Our guide details five different areas of Lombok Island with suggestions on where to stay based on your budget and preferences. A must-read if you’re planning a trip to Lombok!

It’s wonderful that you chose Lombok for your vacation instead of Bali. ‘Lombok or Bali?’ is one of the most asked questions from travellers visiting this part of the world. While Bali has everything you are used to from Western countries, such as fast-food chains, shopping malls, big grocery stores, and even chiropractors, the authenticity is slowly fading due to insane crowds and overdevelopment.

For adventurous travellers, I cannot recommend Lombok enough. And it’s just an hour and a half away from Bali if you want to visit both islands.

How to be a responsible traveler - Pink Beach, Lombok, Indonesia

Like any other tourist destination, Lombok offers a great variety of hotels, homestays, big resorts, yoga retreats, jungle cottages and bungalows for travellers. And while finding accommodation is easy, choosing the best area to stay in Lombok can make or break your trip.

We spent three weeks in Lombok, travelled to and stayed at all parts of the island for different adventures, and therefore have many tips to share.

Here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in Lombok so that you can enjoy the island to the fullest.

Where to stay in Lombok

Lombok spreads across 4,740 square kilometres / 1,830 square miles, a little smaller than Bali. The population is reaching 3.9 million, with 1 million tourists visiting annually (while Bali aims for 4.5 million tourists in 2023). This is why I highly recommend visiting Lombok before it changes into an overrun tourist destination. If you visit both islands, you can see the change in crowds immediately.

Despite the small size of Lombok Island, it’s only 80 km between the south and north, and it can take three hours to travel this distance.

Lombok has five main areas where travellers stay, plus the three popular Gili Islands:

  • On the south side along the coast, especially around and in Kuta town, ideal for surfing and exploring beaches
  • In the southwest side around Gili Gede for snorkelling
  • Mataram, the capital for sightseeing or central Lombok/Tetebatu south of Rinjani crater for waterfall trips
  • On the northwest side, along beaches and hotel resorts in Senggigi
  • Gili Islands (Gillis) – Gili Trawangan for parties, Gili Meno for honeymooners and Gili Air for scuba diving
  • On the north side in Senaru where people stay to trek the Rinjani volcano

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What we liked the most in Lombok was access to every beach on the island. According to the Indonesian government, every beach in Indonesia is public, no matter what a few hotel chains say. The government also ordered the removal of buildings at the beachfront so tourists can enjoy the beaches to the fullest.

Best places to stay in Lombok

Best luxury hotels in Lombok

The Oberoi Beach Resort (Senggigi)  • Villa Kayu (Gili Air) • Seven Havens Residence (Kuta)

Best unique hotels in Lombok

Atoll Haven Villas (Gili Air) • Neptune Studios Lombok (Kuta) • Martas Windows (Kuta)

Best family hotels in Lombok

Novotel Lombok Resort & Villas (Kuta) • Merumatta Senggigi Lombok (Senggigi) • Holiday Resort Lombok (Senggigi)

Best cheap accommodation in Lombok

Ebucu (Kuta) • Whiterose Guesthouse (Senggigi) • Adinda Bungalows (Gili Air)

Lombok itinerary for active travellers that includes water activities, beaches, rainforest walks, waterfalls, and hiking.

First time in Lombok? Stay in or near Kuta

Best area in Lombok for families: Senggigi or Kuta

Best area in Lombok for surfing: Kuta

Lombok on a budget? Stay in Kuta in homestays

Best place in Lombok for snorkelling & diving: Gili Gede or Gili Air

Most romantic place in Lombok: Gili Meno

Best place to stay for climbing Rinjani volcano: Senaru (with several waterfalls nearby)

Best place in Lombok for nightlife: Gili Trawangan or Kuta

How to get around Lombok Island

Getting to Lombok Island

  • By plane

The international airport in Lombok Praya is only 20 minutes away from Kuta. We booked flights from Bali to Lombok last minute on Traveloka (the Indonesian version of Skyscanner) and flew to Lombok in 20 minutes for 18 USD per person.

The taxi from the airport to Kuta took 20 minutes and cost 100,000 IDR (7 USD). Blue Bird Taxis use the meter, and travellers have good experience with them, or you can agree on a price in advance with any other driver.

  • By ferry

If you’re arriving in Lombok from neighbouring Bali, Sumbawa or Gili Islands, you can take a ferry. There are slow boat and fast boat options. From Bali, the slow boat takes around 5 hours for 4 USD, mostly used by locals.

Given the frequent incidents of these boats, I’d recommend going by fast boat, it takes 1,5h and costs 25 USD per person. The ferries leave from Padang Bai Port in Bali and arrive at Bangsal in Lombok.

Kuta, Lombok travel guide

Getting around Lombok Island

The most common transport on the island is a scooter – every homestay or hotel rents scooters for around 50,000 IDR (3.50 USD) per day.

Having experienced traffic on Bali and Lombok Islands, I can say it’s easier to learn how to drive a scooter in Lombok. The roads are not congested at all, except in Mataram, and you’re not forced by others to go faster than you like.

The petrol is sold in 1-litre bottles on the side of the road for 10,000 IDR and lasts for 30-40 km.

If you’re not comfortable on a scooter, you can use for very reasonable prices:

  • local scooter taxis
  • regular taxis
  • Grab (Indonesian version of Uber)

Here’s a detailed description of each area of Lombok so you know what to expect.

Accommodation in Kuta and surrounding beaches

Kuta is a place where you will meet a lot of young European tourists wanting to learn and improve their surfing skills. Mostly you will need to rent a motorbike to get to the beaches. The most beautiful Tanjung Ann Beach is accessible by 15 min motorbike ride from Kuta.

Kuta is also the closest place to Pink Beach, a unique beach in Lombok with pink-coloured sand.

Read our Travel Guide to Kuta for more tips & activities.

Kuta is also frequented by surfers, whether newbies like us or experienced. While most surf schools go to Gerupuk, it can get crowded fast. We enjoyed our surfing experience at Tanjung Aan Beach, where we didn’t have to worry about other newbies crashing into us. There are plenty of other surfing beaches near Kuta; here’s the breakdown of surfing spots in Lombok.

We stayed in town on the main street. It gave us good access to many restaurants and warungs (local eateries). You can also try some of the yoga places in Kuta. Staying in Kuta means that streets can be quite loud if you stay close to bars.

About half of the hotels have a swimming pool, and breakfast and Wi-Fi are included. One more thing to consider is mosques with their morning prays. They can be loud and usually start around 5 a.m.

Lombok itinerary for active travelers

Recommended accommodation in Kuta, Lombok

Budget pick: Village Corner Homestay

We enjoyed our stay at Village Corner Homestay. It has the highest review score for budget options. It’s only 5 minutes by scooter from the center and features a double room with air-conditioning and breakfast included.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Mid-range: Mana Eco Retreat

We visited Mana for a yoga class and dinner, both of which were amazing. They have a huge garden with a pool, a yoga room and a double room with air-conditioning with breakfast included. A great perk is an on-site restaurant and frequent outdoor movie screenings.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Luxury: Martas Windows

This is a quiet oasis in Kuta. Martas Windows offer beautiful bungalows with pool views, spacious rooms and bathrooms. Air conditioning and breakfast are, of course, included.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Kuta, Lombok travel guide

Why would you want to stay in Senggigi

Senggigi is the complete opposite of Kuta. All the accommodation is along one main road from Mataram to the main tourist port Bangsal. Senggigi is the oldest tourist destination in Lombok because it is easily accessible by boat from Bali.

You can find here a wide variety of multi-storey hotels and resorts. Staying here is more expensive than staying in Kuta, but the beaches are closer and usually don’t require renting a scooter.

Restaurants are more Western style, with many pizza places and even Burger King. There is not much of a difference between Bali and Senggigi. It’s a great place to stay for those who don’t want to explore much and love their comfort in Western-style hotels.

Also, this is a place where you can get genuine pearls and plenty of gift shops. Hotels in Senggigi are more expensive than anywhere else, and beaches are not as nice as in Kuta. But Senggigi has the only black sand beach that we loved. Read our guide about the Best Beaches in Lombok to know where to go and where you don’t have to bother visiting.

Recommended accommodation in Senggigi

Budget pick: Whiterose Guesthouse

Walking distance to Montong Beach, Whiterose Guesthouse offers spacious rooms, a peaceful garden and a restaurant on-site. The biggest perk is a shared kitchen, airport transfer and a playground.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Mid-range: Merumatta Senggigi Lombok

With a large pool, spa, and an all-day dining restaurant, this mid-range hotel is great for couples and families. The biggest perks are volleyball and badminton courts, airport transfer, and bicycle rental.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Luxury: The Oberoi Beach Resort

The Oberoi Beach Resort is the highest-rated hotel in all of Lombok. They have a private beach area and offer live dance performances in their amphitheatre.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Where to stay in North Lombok/Senaru

You may be disappointed if you’re looking for some nice beaches in Northern Lombok. North Lombok has a quiet ocean with a lot of murky waters.

On the other hand, North Lombok is a place where you can cool off. Senaru and Sembalun towns are in higher elevations, with daily temperatures lower by 5°C or 10°C than the rest of the island.

Come to Senaru to trek Rinjani volcano (read about our volcano trekking experience) or visit Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls. There are many hotels for all types of budgets. Sembalun is a place where you can visit rice fields and more waterfalls. From Sembalun, most travellers start their easier version of Rinjani Trek and finish in Senaru.

Where to stay in Lombok - breakdown of different areas

Recommended accommodation in North Lombok/Senaru

Budget pick: Achita Cottages

Walking distance from Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep waterfalls, Achita Cottages have a perfect location for exploring and offer rooms with mountain views.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Mid-range: Pondok Senaru Cottages

We loved our stay at Pondok Senaru Cottages. They have comfortable bungalows, a great restaurant, and a stunning view of the Rinjani volcano.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Luxury: Rinjani Lodge

Rinjani Lodge offers an outdoor pool overlooking a volcano, an in-room breakfast, and amazing mountain views. It’s close to the traditional Sasak Village and Rinjani National Park.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Why stay in central Lombok/Tetebatu or Mataram

South from the crater of Rinjani, you will find an area where you can rent a scooter and explore waterfalls and jungle. From here, it’s fairly easy to reach about ten different waterfalls. The local forest is full of monkeys. You will have a chance to see locals doing stick fighting in nearby Kotaraja.

Tetebatu village is for those looking for a quiet place to relax. Most of the homestays overlook rice fields. A few things that might persuade you to stay here are cheap accommodation and almost no tourists compared to other places in Lombok.

Mataram, on the other hand, is the capital and very busy. We opted to stay in Mataram due to the convenience of the location. We could explore Benang Kelambu & Benang Stokel waterfalls (pictured below) by scooter and be close to the ferry. But staying in central Lombok would be a more peaceful experience.

Recommended accommodation in central Lombok/Tetebatu

Budget pick: Satu Lingkung

Bungalows at Satu Lingkung offer quiet and peaceful accommodations overlooking rice fields. Tetebatu Monkey Forest is close by, as well as several waterfalls.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Mid-range: Nirvana Hotel Resort Tetebatu

The location and services are unbeatable, offering an outdoor swimming pool and a view of rice fields and the Rinjani volcano.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Benang Kelambu & Benang Stokel waterfalls - adventure day in Lombok

Where to stay around Gili Gede

Most travellers come to the southwest corner of Lombok for snorkelling day trips. It’s also a great place to disconnect and unwind since it’s quiet. Gili Gede is the biggest island around Lombok with the most options for accommodation. On surrounding islands, you find a lot of fishermen working on pearl farms.

This is a great alternative to the northwest’s somewhat crowded Gili Islands (Trawangan, Meno & Air). Much fewer hotels still offer a variety of prices. Also, this area is the closest accommodation to Desert Point (a famous surfing place for pros).

Recommended accommodation for Gili Gede

Budget pick: Yut’s Inn Flower Paradise

Centrally located on Gili Gede, the beach is a few steps away. They offer bike and kayak rentals to enjoy this peaceful paradise.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Mid-range: Alam Karang

They offer sea view or garden view rooms. Located right on the beach with a view of Rinjani volcano, it’s a stunning location. The biggest perks are breakfast included and the open-air bathroom.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Luxury: Kokomo Resort Gili Gede

The beachfront luxury resort offers a swimming pool, water sports, mini golf, and even villas with private pools.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Where to stay on Gili Islands

The most famous and most touristy places in Lombok are the three Gili Islands in the northwest. Beaches and relaxation options are similar, but they have distinctive differences.

The biggest Gili Trawangan (Gili T) is a party place mainly for young people and the busiest of all islands. Gili Meno, the smallest one with the least visitors, is the most natural. And Gili Air is the closest to the mainland. Gili Air is still quite crowded with tourists compared to other destinations in Lombok.

Where to stay in Lombok - breakdown of different areas

Gili Islands are an ideal location for tourists who don’t require more than a little bit of ocean. There are no cars on the islands (so no loud honking as in Lombok), and Gili Air has a huge solar power plant (thumbs up for green energy). You can find on these islands a variety of western food and plenty of local warungs. Diving and snorkelling with turtles is a common activity on islands.

We visited Gili Air and enjoyed walking around the island, visiting different warungs daily, wandering around the shops and snorkelling. Gili Air, with no scooters or vehicles allowed, was a welcome change of pace.

Recommended accommodation for Gili Air

Budget pick: Adinda Bungalows

Beachfront bungalows are perfectly located for dinner on the beach at sunset. They have a beautiful tropical garden and offer bike rental and free drinking water refill.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Mid-range: Island View Bar & Bungalow

Beachfront bungalows offer a quiet slice of paradise and island views of Gili Meno. Their biggest perk is an open-air bathroom.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

Luxury: Atoll Haven Villas

The biggest perk of Atoll Haven Villas is their outdoor private swimming pools. It’s a gorgeous and very romantic place to stay.

Click here for reviews and the latest prices

What is the best place to stay in Lombok?

The best place to stay in Lombok was Kuta, as we utterly enjoyed our scooter rides and beach hopping on the south coast of Lombok. Whatever your itinerary is, I suggest trying at least two parts of the island to compare differences. It’s worth visiting more beautiful accommodations than driving to different parts of the island.

Money and ATM

Be prepared that not many places accept card payments. It’s usually possible to pay by card in areas where the price per night is more than 50 USD. ATMs are available in every corner of the island.

The popularity of Lombok is constantly growing, so don’t hesitate too long and start planning your Lombok vacation!

Do you have any questions about where to stay in Lombok? Let me know in the comments below!

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About Maya Steiningerova

Heyo, I’m Maya! An adventure athlete currently living near the Canadian Rockies with my partner in crime Michal. I love running in the mountains, jumping in the ice cold lakes, mountain biking and trying not so common activities, such as mountaineering. By showing that an ordinary person can live an extraordinary life, my hope is to inspire you to live an adventurous life and provide you with tips and tools for your own adventure.

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