Villa Grasia is a great place to chill out. There are 23 deluxe cottages, each spacious and with a small terrace out front. The resort is relaxed and on the very quiet northern part of Gili T. You can choose to lounge on the beach or around the deep free-form pool — there are spots in the shade and the sun to choose from. In the evenings many guests take advantage of the large DVD library (or take a horse cart “taxi” to town for dinner).
Breakfast, included in rooms rates, is served in the open-air restaurant with views of the pool and the sea (buffet in high season).
Families will appreciate the three cottages which easily accommodate kids, and the kids will love the animals folded out of towels. There’s a small shallow pool connected to the larger one for wading.
Have lots of energy? Borrow some snorkel gear and walk out to some of the best snorkelling in the Gilis (bring reef shoes for the first 15 meters, and keep your eye out for turtles!). Rooms come with bicycles if you’d like to ride around the island or to the main town with its many restaurants. There’s a well-equipped gym on site, and the hotel is affiliated with the Dream Divers dive shop next door.
The Frangipani Spa provides a variety of treatments and features a jacuzzi bath; make sure you book ahead as there are no on-site spa staff.
I think I just witnessed the most beautiful sunset of my life.
I’m at the aptly named Hotel Ombok Sunset, on their white sand beach that looks westward to Bali’s two volcanoes, Mount Rinjani and Mount Agung. The sky turns from pink to orange to purple, filtering between the puffy clouds, and reflects off the shallow water. The hotel has set up colourful bean bag chairs at their beachside restaurant so you can sip a cocktail while you witness each evening’s light show.
The hotel is blissfully quiet – just the waves, the breeze and bird song. Rooms are in two two-story buildings or in what are modestly called bungalows (most hotels would call them villas). Each has a balcony or large terrace. Bungalow rooms also have a large bathroom, open to the sky above the garden. Rooms are luxuriously furnished.
Staff are very friendly and learn your name quickly. They’re happy to bring you whatever you need, whether you feel like relaxing poolside or on the beach (but be aware that the sea at this part of the island is too shallow for swimming). Ombak Sunset’s sister property, on the eastern side with better swimming, is Hotel Vila Ombak.
The only sounds I hear are the soft crash of waves, the breeze through the trees, and the occasional jingle of the horse cart (island taxi) going by, hooves muffled by the sandy road.
I’m at Wilson’s Retreat, on the northwestern side of Gili T. Opened just in August 2013, this boutique hotel with great service modestly bills itself as a three star, but it is clearly more.
There are currently eight garden suites plus two 2-bedroom villas with private pools (the resort will double in size later in 2014).
When I see that a hotel has installed Grohe fixtures (here both the shower and the sink) I know that they pay attention to quality. Rooms are thoughtfully and beautifully designed and equipped. Each has a large terrace with a couch for lounging. Deck floors and furniture are made of 100 year old reclaimed teak from Javanese houses. Beautiful bathrooms are partially exposed to the sky.
Unusually for dry Gili T, not only are the showers fresh water, but so is the pool. But if you prefer salt, the sea is just a few steps across the road.
Make a reservation quick before everyone discovers it!
I step out of my bedroom and step, literally, right into the pool. My private pool. My private pool that is big enough for laps (7 by 3 meters). After a few lengths, I float on my back gazing at the stars and listening to crickets. Fireflies float through my private garden.
Chapung SeBali is located in the peaceful rice terraces outside Ubud (a half hour walk through the rice fields, or a 15 minute drive, via shuttle several times a day).
Chapung means dragonfly, and these colourful creatures flit through the air surrounding the eight enormous villa suites. Each villa has an outdoor living room / dining room, a private pool and garden, a bedroom with sitting area, a bathroom with separate areas for bathing, showering, washing and primping, and, lastly, a large dressing room (mine had a couch!). There’s also a villa and a residence, each with two bedrooms in separate buildings.
The restaurant and spa (both outdoors) have stunning views of the vivid green countryside. A new gigantic pool (30 by 8 meters) and cocktail area will open late in 2014.
Chapung SeBali is an incredible place to stay, featuring privacy, luxury, beauty and wonderful staff. I can’t think of what else you could want!