If you ever experience love at first sight, for me it definitely would be with Gili Trawangan island – one of the largest of the three Gili islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. First step foot on the island in December 2013 and ever since then I have been coming back every year. The fact that all kinds of motorized automobiles are prohibited here by the local government, it’s the perfect pollution-free environment which also means no traffic jam, only happy people cycling around the island fringed by white sandy beaches and coconut trees, surrounded by turquoise sea.
Just for the fun of it, I made a point of staying in different chalets around the island on every visit. Listed here (with photos) are three types of accommodation, with three different location and budget to suit your pocket.
Budget: Less than RM150 / USD35 per night
The cheapest of the three, but I would say you still get a good value for your money. Coconut Dream has few different types of rooms, grouped in one compound surrounded by luscious greens and palm trees. The amenities are pretty basic, toilets are clean, rooms comes with air-conditioning, en suite bathroom but no hot shower. Depending on the type of room you chose to stay, you might get to experience staying in a ‘lumbung sasak’ house, the traditional house with high ceilings.
Location: very good, only 5 minutes walk to the night market and the busy street on the beach, but still hidden from the noise of the party scene.
Breakfast: very basic, either you opt for toast and eggs or pancake with bananas. Served at your porch.
Amenities: free wifi at the common area (no wifi in the rooms), clean towel provided, soap (do bring your own toiletries), basic shower, no bath-tub, no water heater or pool, no television
Suitable for: group, couples, solo travelers. The ‘lumbung’ houses may not be really suitable for small kids as it has steep stairs in front of the porch and also when coming down to the bathroom.
Extra points: Friendly staff, do hangout at the common area near the entrance. Certain nights you might catch one of the staff, Simba chillin’ there and entertaining the guests with his guitar.Check current rates at Coconut Dream Bungalow
Budget: Less than RM250 / USD60 per night
My favourite of the three, situated further down the road beside Coconut Dream Bungalow. M’adison is like a small oasis in which you leave all your problems behind upon entering. Quaint little huts facing a nice lap-size pool, each hut comes with a hammock on the porch perfect for quick afternoon naps. It can be really hot, hot, hot on this island and having the glistening blue pool right in your front of your hut is a big bonus. One cute factor, each huts have their own name stamped on it. You might be staying in Hansel, Gretel, Fiona, Shrek and etc, you get the idea.
Recently this year, 2 new rooms (superior deluxe) were added to the property, perfect for honeymooners or those who wants a little more privacy as it is situated on the 2nd floor above the front desk and it comes with a small private jacuzzi.
Location: very good, 10 minutes walk to the night market and the main strip by the beach.
Breakfast: Choose from toast and egg, fried rice or pancake with bananas. Also comes with tea or coffee and a platter of local fruits. Served at your porch.
Amenities: basic wood interior, free wifi in the pool area and room, salt-water pool, clean towels, shower gel and shampoo provided, hot shower in an open-air bathroom, free 2 mineral water, mini-bar, safe deposit box, umbrella, a small television (only for watching dvd), dvd-player. Choice of movies available at the front desk.
Suitable for: group, couples, solo travelers, family, family with children
Extra tip: Do make your bookings early (a month in advance is good) because it only has 13 rooms in total which gets sold out pretty fastCheck current price rates at M'adison Gilli
Budget: From RM250+ / USD60+ per night
Stay in La Cocoteraie Ecolodge if you’re up a for a unique, cosy, eco-friendly glamping experience, situated amongst the coconut plantation on sunset viewpoint area. Suitable if you’re looking for some quite time & privacy away from the hustle bustle of the main strip. Wake up to swaying coconut trees and cows grazing on the green field.
Location: not far from the sunset viewpoint, a quite area of the island, far from the harbour and the busy main strip. 10 minutes walk to the beach. About 15-20 minutes bicycle ride across the village and coconut trees to reach the busy main strip where most of the bars & restaurants are located.
Breakfast: simple choices of toast and egg, fried rice or pancake with bananas, also comes with your choice of fruit juice, tea (a variety of types to choose from) or coffee and a platter of local fruits. Served at your porch.
Amenities: wifi in the pool area including room, salt-water pool (newly built this year), towels & toiletries provided, basic shower, no bath-tub, umbrella, rain coat, mineral water, torchlight, mosquito net, aircond and stand fan
Extra points: Room comes with free usage of bicycle and snorkeling equipment during your stay (save money from having to rent bikes outside). They also provide you with headlamps in case it gets dark before you get back to your tent.
Suitable for: couples, solo travelers, family, family with childrenCheck current price rates at La Cocoteraie Ecolodge
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and photos are my own.