During this time of so much unknown worldwide, with the travel industry in Bali temporarily on pause to keep everyone safe, the Batu Karang Lembongan Resort & Spa family have been creative & resilient in supporting themselves and their families. While we are temporarily On Island Time, and in a nation without any social assistance or stimulus packages, the team are creatively diversifying their skills both at Batu Karang & at home to support their families, and remembering Nusa Lembongan the way it used to be.
Many staff have had to travel back to their family farms & compounds to help with corn harvesting, for example, to trade for rice! This is the case of Front Office smiling Wisnu on Nusa Penida. Others are growing & selling coconuts, while others are helping out with the day to day family ceremonies & canang sari (offering making). Beautifully, the original economy of the islands of seaweed farming has resurfaced and is growing again in abundance. Several staff families have plots of seaweed, which is dried and sold to Asian & European markets for cosmetics, medicine, & food. Just like the old island days….except they get to charge higher prices now! Behind the scenes in Purchasing ensuring the daily provisions are brought over (including everyone’s favourite Italian gelato for Parad-ice Parlour at The Deck Café & Bar!), Kesuma’s family has several seaweed plots, and she is able to repurpose her skills to help her family find buyers for the dried seaweed.
One of the most impressive sights from the Batu Karang villas right now, is the hour that the locals come out of the family compounds for sunset and the little ones fly their kites right before the beautiful sunsets, so they get some fresh air and sand in the toes, the laughter can be heard all the way to the top of Batu Karang. This is a similar sight from the days before mainstream tourism hit and the economy was tighter, as a way to spend the time without spending money but able to socialise regardless. Then, the moments when dusk becomes dark, the locals strap their torches to their foreheads and walk out into the bay for fishing – squid, shrimp, and fish they can catch and then sell – often to other local expatriate business owners and management on the island. It does not get fresher than that!
Smiling Pande, responsible for our Guest Relations Programme, leading the morning Village Walk, Canang Sari (offering making) classes, and coming soon Jamu making classes for our guests (the local Indonesian healing turmeric tonic), has been making & selling an adapted recipe for the upcoming Batu Karang Jamu guest class and selling it to the locals & other expatriates in the village! A great accomplishment for her. Having worked at Batu Karang for 10 years, and was a graduate of the local Trainee Programme, she interestingly says that she is in fact very grateful for this time, it is nice to take a real pause, a good break after working for so many years. She says it is nice to spend more time with the family at home, since when they work 8 hours a day it is easy to miscommunicate at home. Even on normal days off, they spend that time preparing for their local Balinese Hindu ceremonies, so they are happy to make the most of this extra family time. She, and other Batu Karang staff family with new babies, are enjoying all of this time they get to spend with their babies as a family, particularly the fathers who would otherwise be out of the home at work.
Of course there are the staff who are also repurposing their skills on the Batu Karang extension villas! With more villas & suites getting to the final stages, the Batu Karang staff have now taken over for the original project experts and helping to develop their sanding and painting skills to keep them busy. Working with velocity to get them completed after their time at home, there is a tremendous amount of pride within the team to get the new spaces complete, and even more pride that they are doing it themselves when they would otherwise be serving the guest coffees and cocktails, or cooking a delicious meal for our guests.
Let us not forget about the smiles on the local surfers, having the surf to themselves again. Even if for only a pause, there have been some very happy surfers taking advantage of having the breaks with very few others catching the waves with them. Surfing over that crystal clear turquoise sea, with the marine life flourishing under the boards and bright coloured corals, it is a true sense of freedom and serenity having those waves to yourself.
While Pande says, “it is good to take a rest to recharge the energy, the staff cannot wait to come back to work after this rest.” She continues, “Batu Karang has a ‘nice feeling’ [reputation] in the village since the new villas project is still going and some of our staff are still working, with the Owners and Management living here keeping the spirits strong & positive for us – still lots of energy! We know we can come back.”
As soon as we can see you back On Island Time, we hope you experience the authenticity & little bit of magic that Nusa Lembongan has to offer.
The Government of Bali has just announced a 3 phase re-opening plan. Please note dates are subject to change, and we will update our website with any potential venue reopening dates, at this stage they are still to be confirmed. The Bali Hotels Association contains all current & relevant updates: https://www.
Bali Office Address:
Jalan Matahari Terbit, Ruko MGA Kav. 5
Matahari Terbit Beach – Sanur, Denpasar, Bali
Phone: +62 895 4013 50588
Mon – Fri: 8am – 8pm
Sat – Sun: 9am – 6pm