Lombok is a neighbouring island to Bali.
Equally scenic, with maybe even better beaches. It is a much quieter, less developed alternative.
The Gili Islands are just offshore Lombok and are regarded as a top diving area in the region.
On Lombok, there are still just a few international hotels, mainly boutique style and are generally located on the west coast.
Comparisons with Bali are inevitable, but the two islands have more differences than similarities which rather adds to the appeal.
Both have high mountains and rice fields, but Lombok is much more rural with the east coast rather arid. Bali has a lively nightlife area and has generally an open hedonistic vibe, with numerous restaurant options. Lombok might have a few bars in the Sengiggi resort area, but generally, you go to totally chill out and relax, with most upscale restaurants located within the hotels.
The main religion on Lombok is Islam, practised by over 95% of the population. In Bali, it is a unique combination of Hindu – Buddhism.
Lombok and Bali are linked by daily flights, taking about 25 minutes, most of which is going up and coming down. However the airport in Lombok is located in the centre of the island, at least 90 minutes scenic drive from most of the west coast hotels. There are also ferry services, taking about 3 hours. There are also direct flights into Lombok most days from Singapore.
There are now several small boutique hotels and we have access to good rates at most. Early booking is essential, especially in the months of July/ August.
We particularly like the gentle luxury of the Oberoi – probably the best known of the hotels, the quirky artistic bohemian vibe and incredible beach of Tugu and the intimate romance of Jeeva Klui. Several new openings are planned for 2019 – ask us for details
Note – Both Lombok and the Gili Islands received disruption from the volcanic outburst in August 2018. The island is recovering , especially on the west and south coasts , whilst the east and north east coasts still show signs of the destruction . The infrastructure on the Gili Islands was equally affected and many resorts remain closed until sping 2019. Ask us for update. See note below on Ring of Fire.
Just 25 minutes by boat off the north-west corner of Lombok you have the wonderfully escapist Gili Islands. (Gili Trawangan, Meno & Air Islands). Traditionally the preserve of backpackers and divers. The three islands have recently opened up to more affluent travellers and now have a selection of rustic eco-focused, shabby-chic boutique resorts with great charm. No cars or roads, just sand tracks.
Some of the best diving and snorkelling in the region. Some bar & restaurant options. Essentially these are simple, natural pleasures. Development and crowds are coming. The gentle pleasures of just a few years back are changing and the most popular dive sites are just that – popular!
Regular speedboat transport from Bali (see note below ), or by local boats from Lombok.
Note – During the months of July / August the sea crossing between Bali and Lombok or Gili Islands can be exceedingly rough and would be against our advice. We suggest clients fly to Lombok and then continue by ferry on the short distance onto Gili.
Natural Disasters – The Reality.
Indonesia sits within the so called “Ring of Fire” which is an area of tectonic activity within the Pacific Ocean. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes do occur on a regular basis. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 or less occur on almost a weekly basis in some regions and are almost judged “un-newsworthy” by the local media. Indonesia also has more active volcanoes, currently 129, than any other country in the world. This all adds to the drama of the scenery and the atmosphere of the destination. Boring it is not! 90% of clients rarely experience a severe earthquake or are impacted by a volcanic eruption (although you might catch sight of one in the distance) but they are very much a reality of considering/travelling to Indonesia.
If we were to be critical…
Don’t chose Lombok if shopping and nightlife are high on your priority list , the pleasure here are simple and natural. Although Lombok and Bali are just a short 25 minutes flight apart , their cultures are very different.
In Bali the main religion is a unique combination of Hindu and Buddhism and they want you to share ”the experience”, happily explaining why they are doing certain things. In Lombok, it is a more conservative Islam, so the smiles are less spontaneous, maybe shyer, but once arrived just as genuine.
Hotels & Resorts in Lombok – A Chic Location
"There's no such thing as the best hotel, just the right one..."
Click for Booking Terms, Price Guides & Flight Information
All price guides are Per Person Sharing Double Room (Entry level), based on travel between May and/or June when prices are generally at their lowest and include promotional offers.
Supplements will probably apply at other times, particularly mid-summer in the Med, and for rooms and/or transfers arranged for single travellers.
For example, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean prices for winter can be approximately double the May - June level and about 50% more in Asia.
Please refer to Travel Advice on our home page or look at www.fco.gov.uk as the Foreign Office may have issued specific destination information on safety and terrorism.