A comprehensive beginner’s guide to the best hotels, resorts, and hostels on Gili Trawangan.
When compared with Bali, Lombok, or even Nusa Penida, the island of Gili Trawangan is significantly smaller than both of them.
Despite its alarmingly small size of only 3km long and 2km wide, Trawangan remains both the largest and the most popular island out of the three Gili islands.
For this reason, it is safe to say that there are going to be numerous accommodation options to choose from. This not only includes hotels and resorts, but also spacious villas and properties perfect for a relaxing vacation on the cute little island.
It isn’t particularly difficult finding the best hotels on Gili Trawangan, however, finding beautiful places worth staying in without spending hours researching is much more challenging in my opinion.
However, fear not. In this first-timers guide, I have made sure to include all of the best hotels, hostels, resorts, and villas so that you can choose the perfect place for your next Indonesian vacation.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
In a Hurry? Here are the Top Places to Stay in Gili Trawangan
Choosing the best places to stay on Gili Trawangan can be difficult due to the vast selection of accommodation options that are available. Below are our top 3 picks for the best Gili Trawangan luxury, mid-range, and budget accommodation choices.
1. Pondok Santi Estate Luxury
Located on the beachfront with stunning views, private pools, spectacular gardens, and on-site wellness packages. This luxury accommodation option is a great pick.
2. Hotel Lumi Mid-Range
Want to relax away the hours in your own private bungalow at an exceptional price? Set on stunning grounds with a large outdoor swimming pool it's hard to beat.
3. Mad Monkey Budget
Looking to meet other backpackers whilst hanging out in the enormous outdoor swimming pool? Look no further than the Mad Monkey Hostel.
Where to stay on Gili Trawangan
So you've chosen Gili Trawangan as your next holiday destination. Getting to Gili T is done via a fast boat from Bali (various port options) and Bangsal (Lombok). When planning where to stay, it is important to know there are no cars.
East Coast: This is the main area for nightlife, cafes, restaurants, and bars. This is also the place where you will arrive via boat as the main boat pier is located here. An ideal choice for those who want to be close to the action.
West Coast: This area is well established with many accommodation options with beach bars and clubs. It is a popular area to watch the sunset whilst sipping on cocktails or hanging out at one of the many infinity pools overlooking the ocean. From the pier, it is roughly 2km from East to West.
Inland, North & South Coast: These areas a more undeveloped and are great choices for those who want a more laid-back atmosphere. The South offers a great place to watch the sunset without the crowds. The North offers some great areas to swim with turtles and is away from most of the crowds.
Top 11 Accommodation Choices on Gili Trawangan
Best Luxury Hotels on Gili Trawangan
The Pondok Santi Estate is certainly not the most affordable place to stay, however, it is important to mention that the services here are truly mindblowing.
Not only does the luxury hotel have a pleasant selection of spacious villas to choose from, but there are fantastic activities and experiences on offer during your stay. This isn't limited to just cooking and yoga classes, even horseback riding is offered to hotel guests!
For those traveling in a smaller group, the hotel estate offers smaller accommodation options such as their Palm View Bungalow or Hill Room View. Both of these include sizeable double rooms with air conditioning and free wifi, as well as mosquito nets and close views of the tropical garden.
This is by far one of the best places to stay in Gili Trawangan, and you are guaranteed to experience a pleasant stay at Pondok Santi Estate.
2. Ponte Villas
As you might have already guessed, Ponte Villas is a group of villa-styled rooms, making it a great place for those wanting to enjoy a vacation in style.
When choosing one of the four accommodation options here, you have the choice of either a villa with a private pool, or a deluxe suite. If you prefer to stay in one of their private pool villas, I would highly suggest selecting the Ponte Villa number 2 and not number 1.
For the extra cost, you are offered two air-conditioned rooms rather than one. However, the key difference lies in the fact that their first villa doesn't have a double bed, but two single beds instead. This is important to know if you plan on staying with your partner.
Besides all of the above, their largest villa offers its own family seating area, open-air private bathroom, room service, 24-hour access to the front desk and reception, and LCD flat-screen tv.
Pretty sweet deal if you're looking for a comfortable place to stay.
3. Gili Teak
Gili Teak is a newly built boutique-styled hotel with beautifully designed rooms and is located on the west side of Gili T Island. If the location is high on the priority list of your desired hotel then Gili Teak sits at the top!
There are lots of fancy bars, hiking trails, and restaurants that are close by and easy to access. Especially considering they are within walking distance from the resort's doors.
Simply stepping outside of this resort will bring you close to the Sunset Viewpoint, which is more than ideal if you are the hiking type. Climbing to the top will bring you astounding sights of the ocean and over Trawangan itself.
Alternatively, you can also journey to the Malibu Beach Club which is known for providing extravagant food and drink options. This is one of the best places to unwind in the afternoon with your favorite cocktail. The best part is that Malibu Beach Club is only a short walk from your doorstep.
Another attractive feature of staying a night here is the outdoor swimming pool. This outdoor pool is a large 19 meters in length, offering more than enough room to take a refreshing dip.
When considering everything that Gili Teak offers, it is well worth booking a night or two here.
Best Mid-Range Hotels on Gili Trawangan
When considering both affordable and luxurious hotel options, Pearl of Trawangan is one that comes to mind.
Why have I added this as one of the best hotels to stay on Gili Trawangan?
The fact of this is the accommodation options are top-notch here, and there is a wide and dynamic selection of rooms to choose from. This includes double rooms, villas, and cottages all with their own tropical garden space.
One of my favorite spacious rooms here has to be the Pool View Room, featuring an en suite bathroom and direct access to the beach. The room itself also features a handy safety deposit box, a serene private terrace, and free wifi access as well as a stunning, eco-friendly, contemporary wood design.
Pretty great value for a cheap hotel that is simultaneously noted as 4-star accommodation!
For those desiring both quality and more sizeable accommodation, the Gili Eco Villas are a satisfying fit.
The villas here range from a simple 1 bedroom villa, all the way to an exceptionally large 3 bedroom villa. If you do decide to go for their biggest option, you can expect everything you will possibly need and more.
This includes your own stunning dining area, beautifully designed guest rooms, and free private parking for family and friends.
However, this large villa covers much more than just this.
Their 3 bedroom villa has two floors in total, and you can be assured that every step of its 320 squared meter size will be well-prepared for you. The villa features a living room on the terrace, equipped with both a sofa and a hammock as relaxation choices.
You can expect each bedroom to be generously sized and accommodating. Especially the downstairs master bedroom which features a king-sized bed to wind down in.
It is important to mention that the 3 bedroom villa here can occupy a total of 7 people at once. This makes it suitable for large family vacations or friendly gatherings.
6. Hotel Lumi
Hotel Lumi on Gili Trawangan is aesthetically stunning, which is reflected in the fact it was designed by an award-winning architect.
What is there not to love about this place?
From their uniquely offered guest experiences such as water sports, to public areas, such as their own onsite cinema for a movie night with friends and family, you are bound to appreciate a night or two here.
When it comes to accommodation choices at Hotel Lumi, you can pick from either a beach cabin, a cottage, or a deluxe cottage. The difference between a beach cabin and a deluxe cottage is noticeably vast, with their biggest cottage option almost doubling it in size.
In addition to this, the deluxe cottage is located in a tropical garden paradise, surrounded by stunning palm trees, and is just a short walk away from the beach.
When you combine all of the factors above, with the fact the hotel offers free bikes for rental to its guests, I would say you have a recipe for one of the best hotels on Gili Trawangan.
Best Hostels on Gili Trawangan
7. Gili Pirates
When it comes to hostels in convenient locations, Gili Pirates is in what most would consider to be the best area on the entire island. This is not only because it is close to some of the island's best beaches, but also because of the sheer number of restaurants and bars nearby.
The hostel is essentially located in a tourist hotspot, so you are guaranteed to get in on the action of whatever is going on. This includes possible diving trips at Trawangan Dive Centre, or group island hopping snorkeling trips from Gili Trawangan Harbor.
Every part of Gili Pirates screams diving, from the actual hostel's name itself to the multitude of dive programs they offer at the front desk. Of course, you don't have to go diving here. However, it is a useful place to do it, and staying with others who are motivated to try it out is always great.
Are you needing another good reason for staying here?
Well, I was surprised to find out that this is one of the only hostels in Gili Trawangan that officially offers private rooms. This definitely separates it from the crowd and makes it perfect for those craving more quiet time while staying at this social hostel.
The private rooms at Gili Pirates come with a queen size double bed, air-conditioning, a private bathroom, free wifi, and even free breakfast. This is a great deal for a hostel, so make sure to get your hands on one if you're craving more of a private space.
8. Mad Monkey
If you haven't stayed at one of Mad Monkey's many hostels, allow me to introduce their Gili Trawangan hostel.
Although their room rates are on the pricey end of the scale for a hostel, I would still consider staying here for a multitude of reasons.
One of the aspects about the hostel here that I really enjoy, is the fact they essentially have the option of private rooms. This isn't the same as a typical private room, but instead, it is in the form of a Teepee which can be enjoyed by just you and your partner.
You can expect terrific shared facilities here as with any of the hostels from the Mad Monkey brand. This includes an infinity pool overlooking the ocean and dining options in the form of a restaurant and bar. The hostel also offers foam parties for all of its guests, these are not only free but feature a live DJ with fun dance music.
The hostel also offers some exclusive information for travelers in the form of their Gili T Cheat Sheet. This gives information on some of the best places to visit, including turtle bay to see sea turtles and explore the coral reefs close by.
9. Jati Village
When discussing Gili Trawangan hostel accommodation, Jati Village can't be missed in my opinion. There are plenty of hostels to stay at on this small island, however, I would recommend this hostel as one of the top options.
Jati Village is by far one of the most budget-friendly hostels on the island, and when combined with the fact they offer free parking and comfortable dorm rooms, and a great outdoor swimming pool, it makes it worth the value.
If you are a fan of hiking and exploring, you will find the sunset viewpoint less than 4km away, making it easy to access by scooter.
The rooms here all have a modern and clean design considering their more than affordable pricing. These are preferable for backpackers on a budget, who want to make the most of their trip.
If you have some free time you can join the Beach Clean Project every Friday run by Gili Eco Trust which is a short 600m walk from the hostel.
Best Hotels on Gili Trawangan with a Private Pool
10. Kuno Villas
If you are searching for villa resorts that exude both pure quality and immaculate design, Kuno Villas is a solid choice.
Before even discussing the variety of villa choices and options to stay the night, it is important to discuss some of the benefits that the resort offers.
One of these which is extremely handy, is their airport transfers service. This gives direct pickup from Lombok Airport via private transportation, making your journey to the villa resort both smoother and stress-free.
The next special service that the villa resort offers is an on-site spa treatment. Although many hotels offer spa services, what makes Kuno Villa's service special is that you can get a spa treatment in your room. This means a massage in your living room, or next to your private pool is entirely possible as requested.
All you will need to do is contact the staff here, and a professional masseuse or masseur will be at your door in a couple of minutes.
What else makes Kuno Villas worth booking?
Well, one of the most vital parts about staying here to discuss, are the actual villas themselves. Whether you are a couple, a family of four, or on a group vacation of 6 people, it is entirely possible to book a villa to match each one of those circumstances.
The most sizeable villa options are both the Villa Oscar and Villa Jade, which accommodate 6 people. The most impressive aspect about these villas besides their size, is the beautiful tropical scenery that surrounds the pool areas.
In addition to their vast sizes, you can expect each of these villa options to come with their own private saltwater pool.
Is there really much else to ask for?
11. Wilson's Retreat
Wilson's Retreat is another villa option for those craving a private pool, and it is surprisingly located very close to Kuno Villas. This is in the northern-most point of the island, and both villa resorts are close to an area named Turtle Shore where you can swim with turtles.
This retreat-style resort is ideal for those who crave peace and quiet, reflected in the private beach area exclusively offered to hotel guests.
The accommodation offered at Wilson's Retreat is in the form of traditional wooden villas and suites. Both of these are marvelously finished, with comfortable double beds and private pools fit for a king. This is in addition to the included amenities such as a personal fridge, TV, and room service.
If you are interested in laundry services this is possible at an additional charge from the hotel's reception. Similarly to Kuno Villas, Wilson's Retreat also offers a spa with a wide range of packages and options to choose from.
This definitely makes it easier to get a massage, especially instead of searching around the island and comparing ratings of different spas.
How good is having a spa offering high-quality services on your doorstep?
Unmissable Activities on Gili Trawangan Once You Arrive
A small island with unlimited activities. Below I have noted the best activities to do during your time on the island. I should mention it is important to book in advance due to the high demand for these activities.
Spend half a day snorkeling around Gili Trawangan and the surrounding islands. Swim alongside turtles, tropical fish and witness the incredible coral forests.
Watch the sunset from the water on an 18-meter catamaran whilst enjoying mouth-watering food. A great way to end the day on Gili Trawangan.
A cooking class filled with lots of information about Indonesian culture, cooking, and traditions. And the best part is you'll leave with a full stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Gili Trawangan
Which is better: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, or Gili Air?
Although this question is subjective, I would say Gili Trawangan offers the best experience for tourists and backpackers. This is because it is significantly larger than the others, and there are many more activities to do on Gili Trawangan.
It is more likely that you will enjoy a holiday at Trawangan compared with the others for this reason alone.
However, it is important to mention that there are some truly stunning spots to stay in the Gili Islands. For relaxation, I recommend staying on Gili Meno, and for a mix of both party and chill, I would stay at one of the villas on Gili Air. Gili Meno's beaches are breathtaking, and Gili Air has an exciting yoga and meditation center worth visiting.
To conclude this answer, I would say that although Gili Trawangan offers more, it is still very easy to visit all three of them. In this way, you can decide for yourself which one you prefer and why.
To do so, you can buy a ticket for a public boat transfer from the ferry terminal at Gili Trawangan.
When is the best time to visit Gili Trawangan?
The island's peak season is the best time to visit. This is when it is most busy, but also offers the best weather conditions.
The peak season is considered to be either June to August or December to January.
I would advise booking a diving trip during this time, which can be done through most hostels or hotels. There are usually plenty of other people that will join you on these, and the weather provides a perfect opportunity to explore the coral reefs.
Just make sure to protect yourself financially and buy travel insurance!
More Gili Islands & Indonesia Travel Blogs
I hope you have enjoyed this extended guide on where to stay as a beginner in Gili Trawangan. For other guide posts to popular travel destinations in Indonesia, feel free to check out our posts below.
- Lombok Travel Guide - my popular & comprehensive guide to exploring the island of Lombok
- The Waterfalls of Lombok - a guide to the best waterfalls on Lombok Island
- Epic Lombok to Komodo Boat Trip - one of my personal favorite boat tours in Indonesia!
- Nusa Penida Travel Guide - an adventure guide to visiting the island of Nusa Penida off Bali
- Things to do on Gili Trawangan - discover Gili T in this epic adventure guide
- Accommodation guides: Discover epic Tree Houses in Bali and awesome accommodations on the Gili Islands.