Lapping Up Luxury on the Gili Islands


Head to Indonesia for a l’il luxury! The Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. The islands are a popular destination for tourists looking for a remote island experience.

There are loads of great options for accommodations on Gili Trawangan. We decided to try two resorts, but we honestly wish we could’ve stayed at a few more. We biked around the island to have a look at some of the other hotels and mini-resorts, and some of them were really posh! With that said, we were not disappointed with our accommodations on Gili Trawangan at all.

Our front porch. Astonishingly, there were no bugs to deal with at night.

We stayed in a deluxe bungalow at Villa Ombak Sunset for our first night, and we would’ve happily stayed longer! Our ocean-facing bungalow was stylishly decked out with Balinese accents, such as polished wooden floors, a giant wooden bed, gorgeous handwoven textiles, a sunny outdoor bathroom, and a pretty little front porch. The fresh water swimming pool is one of the biggest (and cleanest) pools on the island; it’s also one of the nicest, as far as I could tell.

Villa Ombak Sunset hosts a super relaxed sunset party on their beach every night (hence the name), and their claim to having one of the prettiest sunsets on the island is 100% true. Get out to the beach around 5:30pm if you want your own beanbag chair or hammock. Trust me, they go fast. Watching that technicolor Lombok sunset while listening to chilled out beats with a beach cocktail in my hand was easily one of the most memorable moments of our trip.

Below is the beach you can spot just over the road. Yep, it’s that close.



Sunset cocktail area with beanbag chairs and swings.

When the tide is in, you can swim out to the swings and face the waves as they come crashing in. At night, it’s the perfect couples spot.

Vila Ombak

The next day we moved to Vila Ombak to be closer to the harbor area. Vila Ombak is located on the main strip, and there are a number of restaurants, bars, and shops right outside the main entrance. In other words, we moved closer to the party.

Villa Ombak

While Vila Ombak is a bit older than its sister resort, we were pleased that it was clean and well maintained. Our room was huge, and we had a gorgeous outdoor bathroom that included a bathtub that I never got around to enjoying. We were a bit worried about the noise from neighboring restaurants and bars, but our bungalow was set far enough back that we weren’t bothered at all.

I admit, part of our decision had to do with their slick slogans, gorgeous al fresco dining area and the candlelit tables. Simply put, they had the nicest display of seafood and meats for grilling. It ended up being our favorite restaurant on the island. Our food was served within 15 minutes of ordering, the seafood was fresh and piping hot, and the prices were really reasonable. The service is excellent, by the way. We liked it so much, we went back for our last evening meal on the island.

Carrie Kellenberger
Canadian expat Carrie Kellenberger has kept a home base with her husband in Asia since 2003. A prolific traveler, Carrie has funded her travels primarily as a writer, editor, travel blogger and photographer, but she has also worked as an educator, voice over artist, model and nightclub singer. She draws upon her 15+ years of travel experience to write about travel-related issues and the countries she has visited on her award-winning web site, My Several Worlds.

Her photography and travel articles have appeared in both print and online publications around the world, including Travel and Leisure Asia, Unearthing Asia and Hip Compass Escapes.
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