After our time in SANUR had come to an end, we had a quick nibble at the buffet breakfast before we were transferred to the Serangan Harbour for our Blue Water Express boat ride to Gili Trawangan. We received a lovely greeting by the staff who offered us, no not a welcome drink, but instead sea sickness tablets. As the previous days transfers had been cancelled due to rough seas, only one member of the group.
Point to note: for those who are prone to sea sickness, sit at the back of the boat as it is less bumpy!
Blue Water Express: Blue Water Express have a very easy check in process and offer coffee and tea while you wait to depart. Your luggage is labelled and placed on the boat for you to collect at your destination. They also offer sea sickness tablets to all guests which is highly recommended as the 2.5 hour journey is often rough.
Once on dry land we were greeted and transported by Cidomo’s (horse carts) to our hotel, Hotel Ombak Sunset. There are 30 carts and 60 horses on the island and each horse only works half a day. We were very glad to hear the horses were being treated well (I even saw one being taken for a swim later in the day!). As Gili Trawangan is such a small island, there are no cars or even motorbikes available for transport. Just bikes, cidomo’s… or your legs!
* Below is a review of the hotels we visited:
Hotel Ombak Sunset: The property is not in the heart of town but easy enough to access as it is a quick bike ride into town. It also has a private beach including lounge chairs for the guests to use and a restaurant overlooking the water, great for sunset drinks! The rooms were quite large and hosted Balinese decor.
Facilities included are 2 bars (including 1 swim up), Day Spa, Pool, Kid’s Club, 2 restaurants, Free Wi-fi.
Villa Grasia Resort & Spa: This property is very much out of the way, it is located at the other end of the island to the main party/restaurant area. Each room does come with a pair of bicycles though which is an absolute necessity if you were to stay at the hotel. The restaurant served up one of my three favourite meals throughout the trip, it was delicious and presently beautifully. Even if I wasn’t staying here, I would make the trip to the hotel just for lunch – try the Mahi Mahi!
Facilities included are Bar, Bicycles, Day Spa, Pool, Restaurant, Free Wi-fi
Santosa Villas & Resort Lombok: The resort pool is a huge feature and the staff make incredible cocktails at the swim-up bar. Between us all I think we tested the whole menu plus our own special blends!
Facilities included are 2 bars (including 1 swim up), Day Spa, 3 pools, 2 restaurants, tennis court.
We had dinner at Coco Beach. Best recommendation ever! Cheap, amazing food, local, on the beach, completely organic, great atmosphere, great staff – entirely amazing experience overall. We ordered, then ordered some more, and then kept on ordering.
The next day we took a tour around Lombok, visiting a pottery village (where we were able to have a go at making a pot), a fabric weaving village (where we were given a demonstration on how the fabric was made, then had the chance to wear the local dress), a local marketplace (where we purchased a jack fruit to try for those who had not seen or tasted on before), a local supermarket (where we bought gifts for the locals and tried their interesting ice creams!), a traditional village (where we were able to try the betel leaf which turns your mouth red and gives you a bit of a buzz).
Sudamala Suites & Villas *One of our favourites!
This property was tranquil and luxurious. The staff were very professional. The meals at the restaurant were very special. Delicious Balinese and Western cuisine infused, beautiful presentation – simply mouth watering! The rooms were rather unique and each feature either a terrace or balcony as well as a stunning outdoor shower. Facilities included are a Day Spa, Pool, Restaurant and Free Wi-fi.
Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel Lombok: Quite a large property, located by the beach. Staff were friendly and welcoming, we were almost greeted with a welcome drink but as we were pressed for time we had to forgo this pleasure! Facilities: 2 bars, convenience store, Pool, 3 restaurants
Pool Villas Club: Located directly the beside Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel Lombok, you can walk between the two properties. The properties have separate check in areas, yet the guests at Pool Villas Club are welcome to use the facilities at Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel Lombok. The rooms are large, comfortable and double story with dark Balinese furnishings. Facilities include 2 bars (including 1 swim up), Day Spa, 3 pools, 2 restaurants, tennis court
Novotel Kuta Beach Lombok: Located in Kata, the southern end of Lombok (1.5 hours from Senggigi). The hotel felt very relaxing and private, especially as the villas have their own pool areas. It is only a 30 minute drive from Lombok’s International airport and has an amazing beachfront. They have a dive and surf centre and also feature their very own spice market. The cocktails and food at the beach bar are also worth a mention! Facilities: 2 bars, Day Spa, 4 pools, 2 restaurants, Free Wi-fi, Kid’s Club, Gym.
After our time in this amazing destination was over, we made our way to Lombok International Airport for our domestic flight to Denpasar. Although it is a relatively new airport, I was really unsure of what to expect. First impression felt as though I was standing on a busy train platform somewhere in South East Asia, but once you get through security everything flowed as you would expect in a western domestic airport.
Written by Caitlin Mitchell