I stayed at Nirwana Guest House with my girlfriend this January 2016. The room we had was very nice; clean, large, great aircon, TV with DVD player. I chose it because I wanted my girlfriend to have a nice place to stay while she was on the island alone: I stayed with her for two nights, then I had to leave Indonesia to go back to work. The night I left one of the hotel employees attempted to rape my girlfriend.
My very first impression of the staff (all men) was not good: the first guy I dealt with (his name was Awi) was very defensive when I asked about hotel policies on checking-in and checking-out, and he was very rude to me, and acted sleazy to my girlfriend and to some other females at the hotel at the time. I also saw, in the first 10 minutes, him have a fight with a girl who wanted to rent a bike. All of this made me uneasy, however, the room was a good price, and very comfortable, so I ignored him and tried to be polite whenever I dealt with him. Another staff member was friendly, with better language, but a third employee was very strange, always staring at us, never smiling. He often cooked breakfast, and had very little English.
This third staff member (I think his ‘English’ name was Anton) watched me leave on the third day, and didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell the staff I was going, as I had already paid for the room. My girlfriend said goodbye to me, came back to the hotel alone, left again to eat later in the afternoon. This third staff member saw her come and go. That night she listened to some music, brushed her teeth in the bathroom then went to bed. She left some lights on and fell asleep, and then woke up at some time to find the staff member turning off lights in her room, then try to get in the bed with her. She was very sleepy and it took a couple of seconds to realise what was going on. When she realised she shouted at him to leave but he wouldn’t. She struggled with him for some time, getting out of the bed, screaming and pushing him. It took a long time, as he was trying to push her back towards the bed, but she got him outside the door and then closed and locked it. For the next 10 minutes or so he wouldn’t leave, constantly knocking on the door saying ‘sorry, sorry, sorry’, and nothing else. My girlfriend was terrified, because there was no one else around (our room was in the corner on the ground floor, with no other rooms connecting to it) and he wouldn’t leave. What was worse was that he must have had a key, and she later saw the dirt of his shoes going into the shower recess of the bathroom, meaning he had come in while she was away, and had been hiding in the shower for a long time. As he had a key he could have easily tried to get in again. It was a bit after midnight at that point, and I was on the flight home, so she talked with friends on the phone to try to stay awake and stay calm until the morning. In the morning my plane landed and I spoke to her and told her to just get away, as we didn’t know what the staff were capable of. I already had a very bad impression of the first employee so I didn’t want her to try to talk to anyone, and she was worried they would try again. We both felt she should get as far away from danger as possible. Around 7am she very quietly took her small suitcase and went outside, and as there was no one there she ran to the main street, and then up to a very nice hotel (Hotel Nero) where we had stayed for one night before and explained what had happened to the woman at reception, who gave her breakfast and helped her organise a seat on a fast boat back to Bali. She left Gili Trawangan that morning and we will never go back again.
I am grateful that the employee was not stronger, and that he was a coward, and that he did not try harder, but the situation was traumatic for my partner and for me – I flew back to Bali to be with her the next day. I had a bad feeling about the place and the staff from the first moment, but you never think a bad feeling would lead to a rapist waiting in the room. Yes the room was nice, the location convenient, the breakfast okay, but I am disgusted by the hotel and I believe cowards like that do not change, they wait for other opportunities, which is why I am posting this long review of a horrible experience. I have tried to write it honestly and in detail so that you can see this is not a personal attack on the hotel but a detailed account of a very nasty situation that could easily happen again.
I hope all travellers, but of course especially single, female travellers, take serious note of this and avoid the Nirwana hotel. I wish I could do more to get some sort of justice, but if this prevents others from being in danger then that is good enough.