2013 was a year of many firsts for our family. In 2013 I started working for the first time since getting married, Joshua successfully completed his first day of school, we visited Mexico for the first time as a family of four and for the first time in years we traveled during Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my most cherished adopted Holidays. Although we don’t really celebrate it in Mexico soon after I moved to the US and later got married I was happy to celebrate a holiday which has as its only purpose to demonstrate our gratefulness to God for all he’s done and been to us. In 2012 we hosted a big Thanksgiving dinner with friends and in 2013 we decided to keep it low-key and try something different.
Ever since we moved to Jakarta we heard that Lombok was the place to visit. Sure, Bali is very popular and a must see but Lombok is the place to go if you want to relax and enjoy the idyllic beaches of Indonesia you see plastered on the pages of the most popular travel magazines. So we booked our flights, booked our hotel and headed to Lombok for a wonderful 6 day vacation.
As soon as we arrived to Lombok we could feel a different vibe and atmosphere than that in Bali. Everything was more relaxed and laid-back. Partying wasn’t on the top of the list for most people visiting Lombok; relaxing and exploring a new little piece of paradise was.
We booked a driver thru our hotel and were thrilled when we heard that he was our driver for the day so that we could go and explore a bit of Lombok before we reached our hotel. Before we even made it to the island where our hotel was located we got to visit an amazing weaving village where women from Lombok learn and perfect the art of weaving gorgeous fabrics.
After spending a couple of hours there, it was time to check in our hotel but as we were driving we found a roasted corn stand on the street and HAD to stop. You see, my boys loooove corn and I looooove having an excuse to taste new things and enjoy a nice view. So just like that, we stopped in the middle of the road and enjoyed corn and iced tea.
We soon discovered that another vendor nearby was selling es kelapa muda or coconut water, right from the source. Of course I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one and at the same time introduce the boys to a new flavor. Comme d’habitude, Josh was all about the new flavor and Evan was just not interested in challenging his palate that was used to white rice and chicken satay.
As soon as we arrived at our hotel, we fell in love. My good friend Kaho had recommended the Qunci Villas before, and after reading about it on her blog we knew we needed to stay there. I always forget to take pics from the hotels we stay in but I can tell you it was gorgeous, visit Kaho’s blog for some amazing venue pics.
I am more about the experience and as you will see from the photos below we had a blast. The pool was just what the boys needed to burn off some energy, the food was just extremely fresh and delectable and the happy hour drinks were just what we needed to close every evening with a cherry on top.
The infinity pool overlooking the ocean was beautiful and warm and we had such a great time just hanging out by the pool. The staff at the hotel was extremely friendly and we were even able to book a nanny for the day so we could go diving in the Gili islands.
We spent a lot of time just chilling in our hotel but we were also able to visit a super fun pearl farm nearby where we learned about the pearl manufacturing process.
Evan and Josh had a great time just hanging out by the pool and running around the gorgeous gardens in the Qunci Villas. Within two days they had friends all over the hotel and enjoyed the attention. They also were happy to eat almost everything on the menu and our stay was just super relaxing.
Lombok is well-known as a surfer’s Shangri-La and although we didn’t test our luck or balancing skills we could see that it was very popular. I hope we get to visit when the kiddos are older so we can try out a new sport together.
We can’t recommend Lombok enough if you are looking for the perfect family friendly and relaxing spot to visit. Don’t expect the glamour and trendiness of the Bali night life but expect idyllic beaches, beautiful fresh food and a relaxing atmosphere that will have you begging for just one more night in this beautiful island.
1. If you are hesitant whether to go to Lombok or not, don’t be. It’s awesome! We’ve had a great time visiting Bali a few times, but this was just different, and perfect for us.
2. Most of the hotels are a good hour and a half drive away from the airport. Book a driver and explore! Within a short distance to the airport you will find the weaving village, wood carving venues, silversmiths and other artisans that will be happy to show you the work of their hands.
3. You are able to find formula, diapers and kid-friendly snacks at most convenience stores and super markets close to the airport. Try to get all your supplies before you arrive in the hotel section since there aren’t that many stores around.
4. You can bring your stroller but we used the baby carrier and toddler feet as our proffered mode of transportation. There aren’t many places you can walk to safely with kids but taxi rides are easy and cheap.
5. The beach right off our hotel wasn’t very kid-friendly. There wasn’t too much sand to play in and the waves were more surfer friendly than kid safe. You are able to go to many inlets nearby if you want to sit down and play in the sand. The hotel will recommend a few places and will help you arrange transportation there.
6. You MUST visit the Gili islands! The water is beautiful, clear and warm and you might be lucky enough to spot some amazing huge turtles. Visit the Gilis for the day. Many restaurants and hotels will have loungers and umbrellas for rent. If the kiddos need to nap make sure you bring some nice thick towels and let them dream the afternoon away in this dream-like beach. Most hotels in Lombok will be able to arrange transportation there.