FLORES – As we taper off to the east end of Indonesia, we encounter islands that remind us of what Bali used to be – idyllic, pristine… quiet. With just a handful of visitors, the stretches of sand actually still look like the pictures in the brochure, and if you’re still hungover from GOT’s finale, you’ll be glad for the company of dragons — Komodo dragons that is. Yes, we’re looking at you, Flores.
Before you think the island prehistoric, we’re here to tell you that there’s also serious luxury to be had in this piece of paradise. Enjoy underwater vistas and pink beaches, before heading back to smooth soft sheets and bathtub soaks in your swanky hotel.
From infinity pools to instagrammable daybeds, the combination of chic living against a pristine backdrop is truly the sort of opulence money can buy. Here are our top three picks if you are thinking of livin’ it up in Flores.
The Seraya is hard to miss even from a distance. Opened in 2017, the resort is very much in tune with today’s sustainable goals and their eatery is a testament to that dedication. The Bamboo Manta hotel restaurant is exactly that – with a roof like a manta ray soaring into the sky and the whole place made almost entirely from local bamboo.
The socially-conscious you can pick from three different types of bungalows, tucked between tamarind trees with varying distances to the ocean depending on how much you are in love with the blue. The low-impact and eco-minded hotel does not sacrifice comfort or amenities. Every room is a breezy space decorated to keep you connected to nature but in full air-conditioned comfort. Use the private balconies or large-glass doorways to capture enviable instagram moments, before refreshing yourself with a survivor-style open-air shower.
The Seraya has even launched Seraya Divers in June 2019, which means aspiring divers can now take their classes and certification while exploring the clear waters of Komodo. Landlubbers can opt for a hike through the Komodo National Park or stroll along the 200-metre private beach. And whatever the time of day, you’ll want to return to delicious meals waiting at the iconic restaurant because full board is on the menu baby, so dive right in!
Without a doubt, the Ayana Komodo Resort has to be the pinnacle of luxury in Flores. Securing themselves as the only 5-star accommodation on the island, Ayana Komodo nestles itself into Waecicu Beach on the main island, with sunsets that dance around the distinctive Kukusan island in the distance.
The resort opened in September 2018 and boasts 13 suites and 192 premium guest rooms, all designed with contemporary chic in mind and each with a open view of the gorgeous ocean – heck, even the bathroom has a full glass panel to watch the waves dance if you so wish.
Walk right out into the sea with their winding pier dotted with pavilions for you to chill in, or for that ultimate journey, board Ayana Komodo’s 54-metre traditional phinisi, the Lako di’a. It’s straight out old-school travel as you cruise and dive from the storybook sailing ship, and as you drift out on the open waters between the tropical islands in your luxurious bedroom, you can start reflecting on life questions such as, why you didn’t do this sooner?
Unafraid to showcase its pride as a beach resort, the Sudamala Resort on Seraya Kecil Island accords privacy for those seeking some intimate times with their loved ones, all wrapped up in sea-bleached wood and floating linen nets.
The Panorama Villa is perfect for families with two bedrooms and plenty of communal areas to gather at and admire the scenery. Lovers will enjoy their little home away from home with the Beach Bungalow options.
Enjoy the ocean any way you please on the private beach, snorkeling, kayaking or just wading into the cool shimmering waters. Bask to earn your own glow before sitting up to catch the same from the setting sun, then retire to your bungalow porch, feet polished from the white sand, and enjoy a slice of fruit and this life of indulgence.
Top image by kelsey.farrer via Instagram.