Guest post by Sarah Manglesdorf
Why You’ll Love Cafe Alberto, Lombok
Cafe Alberto B&B (aka Lombok B&B) is a four-bedroom hotel annexed to the extremely popular Café Alberto that has been serving delicious Italian fare for the last 20 years. Positioned on a relatively undeveloped stretch of coastline, there’s a lovely feel to the place and the beach is so quiet that it almost feels like it’s your own.
The four bedrooms are housed within a modernist block, two on top and two on the ground floor. The stairs linking the two floors are somewhat precarious as there are no railings, so keep an eye on adventurous toddlers. The rooms all overlook – and open directly onto – the beach and there’s also a big, beautiful swimming pool in the centre of the property.
Giuseppe, the owner, gives all guests his own personal “Discover Lombok” guide, which offers some great ideas on what to do in the local area. We visited waterfalls, swam in the ocean and went snorkelling but there’s much more to do here including paddle boarding, diving, surfing (beginner waves), mountain bike riding and walking. You can also arrange to hire Giuseppe’s sailing boat, “My Baby Isabelle” for the day.
Why The Kids Will Love Cafe Alberto, Lombok
Although not a dedicated family hotel we loved Lombok B&B with our three kids. Because there are only four rooms (and we took two of them) and owing to its quiet location, we really felt like we had the run of the place. The kids loved the enormous bed, the fantastic food (pizza for the boys, curry for my daughter!), the beach and the central swimming pool. We spent most of our days swimming in the sea, snorkelling and taking boat trips.
One of our best day out was to the waterfalls. It takes about two hours to drive from the hotel along a windy road with fantastic views. Once at the start point, a guide will lead you to the two waterfalls and this is where the adventure begins. The route includes rope bridges, steep stairs and taking our shoes off to walk through the river – the kids loved it! The waterfalls themselves are very impressive; it’s roughly a 20-minute walk to the first waterfall followed by another 20-minute walk to the second.
There are four rooms, two upstairs and two on the ground floor. All are the same in terms of size with a boutique-y kind of décor. The four rooms come with spacious bathrooms (showers only, no baths). We took the two ground floor rooms, which have a small terrace overlooking the beach. The terrace is accessed via a side door and the view over the beach from the room is via a window rather than large French doors. Consequently, the rooms (at least the downstairs ones) felt a little dark.
Each room is furnished with an enormous king size bed positioned upon a concrete base – my 3 kids slept together in one and still had room to spare! The bed really takes up most of the room and there’s no space for an extra bed although you can fit a baby cot in at a push. The hotel will happily organise a cot with prior notice. Every room has a safe.
Best rooms for families: All the rooms are the same but those on the ground floor are better for families with little kids owing to the stairs that have no railings.
The food is a definite highlight and we especially enjoyed the complimentary glass of limoncello at the end of every meal! The menu is a mix of local and Italian food.
Breakfast is served daily from 7.30 am – 10.30am and included toast, jam, omelettes, eggs, fried rice, fried noodles, nasi goring, banana pancakes, pineapple pancakes, fruit, fresh fruit juices and decent coffee.
At other times of the day and night we enjoyed really good handmade gnocchi, fresh salads, excellent tagliatelle con fungi, spinach ravioli and tuna carpaccio.
I celebrated my birthday while we were here and so the staff organised a special birthday dinner on the beach for us. They hung flower garlands between posts, made me a cake and then we lit lanterns to send up into the sky. There’s a common area in the restaurant where tea, coffee and water are available throughout the day.
Nearby is Papa Besar Café, a very good east-meets-west café serving good value local and international cuisine that’s open all day.
For Kids: They don’t have a dedicated kids’ menu but can pretty much do anything for kids. They even made some chicken curry for my curry-obsessed daughter! Excellent pizzas come from their very own pizza oven.
Activities for Parents: Swimming pool, beach, massages, boat trips, snorkelling, surfing (beginner waves), hiking, visiting waterfalls and going to Gili Nangu. Mountain bike riding, sailing, diving and eating delicious Italian food!
Activities for Kids: Swimming pool, beach, sandcastle building, snorkelling off the beach, boat rides, learning to surf, island hopping and visiting waterfalls.
AC, common rooms, cots, doctors & hospitals, laundry service, pets allowed, pushchair friendly, swimming pool, travel desk & excursions, wheelchair access, WiFi.
When to go:
Lombok is at its quietest during the months of February – April and November. These months traditionally coincide with the rainy season. Mid season generally falls in May, June and October and is an excellent time to visit – good weather and few crowds. High season is January, July, August, September and December are peak season – if planning to visit during these months make sure to book accommodation well in advance.
Location & Travel:
Cafe Alberto B&B is located in Senggigi on the western coast of Lombok, Indonesia. It is 48 km from Lombok International Airport, approximately 1 hour’s drive.