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Hotel Vila Ombak
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Reviewed 22 June 2008

When a friend told me that she needed time away from it all, I gave a lot of thought to where would be the best place to take her. She needed somewhere quiet but not too quiet, a place that would keep her entertained, and somewhere she could enjoy life’s creature comforts.

I had visited Gili Trawangan on a dive excursion from Lombok back in 2006 and remembered it as a beautiful oasis where cars and motorbikes are banned and yet there’s a party happening every night. Going on the reviews of other travellers on TripAdvisor, we booked a Deluxe Lumbung at the Vila Ombak.

On arrival at the hotel, we were taken to our lumbung which was nestled in the most beautiful garden surroundings. Check-in was painless and the staff were most helpful in getting us settled in.

The lumbung itself was amazing – possibly not the easiest place to manoeuvre in – but still great for us! Downstairs was a sun bed and hammock, which my friend absolutely loved when it got too hot during the middle of the day. Upstairs were two sun lounges and inside, the bedroom.

The room was well set out, so despite having four over-sized suitcases and a whole lot of clothes, we still felt like we had more than enough room. In addition, the internal decor was in keeping with the traditional thatched style so that even in the middle of the day, the room remained cool (though I would recommend keeping the A/C on just in case).

My favourite part though was definitely the outdoor bathroom. I must admit that the ‘Death Stairs’ leading down to the bathroom were not overly user friendly (especially after a night of cocktails at the hotel bar), but once you got used to navigating your way down, it wasn’t a huge deal. I absolutely loved the outdoor shower, but have to say that it takes some time to feel completely comfortable using the facilities in the open – still, it’s a novelty!

The rest of the site also met our expectations. The buffet breakfast was excellent and the restaurant staff were great, dinner at the hotel restaurant down on the beach was also brilliant (you can’t go past the Mexicana pizza!), and Happy Hour at the hotel bar kept us going each night and was fantastic value for money.

The spa was also great value for money – my friend and I had full body treatments which set us back around AUD$30 each. We were pummelled, scrubbed and pampered for over two hours – it was absolutely amazing!

Finally, I can highly recommend the dive school attached to the hotel. My friend had never dived before so we paid approximately AUD$60 each for an introductory lesson in the pool, and then a 45-minute dive to 12 metres. Our instructor, Rolf, runs the dive school and he was so professional, we couldn’t fault him. I’ve dived in a number of spots throughout the world and have to say that Gili Trawangan has some of the best marine life, and Rolf himself did a fantastic job of making my friend feel completely at ease during her first diving experience.

Overall, I cannot say enough positive things about my stay at Hotel Vila Ombak. The staff were all amazing, the accommodation was perfect and it felt like the closest that I have ever been to paradise.

After such a great experience, I will definitely be back...thank you, Vila Ombak!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank HotChilli81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2008

I had spent 2 nights at Vila Ombak after 2 nights on Lombok at Puri Mas Beach Resort. I had made a reservation for Deluxe Lumbung Hut via their website online. The response from the hotel is very prompt and very accommodating. They had also made special arrangement for the transfer from Puri Mas Beach Resort to Vila Ombak.

My stay with Vila Ombak Resort can be summarized to be an average one considering the fact that it is on an island and with not much options available. However, there are areas which require improvement and I will make some recommendations in this review to make the stay more pleasurable.


Resort Location

Vila Ombak is located on Gili T., along the happening stretch of beach. Most cars, cafes and other resorts are along the same stretch. Convenient stores are also located around the area. Although it is on a busy stretch, their villas and rooms are located at a distance away, and thus, one will enjoy the quiet and peaceful environment at night when they want to rest and enjoy the proximity to activities when they want to party.

The public jetty is around 300 meters away, however, if you choose to take their private transfer via speedboat, the speedboat will stop directly in front of the resort at the beach. (Note: there isn’t a jetty there, and if one is going via the private transport, wear slippers or sandals as ones leg will definitely be wet)


Resort Setting

Vila Ombak is made up by a number of traditional cottages and a number of resort rooms hosted in a nicely landscaped garden and is decorated with sculptures made from old boats. It is considered to be a big resort on the island. Personal feeling is that there are around 30 cottages and rooms. The resort is in progress to build more cottages and thus it creates some unpleasant noise throughout the day especially to cottages at the left hand side of the resort. (Thus I will recommend visitors to ask for rooms that are on the right side of the resort)

After viewing the website, I was looking forward to spend my time at the 3-tier pool, as it seems as though the pool is sitting on a slope, overseeing the sea. However, to my disappointment, it is not the case. It is a matter of, a too high expectation based on the website pictures. (Pictures can be deceiving.)

White sand beach in front of the resort is great for swimming and snorkeling. Crystal clear water if the tide is right, and there are corals just 20 meters out from the beach. It is perfect for sunbathing and lazing whole day and taking occasional dips into the clear water.



Room

I had made reservation for Deluxe Lumbung Hut with external bathroom. I was given Cottage No 27. And the below views are done solely based on my stay at room #27. Like what most tripadvisor reviewers had mentioned, I will definitely recommend visitors to stay at the Lumbung Hut instead of the suite for a different kind of experience.

The Lumbung Hut is built to the traditional Sasak architecture of Lombok. The Lumbung Hut consists of an upper floor bedroom and a spacious open air living room area underneath. The open air living area includes an elevated Balé, a table and chairs and a hammock. However, for my hut, the Balé seems to be a bit dirty, and thus I didn’t have the urge to rest on it. The dirty Balé might be due to the open concept, but it will be good if the resort housekeeping do a great job in keeping it clean as I felt that it is a great place to rest and relax. There are two sun bathing chair outside the upper floor bedroom which I felt was a great idea, as night sky at Gili T is littered with stars. It is an enjoyable experience sitting out at night, resting on the chair looking at the stars with the sound of the waves providing the background music.

Interior of the Cottage is unique. (I will upload some pictures if possible) No complaints about the interior of the rooms. Sheets are clean and the rest of the room facilities are of reasonable standard. Common facilities that exist in the room include fridge, mini bar, kettle and safe box. There are sufficient power points in the room. There is a television in the room with international tv channels such as HBO, cinemax, ESPN, discovery, National Geographic etc. One thing that is lacking in the room and the resort is internet service. I was told to go to internet café outside the resort if I want to use the internet. I think it will be good if the resort improve their facilities and make internet service be available to the visitors.

The open air concept toilet is a good; however, the open air bathing experience can be improved with better housekeeping of the toilet. The toilet facilities seem a bit worn out. And like what most mentioned, the bathing and washing water is saline water, and we need to rinse after a shower using fresh water from another pipeline. At night, this water can be too cold for some. And due to the construction next door, there is always this thought that the people “might” be able to peep in.

Almost all rooms do not have sea view although it is a beach resort. The rooms with the best view are Hut #1 and #2. They do have seaview. But they are next to the swimming pool and the Spa thus it might be a bit noisy as compared to the rest of the huts. It is quite important to get huts which are nearer to the beach, as my hut, #27, it is around 80m away from the pool and ard 100m from the beach!

One disappointment is that the towels were not change and the dustbins were not cleared although the housekeeping had cleaned the room.


Service

The service of the resort is a let down. Although some staff, especially the F&B outlet staff, are very polite and friendly, others did not go an extra mile to improve the stay. When we first arrived at the resort via the speedboat, we were left at the beach restaurant not knowing what to do and where to go with our luggage. This process can be improved with proper welcome and guide to checking in. As my flight is at 730pm, I would like to have a delayed checkout else, I will have no where to go on the island for the whole afternoon. I was rejected and I think that there are still vacant rooms around and I can spend some time in the afternoon resting in the room instead of at some cafes. That will greatly improve my overall impression of the resort of going an extra mile for their clients instead of staying by the book.


Dining

Resort food is of above average quality as compared to other cafes along the beach. The beach restaurant provides a wide range of fresh seafood for dinner. Price of the dinner is reasonable, looking at around 8 to 10 usd per person without wine. The dinner comes with salad and juice bar for every main course ordered. Their dessert menu is one of the more extensive one around. Ice cream available is cheap, around 1 usd per scoop. Pizza is served in big portion with generous serving of toppings.

Beach Restaurant is located next to the beach, and thus the stunning view while dining.

Breakfast spread is good. From cold cuts, toast, asian porridge to fruits. A number of fruit juices are provided during breakfast as well. One of the better breakfast spread in Gili T.


Spa

During our wait for our flight, we did a 1.5 hour body massage at the Spa. The decoration is a bit disappointing, but the spa packages are relatively cheap. It cost around 16 to 30 USD depending on the type of massage and the duration of the massage. One thing to take note is that the listed price is not the nett price. 21% tax adds quite a significant amount to the final price.



To conclude, I would say that it is an average experience staying at Vila Ombak. If the resort is able to improve their service level, going an extra mile for the visitor like what a premium resort does, I will definitely be back at the resort again in future.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank CepheusC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2008

Stayed for 3 days 2 night at Hotel Villa Ombak in January 2007. Airport transfer was late picking us up in Mataram (flight was rescheduled) and they didnt know about it. But apart from that glitch everything turned up beyond words. 1 hour drive by car followed by 20 mins "James Bond style" speed boat. to get to Gili Island.
We stayed in 2 story hut. It was oh.. so... romantic - all you want to do is stay in the room and do you know what hahaha -

The hotel: the hut has an outdoor shower and toilet (nothing beats an outdoor dunny). the bedroom is upstair and on ground floor has a day bed. It's reasonably clean. The swimming pool has a swim-up bar and you can order food and drinks; firewood pizza by far is the best choice.

The island: no car/motorcycle only horse and cart or on foot. Everyone minds their own business, we never get hassled while we're there (unlike walking on the street of Bali). The water is cristal clear, it's absolutely beautiful. Parts of the island are un-developed and untouched. One place you can order magic mushroom if you're into this kinda things or you can order the usual... the best are seafood & pizza.

We only snorkel and swim on the beach, one thing I regret most: did not have time to go horse riding (big australian looking horses - not those little horse n cart ones). Oh well.. maybe someday... Oh, while you're in Lombok dont forget to look at (or buy) PEARLS!

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank LizNmArK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2008

What an enchanting place!! I couldn't stop raving about it when I got home. Its a well kept secret. I'm so glad I found out about it through someone who had lived there, but otherwise nobody else in Australia knows about it..!

One of the best (and cheapest) trips of my life so far..!

Wonderful snorkeling just a few metres out from the shore line. The biggest decision of the day was whether to swim in the cute hotel pool or to snorkel out into the sea, which is just at the boundary of the hotel.

I loved the hotel and I am glad I stayed there. Pricier than the other hotels but worth it. The salt water showers are great - I've read a few negative reviews about them but I thought it was like getting back to nature, but in the lap of luxury in a huge open bathroom with an internal garden to look at as you showered. The gardens and grounds in general are absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous tropical flowers in bright pinks and reds everywhere. I have never seen moonlight as beautiful as I have in Gili T. The rooms are huge...

I went there feeling like I needed a 6 month break, but after 10 days there, I was rejuvenated enough to feel like I'd had 6 months off. Well worth the trip.

Tips - take cash with you before you get to the island as there are no ATMs there.
Take a first aid kit and medicines as there is a "clinic" there but no doctors or hospital or medical centre ntre as such.
Also, organise your boat trip from Bali to Gili T before you get there. Blue Water safaris are good. Take a life jacket if you are safety conscious as there was no mention of them on the boat trip...

Stayed: October 2007
1  Thank SydneyVolfie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2008

The Vila Ombak is a lovely hotel. It is the best on the island, but in my opinion it deserves this title, not just because it is more smart and luxurious. The staff are very friendly, the grounds are kept immaculate and the beachfront is gorgeous.
We stayed in a lumbung, the smallest available and although the room is quite small, it is perfectly formed!
You have your living area upstairs with a balcony out of the front with sunbeds, as well as a huge day bed in the shade downstairs, all the mod cons in the room and then the best bit is the outdoor bathroom downstairs out the back. It was wonderful. It might be a salt water shower, but it's very weak. However they also provide you with a barrel of freshwater to rinse yourself with afterwards. When the reasons for having the salt water shower are purely environmental and to help the island have sustainable resources, you have no reason to complain!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and I would definitely go back. I realise it's too pricey for backpackers, but it's not for your average holiday-maker.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
2  Thank akeluk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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