We stayed at Hotel Ombak Sunset on Gili Trawangan in juli 2013. We stayed on the island for 4 days and it was tricky choosing a hotel. We were not sure if we should stay in the center where most of the activities happens, if we wanted a villa or not etc. In the end we decided on Ombak Sunset as the reviews were good, the price was good and the rooms seemed to be nice – and there was a big pool. I booked the hotel online before the trip on booking.com as that gave a better deal than booking on the hotel itself and I booked a regular room.
We came to Gili by boat from Bali and took a horse and carriage to the hotel. The driver wanted 190.000 Rupiah and my wife bargained it to 150.000 Rupiah. Later on it turned out that the fixed price for this distance is 75.000 Rupiah (about 7.5 USD).
Hotel Ombak Sunset is located on the west side of the island but it seems like some maps indicates that it is on the east side (like the one on TripAdvisor) – Hotel Ombak Sunset should not be confused with Hotel Villa Ombak that is located on the south east side of the island. Check in at the hotel was done in the enormous lobby (which was totally empty by the way) and we got a welcome drink while they did the paperwork. We got an upgrade to a villa (or island bungalow as it is called) instead of a room and it seems like this happens quite often and I assume that it has something to do with the fact that all the rooms are not completed yet. We got villa 2025 if I’m not mistaken and the guy that checked us in walked us over to the villa.
The bungalow had a small terrace in front with a sofa and table. The room was a bit dim when entering the room but the standard seemed good. The floor was in creamy colored marble tiles, the walls were light and there were dark wooden furniture in the room. In addition to the king size bed (that really was BIG) there were two chairs with a small table, a 32 inch flat screen TV on top of a wooden cabinet (it was a bit too far from the bed), a small fridge, a water boiler and there was also a wardrobe with robes. The wardrobe also contained a small safe but it was locked in an open position and after reporting this a few times, it finally got fixed. The bed was comfortable but the pillows were a bit on the firm side. The aircon was controlled by a remote and worked just fine – the wifi was free but it was a bit of a hassle as we got a username and password and I had to type it in basically every time I wanted to go online. We got several bottles of water each day and it was not a problem to get more if we ran out.
The bathroom was partially outdoors and included a toilet, sink and a shower corner and a small garden. The shower had decent pressure and hot water and there were amenities as shampoo, bath gel and conditioner in small containers. Being open and with a small garden means that you also have to deal with the wildlife. There were a number of centipedes that were on a constant march and a couple of fairly big spiders crawled around. The turn down service was also quite good with decorations on the bed, curtains closed and also an electric bug repellent turned on.
The pool was enormous – I think it must be the biggest pool on the tiny island. The pool was about 140 cm deep and on the one end there was a pool bar where you could get drinks all day long and they had happy hour with 2 drinks for the price of one in the afternoon. There is also a smaller pool for children next to the main pool and a couple of small plunge pools. Across the small road was the beach that was beautiful but this place is not ideal for swimming as it is quite shallow and there are lots and lots of dead, sharp corals. The hotel has a restaurant on the beach itself where you can have drinks while watching the sun set – and it was spectacular to see the sun go down in the ocean. You also get a good view to the mountains on Bali. The restaurant served some excellent seafood – we were a bit skeptical when eating there as we were basically the only guests but the seafood was probably the best we had on Gili.
Breakfast in the morning was served a la carte and included fruit, some bread, eggs, cereal etc. The service was kind and the food was served pretty fast. I’m not sure what the deal is with all the cats by the way but there were cats in the lobby, in the restaurants and on the beach itself. There were afternoon tea by the pool and we could get tea or coffee together with some Indonesian style sweet cakes. We were not that impressed by the small cakes or the coffee.
Location of the hotel is both good and bad I guess. The great part is that the hotel is located a bit away from the main strip and you avoid a lot of “noise”. You also get a view to the spectacular sunset in the ocean. It is only 2.3 km (or about 1.4 miles) to e.g. Ko Ko Mo where the strip starts and you can rent bikes at the hotel to get around. Just note that it is pitch black dark in between the places so I was very happy that my wife had brought along a head torch. Also note that in some places the sand has blown onto the road and it made it tricky to bike there. The bikes at the hotel could be rented for a day or half a day and I think it was like 50.000 for a day. The bikes were not in great conditions but at least the breaks worked.
Right next to the bike rental store there were a couple of other stores: a small convenience store, a place to book diving trips and the spa. The store was closed one evening but they opened it up for me when I asked in the lobby – great service.
We had a great stay at Hotel Ombak sunset. The hotel is located a bit away from the main strip but it was not much of a problem for us as we biked there in about 15 minutes – just bring a good head torch. The pool was also great and we enjoyed some amazing sunsets on the beach. The room was pretty decent and the outdoor bathroom provided some excitement in the form of huge spiders. The staff was polite and friendly. If we go back to Gili Trawangan I would not mind staying at this hotel again.