Bali is a tropical paradise filled with jungles, beaches and coves – but if you need a break from the chilled island for an even more laid-back spot, the Gili’s are where to go!
Just a short boat trip across the ocean will bring you to an archipelago of 3 tiny islands surrounding Lombok – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Be mesmerised by the turquoise blue waters, bright white sands and incredible views of Lombok’s hilly terrain.
Each of the small islands appeals to a different type of holiday. Here is my run-down of the best places to stay in Gili Islands for a getaway to remember!
Gili Trawangan – The Party Island
The place for full-moon parties, long nights dancing and hungover brunches, Gili T has become the party island of the archipelago. Filled with beach bars and clubs where you can grab a bite before starting the party, you are in for a stay to remember.
Not only a hotspot for the partiers, the island also boasts snorkelling, yoga, and day-long beach clubs where you can bask in the sun. One of the most well-known Gili Island areas, it is a must-visit!
The Ideal Tropical Villa for a Relaxed Island Getaway in Gili Trawangan – Insana Villa
Insana Villa is the perfect island paradise where you can relax in the sun, hide away in the shade and enjoy time with your loved ones. The comfortable 2 bedroom private villa is located in the North of the island, just a short walk from the beach and a bike ride away from the thriving restaurant and bar scene. Escape the crowds for quiet afternoons, and enjoy the all-night parties with a cosy home to return to.
A Bright and Modern Hostel in Gili Trawangan – Gili Pirates
If you are looking for affordable accommodation right in the heart of the action, Gili Pirates is where to stay in Gili Islands. The cosy and comfortable bedrooms, spacious shared swimming pool and just a short walk from the beach, you can’t find a better spot. Spend long days exploring the island by bicycle before heading back for a calm night’s sleep in one of the dormitory bedrooms.
Tropical Island Accommodation Perfect for a Romantic Stay in Gili Trawangan – Coconut Garden Resort
Coconut Garden Resort is a luscious and tropical resort filled with cosy bungalow bedrooms that are authentic and relaxed. After adventurous days snorkelling the reef, cycling the island and searching for each of the sea swings – you can rest in the plush bed for a night of TV and room service.
Things To Do in Gili Trawangan –
- Snorkel off the reef to find sea turtles, colourful sea life and coral
- Explore the island to find each of the sea swings for epic Instagram shots
- Bask in the sun on the lounging sunbeds at one of the many beachfront bars – sipping cocktails and tucking into snacks
- Cycle the whole island in just over 2 hours to find hidden spots and peaceful viewpoints of the surrounding islands
- Spend a night bar hopping from beach party to beach bar for a memorable night with your friends
- Cosy up in front of a beach fire pit for sunset, and late into the night
- Relax for a day on the sand with tasty snacks and refreshing drinks at Pearl Beach Lounge
- Stretch it out at sunset with a yoga class at Sunset Beach Yoga Gili Trawangan
Gili Air – The Calm, Relaxed Island
Gili Air is my personal favourite Gili Islands area as it is the perfect combination of calm chill with a touch of nightlife. You can spend long days basking in the hot sun on the perfect white sand, or around a private swimming pool. If you are planning to work during your stay, there are many beachfront bars that offer a comfortable seat and WiFi. I can’t think of a better office view..
Packed with private accommodations, hostels and bungalows, you can enjoy beach views just steps from your room. Hire a bicycle and tour the island to find beautiful hidden beaches and cosy cafes to laze the day away. Days on Gili Air are relaxed and laid-back – paradise.
Modern Private Villa for 4 Steps from the Beach in Gili Air – Villa Kayu at Rimba Villas
Villa Kayu is one of the best places to stay in Gili Islands for a relaxed and comfortable stay. The beautiful wooden design, private swimming pool and cosy bedrooms will have you quickly feeling at home in the tropical paradise. With a traditional design, and perfect location just steps from the beach – you are promised a memorable stay.
Romantic Double Bedroom within a Tropical Resort in Gili Air – L’Archipel Resort
For a romantic getaway with your partner, or a solo trip where you can unwind, L’Archipel Resort is an idyllic setting. The on-site restaurant and shared swimming pool mean you don’t need to go far for a delicious meal or day in the sun. Just a short walk from the beach, take in a stunning sunset from the sand and head back to your own private air-conditioned haven for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Affordable Traveler Accommodation in Gili Air – Gili Buana Hostel
Ideally located just steps from the beach and restaurants of Gili Air, Gili Buana Hostel is an affordable stop for travelers and backpackers. The spacious hostel is filled with private and dormitory bedrooms to suit everybody’s budget. Lounge around the shared pool, play a game of volleyball with the other guests and explore the island. It is a great place to base an island adventure.
Things To Do in Gili Air –
- Laze the days away on the white sand beaches, enjoying the hot sun and dipping into the refreshing glistening ocean
- Catch a magical sunset from a beachfront cafe or bar
- Snorkel right off the beach to find beautiful colourful sea life
- Take a scuba diving or free diving course at one of the dive centres – highly recommend Manta Dive
- Grab a slice at Mama Pizza for authentic Italian cuisine
- Enjoy a peaceful yoga session with one of the talented instructors at Flowers and Fires Yoga Garden
- Ride the waves for a boat trip around the island, finding the best snorkelling spots and beaches
- Cycle around the entire island in just over an hour
Gili Meno – The Smallest Island
Gili Meno is the smallest island of the 3 Gili island areas, but is equally as filled with must-visit restaurants, beach bars and white sand beaches. Snorkel right off the sand into the turquoise waters to find stunning sea life, colourful coral and perhaps even a sea turtle!
Ideal for a getaway from the crowds, Gili Meno has a tiny population and is slightly less visited by tourists. Enjoy almost empty beaches, beautiful sunsets and amazing food on this small tropical paradise. With the choice of lavish and affordable accommodations, it is definitely worth a visit!
Beautiful Island Living in Gili Meno – Gili Meno Getaway
A resort filled with quaint bungalows and bright private bedrooms, Gili Meno Getaway is a perfect spot for a romantic stay with your partner or a trip with friends. Featuring a shared pool, you can spend lazy days around the resort. Just a short walk – or cycle ride – from the beach, explore all that the island has to offer with a boho-chic home waiting.
A Centrally Located Quirky, Friendly Hostel in Gili Meno – The Rabbit Tree Hostel
The Rabbit Tree Hostel is unlike any of the other hostels on the island of Gili Meno due to its eccentric design – inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Made of reclaimed fishing boat wood, the shared common areas are filled with cosy nooks to sit back and relax, socialising spots where you can meet the other guests and, of course, the comfortable dormitory and private rooms. At the heart of the island, The Rabbit Tree Hostel is close by to everything.
Private Villa Encompassed by Breezy Coconut Plantations in Gili Meno – Breathe Villa Meno 3
If you are looking for a real retreat from the crowds, noise and people of, well, everywhere.. Breathe Villa Meno 3 is a true escape from everything. A comfortable and homey setting where you can feel at peace, it is surrounded by luscious tropical greenery just a short walk from the beach. Unwind solo, or with a loved one, this villa promises a tranquil stay.
Things To Do in Gili Meno –
- Spend a luxe day on the sand at Karma Reef Beachfront Resort – sip on cocktails and enjoy fresh seafood
- Take a scuba diving lesson to explore the ocean floors
- Snorkel to the sunken ships and motorcycles, seeing some beautiful sea life
- Catch a magical sunset from the beachfront with the views of Lombok island
- You can wake up early to watch an incredible sunrise – a romantic and special moment to share with a loved one
- Relax the day away at one of the beachside bars, lounging on the sunbeds and dipping into the ocean
- Visit the Gili Meno lake for a short adventure into the heart of the island
- Pamper the day away at a spa where you can enjoy the best massage of your life
I love the Gili Islands, just a short boat ride across from Bali – Padang Bai or Sanur – and you feel like you are in another world. One of my favourite things to do is island hop across all the Gili Island neighbourhoods to take advantage of everything each island offers. Gili T for parties, Gili Air for days lounging in the sun on the sand, and Gili Meno for a quiet escape and stunning sunsets.
Out of all these options of where to stay in Gili Islands, I hope you have found something to suit you and your trip. From hostels to villas, no matter where you stay, you are sure to have a memorable experience.
Featured image: Insana Villa