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Ballroom Dancing a Hit at Puri Mas Boutique Resort

He used to waltz through his boutique hotel – and sometimes at other venues on the island too.

But now he gracefully bows out so younger dancers can take center stage at Puri Mas Boutique Resort.

Puri Mas Boutique Resort

Puri Mas Boutique Resort
Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa overlooks the sea

Puri Mas is found on the Indonesian island of Lombok.

(Lombok is a 2½-hour high-speed ferry ride from Bali – and we found Lombok’s beaches and boutique hotels to be very alluring!)

This boutique Lombok hotel is the creation of Marcel De Rijk, a former world-champion ballroom dancer.

A Dutchman, Marcel built Puri Mas in 1987 as a tribute to his mother and grandfather, who were descendents of Indonesian royalty.

Free dance classes

To give back to the community, Marcel runs a social program called “Friends of Puri Mas,” where he teaches free weekly dance lessons to staff and young people from the villages around the hotel.

Funds for dance shoes and costumes come from Puri Mas and guest donations.

Little dancers taught by Marcel wait to perform - photo Puri Mas
Little dancers taught by Marcel wait to perform

Weekly dance and cultural performances

The young students get experience performing in front of a crowd by entertaining Puri Mas hotel guests at weekly dance and cultural performances.

Balinese dancing - photo Puri Mas
Balinese dancing

Over dinner one evening in the hotel’s aptly-named Ballroom Restaurant, we watched child dancers in dance costumes (some as young as five years old) expertly perform salsa, cha-cha, rumba and other dances in a delightful “Dancing With the Stars” adaptations.

The guests were the judges.

Other young adults demonstrated traditional Sasak stick fighting and performed Balinese-style dances (recalling the beautiful Balinese dancing we saw in Ubud, Bali’s cultural center).

Sasak stick fighting - photo Puri Mas
Sasak stick fighting

Lombok International Dance Festival

Marcel is also the founder and organizer of the Lombok International Dance Festival – an annual event for more than a decade now.

The ballroom and Latin dance competition is the single largest sporting event in Lombok.

Children waiting to perform at the Lombok International Dance Festival - photo Puri Mas
Children waiting to perform at the Lombok International Dance Festival

It’s provided a new outlet for the young people on the island to show off their dance skills (which they’d never be able to otherwise do) in a very fun way.

A young girl competes - photo Puri Mas
A young girl competes

Competitions host hundreds of competitors from all around the world. Several of the winners were, of course, dancers from Lombok under Marcel’s tutelage.

Some young adult couples he’s taught are sponsored by him to compete outside of Lombok too.

2014 contest winners with Marcel (right) - photo Puri Mas
2014 contest winners with Marcel (right)

Puri Mas review

So what’s Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa like?

The original rooms of the boutique beachfront hotel are Indonesian-style garden bungalows, with thatched roofs, ornately carved windows, dark wood Indonesian furniture and dainty terraces with day beds.

The original garden bungalows at Puri Mas, Lombok, are some of the most popular rooms.
The original garden bungalows at Puri Mas are some of the most popular rooms

They’re very popular with guests, who love staying in these atmospheric accommodations.

The hotel also has newer suites and private pool villas too (we stayed in one of these).

Puri Mas is one of the nicest boutique hotels in Lombok
Puri Mas is one of the nicest boutique hotels in Lombok

The dancers we watched at Puri Mas waltzed right into our hearts – as did Puri Mas…

Puri Mas Boutique Resort & Spa: Check rates and availability

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Photo credits: 8 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Remaining images (except lead image) courtesy Puri Mas Boutique Resort

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Nathaniel Colton

Wednesday 4th of November 2015

Wow! This is awesome! I enjoyed reading and learning about the dancing on Lombok. It captured my interest, especially the Balinese dancing culture. It was a pleasure to read this, Janice and George.


Thursday 9th of July 2015

Hello Janice and George, I really enjoyed reading your blog. The info you mentioned in this blog about the Lombok International Dance Festival is wonderful. I too like ballroom dancing very much. Thanks for sharing this blog.

Merry Chopunk

Thursday 7th of May 2015

Lombok Island is paradise to escape from hectic work life. Its white sandy beaches, beautiful panorama, colorful underwater life and spectacular views of Mount Rinjani make you feel you are living in paradise...

Sara Sanders

Thursday 19th of March 2015

What a fabulous story about Puri Mas and the work that Marcel, the owner, is doing with young people here in Lombok. As the Manager of Puri Mas, I am constantly amazed at the energy of our owner and the enthusiasm and passion he puts into the students of the "Friendship Through Dance Project", as well as his beautiful hotel, Puri Mas.

We (his staff) are a part of his family, and I hear from the many guests who stay with us, that they too feel the bond and strength of this Puri Mas family.

We welcome everyone to join us and see not only Puri Mas, but the change in ideals and thinking coming out of Marcel's student dance program.

Janice and George

Thursday 19th of March 2015

So glad you like our story on Puri Mas :-). We loved staying at Puri Mas - and we love how Marcel is giving back to the Lombok community in which he lives.


Sunday 18th of January 2015

It's been so many years since I visited Lombok. It sounds as if your trip was much more enjoyable than mine. While the island was lovely, my trip included a grumpy boyfriend and an end to a relationship. And a dying puppy. Memories! Next time I'll ballroom dance!

Janice and George

Sunday 18th of January 2015

Oh dear, your trip doesn't indeed sound like it was much fun. Maybe give Lombok another try :-).