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“Quiet side of the Island!!!!”
Review of Alam Gili

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Alam Gili
Ranked #13 of 36 Hotels in Gili Trawangan
Certificate of Excellence
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Quiet side of the Island!!!!”
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Just spent 3 nights with the great staff at Alam Gili. Always smiling and singing, willing and helpful.
Unfortunately there is, at present, construction of another villa/hotel next door, so constant banging and drilling from dawn until late at night. I realise this will one day be completed and no-one can be held responsible but it was not the peaceful few days I had hoped for.
Despite this we had a fun time on the Island

Room Tip: Room Duyung is the only first floor that over looks the beach
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Sian3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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uk
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2011

The island is absolutely amazing, probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and the Alam Gili was ok. It was by no means bad, (if you've ever stayed in budget accommodation in Greece or Turkey, then this is like staying in a mansion!) but the standard of hotels for their price in Indonesia is so high that the Alam Gili has a lot to compete with.

The main attraction of this hotel for us was the price - it had everything we were looking for but was way cheaper than the others because they don't hike up their prices in peak season. For that reason alone I would recommend staying here if you're on a bit of a budget because we had the Deluxe Mahi Mahi room (it might have even been Super Deluxe) and it was massive. The bed was extremely comfy and huge (!) and they are very helpful with mosquito protection - the room comes with a big clean mosquito net that adequately covers the whole bed, and the staff light you a mosquito coil incence stick every evening and either leave it on your step of if you are out they will put it inside the room and bathroom for you. I think this is a good point - another review says they were not happy about the staff coming in and putting them in your room every day but they wouldn't come in if you were inside and I'd rather that than be bitten all night!

The bathroom was massive with 2 mirrors and loads of dressing space which was great. Downsides are that the room and bathroom were really badly lit - I found this to be the case with 2 of the 3 hotels we stayed at in Indonesia - they use 40watt energy saving bulbs and I struggled to do my makeup (which for most women is a major downside!) - especially as the natural light faded at 6pm at sunset.

Also, the Mahi Mahi room is next to the kitchen. You can't see the kitchen (it's behind trellises) but you can definitely hear the staff when you're in the bathroom in the morning and evening. I actually found it quite sweet because the younger boys (there are about 5 teenage local boys who work in the kitchen/bar) were singing songs and generally messing about a bit, which was nice to hear (at least they enjoy their jobs!) and it wasn't overly imposing. If I was a bit more picky though I might have taken issue with it.. but I'm quite relaxed. You couldn't hear them in the bedroom itself.

The bedroom doors are a bit rickety.. it wouldn't take much at all to break into them - they are like sliding wardrobe doors. I wasn't too bothered as I used the safe box and crime is low (non existent..?) on the island.

The bathroom wasn't air conditioned which was a bit of a shame because if you have a shower and get cool, but then blow dry your hair, you end up just as hot as when you started, but I don't know of any hotels with airconned bathrooms in indonesia!

Breakfast was very basic and to be honest, a bit boring, every morning for a week it was the same limited menu - you choose 1 of 3 fruit juices, 1 of 3 omelettes and a bread roll with jam, and fruit salad, but the fruit was really tasteless. HOWEVER to be honest, who cares when nyou are sat on a STUNNING white beach (the tables are on the sand) under trees, looking out at crystal clear water? It was a nice healthy well presented breakfast and the staff were polite (but don't really speak much English.) They make a massive effort to make the fruit salad look pretty. Gili T has a bit of a problem with flies so it was annoying everywhere you ate - dozens of flies would be trying to land on your food, but that's not the Alam Gili's fault.. they even "swept" the sand under the tables daily.

The hotel is quite a walk into the main area. We deliberately chose it because we heard it's hard to get to sleep in the more central hotels but having been there now it's not actually the massive party island it's made out to be - the bars turned their music down at 11pm and only 1 or 2 "clubs" opened later into the night.

You could get a cidamo horse and cart but they only take you half the way back to the hotel because the dust track that leads you there turns into pure, deep sand halfway through and none of the drivers will take you. (They will take you to the Alam gili in the daytime the long way round if you have luggage etc but not at night as it's pitch black off the main track.)

We didn't mind the walk as it's not like you can be in a rush on Gili T, but be aware that at some points on the track it is pretty much pitch black/moonlight only. I liked it, I never felt unsafe, but take a torch if you don't fancy that. The locals rode around in the dark on bikes using their mobile phones to light their way!

The pool at Alam Gili was pretty disappointing - we never went in it once, it is tiny (they do state it is small on their website in fairness) - it was just very basic and not sure how clean it is as it's freshwater. However about 1 min walk down the beach and you have pretty much your own private white beach with shallow warm water.. so would much rather be on the beach than poolside.

The beach directly opposite Alam Gili was lovely at high tide but not so pretty at low tide - lots of coral/rocks - you can't really go in the sea directly opposite the hotel, but if you literally walk for 2 minutes down the beach it's less corally and if you kept on walking for a few more minutes it's even better, so not a problem at all. The closer you get to the centre the busier the beach was and we loved having "our" bit of beach to ourselves for pretty much all day every day, 2 mins from the Alam Gili.

I agree with other comments that the management of the hotel seems to need a bit of a rethink. The staff there are really nice but seem to be under pressure to fill the rooms - they mistakely had pencilled us in the diary to stay 5 nigths when we only booked 4. Luckily I'd printed off my confirmation as he insisted that we'd booked 5 nights and seemed anxious and angry that we were leaving a night early and therefore they'd "wasted" the opportunity to rebook the room that night and it would be empty, as if they would get told off by their managers. The main reception man wasn't very friendly (the bar staff were.)

Also they totally ripped us off for water - they were charging 5 times the amount for a 2l bottle of water than anywhere else I'd been - don't use the bar - buy one from the mini mart just down the road. That annoyed me as the Alam Gili, whilst great value and comparitively cheap for Gili T, was the most expensive hotel of our trip.

Overall I would stay here again but I would be tempted to shop around and see if there are nicer places.

Room Tip: The standard rooms looked much, much smaller than the super deluxes/deluxes which were not much more...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dawn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2011

Stayed here for 4 nights.. initally I was a bit dissapointed by the grounds and set up, however after a few days I grew to like the place. Staff were freindly and respectful. I was a little shocked initially when I realised the staff enter your room 3x times a day to clean/turn down and put mosquito coils in. Security was also a concern, as I had to ask several times for a pad lock for the door. Once this was in place however I was more reassured. Generally clean and quiet which is what I was seeking. The rooms are located quite a long way away from town, and the walk is about 20 mins to get to the main food/services area in trawangan. Food was very basic, so I only had breakfast there.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adrian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
55 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2011

Our room was big, airy and well decorated in a Balinese style. Great. On the other hand, the staff were amateurish and awkward and I felt sorry for them. To be honest, they were eager to do well but lacked any sort of training. Without wanting to sound too snooty (bear in mind that this place isn't cheap), we ordered a bottle of wine with dinner and were told that they had no unbroken wine glasses - I had to search the bar for a glass. For an hotel that caters to a western clientele it was surprising to find that virtually none of the staff spoke English. Nice place, shame about the management.

Room Tip: Get a deluxe room
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank locomota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2011

We deliberately chose to come to Alam Gili based on our experience of staying in their other hotel, Alam Jiwa in Ubud, where we had had a wonderful stay. Perhaps I should have read the Tripadvisor reviews a bit more closely, like I did for everywhere else we chose to stay in Lombok and Bali, but this was the main reason for us picking to come to Gili Trawangan.

To be fair, the place was by no means awful, just a bit of a let down after staying in a couple of really fantastic places in Lombok, which set the bar very high.

Firstly, I think we probably chose the wrong Gili Island for our tastes and interests - if you are in any doubt as to how to choose where to go - let the island determine your choice of hotel, rather than the hotel dictate your choice of island.

Despite being at the quiet end of the island, it is still more developed than we expected and this seems to be increasing by the week. Far from the isolated resort we were expecting it is now in a row of newishly opened (or still being built) little resorts, which are spreading ever westwards along the coast. We weren't bothered by the walk into town - only did it three times, but with a torch (in the dry season) it wasn't an issue. Food at the resort is okay, breakfasts particularly good, but we wanted a bit of variety. Karma Kayak - a couple of 100 metres to the west of Alam Gili does great Tapas if you fancy a change but not a hike into town!

The gardens do allow for a degree of privacy from the road, but the site is very small and quite dark. The grounds and rooms are well maintained, by a conscientious and friendly staff but it all just feels a little tired and dated, which for a place that's only 3 or 4 years old seems a little sad. Considering the cramped conditions the staff have to live and work in I think they do a fantastic job to remain so friendly and helpful. Talking with them, very few are really local and they don't get much time off to get home - so all credit to them for what they manage to achieve.

However there were a few issues that could be addressed with a little more care from the management... who and where were they? Seems like someone has taken their hands off the reins a bit and they could do with a bit of shaking up.

Our room, Mahi Mahi, was on the ground floor right at the back of the site. Like others, we thought it was a bit dark and dingy - lighting really needs to be addressed inside and out and the decor was shabby with cracks in all the walls. The bathroom was enormous which seemed a bit of a waste of space, especially as the lack of hot water meant you didn't want to linger very long. The thing I hated most however were the shaggy brown bathmats which didn't look like they had ever been washed. Get rid of them please!

The other main issue was the smells and noise. The room was right next to the staff quarters and kitchens - sitting out on the verandah at any time of day, (but particularly at night when there aren't any other options, considering the lighting in the room) we were assailed either by gentle wafts of garlic (which is fine in small doses) but when combined with the more potent smells of sewage - was not so romantic. Accompanied by the gentle sounds of hacking and hawking from the staff bathroom, this was not so great. As we had booked for a week, we did ask if we could move rooms, but the place was full.

I didn't get a proper look at the little stand alone villas, but from glimpses, they seemed a lot nicer - less money, outside showers and fans - but further from the noise and smells.

The cafe and beach area across the road were nicely situated - some people complain about the beach being stoney and unswimmable but this was one thing that we were prepared for and didn't actually bother us. One of the best dive spots is right out from the hotel - people were paying good money to be brought there on dive boats, when you can easily reach it from the beach with a good pair of reef shoes. However, the reef is in danger of being seriously compromised if they don't do something about the number of people tramping all over it at lowtide. They need a few clearly defined passages out to open water, so people can get out and back to the deeper water without killing the coral.

There is a dive school just up the road, which saves you heading into town - although it is possibly a bit more expensive, as it doesn't have as much competion on it's doorstep.

In summary - our disappointment at this place was partly a case of misjudgement on our behalf but also poor management and maintenace on the hotel's part. It didn't spoil our holiday. We stayed 4 days, rather than the week we had originally planned, but there was no trouble about moving on. We ended up making an unplanned detour to Amed in Northern Bali, which actually suited us much better and where we had a unexpectedly lovely stay!

Room Tip: Don't go for Mahi Mahi -too dark and smelly. Opt for the cheaper rooms.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank paperduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Being a passionate snorkeler and having read that the beach in front of Alam Gili was a good place to do so, this was one of the reasons for which I chose to stay there, unfortunately, it turned out to be a big disappointment ! Can't imagine where those who recommended the place had been snorkeling before, stayed in the water for hours going as far as I could on the left, then the right, then straight in front and never found anything of any real interest !!! That being said, having also read (as many others) that Gili T. was THE party island, (not that I don't like to party but at my age - 50 - I've had my time), I was looking for something a bit quieter.....Well, I got what I asked for....maybe a bit too much. It might be 20 min walk if you have a fast pace, that it's not dark yet and you're going to one of the 1st bars or restaurants of the 'lively" part, otherwise it will probably take you 35 min walking (make sure you take a torchlight with you). Should you decide to take a horsecart,, welll...I must say I had a good laugh reading niffaroo's review as the same thing happened to me. Arriving at the port (with my sister who was only staying for 1 night), we were directed to a particular horsecart when we said we were going to Alam Gili (I'm not sure anymore but I think it was nr 8). What a ride !!! We didn't take the "inner paths" with trees as they were still using the path along the shore all the way, except that part of the path had already washed away and cart almost tipped over because of this.
Once arrived, we were welcomed with a delicious fresh fruit juice and taken to our room which was an absolute delight. We had reserved the "Mermaid room", the one on top of the reception with a HUGE outside lounge (twice the size of the room) with a beautiful view of the sea, utter bliss....with a price of course, 90$ (breakfast and tax included) per night ! The room itself is full of charm, 4 poster bed with mosquitoe net (unfortunately shrunk in the wash so too small to tuck it in all around so it looks nice but it's useless), no air-co but a ceiling fan + a bedside one (both very much needed when we were there, even being in front of the sea on first storey with all doors open), lovely deco with an old wooden desk and chair, seperate bathroom with shower half indoor, half outdoor (which I personally love but some people don't), all in all, we loved it but felt it was too expensive for what it was. Also, I confirm there is a sort of rubbish dump on the right (when looking down from the outside lounge) which deminishes the overall feeling of beauty.
After having settled in, we went to the pool (my sis not being the snorkeling freak that I am), unfortunately, again, a disappointment, I'm sure it used to be absolutely lovely but now it's kind of run down, loose tiles everywhere, not very clean, and completely in the shade of beautiful but overgrown vegetation in a place where you would like some sunlight. We also went "snooping around" (asked of course if we could go and see some of the other rooms which were not occupied), the "garden bungalows" are really pretty and full of charm, the "Suite Fish" a deluxe 2 level bungalow was like a small temple, amazing, unfortunately, again, there is a "but", I think the place desperately needs a gardener "with a view", meaning that the gardens are very beautiful, well kept but now too overbearing, they block out all the sun and the light everywhere and also make all the rooms very damp. When you look at the pictures on their site, it all looks very sunny, they must have been taken some years ago and although I love the "jungle" feeling, it's not as nice when you have to light all the lamps in your room during the day to find your way to the bathroom !
At the end of the afternoon, we decided to go "in town", WALKING (really didn't want the "horsecart experience" again), which took us the 35 min "strolling" and certainly 45 to come back (from the other end of town and half the way through the dark). The next day my sister was leaving so we asked the reception to order a horsecart (hoping it would not be nr 8)...but guess what...it WAS nr 8 ! The ride back was just as bad (if not worse) and as we arrived at the port my sister made me promise I would never take this horsecart again (like niffaroo, at a certain point the horse went charging, in town, almost running over some people and forcing another cart to the side). After saying goodbye to my sis at the port, I stopped at different hotels on my way back inquiring for rooms and prices (90$ a night on my own was too much and I had no more incentive to stay at Alam Gili), I found another room at half the price with half the terrace but double the room and with wifi, 2 min from the "center", made the reservation for the next night and strolled back to Alam Gili to enjoy a nice meal served on my outdoor lounge, looking at the stars and the sea for my last night there. Left the next morning (and I have to admit, leaving "my outdoor lounge looking over the sea" did give me a pinch to the heart) and, unfortunately, checking the bill (I had read on Tripadvisor there had been some problems with the bill), there it was, things we had not ordered on the bill. I pointed this out to the Manager and he corrected the bill and apologized for the error...nevertheless, I still wonder, do they do this with everyone and maybe some people will not notice and the ones who do, they simply apologize and correct the bill...?!
Anyway, when I payed the bill, they did not have the change (not a lot) and proposed to pay for the horsecart back to town...I didn't have much choice so I said ok (I needed a horsecart anyway because of my luggage) and guess who arrived ...you wouldn't believe it, nr 8 !!! I think Alam Gili must have some sort of agreement with this guy...or am I damned ?!
So, briefly, Alam Gili IS a wonderful place with some "but"s, I would have stayed there if the snorkeling was as good as they said, not having that I preffered to be closer to town (without being in the middle), with better prices for more confort but without the view (which you only have from the "mermaid room", all other accommodion having a garden view). Personnel was always friendly and helpfull, maybe a bit slow (but who cares, you're here on holiday, the point being also to "slow down") ! The place has alot of potential which is not used and the price is too expensive for what it is today, I don't regret having stayed there but I wouldn't go back (I'm actually going to Gili T over 2 weeks and going somewhere else).

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank genedi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leeds
Level Contributor
61 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Booked this hotel on Gili Trawangan as the pictures looked great of the rooms and it stated the hotel was away from the lively part of Gili T. We did not realise it would be difficult to get to the lively part of Gili or the area where the resturants are for that matter. This involved taking a horse and card which sounds romantic but actually was quite frightening. It involved going on the inner paths that have trees etc on them (compared to the beach track which is an easier ride) We did this ride twice and both times were awful. On one occasion the pony got the cart too close to a tree and the cart tipped up, the driver had to jump out to stabilize as we nearly tipped up. Pony then charged off as got scared and driver had job to get him back under control.
We booked the mermaid roon which looks lovely and does have quite a spacious outside area. The main problem was the walls were made of bits of wood with big gaps between the slats to v easy for the mozzies to get in. Also we were under impression room had air con but it only had a fan.
The beach where alam gili is is v shingley and rough.
The view from the room wasn't what we expected either-loads of rubbish next door and looks like bit of dump.
We ended up checking out straight away as didn't want to stay there at all! Better options than this hotel

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank niffaroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alam Gili

Property: Alam Gili
Address: West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Nusa Tenggara > Lombok > Gili Islands > Gili Trawangan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 36 Hotels in Gili Trawangan
Hotel Class:3 star — Alam Gili 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Alam Gili Hotel Gili Trawangan
Alam Gili Trawangan
Alam Gili Hotel Trawangan
Alam Gili Gili Islands/Gili Trawangan

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