Vacation in Lombok, Indonesia
What would be your ultimate vacation?
Mine would be on a beach, quiet, relaxing, no schedule and not to worry about expenses, either. There are many places in Indonesia to go on vacation, for example Bali, Yogyakarta, and Mananado to just name a few.
Many people have heard of Bali in Indonesia, especially some might remember the last destination in a movie made from a book “Eat, Pray, Love”, but Lombok, a sister island that sits across the straits from Bali, is not as widely known as Bali. I learned about Lombok quickly after we moved to Jakarta.
When it is not cloudy, you can see Mount Agung in Bali from the northeastern shore of Lombok. That’s how close these two islands are.
If you would like to learn more about Lombok, here are two articles that I read and liked: “Living in Bali’s Shadow, but Maybe Not for Long” By Eric Weiner Published on September 21, 2008 by The New York Times Travel and “The Next Bali – With stunning natural beauty — and a $600 million resort complex in the works — Lombok aims to become a travel hot spot” by Tom Wright published on December 12, 2008 by The Wall Street Journal.
When my husband tasked me to plan a trip during a winter break, I knew that I wanted to stay in Indonesia since we have a 10-month-old baby and traveling domestically is easier and I thought it would be less expensive. After all, Indonesia is a country full of tourist attractions. I first thought of Bali because I have only been to Bali once and I have only seen Nusa Dua, a very commercialized Bali where I did not get to see the magical charm of the island. I hear Ubud in Bali would be true Bali, but I picked Lombok over Ubud in Bali for various reasons. My main reasons for it were 1. my children like beaches and Ubud is in inland and thus does not have a beach nearby 2. Lombok beaches are known to be nicer than Bali beaches, and 3. Lombok is less expensive than Bali.
These are the reasons I looked into Lombok in the first place, but I must say that I would call this trip our trip to Qunci Villas, our hotel. I fell in love with Qunci Villas.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT BETWEEN BALI AND LOMBOK?
One difference many who visited both islands would notice is probably the cultures that stemmed from the religions. Bali’s dominant religion is Balinese Hinduism even though Indonesia’s dominant religion is Muslim. The special rituals, cultural practices and food in Bali are rooted from Hinduism which are different from the rest of Indonesia. One thing I would point out that made me realize Lombok was very different from Bali was Islamic call to prayer. The blasting call to prayer woke me up and our baby in the middle of the night. One time I looked over to my clock and it was 4:30 am… Bali was very quiet.
HOW I FOUND QUNCI VILLAS
I went straight to a Japanese blogger’s site, UnoMin’s Life in Indonesia, written in Japanese that I often read because she travels a lot, posts beautiful pictures and has a good style. I saw a post about Qunci Villas in Lombok on her blog. Her photos were stunning and instantly I knew that Qunci Villas and Lombok was the place we needed to go.
CLIMATE AND WHAT TO PREPARE
Little did I know that we were going to Lombok in the middle of the rainy season at the time of booking. Apparently, the rainy season in Lombok is between October and March. I read that the season is pretty much the same in Bali, but it does not rain in Lombok as much as it does in Bali.
CRAFT, BOOKS, GAMES & ACTIVITY BOOKS
I was warned by my friend right before going on a trip about possible rainy days, so I took some crafts and coloring books, colored pencils and so forth for the kids to do when it rained.
We flew from Jakarta, so it didn’t bother us to be on vacation while we had a lot of rain, but if we flew from far away and would have had to spend a lot of money to travel to Lombok, I would rather go when the weather is nicer and the water is prettier. The rainy season (Oct-March) is not as pretty as it is in a dry season in Lombok in terms of weather. Yet I think Qunci Villas makes it nice and comfortable despite the weather.
I heard from another guest staying at Qunci Villas whose husband is a surfer that if you want to learn how to surf, the beach at Qunci Villas is great. There is a surf lessons given at the beach.
Boat Trip to Gili Islands
Reasonable boat trip from the hotel is available.
I hear that Kuta Beach is gorgeous. According to my Japanese friend whom I coincidentally ran into at Qunci Villas, Kuta Beach was 1.5 hours from Qunci Villas by Taxi. There is Novotel in the Kuta Beach area. I heard that if you stay at Novotel, you can go to the beach and snorkel.
We stayed in a Garden View room at Qunci Villas, the least expensive option. It was great for us. I will plan on writing about a Garden View Room in the future. We were fortunate that a room was available even though I booked it only 3 weeks in advance. Apparently Qunci Villas rooms fill up very quickly. The Garden View Room was amazing and I could not believe that we could stay there for only a little over US$100!!! I booked directly from Qunci Villas. Since we stayed there during the peak season, the surcharge of $25 was applied, but even with that, I found it very reasonable.
We heard and read that Qunci Villas is a very honeymoon type of resort. It is true, but we saw some other families with young children or a baby. There is no kids pool, but instead they dedicate one of three pools to only adults. My kids still had a blast in a pool at Qunci Villas. If you want a pool designed for kids and a slide to entertain your kids, Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort, a hotel in the same Senggigi area has them and that might suit you better for your needs. More details here.
We felt comfortable having our baby with us at Qunci Villas although there was one evening our son was fussy and we felt badly for a young couple sitting next to our table… Qunci Villas made it very easy and comfortable for us to have a baby.
Our baby son had a great time, too!
If you are interested, more information about Qunci Villas, please click the links below.