Located to the east of Bali, this island has beautiful sandy beaches that remain underdeveloped compared with Bali. There is a good choice of boutique hotels on the west coast with a cluster around Senggigi, the most tourist-orientated town on Lombok. The center of the island is dominated by Mount Rinjani, an active volcano that is a fabulous spot to photograph the sunrise or sunset.
Life on Lombok is more restrained and modest compared with the generally more open and vibrant Bali. However, gay travellers can expect to be welcomed in just the same way as straight tourists.
Three very small, beautiful tropical islands just off the west coast of Lombok and about 20 miles from the eastern tip of Bali. The islands have beautiful white sandy beaches and surrounded by crystal clear water. The sea is teeming with marine life and makes Gili Islands a top destination for scuba divers and snorkelers.
The Gili Islands remain largely undiscovered by mass tourism. Walk, ride a horse, pedal a bike or swim everywhere as there are no buses, cars or motorbikes.
Lombok and the Gili Islands enjoy a tropical monsoon climate with two seasons, dry (May to September) and wet (October to March). The wet season is characterized by brief afternoon rain showers. Daytime temperatures average 27˚C to 32˚C along the west coast.
A number of international airlines operate direct flights to Lombok. In addition, there are daily flights from Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Indonesia operates a ‘visa on arrival ‘scheme for nationals of most non-Asian countries (cost $25US as at March 2012). Nationals of Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam do not require a visa.
Public Ferry – Operates every two hours, 24 hours a day from Padang Bai (East Bali) to Lembar (West Lombok). Although cheap, the crossing time can be between 4 – 5 hours. The port is about 1 hour by car from the main tourist area of Senggigi.
Fast Boat – A number of fast boat services operate from Bali to the east coast of Lombok and Gili islands, including the Blue Water Express and Gili Cat and Gili Getaway. Crossing times are between 1.5 – 2 hours depending on destination. Advance booking essential during peak periods.
Air – A number of airlines offer daily flights between Bali and Lombok.
Pantai Mangsit Senggigi Mataram, Senggigi | map
Why this hotel: Ocean views. Excellent spa. Great value.
The very gay-friendly Qunci Villas Hotel is a boutique beach resort located on Mangsit beach on the east coast of Lombok, just 5 minutes drive north of the main tourist area of Senggigi. The resort offers a choice of modern rooms and villas, some with wonderful sea views and other with private pools set in beautifully landscaped gardens. The resort’s two infinity-edge pools are set right on the beachfront overlooking the sea, and guests have the choice of two restaurants, bar and fabulous spa offering a range of treatments in luxurious private rooms.
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jl. Raya Klui beach No.1, Senggigi | map
Why this hotel: Beautiful surroundings. Spacious rooms. Excellent service.
The very gay-friendly Jeevaklui is the only resort on beautiful sandy Klui Beach. The resort’s architecture reflects a unique Sasak style that has set a new standard for Lombok resorts. The lush garden comprising of local flora and native shoreline plants fully integrate the buildings and infinity-edge pool into the coastal landscape.
Jeeva Klui has 35 suites and villas, all featuring a large terrace with an oversized daybed and equipped with LCD T’V's, DVD players, bathrobes, in room safes and free WiFi. The luxury accommodation is matched by exceptional service and excellent cuisine.
Jl. Raya Senggigi Km 14 Mangsit Beach, Senggigi | map
Why this hotel: Superb dining. Nice scenery. Quiet location.
Looking to escape away for a romantic break? Puri Mas Boutique Resort could be just for you. Set on the west coast of Lombok, the Puri Mas has a very distinctive Indonesian feel. Each of the individually designed rooms are set in lush tropical gardens. Some have wonderful sea views. The resort’s infinity-edge pool and sun terrace offer a space to chill out and forget about the rest of the world. The Ballroom Restaurant is one of Lombok’s top beachfront dining locations offering uninterrupted views across the sea to Bali. Free WiFi.
Medana beach,Tanjung, Medana | map
Why this hotel: Luxurious villas. Fabulous pool & gym. Peaceful area.
The Oberoi in Lombok is one of the best luxury hotels in Indonesia. This tropical hideaway is set on the beautiful Madana beach, on the north west coast of the island. The resort’s huge luxurious villas and pavilions have fabulous terraces with views out over the ocean or rainforest gardens. The stunning setting is matched by the warmest of welcomes for gay guests, exceptional quality of service and some of the finest Indonesian, Asian and international cuisine that can be found on Lombok.
The Oberoi Spa offers a wide range of massage and other treatments whilst the gym is available to keep you trim. The hotel has a beach club that offers a range of water sports including snorkeling, sea kayaks, PADI scuba diving, windsurfing or private boat rides to the beautiful Gili Islands.
l Sigar Pejalin Sire Beach, Tanjung, Medana | map
Why this hotel: Boutique luxury. Excellent location. Near the beach.
Located on a beautiful white sandy beach along the north west coast of Lombok with equally stunning views of Mount Rinjabi. This is ‘get away from it all’ beach paradise for those who want space to relax and recharge. Each of the 19 uniquely styled luxury villas and suites are decorated with woods and bamboos that would be found in a Lombok village house and has a private balcony offering either an ocean or garden view. Room features include LCD TV’s with satellite channels, free movies, iPod docking stations and free WiFi. Some guest rooms have private plunge pools.
This luxury resort has a full service spa, outdoor pool, excellent restaurant and offers a fabulous choice of activities and excursions.
Gili Trawangan, Gili Trawangan | map
Why this hotel: Beachside cottages. Excellent service. Good value.
Hotel Vila Ombak was the first international hotel to open on Gili Trawangan and remains one of the best on the island. The resort offers a range of traditional “Sasak” styled accommodation options from the more affordable ‘Lumbung Terrace’ through to private beachside cottages that offer stunning private balconies with sea views. Free WiFi in public area.