After hours of my Sunday researching places to stay in Kuta, I'd come down to the realization that the only place 'on' the beach in Kuta, Lombok is called Hideaway Bungalow - I mean, was on the beach, as none of the links worked, and I finally found this article that surely explains why none of the reviews run past 2010.
Interestingly, the owner comments at the end. So - anyone had any experience staying in Kuta? I'd looked at Mimpi Manis but it's a bit out of town, and the other top spot is a little upscale for what i'm going for (Yuli's Homestay 300,000 pre-peak). Any experience with a good location in town would be nice, especially if you know something on the beach.
Hey Casey - I stayed a couple of nights at Kuta about 2 1/2 years ago. We just showed up and scouted around for a place to stay. There quite a few to choose from. Most were located along the beach road by memory. Not on the beach side, but on the other side of the road - 50m walk maybe.
We ended up at Sekar Kuning (Yellow Flower) which was a decent, family run place. Paid 100,000/night for good-sized, bright and spacious fan room, including breakfast. It's a friendly family run place, and they also had a decent restaurant. There were other options around with pools, etc for similar price, but they were packed out with people, and we preferred a quieter option.
I didn't think much of Kuta beach itself - not a great swimming beach. But head east to Mawan Beach for a spectacular golden-sand, crescent shaped beach. Fabulous swimming, crystal clear water, lovely golden sand. No hawkers - in fact, no other people! Caveat: it's a bone-crushing 10km journey to get there over some of the worst roads I saw in Indo! But it's worth it once you get there.
I stayed at Kuta Lombok in early October last year - but a bit upmarket. Thing is there is a heap of more or less beachfront places if you simply cruise down the main road into Kuta and turn left (east) onto the road along the coast. These are mainly the sort of places which are walk in but there are enough along the 800m or so to have vacancies in all but the busiest local holiday times.
I wouldn't worry too much about the linked article - I found the locals in Kuta the friendliest of a multi-stop Bali/Lombok trip.
And yeah, the beaches both east and west of town are gems, make the Gili islands look 2nd rate.
Afraid I opted for just lounging around on Gili Air because I didn't plan on doing any surfing and I was told other than that there isn't much going on in the area. Only hearsay here as well, but a few travelers I met in Java told me they didn't like the Kuta experience - a bit hassled by locals and didn't feel safe in renting motobikes to go around the area if not in a group. This was back in June 2012.
Tezza though has great knowledge of beaches around the region so I was really pulled to visit . . in the end I just couldn't be bothered to get off of Gili Air anyway.
I'm a great believer that if the place yer in now floats yer boat - whey change? So I can see why you stayed on Air - which I reckon is the best all 'round island in the Gilis anyway.
Thing is - I'd like someone to update Kuta Lombok. Sweet area for me, but things change. Sometimes quickly.