We stayed in Kuta Lombok for five days in April 2008 as a family of four. We stayed at the Novotel, which is great hotel in a great location about 3 kilometres from Kuta.
Kuta Lombok is in the south of Lombok. It is a small spread out town in a beautiful bay lined by a long white sand beach. The town itself is located back from the beach. There are restaurants and hotels. Generally, the town looks a little run down. Along the beach are houses and huts that are generally in poor condition. While this may seem a little negative, the positive is that the place is laid back and rustic to the point of seeming a little primitive, which I find appealing. It reminds me of parts of Bali when I first went there thirty years ago. Most of the other towns didn’t have accommodation.
I checked out a number of hotels at Kuta. They were cheap and clean though the gardens were neglected. In some places the pool was dirty.
The hawkers along the beaches are painful and persistent. Understandably with so few tourists they really are keen for a sale. Unfortunately, they can be unpleasant if you don’t buy from them. I found it best to keep walking or cycling when they approach if I didn’t want to buy. I was there for five days and found that their persistence didn’t waiver. They do sell interesting hand woven ‘sarongs’ and the pearl jewelry looked nice.
The scenery is spectacular and it varies a great deal. I walked and cycled a lot and most of the time when walking I would have a beach or headland to myself. Sometimes locals appeared. They were nice and interesting to talk to though the conversation of buying something seemed to eventually come up. Still one has to make a living.
Transport is needed to get to other towns, beaches or activities. As a family of four we chose to hire a car and driver. It was a little expensive at 450 000 a day (use track a car hirer company) but the driver was entertaining and it was a relaxing way to look around. Other people had hired cars or motorbikes to drive themselves. They said that it was good but they had to pay parking fees, beach entry fees, etc. one couple who didn’t pay returned to their car after a day at the beach with a flat tyre. Out of the bushes appeared locals who offered to fix it for a fee.
Before I went I heard a lot negatives and a few positives. My final opinion is that it is very pretty and has a feel of adventure about it. I’m back there next April 09.
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