Head to Sanur harbour, hop on a boat, and before you can say "happy holidays" you'll have arrived in paradise - welcome to Nusa Lembongan!
Ahhh Nusa Lembongan – our fave island escape that’s just a hop, skip and a short 40 minute boat ride away from mainland Bali. Lapped by aquamarine waters, fringed by powder-white sands and centred by lush green mangrove forests, this little island has a lot to love, and that’s before we mention the swoon-worthy hotels, scrummy restaurants and wild island adventures (with a few tropical cocktails at the island’s best beach clubs to help you along).
So, if you’re heading over to Nusa Lembongan for a break from Bali, consider this your complete guide on where to eat, stay and play on the island. And because Nusa Lembongan is connected to Nusa Ceningan (via that ever-instagrammable Yellow Bridge) we’ve also chucked in a few Ceningan must-dos too…
Happy holidays, Honeys!
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO ON NUSA LEMBONGAN
From ocean adventures to Instagrammable landmarks, add these experiences to your island itinerary…
Cross the big Yellow Bridge
Connecting Nusa Lembongan to its little island sister, Nusa Ceningan, the famous Yellow Bridge (AKA The Bridge of Love) is a must-visit on any island itinerary. Seen on almost every Insta-feed worldwide, the Yellow Bridge is a truly stunning sight, with its vibrant sunshine hues suspended over turquoise seas beneath. By nightfall, this legendary landmark lights up, so come back after dark to capture a totally different vista.
Snorkel or dive into the deep
Nusa Lembongan is home to stunning, crystal-clear waters and some of the most diverse reefs on the planet (you can spot Manta Rays and Mola-Mola if you’re lucky!) so a snorkelling trip or scuba dive to the deep here is an absolute must. Our fave sites? Head to Mangrove Point, The Wall and Crystal Bay (off the coast of neighbouring Nusa Penida) on a multi-stop snorkelling trip. Or if you’re really keen, simply hire a snorkel and mask and explore the calm waters from the beach.
Visit Devil’s Tear
One of Nusa Lembongan’s most famous natural wonders, Devil’s Tear is a breathtaking spectacle that’s like something out of a movie set. Rugged cliff meets wild ocean tides at this “edge of the earth” location, where a powerful blowhole spits out giant plumes of water. A visit here is always awesome no matter the time of day, but come here for sunset for a seriously stunning display of fiery skies that reflect off the surrounding rock pools. It’s when Devil’s Tear looks most… heavenly!
Take to the waves
While Nusa Lembongan’s waters are mostly lake-like levels of calm, the island is where you’ll find a handful of super famous surf breaks that rival some of Bali’s best. Head to Playgrounds on high-tide if you’re a beginner, or for more advanced surfers, head out to Shipwrecks or Lacerations – you can paddle out by yourself if you’re game for a 5 – 10 minute crossing, or simply hire one of the fishing boats to drop you off and pick you up. And if you happen to visit during a small swell, hire a Stand Up Paddle Board and cruise around the calm bays at low-tide instead.
Explore the island on a scooter
With no cars or taxis on the island (only the trucks that transport guests to their hotels) the only way to get around Nusa Lembongan is by scooter. With bumpy and windy roads, it’s not for the fainthearted, so only hire your own of you’ve done it before (and always wear a helmet!). Visit the Mangrove Forest, hunt for an empty beach, cross the Yellow Bridge or simply park up at a beach club and laze your days away on your own time. The island is your oyster!
TOP 10 BEST RESTAURANTS, BARS & BEACH CLUBS ON NUSA LEMBONGAN
From daytime sessions in the sunshine to beachfront feasts and after-hours gins, here’s where to eat, drink, lounge & repeat on the island…
Sandy Bay Beach Club
This restaurant and beach club combo is worth making a trip over to Nusa Lembongan by itself – yes, it’s that good. With its own private bay, the sand in your toes and a cool sea breeze cascading through the open-air restaurant (all with the crashing blue ocean as a soundtrack) we can’t think of a better spot to feast on fantastic beachy fare while sinking a few tropical cocktails. Try everything on the Grazing Menu, then tuck into an ocean-fresh grilled snapper, a traditional Beef Rendang, or the Veggie Burger that’s loaded with onion rings. Wash it down with a Bloody Mary or Margarita, and stick around until sundown for the nightly glows.
Sandy Bay Beach Club, Jl Sandy Bay, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 878 6227 4780, e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily.
Sitting on the oceanfront boardwalk overlooking Nusa Lembongan’s main Jungut Batu bay, this restaurant, cafe and bar is always a go-to at any hour of the day. In the mornings, swing by for an Australian-style brekkie (helloooo Smashed Avo & fruit bowls), then by lunchtime, feast on tacos, burgers, salads and so much more – all with a side of pristine ocean views. Believe us when we say you’ll want to secure your front-row seat for sunset here – it’s arguably the best spot on the island, and it’s made even better with chilled tunes and regular live music.
The Deck Lembongan at Batu Karang Lembongan Resort, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 366 5596377 / +62 855 390 4830, e. email@example.com. Open daily.
Taking Lembo’s restaurant and beach club scene up a notch, Ohana’s is where it’s at for luxe beachfront bites, fresh seafood, salads and steaks – all served up on the bright-white daybeds beneath breezy umbrellas that border the oceanfront pool. You’ll want to arrive early to nab prime sun-soaking positioning here, then stick around until after dark for dinner on the upper deck beneath the stars.
Ohana’s, Jungut Batu Beach, Gg. Nusa Indah, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 811 3960 0787, e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily 7am – 11.30pm.
A hidden whiskey & gin bar tucked away under The Deck, The Howff is Nusa Lembongan’s speakeasy that hangs over rugged rock and serves some of our very fave tipples (try the Lady Dora with its chamomile-infused vodka, or The Countess of Ross that’s as zesty as the woman warrior it’s named after). The drams of powerful whiskey and globes of botanical gins at this dungeon bar are of the finest calibre, served with class and a touch of Scottish-Balinese character.
The Howff at Batu Karang Lembongan Resort, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 366 5596377, +62 855 390 4830 or +62 811 3869216, e. email@example.com. Open every evening.
Sitting on the waterfront of Jungut Batu, Thai Pantry is a rocking retro combi van slinging the best and most authentic Thai food around. You won’t find any of your usual island burgers or spaghetti here, only green curries, pad thai, wok-fried vegetables and every other Thai staple – all done the right way. Settle in early to catch a sunset, and stick around until after dark for the buzzing vibes at this humble, outdoor dining destination.
Thai Pantry, Jl Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 813 533 20568, e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily 7.30am – 9.30pm.
Le Pirate Beach Club
Sitting on the water’s edge of Nusa Ceningan, Le Pirate is a go-to for daytime lounging and cocktail-sipping beneath swaying palms. This boutique beach club presents island simplicity as its best – the kind of place you can turn up to in your bikini and prop up the bamboo-clad central bar with sand and salt still in your hair. Order a tropical cocktail and kick back in the nautical-striped deck chairs, and if you can’t bear the thought of ever leaving, check in to one of their beach-shack bungalows for a night of humble island living.
Le Pirate Beach Club, Nusa Ceningan, Lembongan, Bali, p. +62 361 733 493, e. email@example.com.
The Coconut Hut
A barefoot-boho horizon of all-natural materials, The Coconut Hut is Nusa Lembongan’s shabby-chic bar, restaurant and mini-golf combo that had us at palm trees and putt-putt. Awesome food and coffee is served up throughout the day here (think toasted paninis, coconut curries and succulent satays – plus a kids menu for little coconuts) with funky tunes keeping the island vibes alive as glowing golf balls find their way through the 18-hole course of Balinese deities and Hindu temples. Sinking back a few cocktails here as you sink a hole in one isn’t mandatory, but is highly recommended…
The Coconut Hut, Jl Jungut Batu (towards the mangroves), Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 812 3644 9119, e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily 9am – 11pm.
A laid-back and breezy toes-in-the-sand beach bar right by the ocean on Nusa Ceningan, The Sand is where you’ll find potent cocktails, an Instagrammable swing suspended over the water, and a menu of nibbles to help fuel a daytime sesh in the sunshine. You’ll want to bring your bikini to this one…
The Sand, Jl Nusa Ceningan, p. . Open daily 11am – late.
One of Nusa Lembongan’s original restaurants that’s still going strong today, Lemongrass has stood the test of time, and then some. With reservations mandatory any night of the week, you’ll spot this buzzing restaurant from the crowds of diners inside, lapping up local favourites done right (our fave Nasi Goreng and spicy sambal is served here!). And if it’s not the buzz of the guests catching your attention, it’ll be the awesome live music that regularly lights up Lembongan’s main strip almost every evening. It’s affordable, fun and always delish.
Lemongrass, Jl Jungut Batu, p. e. email@example.com. Open daily 8am – 10pm.
Glamorous, spectacular and directly overlooking the breathtaking Blue Lagoon, KLYF Club on Nusa Ceningan is home to a kaleidoscope of cobalt with a stunning infinity pool, sophisticated daybeds, a DJ booth and a world class bar and restaurant. You’ll want to settle in for the refined, modern-Asian and Mediterranean menu from Chef Kieran Morland of Merah Putih in Bali, and most of all, you’ll want to try allllll the dranks, while lapping up the stunning ocean views.
KLYF Club at Blue Lagoon Avia Villas, Jl Sarang Burung, Nusa Ceningan. Open daily.
TOP 5 HOTELS & VILLAS ON NUSA LEMBONGAN
From private beachfront abodes to boho suites by the sea, here’s where to stay across the island
Batu Karang Resort & Spa
A five-star retreat dripping in both style and pure relaxation, Batu Karang is home to a collection of luxurious villas & suites that are carved into the island’s coral hillside. Overlooking the main Jungut Batu bay, the ocean views here are endless, confined only by the distant silhouette of Mount Agung out yonder. Inside, expect a magical meeting of modern and traditional architecture, plus allll the glamorous perks you’d expect from a stylish stay. Think enormous bathtubs, chic lolling spots and even private pools and plunges in the villas…
Batu Karang Resort & Spa, Banjar Kelod Desa Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 366 559 6377, e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sitting absolute beachfront on the elite strip of Sandy Bay (just a few sandy-footed steps from one of fave beach clubs) Villa Seascape is a five-bedroom seaside abode that stands two-storeys tall on the cove’s shorefront, blessed with unobstructed sea views, contemporary interiors and innovative design elements, like a suspended living area that hangs high up on the mezzanine level above the contemporary kitchen, strewn with squishy pillows and centred by a widescreen TV. Each of the rooms here have been themed individually, and being so close to the ocean, the sounds of the waves lull you to sleep each blissful evening… heaven!
Villa Seascape, Sandy Bay Beach, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 361 737 498.
A boutique resort within walking distance of Lembongan’s best restaurants, shops, spas and beach adventures, Ohana’s is the island’s trendiest beach lounge that also happens to house a collection of bright and minimalistic suites and villas that scream boho-island-chic. And while these contemporary abodes have everything you could ever need during your stay, it goes without saying that the beach club’s lineup of awesome food, cocktails and poolside nooks means every base is covered here.
Ohana’s, Jungut Batu Beach, Gg. Nusa Indah, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 811 3960 0787, e. email@example.com. Open daily 7am – 11.30pm.
The Beach Shack
A beach-chic, oceanfront beauty, The Beach Shack is a three-bedroom luxury villa on Nusa Lembongan’s most sought-after bay, with private and direct access to the gorgeous Sandy Bay Beach Club. The open-plan and breezy villa is fronted by a glittering infinity pool that stretches out to the aquamarine ocean, nudged by a beachfront sofa on the sand, a manicured lawn and a dining table with a built-in barbecue. Inside, a cosy, cushion-filled living area beckons, with two hanging egg-chairs and three stunning bedrooms with personalised and unique decor that makes you feel right at home…
The Beach Shack, Sandy Bay, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 822 3633 7755, e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana Kenanga Villas
A luxury and boutique resort with the most adorable yet chic interior design, Indiana Kenanga Villas melds French elegance with traditional Balinese art – and what a stunning setting that creates. Surrounded by tropical gardens with white sand beaches and turquoise seas on the doorstep, this villa resort is like a secret paradise that’s topped off by excellent service. With one- or two-bedroom villas to choose from, these island abodes are perfect for couples and friends travelling together.
Indiana Kenanga Villas, Jl Jungut Batu No. 56, Nusa Lembongan, p. +62 366 559 6371, e. email@example.com.
TOP 5 SPAS ON NUSA LEMBONGAN
From cheap and cheerful massages to luxurious multi-hour rituals, here’s where to get your bliss on…
If you thought island life couldn’t get any better, Nusa Lembongan’s lineup of divine day spas ups the bliss-factor to another level. And while there are plenty of local spas on every corner that deliver excellent and affordable no-frills massage treatments, we’ve hand-selected our Top 5 spas on Nusa Lembongan – some are cheap and cheerful, while others are for when you want to up the budget a little and lap up world-class rituals and therapies.
For exactly that, head to Glo Day Spa & Salon (next door to Sandy Bay Beach Club) for a one-stop shop of all your major beauty and relaxation needs. With three other location across mainland Bali, this is a tried-and-tested long-standing winner. For more of a splurge, try Lulur Spa at Batu Karang (they use botanically-inspired products you’ll love!) or the spa at Indiana Kenanga – a luxurious, boutique spa that’s got everything just right, from the expert therapists to the age-old wisdom of Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and India. Want something a little less fancy? Try Tonic Body & Soul Spa for your everyday bliss sessions, or Kayana Spa (opposite Lemongrass restaurant) that’s popular with Lembongan’s expat crowds.
Happy holidays Honeys!