Booking the Hotel
As I kicked off my shoes after another long Saturday night shift in the bar I thought myself, I need a holiday! With flights to Indonesia already booked and a trip to the Gili Islands on the cards, I took out my iPad at 3am and started googling.
I had two things on my mind: luxury and budget. Unfortunately these two requirements don’t exactly sit well together! Accommodation on the Gili islands can vary widely, from hostels with no air-con to five-star villas with all-you-can-eat brekkie. If there’s one thing I love, it’s planning a trip and finding some deals…and that is just what I found.
After weighing up options and comparing a surprising amount of hotels on such a small island, I found my pick, Hotel Ombak Sunset. For just under AUD50 each a night, I was confident I’d found my luxury stay for a bargain!
Situated on the west of Gili Trawangan island, the hotel is the perfect place to lounge and escape reality. While the eastern side of the island is known for partying, late nights and backpackers, the west is favoured by couples and those wanting some peace.
Arriving at Gili Trawangan
All boats from the mainland arrive to the harbour on the east side. The hotel is about a forty minute walk from the harbour (turn left off the boat and just follow the beach!), or you can hop in a horse and cart for a quicker route through the middle of the island (these are a rip off and so expensive for the short distance travelled). No engines are allowed on the island so horse and chart or bike are your only options faster than walking.
Our check-in time was 2pm but much to our delight we were allowed to check in two hours earlier when we arrived! The foyer of Ombak Sunset is to die for. While admiring the Indonesian decor we were greeted with cool towels and beverages, and our bags brought right to our door.
During our time in Ombak Sunset we stayed in the deluxe bungalow suites. These rooms have everything you could ask for: king-size bed, great air-con, flat-screen TV, and an outdoor bathroom complete with a waterfall shower.
The outdoor bathroom is amazing if you don’t mind sharing your shower with a few geckos and other critters! There’s also a gorgeous terrace outside the room with big comfy chairs to lounge in, perfect for patient boyfriends waiting on girlfriends to get ready!
The Grounds and Pool
The grounds to any hotel are what make my stays worthwhile. Darren and I have slept in our car for two months, lived in hostels, camped in tents and slept in airports, so we’re not fussy with rooms…we’ll just about sleep anywhere! But the grounds and pool are the nice bit of luxury I look for when booking a hotel, and the Ombak Sunset did not disappoint!
Situated just a few metres from the beach, the hotel is most famous for its sunset swing. Take a spot on a lounger and enjoy the gorgeous view with a cocktail! As I have learned on my travels though, things are never as they seem on social media! This place is gaining popularity by the Instagram post, so be prepared for a bit of a queue at sunset to nab a picture!
If the sand isn’t for you, the pool should satisfy your needs: 50m long with two kiddie pools and a pool bar, plus fresh white towels all day long. This pool is the biggest on the island. We were so lucky travelling in February (non-peak season), the hotel wasn’t busy and we felt like our own private swimming pool to ourselves.
Dotted all around the property are little details that make the place so unique. Chill out zones with big comfy beanbags are scattered around the area as well as a giant chessboard if you feel like working out your muscles as well as your brain!
The restaurant to the hotel is located right on the sand with a magnificent view of the ocean and sunset swing. The food here was beautiful, though quite pricey. I would suggest having lunch here and venture toward the east side of the island at dinner for a bit more atmosphere come nighttime.
Our first day at Ombak we had a complete chill out day beside the pool, eating and drinking in the sunshine all day. Come day two however, we were itching to get cracking on something a little more adventurous. We booked a day scuba-diving with the scuba group in the hotel, Scuba Froggy. It was more expensive than any other tours we found on the island, but it was worth it. The team had excellent English and were all brilliant instructors.
They didn’t overpack the boat like sardines, we had a spacious boat with eight people plus six crew members, nearly an instructor per person. The diving spots we were brought to were amazing, including a shipwreck, where we spotted loads of gigantic green turtles! Our instructors were fun and patient and helped us take once-in-a-lifetime pictures undersea.
As previously mentioned, we travelled to the Gili Islands in off-season (February), where our hotel was less crowded and pricing is more affordable. The hotel was everything we wanted, relaxing vibe, amazing pool, good facilities and right next to the beach. Whether you’re travelling as a couple, a group of friends or family this place is suitable. Gili T is known for its parties and adventures, but take a night or two out, treat yourself and sit back and relax with Hotel Ombak Sunset!
Here’s a few more snaps of our stay in Ombak Sunset to get you in the mood for booking a holiday!