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Indonesia forum

Guesthouse reviews: Gili Trawagan

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/10/2009 at 11:19 admin

Given we don't cover Indonesia on Travelfish at the moment, following a request from Travelfisher busylizzy I'm setting up a few threads in the Indonesia section of the messageboard broken out into islands -- so one for Nusa Penida, another for Nusa Lembongan and so on. The idea is to provide a clearing house for traveller recommendations for places to stay while we umm and ahh about if we really want to research 17,000 islands or not!

A few suggestions and one rule:
a) The more contact details the better
b) Be as descriptive as you can
c) Please don't ask questions in this thread -- this is just for suggestions -- if you have a questions about a specific place, please start a new thread and ask away.
d) Note my emphasis above on traveller's recommendations -- this thread is not for guesthouse owners etc to promote their business -- thanks.

If you would like new threads started off, please let me know -- for now we'll keep it on an island basis.

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,938
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Posted by busylizzy on 13/10/2009 at 13:02

First, some misc things to note about Gili T:

* In Oct, it was extremely arid, dry and dusty! After a day, everything I owned felt gritty, and it was impossible to have clean feet!

* The tap water here is very salty. You have a swim in the ocean, you have a shower to rinse the salt off – and you’re still salty!

* After seeing some gorgeous coral and fish in Fiji and Thailand, I found the snorkeling here very disappointing. This includes the snorkeling day trips to Gili Trawangan, Meno and Air. However, I heard a few people rave, but this was their first ever snorkelling trip.

* Be wary of the very strong currents that run through the area – it wouldn’t take much to get a free ride to Australia! Flippers/ fins are a good idea when snorkelling - you can easily hire these for 15-20,000rp/day.

* Beachfront rooms will get the nice sea breeze to keep you cool, especially in the evenings. The ones set back a bit can get a bit stuffy.

TRAWANGAN: Warna Homestay

This place was OK. Clean rooms with interesting furniture and artwork. The bathroom was OK. I was lucky – they had just installed a brand new, shiny (and clean!) toilet. The old remains a garden feature in front of the bungalow).

I didn’t get the best deal around at a negotiated 200,000rp a night for 3 nights – but it did include breakfast, cold (salty!) water and fans (when the power was running). The guys running this place don’t seem too interested in any sort of service once you’ve check in. I swept my own verandah each morning – just to get rid of the thick layer of dust that settles each day, had to ask for toilet paper, etc – but I suspect that’s an attitude issue of most budget places here.

This place is an OK place to stay - but you may be able to do a bit better. I was being a bit too lazy!

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by busylizzy on 13/10/2009 at 13:07

Oops - left off this last sentence:

Once you get off the boat, head north and you will find Warna about 75-100m from the boat drop-off.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by tezza on 17/10/2009 at 18:13

MELATI HOMESTAY - visited April 09

What sort of a place can you get arriving cold and taking the first accommodation offered by a tout on the beach?
Well, in the case of Melati Homestay, not brilliant but quite adequate.

Perama’s direct boat from Padangbai in Bali had engine trouble meaning it was after dark when I hit the beach at Trawangan. I knew a couple of nice distant lodgings from previous trips but was not in the mood to hike to them. So when a local guy waiting on the beach told me he had a nice room 2 minutes away, I decided to take a look.

POSITION. Melati Homestay is 15m up one of the small alleys off the main around island coastal track opposite the boat landing area. This is a very handy location - 5 minutes south of the best beach area, 5 minutes north of SENTRAL, the bustling “downtown” area of Trawangan, and surrounded by a host of restaurants, dive shops and other tourist orientated businesses along the main coastal track. Pretty quiet at night - some very distant thumping of a base speaker, the call to prayers at the mosque a few blocks over before sunrise and a busy community centre across the alley which kicked in after 6am.

THE ROOM. In a block of about 6. Spacious with plenty of room for 2 plus gear. Concrete interior walls, tiled floors, looking a bit used. Big king sized bed, soft slightly saggy but comfy mattress, nice pillows. 2 fans, lights a bit poor. Okay clothes storage, a dressing table, no hooks, no shelves. Big bathroom, western toilet, good water pressure (water pretty salty), no basin/soap/toilet paper. Mirror in main room, not bathroom which is a bummer for shaving.
Spacious veranda with seats/table, clothes hanging line.

STAFF. Very friendly guys with a can-do attitude. One fan stopped working - sealed non-repairable type. Stops working, you throw it away. Guy said it needed oil, unsealed it with a screwdriver, added some oil, reassembled it. Worked a charm.
Gets better - I noticed water leaking from shower connection pipe, so I figured the little tap there needed tightening. The whole fitting broke off in my hand! The salty water had corroded the metal. Water shooting across bathroom from broken fitting and hitting opposite wall. Guy takes 5 minutes to turn water off and them comes in with an adjustable spanner! No pipe wrench which is the minimum I would need with a job like this. Replaces fitting with a brand new one in 2 minutes flat. Where did he get a new fitting at 9pm? Even had some of that special thread-sealing tape plumbers use. I got the impression corroded fittings are not a surprise on Trawangan.
These blokes remind me of my dad’s generation who could fix anything. Had to, they had as little money as the average Indonesian now.

VALUE. I’m not real sure. 125k including breakfast was a fair bit more than I’d been paying for better rooms back in Bali, but I’d seen a few posts saying how dear Gili high season prices had become. Anyway, 125 is still a bargain by western standards.
Brekka was basic - coffee/tea plus choice of sandwich/pancake/jaffle. But the jaffles were tasty, and I do enjoy that sludgy Bali/Lombok coffee.

#4 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by tezza on 18/10/2009 at 05:54

Oh yeah - contact details - phone 0370/642352
But this is really a walk-in place - take the little alley virtually opposite the public boat ticket-office (MELATI SIGN is on corner with several others), walk 15 m to entrance at left.

And I just noticed in my notes the guy dimantled and assembled the shower fitting with PLIERS!! - not something sophisticated like an adjustable wrench.

#5 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by legalnomads on 30/10/2009 at 07:48

I stayed at Pondok Sederhana and really enjoyed it. I have a full writeup here: Note that during high season, most guesthouses will raise their prices as the day goes on, since they've got more people than beds on Gili T. I've also loved the look of Rumah Guest House (and their breakfasts were great, said my friends) but it was full when I was there.

#6 legalnomads has been a member since 30/10/2009. Posts: 31
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Posted by maria_s on 25/11/2009 at 14:04

Posted from within Vietnam.

I stayed at big bubble dive resort -

room was 200.000 rupiah for a spacious twin with bathroom (no fresh water, as nearly everywhere), fan, nice and cosy chillout-porch with big cushions in the front, breakfast included.
I think it's cheaper when you do diving with them, and I can also strongly recommend that, especially Steph. apparently the place is popular with french people, but of course they have english-speaking instructors.
the atmosphere is very relaxed, you meet a lot of nice people, staff is really friendly, funny and helpful, you can order food from closeby restaurant and eat it at their place, drinks are available all the time. they have a beautiful swimming pool, beach volleybal court and tv/dvd-hangout.

located close to the jetty (head left from there, between dreamdivers and rudy's bar) with a lot of restaurants and shops around. can be a bit noisy though, especially when there is a partz at rudy's (friday night) and you also hear the mosque, but not really loud.

#7 maria_s has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 22

Posted by Laura_IndoTP on 30/11/2009 at 23:32

I echo Maria's point about Big Bubble, I recently did my PADI Open Water course with them and they were fantastic! I stayed in one of the rooms located at the back of the Irish Bar, Tir Na Nog. Now this may seem a little misguided as its one of the busiest bars in Gili Trawangan but the rooms were really nice! They are set back from the bar so you dont hear any of the noise at night.The biggest plus point is the air conditioning, I'm no wimp but it gets very hot at night, couldn't cope with just a ceiling fan!

#8 Laura_IndoTP has been a member since 30/11/2009. Posts: 2

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