For years, Bali has been a must-see luxury travel destination, fame well deserved because it is unique and gorgeous. But ask those in the know and they will tell you about a secret: Bali’s alternative. A lesser-known but equally beautiful island not far away that is easily accessible from the island and other Asian destinations. Located merely 40km south of Bali, you will find the serene island of Lombok which offers many of the same experiences as Bali but in a more relaxed setting. So, what makes this island getaway the perfect alternative to Bali?
Why choose Lombok for your next vacation?
Lombok may live in the shadow of Bali’s global fame, but that may be a blessing in disguise for those looking for adventure off the beaten path. Lombok’s untouched beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world with soft sand and clear waters, minus the crowds that one may find elsewhere. Lombok sets itself apart from Bali by being its shy, quiet neighbour. It is unassuming yet friendly, welcoming and relaxed. Those who love to hike will enjoy experiencing the raw beauty of Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano and a spectacular hiking path with views of the entire island.
Things to Do in Lombok
Holidays in Lombok can be adventurous or relaxing, whatever may be your travel style. One thing they do promise to be though is memorable.
Explore Bali’s Alternative
Bali’s alternative allows you to witness the natural beauty of Indonesia before it became a tourism hotspot. Prepare to spend time outdoors when you’re here. There are plenty of amazing beaches with surf breaks to please the adventurous and sunset trails for the romantics. Visit some of the awe-inspiring waterfalls around the island, a few even have swimming holes, such as the Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu Waterfalls. If you plan on going anywhere off the beaten path, it is recommended that you hire a guide to avoid getting lost. The Elite Concierge will be happy to make all arrangements for you.
Guided Fishing Trip
If you have ever entertained the idea of ocean fishing, you can’t miss the opportunity to do it in Bali’s alternative island. There is a large variety of fish off the coast of Lombok, and you never know what you might catch. The excitement of the unknown mixed with how well you can see in those crystal clear waters makes a fishing trip high on the list of things to do in Lombok.
Shop for Handmade Goods
There is plenty of shopping in Bali, but unless you go into the interiors, you run the risk of buying overpriced manufactured goods aimed at tourists. On the other hand, shopping in Lombok is far more laid-back, and you are likely to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs that are handmade right on the island. If you are looking for a traditional store setting, stop at Bayan Lombok Handicraft & Tropical Gift, but if you want a really authentic experience in Bali’s alternative, you must visit the Cakranegara Traditional Market.
Get a glimpse of history and culture by visiting Narmada Taman. This gorgeous temple was built centuries ago in 1727 and is still in fantastic condition. It has a unique mixture of Hindu, Islamic, and Sasak architectural styles, but the unique feature of the temple is the man-made lagoon in the centre. Don’t expect to pop in and out of this attraction, as there is more than meets the eye from the outside, and you will want to explore everything around this historic temple.
Lombok may be the quieter neighbour but the alternative food scene on the island is strong. You will find vegan cafes, local diners and international five-star beach bars in equal measure. Make sure you try out the local establishments where you can eat delicious regional food without burning a hole in your pocket. But, of course, if you are looking for an upmarket dining experience, Lombok does not disappoint. For a fun and atmospheric sit-down evening, make sure you check out Sea Salt Lombok, and to enjoy traditional Indonesian cuisine, visit Waroeng Moerah River Brick.
How to Get There
The easiest and fastest way to reach Lombok is by taking a plane. There are daily direct flights from Jakarta and Bali to Lombok International Airport and flight tickets are generally reasonably priced. There are also 2 ferry options that depart from Bali — the speed boat and the public ferry. Both boats depart from Padang Bai Harbour in Bali and arrive at Lembar Harbour in Lombok.
Where to Stay in Lombok
There are plenty of reasons to holiday in Lombok, but the number one reason has to be the luxury villas. You are spoilt for choice here. Renting a luxury villa has many benefits over a hotel, starting with privacy. You have an entire breathtaking property to yourself, and the beauty of Lombok is right outside your door. In addition, a private villa offers more security for you and your belongings and ensures that you won’t have to deal with crowds. Our luxury villas provide a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Each of our properties is different and so are their features, but here’s what we love about some of our favourite luxury villas in Lombok.
The Anandita sits on the spectacular Sira Beach and offers breathtaking sea views, but its most noteworthy attraction may be the private pool where you will invariably spend your entire day.
It is hard to choose just one feature we love about Villa Sapi; the property boasts three regular pools, a children’s pool, and its own guest house. Perhaps the coolest part about Villa Sapi, however, is its contemporary architectural design.
Villa Sepoi Sepoi
This is the perfect property for those who want to enjoy peace and quiet. Villa Sepoi Sepoi is surrounded by 4.5 acres of tropical gardens, an oasis in itself. A feast for the eyes, the villa boasts multiple open-air outbuildings and an array of social spaces.
Sira Beach House
Sira Beach House is perfect for travellers who want to experience the island by day but relax and decompress at night. It is right on the beach, so there is always something to do right outside your door, but it is also packed with entertainment options inside the house.
Do something new in Bali’s alternative
After you have experienced the wonders of Bali, why not try something new and book a holiday in Lombok next time? Experience the beauty of Indonesia off the beaten path, and indulge in a unique experience that not everyone can say they’ve had. Our luxury villas in Bali’s alternative offer all the comfort and amenities you can want, combined with impeccable service, warm hospitality and one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
Be one of the select few who can say that they have witnessed the magic of untouched and unspoiled Indonesia.