About Us

  • Beach sunrise in the Gili Islands of Lombok Indonesia

History & Heritage

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The Ombak Group, is one of Indonesia’s fastest growing, full service hotel resort brands, offering world class accommodation with vibrant and friendly hospitality in remote tropical island destinations.

From humble beginnings, the Ombak Group started in 1998 with a small 12 room backpacker hostel, located on the tropical Island of Gili Trawangan. This hostel has now grown to become the award winning Hotel Vila Ombak.

Over the years the Ombak Group has expanded to provide a range of hospitality and tourism products. These hotels, hostels, transportation services and theme parks enjoyed by both international and local Indonesian markets.

The Ombak Group offers a total of 2,000 rooms across 6 different accommodation facilities; it services over 50,000 guests annually; and employs over 5,000 people in Indonesia. The group offers international brands such as Hotel Vila Ombak, Hotel Ombak Sunset and Gili Ombak Express Fastboat service, as well as the local Mirah Brand offering the Mirah Hotel and Dormitory in Banyuwangi, Mirah Hostel in Bali, the Mirah Hotel and Mirah Fantasia Theme Park in Makassar.


The Ombak Group is defined by its three-pillared philosophy of experiential destinations, passionate service and cultural heritage, showcasing the best in Indonesian service and hospitality.

Experiential Destinations
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We celebrate and showcase the authenticity of our destinations to provide a unique experience for all guests.

Passionate Service
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The most memorable service is delivered genuinely from the heart. We focus on delivering world-class service and strive to understand and fulfill the needs and wants of our guests.

Cultural Heritage
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We strive to create uniquely designed hotels celebrating the heritage, traditions and crafts of local cultures.


The Owner - Mr. Zainal Tayeb

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Who is Zainal Tayeb?

Born on 25 April 1956, in Makassar, Sulawesi, Zainal Tayeb was known in his family as the ‘naughty one’ – outspoken, extraverted and charismatic, a real people person. These traits underlie his business success and the creation of the Ombak Group.

Zainal’s entrepreneurial projects started in the jewellery trade and expanded into other sectors including land sales, real estate, agriculture and of course hospitality and tourism.

Zainal Tayeb is also known for his love of sport, and is the founder of the Indonesian Boxing Association (KTI). He is the owner of various sporting facilities including Mirah Boxing Camp and Mirah Boulder Climbing Centre in Bali.

His love of Indonesian antiques, with a rich and diverse collection spanning over 250 years of Indonesian history, is also well known.

A Natural Entrepreneur

Zainal Tayeb was raised by his mother in the small mountain village of Mamasa, West Sulawesi. His father worked far away in Ujung Pandang, now Makassar, on the south-west coast of the island. Zainal’s mother and his seven siblings struggled with poverty, the children doing odd jobs after school, such as hand-milling rice into flour, to make ends meet.

In 1971, aged just 15 years, Zainal left Sulawesi to seek adventure and new opportunities elsewhere in Indonesia. He spent some of his early years living rough in Kalimantan, working in the logging industry there, and making the money he needed to start his own business.

In 1973, he made his way to Bali, and spent his time trading Javanese silver jewellery to the Balinese tourist market. Eventually he developed these activities into an export business, with a retail silver jewellery outlet in Kuta, and a small home business in Denpasar producing handmade Balinese silver jewellery.

Zainal would work in his export office in Denpasar by day, and spend his evenings in bars and clubs around Bali’s tourist areas, networking and scouting for potential customers.

An early highlight in his career came in 1989 when he received an award for the Commitment to Small Business in the Handicraft Industry, presented to him by President Soeharto for his silver jewellery business, Mirah Silver.

Zainal has always taken a strong interest in the culture and heritage of the Indonesian islands east of Bali, looking into destinations like Lombok, Sumbawa and Irian Jaya (Papua). At the end of 1989, he ventured east and bought land on the coral island of Gili Trawangan off the north-west coast of Lombok.

Always quick to adapt to changing business climate, Zainal diversified his business into real estate, as well as the hotel and tourism industries.

Zainal partnered up with friends and associates to build the Bali Bird Park and the Bali Reptile Park in 1994, which he later sold.

With his long-standing German business partner, Bernhard Muerkoster, Zainal built his first hotel, Hotel Vila Lumbung, located in Petitenget, north of Seminyak, on Bali in 1996. A few months later Zainal and Bernhard went back to the island of Gili Trawangan, and started construction of Hotel Vila Ombak. Ombak is the Indonesian word for ‘wave’.

Since that time, Zainal has continued to buy and sell land, and develop hotels, villas amongst other businesses across the Indonesian archipelago.

Hotel Vila Ombak

Zainal’s most renowned business today is Hotel Vila Ombak – a favourite destination for young international tourists since1996. Unlike many hotels in Bali, who’s first and strongest markets were Australia, Hotel Vila Ombak (much like it’s owner) has reached further abroad, and for the first five years targeted mainly untapped European markets.

Zainal Tayeb’s Ombak Legacy

Today, Zainal’s personal strengths inspire the Ombak Group company values:

  • Looking further to find Experiential Destinations that provide unique value to our guests
  • Encouraging staff to develop charisma and people skills to delivery Passionate Service
  • Incorporating traditional architecture, artworks, artifacts and concepts to promote Cultural Heritage in the Ombak Group hotels

Careers with Ombak Group

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We are always looking for enthusiastic, open-minded, friendly, motivated and service minded people to join our team.

Whether you are a student looking for work experience, a Daily Worker looking for part-time work or a professional after a long term career, we are open to considering your application.

Follow the Ombak Careers link for the latest job vacancies...

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