Why Is This Place so Great?
Located on Bali’s neighboring island, Lombok is the quieter and less expensive method of attaining paradise. Similar to Bali, it offers great shore breaks for surfing, possesses idyllic landscapes (including waterfalls, volcanos, and even a pink sand beach!), and is steeped in history as well as culture. Lombok is also a great port to go island hopping from. With its close proximity to the three Gili Islands, it only takes a 20-minute boat journey to explore new surroundings and is much cheaper than attempting to do so from Bali.
Where Should You Stay?
For Luxury Choose: The Oberoi, Lombok
The Oberoi, Lombok, is a secluded resort spanning 24 acres across lush tropical gardens. The resort features 50 spacious thatched-roof pavilions and villas that were designed by Peter Muller, an Australian architect who started the private villa trend in Bali, and all contain luxurious marble bathrooms with its own private walled-off garden, a sunken bath, separate shower unit, double sink vanities, and a private terrace. Those who are looking for a bit of added luxury should book a Luxury Villa with Private Pool or a higher category room to receive at least 1,700 square feet of extra space, including a private pool that is 8.7 yards in length, a raised dining pavilion, walk-in closet, and a larger bathroom with two separate vanities.
The resort offers plenty of activities to its guests. Not only does the property have its own tennis court, croquet lawn, fitness center, and infinity pool but it also runs complimentary yoga classes in the morning, a large DVD and book library, as well as a water sport facility including free use of kayaks, standup paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment to explore the resort’s nearby beaches and surroundings. If guests are looking to do something a little more exclusive, The Oberoi also has its own PADI certified dive center, boats to take guests to the Gili Islands for snorkeling trips, and a horse carriage to take guests into the local town for an extra fee.
Guests will also receive amazing service throughout their stay. Not only does the resort offer a meticulous turndown service, but it also features complimentary afternoon tea between 4 and 5:30pm on a daily basis as well as complimentary water, fresh fruit skewers, and sorbet throughout the day.
Since the hotel is located in a remote area, it can take between 30 and 40 minutes to reach the local town by car. Consequently, we highly recommend those who want to explore the island to rent a car since the resort offers free parking to its guests. Conversely, if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday then we highly recommend looking for a half board price that includes dinner during your stay.
For Lifestyle Choose: Mana Retreat Lombok
Mana Retreat Lombok is another amazing hotel perfect for both our eco-conscious and wellness-focused lifestyle travelers. The resort is known for hosting 3 or 6-night individual or group yoga retreats year round for yogis of all levels to relax their mind and body. The resort operates as many as 5 yoga and meditation sessions per day. Guests who book their yoga retreats have complimentary access to these classes (with a cap of up to 15 classes for 3-night retreats, 26 classes for 6-night retreats) as well as a daily fresh coconut, a complimentary spa package (one treatment of choice per night of stay), roundtrip airport pick up and drop off services, and breakfast amongst many other benefits. This being said, the resort also offers drop-in classes or class packages for those interested in meditating but are either staying elsewhere in Lombok or have other items on the agenda during their stay.
In between classes, relax by the resort’s outdoor pool or enjoy a treatment at Mana’s spa that uses traditional beauty recipes featuring entirely fresh and natural ingredients. At night, all hotel guests even have access to Mana’s nightly cinema screenings at 7:30PM, so sit back and relax in a lazy boy while feasting on food and drinks from the hotel’s vegetarian and vegan restaurant.
The resort offers its guests a wide range of accommodation ranging from standard Garden Rooms that can accommodate up to 2 guests, or even budget community dormitories that can sleep up to 8 people and features 4 built-in bunk beds and two bathrooms. For something more luxurious, we recommend groups to stay in their two-bedroom Santai Villas featuring a loft, fully equipped kitchen, and living room space that can comfortably accommodate between 4 to 8 people. All of their room types feature its own private bathroom, LED light bulbs, and access to the resort’s drinking water – so remember to pack your own bottle!
Mana Retreat does its best to reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to a Biosafe septic tank system that recycles wastewater into irrigation water, it also uses organic products throughout the resort (including natural soaps, insect repellants, and TPE natural biodegradable yoga mats), and sustainable foods within its restaurant from their on-site garden. Furthermore, the resort tries to be more community aware by planting two trees for every one that they take out and uses coconut oil instead of palm oil to stop the mass amount of deforestation within the rainforests of Indonesia.
For Boutique Choose: Katamaran Hotel & Resort
Katamaran Hotel & Resort offers its guests prime beachfront accommodation located in Senggigi, the heart and most central location to be in whilst visiting Lombok. Its 129 rooms all boast luxury through its contemporary design featuring either a balcony or outdoor deck, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the ocean or Mount Agung and the Lombok Strait, as well as both an indoor and outdoor shower in the majority of its rooms. The hotel also caters to families providing two bedroom suite options with an adjoining living room space. For added luxury, book a room with your own private plunge pool or the penthouse which contains its own jacuzzi.
Although the beaches of Lombok are all open to the public, the one at the Katamaran Hotel & Resort is quite difficult to access unless one decides to walk through the hotel’s entrance. Consequently, guests visiting the property are likely to have a secluded beach getaway far from the crowds. The resort is quite a tranquil place to escape reality. In addition to its exclusive beach where they offer private yoga sessions, the property also holds two-level infinity pools for guests to enjoy and a beautiful spa offering a wide range of luxurious treatments within their oceanfront treatment rooms.
What Should I Do?
For Luxury Choose: Lombok Elephant Park
Lombok Elephant Park is a new sanctuary that opened its doors to the public in 2017. Despite its name, the park is home to 195 animal residents across 45 species which have all been rescued from various regions of Asia. Some of these animals have been raised by human handlers from a young age and are subsequently very playful and love human interaction. The facility encourages this by creating experiences such as elephant feeding, reptile encounters, and photo sessions with Valent the orangutan inclusive in the admission price. Visitors can choose to enhance their package by booking breakfast with the elephants a day in advance or even reserve a 15-minute elephant safari ride (with limited rides per day to ensure the elephants don’t tire).
Although the park encourages intimate encounters, some of the animals like their bears, crocodiles, and pygmy hippos aren’t human-friendly and are closed off in their separate enclosures.
For Lifestyle Choose: Visit the Waterfalls of Lombok
With more than ten waterfalls on its small island, Lombok has no shortage of nature treks for our lifestyle travelers to enjoy. However, if we were asked to visit just one it would most definitely be amongst the grounds holding both Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall located in a remote area behind the village of Senaru in the north.
Sendang Gile will be the first of the two waterfalls that visitors will encounter and is only a short 15-minute hike away from the entrance. Its name was derived from an ancient folklore telling the tale of a prince who was chased into the woods and hid behind a waterfall while being pursued by a crazed lion. The name is quite fitting considering it seems impossible to dip into the waterfall itself proving to be the perfect hiding spot for such occasion.
From there walk back up from Sendang Gile and make the first left where you’ll find more stairs to continue on the trail to reach Tiu Kelep. After approximately 30 to 50 minutes of trekking over a bridge, through two streams (it can go up to knee level, so bring water shoes with you!), and down some more stairs before you’ll find the beautiful 147-foot waterfall on the right. Tiu Kelep is Lombok’s largest waterfall and has become a popular spot to swim in.
If you’re looking for an expedition, tag on a trip to Mount Rinjani located within the same town, but be aware that this hike normally takes 4 days consisting of full-day treks to reach crater rims and summits. Unlike the trek to the waterfalls, we highly recommend hiring a guide for the trip and to bring some extra layers to keep warm in the tents.
For Boutique Choose: Learn to Weave the Traditional way by a Native Sasak Villager
One of Lombok’s biggest trade is in their hand weaved products ranging from clothes, blankets, and table covers. With their traditional equipment, they are able to create beautiful pieces of art out of various materials including silk, silver threads, and cotton. Weaving has become so essential in certain villages that it has become mandatory for its women to learn the art before they can get married. This is definitely the case at Sukarara Village, the biggest weaving town in Lombok.
If you’re interested in learning about Lombok’s traditional weaving, we highly recommend hiring a guide to take your party to Sukarara where visitors have the opportunity to try using their looms, take photos in traditional Sasak clothes, and purchase their merchandise.
Where Should I Eat?
For Luxury Choose: Flavors Restaurant at The Lombok Lodge
Flavors Restaurant is a beautiful fine dining establishment offering only a handful of tables with views overlooking the ocean. Their Indonesian Executive Chef I Wayan Jiwa Raga has crafted multi-course menus using high quality healthy local ingredients in order to enhance each dish’s taste, including a five-course menu offering a mix of both European and Asian cuisine, or a “Rijsttafel” menu featuring an exclusively Indonesian cuisine. The chefs incredibly mindful of dietary requirements and can make alterations for all menus to cater to those with food allergies or even halal needs.
The restaurant is only open for dinner and offers free pick up and drop off services to its neighboring hotels including The Oberoi Lombok, Sepoi Sepoi Villa Lombok, Villa Sapi Lombok, The Anandita Villa Lombok, and Hotel Tugu Lombok.
For Lifestyle Choose: Quah Restuarant at Quinci Villas
Can’t find any information on the restaurant. Can we find a different one, please? Thank you!
For Boutique Choose: Waroeng Moerah Riverbrick
The restaurant is actually on Gili Islands. Could we find another one, please?