Lotus Bay, June 2019 – click any image for full size
Update: Lotus Bay may no longer be open to public access.
Lotus Bay is a new homestead region design by the combined talents of Maria Kobaiernen (Dreamy Lebed) and Aydenn Palazzo (Aaydenn29) that recently slipped into the Destination Guide, and in doing so caught our attention.
Described as “a luxurious tropical island with a hedonistic resort vibe”, this is a quite marvellous design rich in content and detail. Admittedly, the amount of mesh and texture present can take something of a toll on a computer if you happen to like running with a lot of the viewer’s options active; however, this does not mean Lotus Bay should be avoided by the keen SL traveller, as doing so would rick missing out on seeing a very special place.
Rising from the sea with beaches to the west and east offering a buffer between land and water, Lotus Bay sits atop a magnificent table of rock. Sheer cliffs on all sides seem at first to rebuff visitors. However, the stone steps carefully cut into them just a short walk from the landing point give the lie to this.
Winding upwards and slightly inland from the beach, these steps lead the way to a lush plateau, rich in foliage and colour, and home to a large, whitewashed house with a distinctly colonial look to it. Old and with its walls patched and the home to strands of vines, it is nonetheless furnished inside, witnessing its occupancy while the presence of the piano in the wooden-floored courtyard perhaps gives an indication that the rainy season here is very predictable.
While open to visitors, this house nevertheless raises questions: is it a primary residence or a holiday home? Certainly the nature of the island suggests it was never the centre of something like a working plantation. The log marked trails that extend away from the house at various points to make their way through the foliage and between rocks, suggest that the house is a vacation retreat, a Second Life Necker Island, if you will.
These paths, running snake-like and often branching to offer choices of route, provide access to swimming pools and open-air decks where people can relax and sit or dance. They offer the way to other steps leading back down to the golden sands of the beaches below, or to where a hot tub sits under the shade of rocks and palms. However, all of these little touches, each beautifully executed and presented, also speak to the idea that this is a resort more than a private location; a secret getaway for the well-informed.
This feeling of paradise delight is furthered down on the sweep of the east-side beach, where a deck awaits those wishing to partake of a Second Life wedding. There is also a little cluster of cabins built over the water, each one offered for rent by those wishing to extend their stay on the island as a vacation away from the rest of SL. Rates for both cabins and weddings can, I understand, be obtained by contacting Maria.
The care put into the design of Lotus Bay is evident throughout. The use of space, the placement of rocks, trees, paths, buildings, and so on has a perfectly natural feel that greatly enhances the sense of immersion; Lotus Bay feels like a place in which the building and structures have been placed to both take advantage of the landscape and utilise available spaces, rather than the landscape feeling it has been designed to fit around the buildings and locations within it.
The landscaping itself also has a wonderful eclectic feel to it: temperate shrubs and bushes mix with Junipers and cacti and palm trees in a glorious mix that gives Lotus Bay no fixed location, but the ability for it to be anywhere we might wish to imagine it – off the coast of central America, or an Indonesian island, or somewhere sitting off the coast of Vietnam or China, and so on.
For me, and despite the differences in local plant life, I was put in mind of the forests in Dambulla region of Sri Lanka and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve further to the south of that country. While there is nothing specific to the landscape at Lotus Bay to align it with Sri Lanka, I was nevertheless put in mind of walking through forest trails there, and reminded of the care with which some resort spaces in those places have been blended into their surroundings.
But wherever you might wish to place this setting, the important thing is that you go and see it, because it is a true delight for the eyes. Photographers can obtain rezzing rights for props by joining the local group. Photographs themselves can also be submitted to the region’s Flickr group.
- Lotus Bay (Lotus Bay, rated Adult)