Eden Cottages is a gem within the coconut groves at the northern end of the tiny atoll, Gili Trawangan, off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. This new property has just six cottages built on either side of a small, but refreshing, salt water pool. The bathroom has fresh-water showers, an important consideration on an island that has no natural fresh water supply. The rooms are outfitted with a queen-sized bed and flat screen TV with DVD player. A free selection of DVDs is available for guest use. Rooms are clean and are refreshed every few days by the friendly local staff. Two hammocks swing beside the pool, and for the more active, a volleyball net is set up.
The included breakfast consists of fresh, tropical fruits, either eggs or a pancake (more like a crepe), and juice, coffee or tea. Each afternoon popcorn is provided poolside. Beer is available for an extra charge and if you want to eat in, the place next door offers take-out Thai food.
Eden Cottages, like other properties on the north end of the island, is a short distance from the main part of town but having free bicycles makes for a fun five minute jaunt through fields of coconuts, cows and goats, into town. The bikes look like bicycles all over the island—ancient and rusty though they are relatively new, showing the destructive effects of the salt water and sand on this miniscule speck of land. The northern beach is less than a five minute walk from the hotel, though the snorkeling is better at the main beach on the east end of the island.
What makes Eden Cottages special is the personalized care and attention provided by Jim, the Aussie owner/manager who lives on-site. Each day he checks in with every guest making sure they are satisfied. His friendly concern and local tips are much appreciated by visitors.
Guide books warn of rave type parties on the island, leading to a reputation of an place overrun with noisy revelers, but on the quiet north end of the island one is more likely to be lulled to sleep by the sound of lowing cows and rustling coconut fronds than loud music.
Popular activities in the area include snorkeling (excellent beach-accessed snorkeling), diving, fishing, sunning and relaxing. For those desiring a workout Jim can direct guests to a nearby gym, and an interesting historic hike to remnants of World War II tunnels constructed by the Japanese. Most visitors make their way to the south end of the island each evening to watch the dramatic sunset over neighboring Bali. There are plentiful open air restaurants displaying freshly caught seafood and a bustling night market populated with inexpensive food stalls that operates daily, rain or shine. Several restaurants offer free entertainment, ranging from reggae to disco, on the main road.
If you have been put off by reports of the supposed party reputation of Gili T and are seeking a quiet, tropical experience, but with opportunities to take in entertainment and a variety of restaurants, Eden Cottages on Gili Trawangan can provide the best of both worlds.
Phone: +62 (0)81 917 996 151
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia
Easiest way: Take a speed boat direct from Bali. There are several different companies, including Blue Water Express.
More complicated: Take the slow public ferry (3 hours crossing but up to 5 additional hours sitting in one or both ports) from Padangbai, Bali to Lembar, Lombok. From there most tourists take a bus to Mataram (closest city) or Senggigi further up the coast (small town with good snorkeling) for a night or two, or they head straight to Bangsal to catch a small boat for the 30 minute ride over to the island of Gili Trawangan. It is recommended to purchase all-inclusive transportation from a reputable tour provider, such as Perama Tour and Travel, who will arrange ground transportation from the Bali ferry to the Gilis.
Domestic and international flights are available to Tanak Awu, Lombok (near Mataram), but will still require a 40 minute drive to Bangsal and a 30 minute ferry ride to Gili Trawangan.
Once on the island of Gili Trawangan it is recommended to hire a horse cart if you have heavy luggage as it is a bit of a walk from the dock to the north end of the island. If the driver is uncertain of the location, explain that Eden Cottages is “in the middle” of the island. Go to the right of the dock on the main road.
If you enjoyed this article, please click the “Subscribe” button at the top and enter your email address. You will receive an email when a new article is posted.