Where can you find the best luxury hotels on Nusa Lembongan?
Nusa Lembongan is a tiny, sleepy island located just a 30-minute speedboat ride away from Bali, Indonesia. Measuring only 8km² in size, and pretty much free from vehicles other than scooters and golf buggies, it’s an island paradise well worth a visit.
From this description, you may think that finding the best luxury hotels on Nusa Lembongan may be a bit of a challenge. However, the island has seen an increase in luxury travellers in the past few years, and as such, the demand for hotels and resorts has grown with it.
We were fortunate enough to be invited to stay at The Tamarind Resort, Nusa Lembongan, for a complimentary 2-night bed and breakfast stay in exchange for writing this review. We didn’t know what to expect, as Nusa Lembongan wasn’t originally on our radar for our Indonesia trip, but we are SO glad we went there! It soon became one of our favourite stops on our travels. We hope it will make you feel the same!
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Location and getting around
Getting to Nusa Lembongan is relatively straight-forward. We travelled with d’Camel fast ferry from Sanur in Bali – a seaside resort on the east coast. It cost us about 300,000 IDR each for a one-way trip (£16.50). We could have found a cheaper option if we’d taken a slower public boat. From Sanur, on a fast boat, the boat trip takes only half an hour, and it wasn’t too choppy either.
On arriving at Jungut Batu Bay on the west coast of the island, we waited to get our luggage before being met by a friendly member of staff from The Tamarind Resort. He guided us to a cute little golf buggy, and after a VERY short drive (it literally took less than 2 minutes from the beach to the resort), we arrived at The Tamarind Resort, Nusa Lembongan.
TOP TIP: Be prepared to get wet feet when arriving to and leaving from Nusa Lembongan by boat. We had water shoes on (like these ones from Amazon) which were a godsend. The beaches can be full of coral, which isn’t pleasant to stand on.
The Tamarind Resort is located at the bottom of a hill, so it enjoys amazing sea views back towards Bali and Mt Agung, one of Bali’s active volcanoes. From the resort, it’s a few minutes walk back to the seafront, and into the hub of bars and restaurants looking out over the bay.
The best way to get around Nusa Lembongan is by hiring a scooter. We had never been on a scooter before, and Sam’s only experience of driving something similar was when he was a kid playing with his neighbour’s dirt bike. Needless to say, we were a little bit apprehensive. However, because of the lack of large vehicles permitted to use the island, we felt that it was an ideal place to get to grips with a scooter.
To hire a scooter for one day cost us about £7, so it’s a great budget-friendly option to allow you to explore more of the island. From The Tamarind Resort, we headed north towards the mangrove forests, as it was a pretty flat road, and then turned back and went south to see more of the beaches.
If scooters aren’t your thing, or if you are a family, you can also hire golf buggies. These are understandably more expensive than scooters, but worth it to be able to get out and about.
TOP TIP: We weren’t asked for any form of driver’s licence. However, traffic police in Indonesia do sometimes fine you on the spot if they pull you over and you don’t have an international driver’s licence. It’s up to you to take the risk or not.
Amenities and facilities
The Tamarind Resort, Nusa Lembongan, boasts not one but THREE beautifully presented infinity pools. The first one is on the same level as the restaurant and is beneath the shade of the ancient tamarind tree that flourishes up from the centre of the resort. The second is a few levels up, offering spectacular views across to Bali and over the Bay. It also has a swim-up bar, which was right up our street. The third is a children’s pool, which still looks like a pool adults would enjoy!
On top of the pools, The Tamarind Resort also has a small but well-equipped gym, and a spa offering a wide range of treatments. We treated ourselves to a couples massage as there was a great deal on when we were there. Having never had a massage before, we didn’t quite know what to expect. We ended up loving it though and left afterwards feeling so blissed out.
Each room comes with a cafetiere and freshly ground coffee, which was a huge plus in our books. We stayed in a superior room, which features floor-to-ceiling windows, a lush private garden terrace and stunning west-facing ocean views. This type of room costs around 2,530,000 IDR per night, which is a reasonable £140 for a luxury five-star hotel in Nusa Lembongan! Prices for other types of room range up to 10,630,000 IDR (£580) for a 3-bed villa.
The resort smelled great all the time too, due to the essential oil burners strategically located around the corridors. It’s the little touches that make all the difference to us!
We had breakfast included in our stay. It was essentially served all day, and you could even choose to have it brought to your room to enjoy breakfast in bed. There was a really good range of options. We tend to eat vegetarian food, and there was plenty on the menu to give us a good choice each morning. We chose 2 dishes, a freshly-squeezed juice, and a coffee each, which really set us up for a day of exploring.
There is an on-site restaurant, but we didn’t make use of this for dinner during our stay. We preferred to eat out at one of the many bars and restaurants lining the bay. Plus, we also found that the prices were much higher at the on-site restaurant than they were elsewhere. It made more sense for us to go out for dinner. The menu looked amazing though and was again very varied.
On our last night, the hotel was hosting 2 events. One at the lower pool, and one at the upper pool. We fancied going for a drink at the pool bar, but we weren’t able to as it was closed for the event. When we went down to the other pool to perhaps get a drink there, it was again all set up for another event. This was a little disappointing, as we felt that we were unable to enjoy the facilities fully that evening due to both areas being busy or closed. However, this was only a minor issue and didn’t affect our overall enjoyment of our stay.
WiFi was unlimited during our stay and very strong in all areas of the resort. We had no issues with it at all. It allowed us to get on with some work and upload to social media. If it ever kicked us off after a time of inactivity, it was quick and simple to get connected again.
All the staff were very welcoming and helpful. If we asked them for assistance with anything, like booking an onward boat to Gili Trawangan for the end of our stay, they were quick to help us out and get the necessary information for us.
When we arrived, we were shown to our room and given a cold hand towel and a tamarind and ginger ale drink to refresh ourselves after the boat journey. It really set the tone for our stay; the atmosphere of the resort and the attitude of the staff helped us to feel really relaxed there.
One of the highlights of our stay was right as we were leaving. We were given a religious blessing to keep us safe on our travels. It was such a touching experience, and certainly a unique one. We felt so fortunate to be given such a heartfelt, special blessing and it really rounded up our stay at The Tamarind.
Value for money
The rooms were big and full of natural light, and definitely offered value for money. The included breakfast was delicious, and very generously proportioned.
We didn’t have any drinks but they were reasonably priced, and there were daily happy hour offers. As previously mentioned, dinner was more expensive than other restaurants in the area. However, if you were looking to treat yourself during your stay the dining facilities and decor are beautiful.
Would we go back: Yes! We felt so relaxed during our stay, and the decor was totally to our style.
Perfect for: Couples, old and young. There was a good mix of ages at the resort when we were there.
Important bits: It’s definitely worthwhile hiring your own form of transport when staying at The Tamarind Resort. There is so much more of the island to see! Bear in mind that the resort doesn’t offer it’s own scooters for you to hire. However, if you walk back towards Jungut Batu Bay you will soon find scooters and buggies for hire.
Overall rating 9/10
Psst! Looking for things to do in Nusa Lembongan?
Why not check out this one day trip to Nusa Penida to see all the Insta-famous sites?
Are you more of a water baby? Why not try this three-hour snorkelling trip? Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida have some of the BEST diving and snorkelling sites around, and you may even see a manta ray!
Or get down and dirty in the mangroves with a kayaking or SUP session! You get picked up from your hotel and given all the equipment you’ll need to do a bit of exploring.
To book your own stay at The Tamarind Resort, Nusa Lembongan, click here.
We received a complimentary 2-night bed and breakfast stay at The Tamarind Resort, Nusa Lembongan in exchange for writing this review. All of these opinions are our own.
Why not check out our other Indonesian hotel reviews?
For an insight into our time at Munduk Moding Plantation, click here.