After a blissful three days at The Temple Lodge we were excited to head out to the islands. As this was our second trip to Bali we were eager to see and explore new things, having not quite made it to the Gili Islands back in 2008, they were definitely on our tick list. However, after doing quite a lot of research on the now named Gili T, the Ibiza of Asia, apparently, we thought we would head a little way south of the party island (the old folk we are) and head for a more peaceful retreat. The image of the idyllic palm fringed, clear water island was completely found at the GIli Asahan Eco Lodge, it felt as if we were on a castaway island complete with the most delicious of surroundings, peace, lovely people and amazing smoothies….All of which are on the ‘stranded on a desert island’ list, surely?
Once again another gem found from the Lost Guides see here, and once again another very good decision made. I have to say that Yani was so wonderfully helpful and so organised in regard to our stay, answering all my ridiculous questions and arranging our transfer from The Temple Lodge to the arrival on the island with a coconut and straw placed in my hand. Yani took the stress out of the whole process and her calm, kind, and beautiful manor was seen in every little corner of her creation at Gili Asahan.
So after our last round of apple and cinnamon pancakes, Gili Island Getaways picked us up bang on 9am. I was immediately impressed with this, having travelled around Sri Lanka, Thailand and island hopping in Greece with nothing ever on time, I’m ashamed to say I presumed it would be the same, I take it back. It took just under an hour to reach Serangan Port, driving through Saturday morning rush hour, counting the amount of family members on one moped en route. Then an hour and half on the fast boat across to Kokomo Gede (A little tip, although you get a little wet, and there is no protection from the sun, do sit on the top of the boat, I went downstairs on the way back and it was not so pleasant. Take a hat, lather yourself in factor 50 and climb up for some fun.) A short stop on the jetty, and our little water taxi arrived to take us the final destination. Three modes of transport but all so much fun and, well, paradise is oh worth it!
Gili Asahan Eco Lodge is the beautiful creation of Yani and her husband. It is located situated in the south west of Lombok, and is one of the least populated of the secret Gili’s. This is a secret that will not be a secret for long. A simply breath taking island, with nature on your door step, sun, sea and white sand. You step out of your Bungalow to a palm tree lined pathway leading you to the clear, calm water, literally stepping into a tranquil paradise. Although the Eco Lodge prides themselves on simplicity, the word really doesn’t give the place and the bungalows justice, we felt so indulged by our surroundings, quite amazing!
We opted to stay in one of the bungalows, but you can stay in an open air Bale, which is a more traditional style hut, all are built and created out of natural and repurposed materials. We had a lovely small garden with a sun bed and an outside bathroom, the shower being a fun feature. A decking area complete with a huge sofa with beautifully chosen Indonesian prints and cushions and not forgetting the hammock, to snooze, swing and to lay back and forget about life for a while….What more could you want? Our bed was beautifully comfortable with clean white sheets and what is it about a mosquito net that just makes everything look so, so pretty? I’m not sure it would quite work in our bedroom at home but anything to recreate our time here.
The restaurant at Gili Asahan, Nautilus, is a real pull here and understandably so, people flock from all over the island to tuck into the fresh and seasonal dishes, all sourced from local markets and the garden. It made us feel very smug albeit a little lazy that we had this feast on our door step everyday. Offering a sea food menu with an Italian twist (Yani has an Italian family but has lived and called Indonesia her home since she was young) A calm, breezy space, set seconds back from the waters edge, serving Italian food; everything!
On a whim of energy we took a walk around the land, green as green, with horses, chickens and cows, doing their thing. We took a gentle stroll up to the yoga shala, quite possibly the most most beautiful view one could have in a yoga class. We got to the the top as the sun was going down. The 360 degree views over the water out to the close by islands, was stunning. I think back to that moment and realise just how lucky we were to feel as if we were the only people for miles, soaking up that view in such peaceful and beautiful surroundings, unforgettable. What was also unforgettable was my sprint down to the lodge as the sun disappeared, once again me and nature in the dark, but enough said on that!
We spent our time on Gili Asahan, doing well, not very much… It is as if it has a wonderful hold on you that just slows you right down. Days started with delicious breakfasts, reading on the day beds with a coconut in hand next to the water. Swimming in the clear blue sea and snoozing in the hammock. Wes snorkelled, finding all colours under water, while I slept and sun bathed on repeat. We ordered smoothies, my favourite and coffees in the late afternoon and the evenings were spent around the bonfire which they lit every night. We played Draughts on a huge Draughts board, which by the by I am pretty good at. Delved into delicious Italian and Indonesian food, slowed right down, star and moon gazed for two whole nights, as I said Idyllic.
Yani has created something very special here at Eco Lodge, not only has she and her family integrated themselves into the islands community, with the local village being their warm and smiley neighbours. But underneath all of this, the beautiful landscape and created bungalows, the perfectly chosen cushions and prints, the hammocks swinging in the breeze, the palm trees standing high and proud, is a happiness and peace that is tangible and I feel we were exceptionally lucky to have touched upon it and I hope, we brought a little of this home with us.
Thank you so very much Yani for having us- unforgettable!
We booked through Yani here
We travelled with Gili Getaway Yani can help you arrange transport.
We read Lost Guides, Bali
Bikini: Peony Swimwear
Black Bikini : Asos
Striped T-Shirt: Zara
Pink Shirt: Free People
Jean Cut offs: Levis
White Dress: Topshop Nightwear
Blue sun dress : Gili Asahan Eco Lodge Shop
Orange Sarong : Gili Asahan Eco Lodge
More from our Indonesian trip soon.
Thank you for reading xx