If you’re wondering where to stay in Nusa Lembongan, here is our pick of the best places to consider. Read on for our comparison of the key areas to stay along with an overview of the best times to visit the island.
Despite its small size, Nusa Lembongan, just a short fast boat ride from Bali, is home to literally hundreds of places to stay. At the time of writing, Agoda listed 340 places and Booking 272 places—and these are just the places registered with online travel agents. Options range from small homestays with just a couple of rooms through to quite lavish resorts—and everything in between.
As the island develops, the divisions between villages and bays are no longer as distinct as they once were. If booking through a travel agent or online, be sure to check the precise location—something that sounds by the sea may actually be a short walk away. Prices on the island are typically somewhat steeper than Bali (for the standards), and while there’s a broad assortment of lodgings to suit most travellers, Nusa Lembongan is a little thin when it comes to offerings at the backpacker price point. The free WiFi widely offered is frequently slow to non-existent. Note too that in most places, water in the bathrooms is almost as salty as the sea.
Almost all of Nusa Lembongan’s accommodation is on its west- and south-facing coast. The longest beach on the island, Jungut Batu, is the most developed. It's a resort village in places, with accommodation not always of a very high standard wedged in block by block. This area is also packed with bars, restaurants, travel agents, minimarts and all manner of other tourist-focused services. We’ve split Jungut Batu into three areas to make it a bit easier to get a handle on. Away from Jungut Batu, the accommodation is strung across a series of bays and beaches wrapping around the southern reaches of the island.
With a couple of notable exceptions, regardless of where you stay on the island the beach (or at least the ocean) should not be too far away. But as mentioned above, do be careful to check where a property is if being close to the water is important.
Jungut Batu beachfront
Jungut Batu was originally a clearing house for Nusa Lembongan’s seaweed scene, but now that that has been given the boot in favour of tourism, a seafront room need not come with the heady seaweed-ish aroma it once came with. You’ll sometimes pay a hefty premium for absolute beachfront and do bear in mind in most cases there will be significant passing pedestrian traffic, so these are not always the most private of offerings.
Jungut Batu village
Back off the beach you dive into the bungalow and resort village that represents the bulk of Nusa Lembongan’s offerings—not all of them great. On the upside, walking even 50 metres in from the beach can deliver significant discounts, but be wary of going for rooms too close to Jalan Raya Jungut Batu, the island’s main drag. While the traffic isn’t quite to South Bali’s ghastly standards, they’re working on it! If you’re looking for a room on a budget, this is the area you absolutely want to be looking in.
Jungut Batu headland
Think beachfront, but on the hill. As with the beachfront places you pay a hefty premium for the grand views which can be enjoyed from here. Do bear in mind that being a headland means there is a lot of stair climbing when staying here. The reward though is worthwhile for some.
Just around to the west from the Jungut Batu headland, Tamarind is primarily given over to private (and rental) villas, but there are a few spots to stay. As with Nusa Lembongan’s main beach, you’ll save a bit of money by going for an option in the village rather than beachfront.
A compact but very popular (especially with daytrippers) beach, Mushroom Bay is a bit of a mixed bag with the beachfront given over to forgettable resorts and the better options are well back off the beach with no beach or ocean views. What was once a decent snorkelling reef has been destroyed by over-tourism and unsustainable/just plain stupid tourism practices.
Western Nusa Lembongan
This clutch of bays has some solid and sometimes family-friendly options for those not fussed about being away from the action. The beaches can be dangerous, so do pay attention to warning signs and if you’re told it is too dangerous to swim, that probably means it is too dangerous to swim. If you’re planning on spending most evenings in Jungut Batu, consider carefully if you want to be zipping back and forward by scooter late at night—it is a hilly and sometimes hairy ride.
When to go to Nusa Lembongan depends somewhat on your interests. It shares an identical climate to Bali meaning wet season is roughly late October to early March. At this time the seas can be rough, and people not comfortable with travel in medium-sized boats will find the trip across from Bali unpleasant. The beaches will be dirtier and snorkellers and divers will hit a lot of trash, especially floating plastic, in the water. It will rain, probably quite a bit. In bad weather, boats may be cancelled.
Dry season is the flip side. Running from mid-March to late October, expect cleaner waters, cleaner beaches, clearer skies and a lot more people. The European summer holiday stretch of July and August can be extremely busy and booking in advance can be prudent at this time of the year.
Waves on Lembongan can be surfed all year round, but the best time of the year is usually between April and October. Mola mola cruise through between July and October, pleasing those diving the waters off Lembongan and Nusa Penida.
If you plan to surf or dive all day and just seek a simple, comfortable bed, we advise nabbing yourself a dorm bed at Nyuh Gading Homestay a short walk from the beach and in the thick of the action at Jungut Batu. For a tad more of an outlay, enjoy your own room at the friendly family-run and excellent value Vista Huts in Jungut Batu village. In other areas, check out Naturale Guesthouse, set in a small pretty garden near Tamarind Beach, or at the top end of the flashpacker budget, Kakiang Guesthouse is a short walk to Mushroom Bay, Tamarind Beach and Dream Beach.
Travellers with a midrange budget have the greatest lineup of choices all around Nusa Lembongan—you may even end up beachfront. Prefab wooden bungalows are the name of the game (whoever produces these is doing a roaring trade) mostly within a pretty garden setting with literally hundreds of identikit properties. The major differences are beachfront or village, swimming pool or not, and the bathroom style. The sleeping areas all tend to provide decent beds, mostly with mozzie nets and a mixed bag of amenities, so if a minibar or TV are essentials, check what’s on offer. The lion’s share are natural dark wood with either thatch or tiled roofs and tend to be a little dark inside, although the latest trend is a rustic whitewash finish that brightens them up considerably.
Our top picks in this range include Tropica Tranquility, which is almost beachfront at Jungut Batu. It's one of the very few properties on the island with a desalinated water system, so you can enjoy a freshwater shower and as well take advantage of the sea breeze as the doors are mozzie screened. Komodo Garden near Sandy Bay gets the award for being one of the most stylish of the bunch, with lush gardens adding to its tropical island ambience. Royal Retreat Villas between Sandy Bay and Mushroom Beach,just seems to put a little bit extra effort into making guests at ease and relaxed, or for spectacularly wild ocean views, skedaddle to Water Blow Huts at Dream Beach.
Folks with deeper pockets won’t necessarily end up with a sea view or even a swimming pool here but we still think the delightful Tigerlillys with a Jungut Batu village location and Villa Pasir sans pool (but beachfront) are worth the spend. At the luxury end of the market, resort-style Batu Karang has all the makings of a top honeymoon spot. But our number one splash-out pick is minimalist styled, get-away-from-it-all The Point Resort.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Nusa Lembongan