Asia + The Middle East Indonesia AN EXTRAORDINAry variety of geography, volcanic islands, beautiful beaches, cultural experiences With more than 18,000 islands scattered across nearly eight million square kilometres of tropical ocean, Indonesia embodies an extraordinary variety of geography and hundreds of distinct island cultures. Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumba and Moyo to name but a few – are all distinct island cultures and need to be approached in a very different way, with specialist advice on each. As just one example, a road trip from Central Java to Bali is unforgettable: aptly nicknamed the ‘route of the volcanoes’ this intoxicating journey allows more adventurous travellers to experience unspoilt Indonesia, while still staying in extremely comfortable accommodation. On Bali, a night at a Balinese Princess’s palace under the shadow of Agung volcano; a day with a personal shopper discovering the island’s most stylish sources of jewellery, fabrics and accessories (or a week sourcing fabulous furniture); a Hindu festival in a hideaway village – this is a side of Bali that few visitors see, confining themselves instead to the world-class resorts that dot its coastline and hill country. Having travelled to Bali extensively and discovered how easy and rewarding it is to get off the beaten track, we encourage our clients to do so, too, and experience the real Bali with our cultural guide. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. Uluwatu Temple And Fire Dance The highlight of Francesca Rigby's trip to Bali was a visit to Uluwatu Temple in the South of the island, where she saw a spectacular performance of the Balinese fire dance known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant. Find out more Catching the Surf at Nihiwatu Surfing doesn't come naturally to everyone, and if you have never attempted it before it can be a terrifying experience. With the help of her personal instructor, Jenny Wilkinson clambered on her board, and embraced the waves off the Indonesian coast. Find out more Sailing Around Indonesia The Silolonia is Indonesia's most luxurious classic schooner. Joana Mollet privately charted this luxury boat for an experience she will never forget, from snorkelling with a group of manta, to sailing past deserted islands and stopping off for private picnics. Find out more A Magical Adventure To Indonesia A voyage of senses, the smells, sounds, textures, color and tastes are things that Barbara Harrison will never forget. From a private beach BBQ to exploring Ubud this trip was everything she wanted and more. Find out more A Romantic Holiday in Indonesia Planning a memorable and romantic proposal can be quite daunting, but not for our client Luca Di Mauro who came to c+l for help with finding a very special setting to get down on one knee. Find out more Show All Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Lombok Lodge Surprisingly, and perhaps happily, Lombok Lodge remains somewhat under the radar. This is primarily due to its larger neighbours and principal competitors, Tugu Lombok and The Oberoi. A new and refreshing alternative, this is a nine villa boutique hotel overlooking the beautiful Medana Bay with Mt Rinjani’s peak presiding over the horizon. Find out more Aman Indonesia More Aman hotels populate the Indonesian archipelago than any other country in the world. Each is insightfully designed to blend in with its surroundings: Amankila draws inspiration from the nearby Karangasem palaces whereas the mystical stupas of Borobudur are clearly echoed in the architecture at Amanjiwo. Find out more Alila Purnama, Luxury Boat Alila Purnama is one of our first choices when it comes to boating experiences in Indonesia. Built in the style of a traditional Phinisi ship it is sleek, ultra-modern, incredibly stylish and extremely luxurious. It is the best way to enjoy the untouched turquoise waters of the Indonesian islands, especially for those looking to sample some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world or visit local tribal islands for a more cultural experience. Find out more Nihiwatu, Sumba Island Nihiwatu’s wild and remote location combined with stunning villas and laid-back approach makes it a firm favourite of ours. The unspoilt tribal island of Sumba is unbelievably charming and the ideal place to escape the crowds and enjoy Indonesia at its best. The resort has been a mecca for surfers for years and it offers so much more than the usual beach holiday. Stay in luxury whilst immersing yourself into the island’s magnificently preserved ancient culture. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Relaxing on the beaches of Lombok Why do you love Lombok? Pristine empty beaches which just do not exist in Bali, Lombok is twenty years behind its more famous neighbour and all the better for it. It is also a great place for the more active: there is spectacular diving in the Gilis just off the coast as well as good… Find out more Exploring Borobudur Even though built 1,200 years ago, the sheer scale of Borobudur is spectacular. It still looms impressively out of the rice paddies which make up the landscape around it. It is all the more special having survived being buried by volcanic ash and being blown up by terrorists in 1991. Find out more Driving across East Java The least densely populated and most scenically beautiful part of Java - you drive across a rolling landscape dotted with smoking volcanoes. It is well worth climbing Mount Bromo or the lesser climbed and more inaccessible Mount Ijen which is still ‘mined’ by hand for its sulphur. Find out more Seminyak- Bali Seminyak is an up-market district of Kuta in Southern Bali that oozes laidback sophistication and bohemian chic. Famed beach hangouts Potato Head and Ku De Ta have put Seminyak on the map and transformed the area with its high-end designer boutiques, art galleries, luxury spas, trendy nightspots, fine-dining and chic cafes into one of the Bali’s hottest destinations. Find out more Sailing around Indonesia One of the most amazing journeys you could possibly take, charter one of our many luxury boats which can sleep from 2-10 people. Venturing onto undiscovered islands, catching a glimpse of the komodo dragons, hiking up volcanoes, diving/snorkelling amongst pristine marine environments all without another tourist in sight. Find out more Get Under the Skin of Ubud, Bali Surrounded by a lush landscape of hills and rice paddies, Ubud has always been home to many of Bali’s best artists and artisans. It now has a thriving restaurant/cafe scene and good shops, so offers a real alternative to the bigger beach resorts which hug the coast. It also has some of Bali’s best small hotels in the stunning countryside just outside the town. Find out more Show All Location We know Indonesia better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Indonesia Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Given the spread of the country and each island’s very particular micro-climate, there is always somewhere which works weather-wise. However April to October is the best season to visit Bali, Lombok and Java which is where most visitors want to go. Further West the season gets shorter, further East the season gets longer. Whilst the outer islands have few hotels and lodges of note, there are increasingly sophisticated small yachts available for those who want to dive and explore further afield. Indonesia combines well with many other destinations in South East Asia but most of our clients tend to stay within the country for two or even three weeks, given the variety of landscape and the choice of hotels. Meet the Team Asia + The Middle East Venetia Chris Penny Florence Auriole We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.