with many of them located at the beach or very near to the beach. The rates you pay are usually nett rates, which includes tax, service charges and halal buffet breakfast, although for the latter it is better for you to always double check with the hotel when making reservation. Most of the 3-star hotels and above provide a mixture of Indonesian, Continental and American buffet breakfasts. If you come as a family or want privacy, some 4 and 5-star hotels also provide an option to rent a bungalow or chalet, which for many of them include private swimming pools for your privacy. Fear not if you are on a tight budget, because Lombok also has many hostels, B&Bs, holiday houses or villas to rent too, where breakfast may or may not be provided. When you make a reservation, don't forget to check for Wi-Fi access. Most, if not all 3-star and above hotels provide free Wi-Fi access to their guests but there are some who require guests to pay small daily fees for Wi-Fi access. As previously mentioned, in terms of location, hotels in southern part of Lombok near Pujut or Mandalika area are the closest to Lombok International Airport,(about 30-45 minutes drive) . On the other hand, hotels around Senggigi Beach are about 1 - 1.5 hours drive from the airport. However, you do not have to worry about this if you stay in 4 stars and above hotels, because they usually offer airport pick-up and drop-off services. Even if you are planning to stay in smaller hotels, you can rely on the taxi service in the airport from Blue Bird group. Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana   4. The Halal Food Abound For Muslim travellers, visiting Lombok is very convenient as we never have to worry about finding halal food. You can safely eat in all kinds of eateries, from small food stalls (or "warung" in Indonesian) to restaurants. However, in same rare cases there are also non-halal restaurants too, so if in doubt it is always better and safer to double check on this. This can be done by either checking the restaurant signboard or menu for any non-halal items, or you can ask the staff directly. A word of caution though: don't be surprised that many halal restaurants in Lombok serve alcoholic beverages. This is because they want to cater to tourists who come from all over the world so they are not really strict about alcoholic beverages option, even though their foods are halal. Alhamdulillaah that there are warungs and restaurants that comply to the halal rulings now. The authentic / traditional dishes from Lombok that you should try are Plecing Kangkung (Morning Glory Plant in English), Ayam Taliwang, Giant Crab with sambal plecing (fried/fresh chili crushed) and many more. They use a lot of chili in their ingredients, so be very cautious if you are not used to hot and spicy food. Their signature dishes are very hot and their chili is very famous as the hottest chili in Indonesia. It is even reflected in the name of this island; the name "Lombok" means "cabai" in Indonesian or "chili" in English, so yup Lombok Island literally means "the island of Chili". Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana   5. The Chauffeur Services You can easily rent a car, plus the driver as your guide, if you want to explore Lombok. Let's say for example, if you want to visit Lombok beaches from western to eastern parts of Lombok, the daily rental rate for a seven seater car is about IDR 700, 000.00 (approximately USD 53.00) for car only or about IDR 1,200,000 (approximately USD 90.00) for car with a driver/guide. These rates exclude petrol, meals and tips for the driver, so you have to fill up the petrol for your trip and buy meals for the driver. It is customary to tip the driver at the end of your trip and the amount is at your own discretion. Picture Credit - CLAUDIUS, autonetmagz.net 6. The Hiking and Trekking Trails More than just a beach paradise, Lombok is also known for its hiking and trekking scene. In this regard, Mount Rinjani is the favourite spot for trekkers due to its magnificent scenery. Mount Rinjani is the second highest volacano in Indonesia, standing tall at 3,726 meters high. Mountain climbing and trekking activities are usually undertaken at Rinjani National Park, where you can hike to reach the crater rim overlooking a beautiful crater-lake called Segara Anak in the caldera of Mount Rinjani. The pristine blue water in this lake resembles the sea. You can camp for a few days in the crater rim overlooking this lake and experience the magical sunrise and sunset over the mountain and the lake. The more adventurous trekkers can even make the more challenging climb to the highest point. You can try all these activities by using one of many registered hiking operators who can can provide you with an experienced guide and all the equipment you need for trekking and camping. The package is usually full board. Note: To avoid any problems, do not try to hire the unregistered operators just because of low prices.   Always plan ahead by researching the best place to visit in Lombok. Thererafter you can ask your hotel concierge about the places that you want to visit, or about trustworthy local tourist operators that can help you in your trip. Alternatively, the easiest and most convenient way for you is by booking your trip with a Halal Trip Travel Agent, who will manage all bookings, activities and oversee the trip so that you don't have to be worry about all these. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the wonderful experience in Lombok with your family or friends. Just take your luggage and go...   Read our Lombok city guide A Muslim's Guide to Lombok Island...



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