If the Swiss Family Robinson* built a dive resort, it would look a lot like Pearl Beach Resort on Gili Asahan.
The famously creative castaways would certainly approve of the charming rustic character of this beautiful boutique accommodation, nestled amongst the natural beauty of this stunning hidden paradise island in Indonesia.
Old wooden fishing boats fashioned into outdoor seating areas. An open-air library with bamboo-style bookshelves. Gorgeous private bungalows with thatched roofs blending into the lush green background.
However, rustic doesn’t mean basic. The rooms are modern and comfortable, complete with queen-size beds, outdoor bathrooms with hot water showers and Western toilets, and private terraces.
Gili Asahan truly is a hidden gem. This tiny island in Southwest Lombok is part of the ‘secret Gilis’ – a world away from the more famous and more populated Gilis Air, Meno and Trawangan.
There’s something on the ocean breeze in this secluded place that just feels special. In fact, Gili Asahan is located on a different oceanic plate than the Bali mainland – so instead of that humid tropical feel, you get a drier desert-like air. Close your eyes and you could be on the African coast!
It’s the perfect place to unwind, relax, and disconnect. Lounge in the sun on the beanbags by the restaurant, or climb up to the viewing platform in the trees. Make sure to take a good book to settle down in the swinging chairs with. And, if you want to really de-stress, there’s a Balinese massage service available.
Life feels a little slower on Gili Asahan, and the trip is all the better for it.
You can walk around the entire island in a couple of hours – it’s a lovely leisurely stroll on the day off from diving. If you’re feeling more adventurous, head up the hill in the middle of the island for a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding Gilis – not to mention jaw-dropping sunsets.
Taking a tour of the island is also a great opportunity to meet the friendly local fishermen and their families, who rely on the island’s tourism for their income. Make sure to stop by the tiny convenience store if you need to stock up on snacks or toiletries!
Pearl Beach has the best location on Gili Asahan for snorkelling. The house reef, right in front of the resort, is home to a beautiful coral garden. You can spot sea turtles, moray eels, and hundreds of fish within seconds of walking into the sea! The resort also offers free kayak and paddleboard hire.
And of course, the diving is excellent. We mostly explore the nearby Sekotong Bay, just a short boat ride away – meaning more time in the water! The beautiful coral – gorgonian fans, soft corals, barrel sponges – is home to a variety of marine life, from sea turtles and stingrays to moray eels and ghost pipefish. Underwater macro enthusiasts will be happy to spot nudibranchs and sea stars.
Pearl Beach is an eco-friendly resort that is serious about sustainability, from the solar panels that supply most of the resort’s electricity, to the natural materials used in the buildings. There’s an artificial reef where new coral is growing, and some of the profits from the resort are used to fund local conservation and education projects.
The beachside restaurant, featuring a wooden platform directly over the water, serves delicious Western classics and local favourites, with a variety of different food to try every day of the trip. The sun rises directly in front of the restaurant, making for a brilliant breakfast view. Sipping coffee as the sun shimmers on the sea in the morning is the perfect antidote for sleepy heads!
In our busy modern lives, even our holidays can be hectic. Long days travelling, sightseeing, museum-hopping; sometimes we come back from vacation needing another vacation!
A trip to Gili Asahan is precisely the opposite.
Whether gazing up at the starry skies (there’s no light pollution here!), swinging lazily in one of the resort’s many hammocks, or sipping a refreshing cocktail after a great day’s diving – you can’t help but breathe a little deeper, move a little slower, and smile a little wider while you’re here.
The resort does have Wi-Fi, although the connection isn’t always that stable. So forget about streaming Netflix in HD quality …
… But then again, why would you want to?
Check out our Trips page for the next trip to Gili Asahan and reserve your spot!
*If you don’t know who the Swiss Family Robinson are – they’re the title characters from a classic Disney movie about a family who get shipwrecked on a desert island and build themselves an elaborate treehouse!