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Bask In The Limelight

BASK on Gili Meno has been turning heads for its modernist beach aesthetic. Stephanie Mee spoke to CEO Greg Meyer about the vision and how he plans to bring it to life.

First things first – why did you choose Gili Meno for the location of BASK, as opposed to Bali or neighbouring Gili Trawangan or Gili Air?
We were looking for an emerging location with substantial and growing tourist numbers where we could create a new standard of resort offering, and the Gili Islands represented this. I selected a sunset site on underdeveloped Gili Meno because, aside from the beauty of the site, having 300 metres of beachfront and lakefront its close proximity to vibrant Gili Trawangan offered great appeal.

Why is now a good time to invest in the Gili Islands?
The popularity of Gili Meno has surged over the past two years thanks to increased recognition of its unique natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. Independent five-year projections show significant growth and on-going strength for the Gili Islands. BASK’s luxury resort villas represent an exceptionally good investment opportunity, seeing as how the land value in the Gili Islands is still very sensible and much lower than that in the prime areas of Bali, where comparable luxury property to BASK Gili Meno sell between US$4,000 to US$6,000 USD per square metre. By comparison, BASK villas start at US$2,850.

BASK Gili Meno just hosted its ground breaking ceremony in March, but you’ve already earned 11 awards including Best New Hotel Construction & Design Indonesia from the Asia Pacific Property Awards and Best Landscape Architectural Design from the Indonesia Property Awards. What is it that makes the design so special?
Our goal was to create a very modern yet relaxed island feel. I believe that our architect Gary Fell has met the brief perfectly with his tropical interpretation of mid-century modernist design. All villas are individual and create a feeling of space, while the main beach club offers a variety of spaces to relax in and enjoy the beautiful outlook and sunset.

When it’s finished BASK Gili Meno will feature 87 fully furnished luxury villas available as part of an innovative rental pooling system. Can you tell us a bit about this system and what benefits villa owners can expect?
BASK offers a fully managed investment whereby the investor is afforded the luxury of a hassle-free investment. A four per cent sinking fund goes to ensure that long-term maintenance will be to the highest standard, and investors receive a guaranteed percentage of the incoming revenue as opposed to a percentage of net profit that is outside of their control. So certainty and integrity are key features.

Sustainability is one of your top priorities at BASK Gili Meno. What eco-friendly initiatives do you have planned for the resort?
Yes, sustainability is one of BASK’s key values. At Gili Meno we are implementing a coral rejuvenation program and mangrove propagation and conservation project. These are just two of the initiatives currently being implemented. We will also be a plastic-bottle-free resort and will be composting vegetable waste to be recycled and used in the BASK vegetable and herb garden. Several other sustainable and nature conservation projects are on the drawing board.

What kind of market do you expect for BASK Gili Meno?
BASK Gili Meno will set a new standard in luxury accommodation and food and beverage service. The discerning traveller will enjoy the opportunity of this new standard of offering. The youthful and modern environment is certain to be enjoyed by many fans of the Gili Islands as well.

The villas at BASK Gili Meno have already attracted high-profile interest including celebrity actor and musician David Hasselhoff. Besides piquing the Hoff’s interest, what has the response been like so far in terms of sales and investment?
BASK has attracted quite a lot of publicity due to its design and awards; consequently we have attracted many investors from across the world that are seeking the balance of a quality investment return and a lifestyle destination they can enjoy every year. We expect with the current interest and sales that all villas will be sold by early 2018.

Last but not least, in your personal opinion, what is it that sets BASK Gili Meno apart from other luxury villa resorts in the region?
The BASK values and vision include “quality overarches everything we do”. We are focused on design and quality with first class food and beverage being key. We like to do new things and have an appreciation for art and music. NEST by Jason DeCaires Taylor is the start of BASK’s support of artists and authenticity. In addition, nature and sustainability will be integrated into some of our activities making for a complete modern holiday experience.