After a six month hiatus our homage to Swiss Family Robinson style island escapism is open once again. Karma Reef on the tiny island of Gili Meno brings together pretty one bedroom cabanas styled after traditional lumbung rice barns giving onto soft white sand and coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and turtles.
The peace of Gili Meno was broken last August when an earthquake in Lombok caused widespread damage. Hundreds lost their lives, most of them on the mainland. Karma Reef had to close due to minor structural damage and because water and electricity was cut off. But the biggest impact was on the Karma Reef staff.
“16 members of our staff had their homes destroyed or severely damaged,” says Karma Reef General Manager Manuel De Grauwe. As a result, Manu, as he is generally known within the Karma family, met with Karma Chairman John Spence and together they decided to set up a GoFundMe page to help the 16 members o the team rebuild their homes. “We’re still gratefully accepting donations.”
Now, after several months of renovations and improvements, Karma Reef is looking better than it ever has before. “We’ve improved eight lumbung bungalows and seven glamping tents,” Manu explains. “We’ve also built a new kitchen, restaurant and tiki bar.”
What makes Karma Reef so special? Besides the fact that no motor vehicles or dogs are allowed on Gili Meno – making it an island of bicycles & pussycats – Karma Reef gaze out at 250 metres of oceanfront. “It’s a laid back resort where you arrive as guests and leave as friends,” says Manu. “All the accommodations have great views over the turquoise lagoon and Rinjani volcano in the background.”
This is a place for enjoying the moment – whether that means a leisurely breakfast on your veranda, and afternoon snorkelling or diving, or simply lazing in a hammock with your favourite book. At Karma Reef you make your own schedule. For the past ten years in a row Gili Meno was constantly in the “top five of best beaches in Indonesia”, even twice number one,” says Manu.
As for food, expect the freshest fish & seafood and strictly organically grown produce, with a culinary approach marrying the best of Asia and the Mediterranean. “The jewel of our resort is the quality of food we produce, to such an extent that this has become the favourite place to eat for all the expats living in the area.”
Karma Reef is open from March. We highly recommend you sample its castaway pleasures.