Getting to the Gili Islands meant spending a night in Padang Bai, somewhere we had read absolutely nothing about. So naturally we decided to stay two nights.
Now I’ve been, I can confirm there is more to Padang Bai than it’s ferry service to the GIli islands although, that still does seem to be the main attraction of this traditional fishing village. It boasts three very nice local beaches, lots of bars and restaurants and plenty of stuff going on just off shore underwater, that alone is enough to get us excited but I’ll write about the diving later.
We arranged to stay at the Lemon House, a small homestay style property run by a very friendly and helpful English couple. The lemon house is located about a 5 minute walk from the main bay and has a room for every type of traveller. There are 3 private rooms and a dorm room that sleeps 4 for those on a budget. During our stay most of the beds were full so be sure to book in advance particularly for the dorm beds which will undoubtedly fill up quickly.
The lemon house is a short but uphill walk to the right of the main road in Padang Bai and be ready to face a number of steps (Give the owners a quick call if your struggling with your bags and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help) but it’s well worth it.
A large balcony runs the length of the building and provides a great view over the village so either first thing in the morning enjoying your breakfast (included) or last thing at night watching the sun go down, you always have somewhere to relax.
There’s also a comfortable communal area with couches, good wifi, a wide selection of dvd’s to watch and somewhere to sit down and eat. So even if you just want to relax for a day enjoying the view and preparing for a party on the islands you’ll feel at home here.
We stayed in the dorm room with two bunk beds, private lockers and a shared wet room. The beds were fine and we slept well but being a little bit nosey and checking out the private on-suite rooms we couldn’t help but be a little bit jealous of the other guests. A good sized bed and room which shares the great view with the balcony, might be worth the extra pennies.
All in all a very nice stay providing you don’t mind the steps every time you head out but to be honest, we quite enjoyed the walk to and from The Lemon House and being away from all the bars etc. For more info check out their website here and say hi from us!