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“We chose this property because it was directly opposite the beach and coral reef on Gili Trawangan.”

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Balikana Boutique Beach Resort
Ranked #33 of 37 Hotels in Gili Trawangan
Reviewed July 30, 2010

After reading the Lonely Planet guide about Gili Trawangan we knew that we wanted to stay on the north shore because of the direct reef access. After a very UNCOMFORTABLE TRIP ON THE EKA JAYA GREEN FAST BOAT. I wanted a cool quiet room to rest in. We paid extra for an aircon lumbung with a seaview so that I could have a rest in the afternoon, $95 US . The power was off until dark. disappointing. we had tried to get a room in the much nicer Villa Grasi for the same price next door but would have to move after 2 nights.
The retreat is owned by a couple the husband Balinese and his wife Canadian. She was away in Canada and it may expalin why the pool and pond was so dirty. It was in a terrific location, just up from a good dive shop, with lovely views of the beach and sea. but NOT worth the money. The complimentary breakfast was rather bleak.
All staff members were most hospitable and very obliging. I was so disappointed to discover that the 2 young men who staff the restaurant are required to sleep out of doors all night on the beach lounges as security officers, after working from dawn till dark. I would think that the retreat could afford some mosquito nets,pillows and linens to make these boys more comfortable.

Please note....DO NOT travel to Gili Trawangan on the Ekay Jaya green fast boat from Padang Bai in Bali. What a cowboy operation... I had asked our agent to book us on the Australian owned Gili Cat from Sanur...but true to form in Bali...".we book where we get commission."
The boat was overcrowded and with the windows shut to stop the water pouring in...no ventilation. The head (toilet) is under the bow which bounces about frantically even in mild seas.. so many passengers, including myself were sea sick in rather calm conditions...I can't imagine it in rough weather. The mini buses used to transport passengers from hotels are noisy, uncomfortable and the drivers reckless.. give it a big miss....especially if you don't want to see the crew dump fist loads fo rubbihs into the sea as you cross.. Oh and don't count on a seat either..they over book and you just may have to sit on the bouncing floor.....AWFUL.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank reefaddictBallina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 58 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2010

Facilities are good, but service is terribly low. Power is more down than up and the generator doesn't work properly. Most terrible was that the credit-card machine didn't work and they did not think about providing a solution to properly pay. In the end we had to do a internet bank transaction and made a paper copy of the transaction. In some way they were not satisfied and forced us via the island police to pay cash as well (so we payed double).

I'd say: service is too low for the IDR 1.000.000,- you pay per night. Stay elsewhere at Gili Trawangan.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amsterdamworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2009

Starting a review with 'we booked for four nights but stayed for seven' should give you an idea of what is to come.

Gili Trawangan is often portrayed as the 'all night party island' of this small island group off the north west tip of Lombok and this put us off a little. However, as we were booking at short notice during high season it took a few calls to find some accommodation and we were a little apprehensive about staying on Gili Trawangan.

We arrived by the Gili Cat (a professionally-run, fast boat from Bali) and hopped on a horse and cart (the only means of transport on the island) for a quick canter to the hotel.

Balikana is on the quieter northern end of the island but only about 20 minutes walk from the centre (which, in any case, is hardly Ibiza). The hotel is nicely designed with a mix of rooms around a nice pool and high-roofed thatched bungalows overlooking the turquoise sea. Our room, in an aircon bungalow, was traditionally designed with a private balcony and outdoor bathroom (with fresh water/hot water shower). If you have never experienced an outdoor bathroom just think of an ordinary bathroom but with no roof (I believe that the idea originated at the Oberoi).

Food at the hotel was very acceptable although the hotel doesn't seem to make the most of the surroundings to encourage people to eat on the beach (it's their business to run how they like, I guess!). The manager, Made (I think) strolls around smiling, exuding zen-like calm which seems to infuse the place with peace and tranquillity. Other staff sometimes seem a little inexperienced but more than make up for this with friendliness and warmth. If you're lucky, Charlie, the hotel cat, may join you for a sunset drink on the beach.

Snorkelling just off the beach here is superb and resembles an aquarium overstocked with big, colourful fish. We were also lucky to see a huge turtle lunching on the coral. The hotel rents out snorkelling equipment at only a nominal fee (we paid about four dollars for seven day's hire of two sets of mask/fins).

As well as being a great little hotel in its own right, BaliKana has a fantastic location: you can sit on the white sand beach and watch the sunset over Bali's volcanoes and walk 30 paces to some of the best snorkelling we have experienced across the world.

One minor complaint: the breakfast got a little boring after a few days and a degree of variety would be welcome.

I would recommend Gili Trawangan, in general, and BaliKana, in particular, as a blissful escape from the rest of the world. Throughout the rest of our trip in Indonesia we have often thought of just heading back to BaliKana for a few more days.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank locomota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2008

We went to Balikana in 2003 and in 2006. In 2003 there wasn’t a swimming pool or hot water and in 2006 they started with the new accommodations but we had the swimming pool and hot water. We had a great time here and enjoyed our stay. We were looking for a accommodation to experience the ‘bounty island’ feeling. And that is what Balikana has to offer. It is a 20 minute walk along the beach to the centre of Gili or you can take a horse-taxi. It is very quiet and you get the feeling that you’re on an bounty island. In front of the hotel you can see turtles and fish at the coral reef. Gili has great scuba diving centers and you can swim with sharks and very big turtles! The best scuba dive i have made. If you want to swim, take tour towel and walk 500 meters in the direction of the center for a sandy beach.

The rooms were romantic and looked good. Balikana is for people who want a good accommodation, but don’t want the top luxury like Vila Ombok has (which is the best hotel, but more expensive). If you come only for entertainment and bars, than you better stay in the centre. They made the room clean every day and put flowers where put on the bed.

Made and Janis where great people who like to talk about Indonesia and there plans. The resort’s culture is ‘informal’. Just relax, and take it easy.

The swimming pool is great and big. The restaurant is simple but sufficient for simple breakfast, lunch or diner. We dined mostly in the center of Gili cause there is more choice and you can sit at a bar and meet more people. In Balikana you can relax and you can walk to the center for entertainment. If you walk back at night, don’t forget a small flashlight.

When we first arrived in 2003 we saw a lot of hotels/bungalows, but it didn’t give you the ‘bounty island’ feeling. When we saw Balikana, it was great. Vila Ombok is better if you like real luxury and ‘etiquette’ and want to spend (a lot) more money. In 2003 Gili Trawanang was more for backpackers, nowadays there are more and more luxurious bars, restaurants and hotels.

We liked our stay and think we will be back some day. But that can take some years cause there is a lot to see in the world.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled with friends
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1  Thank rondreizer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2008

Ok, I feel obligated to write this review since we booked this resort based on favorable reviews on Tripadvisor. My friends and I stayed for 3 nights during March 2008. We all left this place sharing the same feeling of disappointment. I will start with the positives and try to offer a balanced view of this place.

Rooms & Facilities
We stayed at the beach lumbungs and the rooms were large and beautiful. As you can see from the pictures, the outdoor shower looked amazing and so was the ocean view. The pool and pool area were really nice. The only downsides were that there was no hot water the last few days and mini fridge was empty.

Beach
Overall the beach is nice. Lots of corals in the sand. Note that this is a snorkeling beach. Lots of corals on the bottom so very unsuitable for swimming.

Reservation
I have never gone through so much trouble finalizing a hotel reservation. 20 pages of email correspondence and nevertheless 1 week before departure we were told that our deposit did not guarantee our rooms and the rates have gone up. Not what you want to hear just before your vacation. Finally we were able to resolve this issue, but still not a very reassuring experience from the start.

Location
This place is really far from the main strip. All those cidomo rides got really tiring.

Restaurant
The restaurant was closed for renovation. This was kind of a deal breaker for us. Since the resort is located far from everything else, it was quite troublesome task on a daily basis for us to find something to eat. Luckily there were some nearby resorts that offered quite limited menus. Walking around in tropical storm trying to find food the first day was hell. We tried to suggest that it would be helpful to have menus for at least drinks and snacks but to no prevail.

Service
The staff was helpful when it comes to arranging transportation. They also arranged horseback riding, snorkeling trips etc. Although, spreading gossip about previous guests is not the way to go. We got quite mixed feedback on our suggestions.

Overall this resort did not reach our expectations at all. We were happy to leave.

Stayed: March 2008
Thank Soybeanova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2008

After a long trip to get to Gili, Made and Janis were awaiting our arrival and were very helpful and friendly as we checked into our room. It was nicely equipped with an outdoor bathroom open to the sky, and a large room with a bed and mosquito net, a refrigerator, and air conditioning. The pool area was quite nice for a relaxing dip in the water after a long day of walking the island.

Made prepared breakfast for us each morning, and although the choices were very simple, it was just what you need to start your day. We also bought a few drinks from the bar, but the restaurant and bar weren't fully operating, so we didn't spend much time there.

When we booked our rooms, we thought that it was extremely cheap, although we didn't do as much research as we normally would because the Balikana seemed like exactly what we needed and was a reasonable price. Once we talked to others that we met on the island, it sounds like it was one of the more expensive places to stay. That, coupled with its location very far from the rest of the activity on the island, made our stay less than perfect. While Made and Janis were very helpful and friendly, and their resort will one day be everything they want it to be once they finish the countless remodeling projects they have underway, it just wasn't exactly what we were looking for. The late night walks in the pitch darkness for over 30 minutes to get back to the retreat were more than we anticipated.

If you want a quiet and secluded escape, the Balikana will be nice once it's fully operational, or perhaps you should choose one of the other quieter Gili islands. But on Gili Trawangan, perhaps something a little closer to the main area of town to give you more restaurant choices, save you from the walk, and save you a few dollars, is a better option.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank iamatraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2008

Well where to begin...we arrived at the hotel at approx 1 pm in the afternoon..grounds were not as nice as they looked on the hotel website.As a matter of fact it looked as though some pictures were taken at a different location.When we arrived and unpacked our bags, the aircon kept cutting out.We left the room for the pool, as I walked past the pool I could see yellowing at the bottom of pool which appeared to be algae growth (yellow along the corners and and in different spots on the bottom which is white). We sat under a bale in a corner of the pool area and ordered a drink and some lunch. Now on the hotel website the owner says Balikana...a hotel were you can get a Canadian grilled cheese sandwich thats not just two slices of bread with a slice of processed cheese. If only it would have been like that we may have enjoyed it. The large Bintang showed up open, with the cap resting on the top of the bottle. As I removed the cap I noticed a ring of what appeared to be rusty black scum and the label was almost not there, it looked like it had fell in the ocean at some point and retrieved. This was the first time on any of our trips that I had to ask for a glass, I always drink from the bottle because it stays colder longer. And now for the sandwiches a real dissapointment...the waiter brought them to our bale, my wifes Canadian grilled cheese was no more than 5 mm thick, thats .5 cm or a 1/4 inch it was two thin slices of bread and a small slice of white goo I'd say was most likely mozzarella...not Canadian Chedder as is advertised. Mine was an Italian grilled cheese, it was similar in stature and had mozzarella cheese with some Basil and tomato...not very appealing. I went up to the room to retrieve something and the aircon was out, I called down to the desk and they had it turned back on. I left the room and started down stairs ....I had forgotten something so I went back in and the aircon was off again. Again I called down...as I was walking back down to the lobby the owner met me on the stairs...she offered to change our room...I said no thanks Janis, we would like to change hotels. Now to be fair she seems like a nice woman but considering she has been here ten years the hotel would seem to have seen better days. Some other things were going on that seemed unusual, young people 20 to 25 sitting under a bale cleaning magic mushrooms ....so I asked Janis to relieve us of our three night commitment. She agreed, which was the decent thing to do I thought. This is a backpackers Hotel at best and for the money she is asking you can do much , much better on the Island for less money. We left and went to Desa Dunia Beda just a short walk up the trail to the north and the the next two nights at Villa Ombok in central Trawangan they wre both lovely Hotel's with great facilities and lovely staff. Yes a bit more money but after spending good coin to get there whats a ten dollar bill? I have no pictures of Balikana because we only lasted 2hrs there, 2.5 star hotel at best and thats generous. This is an unbiased review, as we were looking foward to staying there after communicating with the owner while she was on a six month holiday to Canada and South America. Perhaps she should stay on the Island and get the Hotel in proper condition....Two hours too long...... Headshaverbc

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank headshaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balikana Boutique Beach Resort

Address: Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah | Pemenang, NTB, Lobar, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Nusa Tenggara > Lombok > Gili Islands > Gili Trawangan
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Gili Trawangan
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Gili Trawangan
Price Range: $500 - $650 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balikana is a family guest house situated on the north beach side of Gili Trawangan located in front of the prime snorkel location on the island. It is the place for romance, watersports, or relaxation. Eye stopping tropical garden, beautiful swimming pool, cozy traditional designed rooms with western amenities. A golden paradise retreat.Free wifi included with rooms. Lounge includes tv with satellite channels, lending library. Owner managed. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Balikana Boutique Beach Hotel Gili Trawangan
Balikana Boutique Beach Resort Gili Islands/Gili Trawangan

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