If you want to know the best things to do in Lombok, our guide is here to help.
Often overlooked in favour for its ever-popular sister island, Bali, Lombok is the tropical escape that’s flown under the radar… until now. A more laidback, off-the-beaten-track type of holiday for the chilled-out traveller, there are so many things to do in Lombok. Start dreaming of postcard-perfect beaches, bewitching Gili Islands day trips, snorkelling in crystal-clear reefs, blissed-out beach bars and a flourishing culinary scene – this charming island has it all.
Here’s our must-read guide to where to eat, drink, stay and play in beach-blessed Lombok.
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Eat: Dine with a view
The best way to get to the heart of a destination? By tasting the local cuisine, of course. A sure-fire way to make your dining experience extra special is by combining great food with stellar views. Mediterranean-themed lounge-restaurant Ashtari is perched on a hilltop near Kuta Beach and overlooks spectacular vistas of the pristine bays and rocky peninsulas of Lombok. The restaurant is open from breakfast to dinner, so you can join a yoga class (offered onsite) before a wholesome brekky or indulge in sunset cocktails before dinner.
For a journey into authentic Lombok gastronomy, Olah Olah Restaurant serves up traditional dishes in a tropical al fresco setting. Housed in the five-star Sudamala Suites & Villas, the restaurant overlooks the glossy outdoor swimming pool and rolling ocean beyond. Try the Sudamala pizza with a Lombok twist, the bebalung (beef) soup or ayam taliwang (spicy grilled chicken). Or go all out and sink your toes into the sand at the resort’s Friday-night seafood BBQ: feast on freshly caught, chargrilled fish, tiger prawns and calamari alongside mouth-watering accompaniments.
Located along the gleaming sands of Senggigi is Lotus Bayview Restaurant. Tables are set right on the beach with unobstructed views of the ocean. The restaurant is owned and operated by a Neapolitan chef who serves up mouth-watering woodfired pizzas with gooey mozzarella and a crispy base, fresh handmade pasta and bountiful seafood, freshly caught that day. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Bintang and watch the sunset, while the whooshing sound of waves make for an atmospheric soundtrack.
Drink: Beach bars and cocktail hour
Sleepy by day, lively by night – that’s Lombok for you. Across the buzzing traveller hubs of Senggigi and Kuta, there’s an abundance of cool beach bars and sultry lounges that come alive at night (and offer a perfect place to chill out by day). At La Chill, secure yourself a bean bag on the beach and watch the sunset while ordering a watermelon signature cocktail, refreshing mint martini or zingy ginger and turmeric mojito. You’ll also find an extensive list of classic cocktails, healthy elixirs, local and international beers and fruity mocktails, alongside share plates and gourmet pizzas.
Discover a bar in a unique treehouse setting at Treehouse Bar Kuta, a jungle-themed drinking hole with themed music evenings, icy beers and cocktails-on-the-go. Drinks are served with a smile and are to be enjoyed on any of the scattered bean bags or jungle swings. Come here after a day exploring the island for chilled-out beats, all-day happy hours, big burger meals and fresh coconut water straight from the shell.
Get your Bintang fix, fulfil your tropical pina colada dreams or celebrate with a salt-rimmed margarita at KRNK. This buzzin’ bar and restaurant is located in Kuta’s thriving hub and is stamped with a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award 2021. For something more on the refreshing side, try the selection of homemade strawberry and mint iced tea. This is the perfect spot to kickstart a fun night out on the town or indulge in a massive feast after a busy day (try the juicy burgers for an incredible foodie experience). While you slurp your drink of choice or wait for your burger to be grilled to perfection, sit back and enjoy the live music.
Stay: In the tropical island paradise of your dreams
Days spent exploring all the exciting things to do in Lombok are made more gratifying when you have your own heavenly sanctuary to come home to. If you’re looking to dive into five-star, globally renowned luxury, The Oberoi Beach Resort is your go-to. It ticks all the boxes: beachfront location, infinity pool overlooking the ocean, traditional thatched accommodation, an onsite PADI dive centre and four exquisite restaurants and bars. Be sure to dine at least once at The Amphitheatre — an open-air venue where you can watch traditional music and dance performances by the Indigenous Sasak people.
For a suite-only beachfront hideaway, opt for a stay at Wyndham Sundancer Resort Lombok. Plonk yourself on a deck chair by the 900sqm pool, sip on a cocktail or two, or find your spot at the private beach club to gaze over the ocean. If you’re a keen scuba diver, the nearby Southern Gilis – a collection of 13 idyllic islands – are bound to captivate with some of the world’s best underwater scenery. If you’re a beginner looking to upskill, you can build your confidence with experienced instructors in a section of the resort pool, where depths drop to three metres.
Or, try the five-star Katamaran Hotel & Resort for designer villas perched along Mangsit Beach’s pristine shoreline. Spend days lounging in the swinging daybed by the pool (with a cocktail in hand, of course), dive into the glass beachfront infinity pool or discover true relaxation in ocean-facing treatment rooms at Soul Bliss Spa. For a romantic evening, head over to The Kliff Bistro for a menu boasting succulent grills, meat and seafood, plus a breathtaking view overlooking the ocean.
Ready to travel? Check out our exclusive Lombok hotel offers
Play: Island adventures abound
Just a 10-minute speedboat ride away from Teluk Nare Harbour is Gili Air, one of the three dreamy Gili Islands. Take a day trip here and make your time on Gili Air as restful or exhilarating as you like. Hire a stand-up paddleboard and glide across glassy water, exploring the island’s outskirts. Take part in a yoga class, snorkel through vibrant coral or learn to scuba dive at a diamond-rated SSI Dive Centre and swim alongside sea turtles, manta rays and smaller critters like clownfish and seahorses.
Immerse yourself in Lombok’s culture with a visit to a traditional village. Learn about the history of the Sasak Tribe, the Indigenous people of Indonesia, who make up 85% of Lombok’s population. At Sade Village, just 40 minutes from the centre of Lombok, you can see the authentic thatched houses of Sasak residents, watch as the local women weave (a significant tradition) and encounter the locals throughout your explorations.
When you’re ready for a break from the coast, head inland to Benang Kelambu waterfall, around 1.5 hours from the tourist centre of Senggigi. Arrive at Teratak Village in the North Batukliang District, where, after a small entry fee, you’re welcome to take the brief walk past jungle roads and banana plantations to the waterfall. Benang Kelambu is unique: a lush green wall of greenery from which two sheets of downpour plummet onto mossy rocks. Be sure to pack your swimmers and take a dip in the natural pool.
Want to explore Lombok’s sister island? Read Bali is Open: Here’s What You Need to Know
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