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Some might say that if you’re living in Bali you don’t need a vacation. But one of our main goals when we travel is to get off the beaten track. And Bali is definitely on the beaten track. That’s why we decided to take a break from living in Bali to visit the neighboring island of Lombok. Lombok may be known on the world stage for its series of devastating earthquakes that shook the region in July and August of 2018, but this beautiful destination is much more than a disaster zone. Lombok has a rich indigenous culture, with strong Islamic influences. It also has some of the prettiest coastlines in Indonesia, with a fraction of the crowds of Bali.
From the beginning of our trip planning, Lombok was a clear frontrunner for a getaway from Bali. To seal the deal we hopped on Orbitz to check out the hotel selection. We wanted to start off our trip with a bit of luxury and were stoked to find a variety of gorgeous resorts and hotels throughout the island. From quiet villas to larger resorts, there was plenty to choose from for our trip to Lombok.
In the end we chose the Katamaran Resort in Senggigi, rated as one of the best hotels in Lombok. This place looked drop dead gorgeous on Orbitz, and it was affordable! By booking through Orbitz we were able to get a 32% discount off the regular price of $265/night. That means we only paid $180/night for an ocean view suite! The room included wifi and a huge buffet breakfast in the morning. And if you know us you know that Jules loves a good breakfast buffet!
Reaping Our Orbucks Rewards
One of the best parts of the booking process was using our Orbucks Rewards points to earn 5% when we booked using the Orbitz app. Unlike other confusing reward systems, Orbitz Rewards makes things really easy. 1 Orbuck = $1. You can use your Orbucks for discounts on any of their 350,000+ hotels, with no blackout dates! So on our 3 night stay we earned $24.21 in Orbucks! You could rack up some serious discounts if you use your Orbitz reward app to book all of your travel. One of the best parts is that you can earn 1% on flights on top of any airline miles you get from airline rewards!
We were also able to use Orbucks that we had earned back at home with the Orbitz Reward Dining program. This program can help you earn discounts on travel before you even decide on your destination! You link your credit card to the Reward program and Orbitz will automatically reward you with Orbucks whenever you dine at a participating restaurant. I was so surprised how many restaurants nearby are in the program. There were plenty of places that we already dined at, and now we’re saving up for future trips when we eat there! We earned enough through dining at home to get a decent discount for our trip to the Katamaran Resort in Lombok.
The Katamaran Resort, Lombok
Because of these discounts we were even more excited to splurge on our luxury accommodation at the Katamaran. Here’s what we loved about our stay at the resort:
We’ve been to some sweet hotels in our day, but we have to say that this is one of the most luxurious! Everything about this place is stunning. They pride themselves on excellent hospitality, which is what you’re met with right when enter their beautiful lobby. At check in, you’re welcomed with a fruity drink and a cold scented washcloth that feels like heaven on the back of your neck.
The room itself was stunning, with a clear view of both the ocean and the infinity pool below. The style is sleek and minimalist, and the decor reflects the local Lombok architecture. The bed was huge and comfortable. We even had an outdoor shower where we could look up at the palm trees overhead while washing the day away. One of my favorite parts of the room was the day bed on our balcony. I loved curling up with a beach read while listening to the waves crash below us. Heaven!
While we loved our room, the best part of the Katamaran resort is definitely the pool area. The pool is one of the features that we saw on Orbitz that made us think, we have to book this place! Not only is there a large infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, but the sides are made of clear glass! That means you can see in from the side. It makes for some epic photos that you would never be able to get in a standard pool. For us, fun little additions like this quirky pool make a hotel stand out more than anything!
What to Do in Lombok
Before the earthquakes of 2018, Senggigi was known as the tourist hub of Lombok. When went to visit in March of 2019, the town felt quiet. We spoke to some artisan sellers on the beach who mentioned that the earthquakes scared away tourists. It’s been difficult for them to make the same wage as before the disaster. This was an important reminder that where we choose to travel is extremely important. Our tourism dollars have a huge impact on the communities we visit. We really encourage travelers to visit Lombok, not only to support the local economy, but because it’s a really beautiful destination!
One thing you can’t miss exploring in the region are the gorgeous beaches! The best beaches in Lombok are scattered throughout the island, and there are plenty near the Katamaran Resort. One of our favorite things we did in the area was rent a motorbike and cruise to different local beaches. The coastline of Lombok is absolutely gorgeous. If you grab a bike near Senggigi and head north, you can catch the beaches of Sentangi, Ludmila, Nipah and Pandanan. Each beach is stunning and has its own vibe. The turn off for Sentangi and Ludmila is easy to miss, so the beach is incredibly devoid of tourists. Although there’s a bit of trash around the palm trees, down by the water the sand is pristine. Nipah is one of the more popular beaches on the coast. As you drive down you’ll see warungs (local restaurants) lining the sand. It’s definitely worth stopping in for a fresh fish and veggie lunch with spicy sambal. Whichever beach you choose, you’ll definitely see some gorgeous views as you ride along the highway.
Another activity we really enjoyed while in Senggigi was a visit to the Lombok Pottery Center. The LPC is a cooperative of over 200 women potters. They work in different villages around the area, crafting pottery indigenous to the region. You can visit the center or go on one of their village tours to see the pottery being handmade by artisans. This activity may not be as relaxing as laying by the pool, but taking the time to learn about the local culture and support a female owned and operated community project will have a much more positive impact than ordering another Mai Tai.
In the end we were so happy that we chose the Katamaran Resort in Senggigi, Lombok. Finding this resort on Orbitz was such a score. Not only were we able to easily book our luxury room at the best rate, but we actually made Orbucks while we did it. Now we’ll be set with a discount for our future trips!
Don’t forget to plan the rest of your trip to Lombok! Here are some other affordable hotels that are drop dead gorgeous.
Batatu Villa – This villa located in Kuta Lombok is a holidayer’s dream. Each of the four rooms have their own private pool and breakfast is included every morning. Staff can help you organize a bike or car rental. Plus you’ll find some of the best beaches in Lombok around Kuta!
Samsara Villas – These villas on relaxing Gili Air also have a private pool and terrace, perfect for enjoying your morning coffee. They’re right by the ocean so you don’t have far to walk for a snorkeling tour or to take in the sunset.
Ponte Villas – At less than $100 per night, these villas are luxury at an affordable price. On busy Gili T, you’ll want a relaxing place to come back to after a long day in the sun, and these villas are perfect!