A suitable beach hangout
Set midway along the eastern coast of Gili Layar, Gili Layar Bungalows has a handful of rooms in two flavours which will appeal to dedicated beachbums looking for a far more sedate scene than Lombok's northern Gilis.
The rooms come in two flavours – two relatively comfortable and spacious lumbungs and three small cubicle-style bungalows suited to single travellers of couples who really love one another. They're both wood walled and thatched roof affairs, though only the lumbungs have private (open to the sky) bathrooms – the cubicle bungalows have shared facilities a short walk away attached to the restaurant.
We'd say the lumbungs are certainly worth the extra money. They're better appointed, facing straight out onto the water and have enough space for a desk and chair, a standing fan and some shelving. Beds (in both configurations) have good mosquito nets, but, at least in our lumbung, because of the power plug placement, we couldn't get the fan close enough to the bed to catch much of a breeze. The doors (both front and rear) were so badly bowed they couldn't be closed properly, nor locked – while we didn't feel that security was an issue, this is something they'll need to look at.
It's a physical and cleanliness step down to the lumbung bathrooms, water is brackish and there is only running water when the generator is running – which isn't always – so factor this into your shower-planning. Our bathroom could have done with a bit of a sandblasting and the taps could have been clearer, but we figured it all out.
The attached restaurant is a good size – oversized for the small number of rooms – and is a great spot to escape the midday heat, thanks to a generous supply of brightly coloured beanbags scattered about. The food is good and the staff friendly and they're trying very hard – but oh my god the food can take a while, so bear that into your departure time calculations. The food is however pretty good and worth the wait. We ended up ordering a couple of hours beforehand and asking to have a meal at a certain time so that the kitchen could plan around that – it mostly worked. There's also a limited selection of cocktails and ice cold beers.
Staying on the staff, owner Budi was a pearl farmer before he turned his hand to farming travellers instead and he's a friendly guy with an enthusiastic and animated crew. Don't be surprised if he offers to accompany you on a snorkelling trip just for kicks. They offer a range of snorkelling trips, SUP hire and haphazardly working WiFi.
Overall, given this place is just a year and a bit old (as of mid 2016), we liked it here a lot. They plan to build at least two more lumbungs, which is a good idea as when we stayed in mid July 2016 they were booked solid till the end of September, so booking in advance is a very good idea.
Address: East coast of Gili Layar
T: (0812) 1111 1388; (0817) 004 0887;
Coordinates (for GPS): 115º54'35.45" E, 8º43'42.15" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||350,000 rupiah||350,000 rupiah|
|Superior double room||650,000 rupiah||650,000 rupiah|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Browse hotels on Agoda
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.