Nusa Lembongan is a laid-back island off the southeast coast of Bali. After our 4-day stay in Ubud, we took a boat to discover what the island had to offer. With a good selection of Lembongan island guesthouses to choose from, we’d selected 2 places – at opposite sides of the island from each other – with four nights in each.
Our transfer to Lembongan from Ubud included door-to-door transfers. After arriving at Mushroom beach, on the south-western coast of the island, we were transferred by open bus to the first of our selected guesthouses.
Lembongan Island Guesthouses – Sukanusa Luxury Huts
If you check them out on the online booking sites, Sukanusa ‘Luxury’ Huts appear to offer a good deal. At least, that was what we thought.
Following our 3 nights at the excellent Sapu Lidi Resort in Ubud, we were expecting Sukanusa to up the odds even further. After all, we would be paying a much higher nightly rate, and this for a place that wasn’t even in Bali.
The reality was quite disappointing.
Located not far from Scooby Doo beach on the main central stretch, Sukanusa’s Balinese-style 2-level huts are quite attractive to look at. However, with the bathroom located outside and down some steep stairs they’re not very practical to use. Especially not during the night when you really don’t want to put on clothes and struggle downstairs just to use the loo.
In fact the downstairs ‘relaxing’ area is a waste of space. It was dark and uninviting, with just a dirty mattress to sit on.
The unclean theme continued to the upstairs bedroom. We had a large bed with just one clean sheet underneath a used top quilt. Beneath the clean sheet was a dirty sheet, presumably from the previous guests. We requested another sheet so at least we wouldn’t have to sleep directly under the used top quilt.
With just 2 small lamps and very little natural light the bedroom remains dark throughout the day. Too dark even to pack our rucksacks, which we did on the outside balcony the following morning – We had booked for 4 nights, but one night was enough.
Apart from the price (an incredible IDR 650,000 per night – €40!), there’s absolutely nothing luxurious about Sukanusa’s ‘Luxury’ Huts.
Unlike other much cheaper guesthouses, they offered no toiletries, no complimentary water, no tea/coffee-making facilities, no safe and no fridge or minibar.
The last straw was breakfast (included in the room price). This was almost the worst breakfast we’ve been offered anywhere. The breakfast tables were unprepared, options were basic, and we were served watered-down juices, half-toasted bread, eggs & marmalade and a truly undrinkable filtered coffee.
The owners really need to take note of and address the above issues. There are a lot of cheaper alternatives in Lembongan, most with better facilities and higher levels of service.
Lembongan Island Guesthouses – Warisan Villa
So our plans had to change almost as soon as we’d arrived. To avoid wasting time on foot hunting down another guesthouse, we went online and booked a likely-looking place on the south side of the island. In the morning, after leaving Sukanusa we walked back south down the main stretch in search of the Warisan Villa.
Warisan can be found at the other side of Lembongan island, located centrally at a crossroads between Mushroom beach and Dream Beach.
At IDR 550,000 (€34) per night, Warisan Villa offers a small and beautifully-gardened resort, servicing eight spacious and fully-equipped bungalows.
The accommodation at Warisan Villa is immaculately clean and well-serviced, and there is a good-sized communal eternity pool.
Putu, the owner/manager, had an unfortunate habit of snorting and spitting – as is very common in China. This can be a bit off-putting, especially if you’re sitting in the restaurant area. It was for this reason that we didn’t eat there in the evenings.
Breakfasts here also were really nothing to look forward to… Very basic and unappetising.
Lembongan Island Guesthouses – TS Huts
TS Huts is located close to the speedboat landing at Mushroom Beach. We booked ourselves in for 4 nights at IDR 375,000 (€23) per night, excluding breakfast.
The resort is home to 8 huts, located in a lush and well-maintained garden area, with a good-sized swimming pool.
The first hut they offered us was Hut No.1, located just behind the restaurant. The hut was fine, with a comfortable bed, safebox, mosquito net and outdoor bathroom. The only problems were the airconditioner, which wasn’t cooling the hut sufficiently, and the front door which didn’t close properly.
However, the staff happily moved us to another of their huts, where everything worked fine.
The staff at TS Huts were really friendly and helpful. Through them, we were able to arrange spa treatments, snorkeling trips and our return boat transfer to Bali. The owner even invited us to attend the ceremonial funeral of one of his relatives.
Breakfast here was good, as was dining in the evening.
Lembongan Island Guesthouses – The Akah Cottage
The Akah Cottage is unfortunately the one place where we did not stay during our visit to Lembongan. Hidden away on a narrow track leading to Dream Beach, we discovered the Akah Cottage by chance one lunchtime.
After our first meal there, we found ourselves returning almost every day.
Before leaving the island, we asked to see one of their cottages. It was immaculately clean and fully equipped. If we return to Lembongan we will definitely book ourselves in here. The location, accommodation, service and food at Akah Cottage is hard to beat.
With just 8 days to explore Lembongan island, we planned to check out the beaches in the west and south, and the mangrove forest in the north. Our itinerary also included snorkeling trips in the north and around the islands of Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida to the south.
Of course, eating was also high on our agenda! We were keen to find out what the warungs and restaurants in Lembongan had to offer.
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