We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

Gold Coast...
Level Contributor
7 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

Has anyone stayed at the "Waterfront Hotel' on Gili Air? I have looked at it on the hotels web page but have had trouble locating any other information on it. Also, is it better to go by boat or fly from Bali?

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
1,388 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

Have a look at Hercules' posts - he recommends flying this time of year as it is pretty rough this time of year and flying is cheap

the Kimberley, West...
Level Contributor
817 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

With the new airport now adding extra travel time and inconvenience I'd disagree with flying unless the weather is bad. I've used just about every transport permutation to travel from Bali to the Gilis and in terms of cost and efficiency, I think the Scoot service from Sanur is the best. Its quick, safe, the boats are new and comfortable and the route hugs the coast so it its also quite interesting.

Lombok, Indonesia
Level Contributor
8,312 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

The Fastboats can be quite problematic.

Many have lovely, scenic and pleasant crossings.

However many do not.

Be guided by the weather, and do understand that both the Gili islands, Padang Bai, and Sanur are in somewhat 'protected' inshore waters. Conditions out on the open sea can be quite different.

Standing at sea level a person can only see around 5 km (or 3 miles) out to sea (setting aside refraction variables), what lies further out can at sometimes be confronting once you find yourself amongst it.

My understanding is that Miss Chili recently took the advice to fly, then had a drawn out and quite unsatisfying wait at the airport due to a flight postponement or cancellation.

It must be understood that both air and Fastboat services can be subject to unexpected delays.

Often the Fastboats are overloaded, passengers moved onto other boats, they often depart late.

They often have trip times well in excess of that advertised and sometimes an individual Fastboat service may be cancelled by the operator without forewarning, and if the accounts on these Forums are correct, sometimes without replacement or refund.

Miss Chili's experience at the airport is not unique.

There is a history of late or cancelled services on the Bali-Lombok route and the complaints about this go back many years. It has improved in recent times, but the problem has not gone away at any stretch of the imagination.

Merpati is legendary for this, though they seem to have improved lately.

All the airlines on the route are prone to this and those with multiple daily flights will have a schedule 'cascade' if an early flight is disrupted.

The 25-30 minutes air time affords no opportunity to 'make-up' lost time. If they picked up a couple of minutes by going faster it is likely no one would even notice.

A friend flew with LionAir/Wings recently and had an onward flight to catch in Bali. He was quite alarmed when advised his flight was cancelled/postponed. However they got him there with time to spare.

I recently booked on Sky Aviation, they cancelled the service due to an aircraft operational issue and just put me on the first Merpati flight of the day without need for complaint or anxiety. I met my flight in Bali and there was no cause for concern.

The main outstanding issues are of safety and comfort.

The airlines are heavily regulated, the Fastboats are not.

Frankly at this time of year it may lead to disappointment if Fastboat is booked and paid ahead of travel. The seas are changeable at this time of year.

One day the sea can look like a postcard depiction of tropical idyll, the next day it might have an appearance similar to that inside a washing machine on a heavy wash cycle.

Problem is, when that happens lots of people change their mind and decide that flying is a wonderful idea after all. Then they find that it's hard to get a seat the day before, or on the day of travel.

Fortunately at times like that one of the airlines might apply an ad-hoc increase to their daily flight frequency. Lion/Wings do that sometimes, but don't count on it.

Perhaps consider that the information being provided by Miss Chili, myself and others here is to keep some flexibility in your plans when travelling to and from Lombok.

It is not a good idea to cut things too close with connecting flights. You might still make it in time, but the anxiety of it all can be draining.

In regard to the airport distance (from the West coast, Gili isdlands and Rinjani departure points, do consider that the road trip up the west coast is for many people just replacing a road trip up the east coast of Bali.

The drive northwards On Lombok is scenic and quite interesting, indeed it is a popular scenic drive even with the people who live on Lombok.

A Padang Bai Fastboat departure for someone coming from the south of Bali can readily provide a similar or sometimes longer total trip time than flying and doing a transfer on Lombok.

Equally so the longer sea trip from Sanur can just be a longer form of boat contained torture, or alternatively it can be just as described by Miss Chili and provide a lovely scenic boat ride, hugging the southeast coat of Bali and then turning eastward across a calm turquoise sea toward Rinjani to arrive at the 3 Gili islands.

It is hard to call, what ever advice given here is potentially contradicted by an individual experince.

the Kimberley, West...
Level Contributor
817 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

Hi Hurc,

while we did have a wait at the airport, I would expect nothing less when flying Indonesian domestic, that's not my gripe. It was the contrast between the smoothness and lack of difficulty of the boat trip and the level of organisation required, time spent travelling, cost of shuttle boat, car trip and then the airport and flight with another taxi trip on arrival in Bali. I know you are leery of the boat crossing Hurc and I am aware of boats going down, but that has not been my experience in probably over 20 crossings in 10 years and I have tried all boats from the public ferry to private boats to fast boats. Flying had been my preferred option if I was spending some time on the mainland but now that Scoot does the trip, if I am travelling straight to and from the Gilis I wouldn't consider it.

Gold Coast...
Level Contributor
7 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

Cheers, Thanks

6. Re: The Waterfront Hotel Gili Air

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 January 2014, 07:17