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Beginner’s Guide to Where to Stay in the Gili Islands (2024)

Beginner’s Guide to Where to Stay in the Gili Islands (2024)

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

A complete all-budget accommodation guide to where to stay in the Gili Islands for first-timers. Find the best hotels, villas, resorts, & backpacker hostels on Gili Meno, Gili Air, & Gili Trawangan.

The Gili Islands in Indonesia are some of the most popular islands in the entire country to visit. These tiny islands receive hundreds of thousands, and even millions of tourists each year due to their crystal clear waters and tropical paradise atmosphere.

These islands consist of three separate islands, known as Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Of course, they all range in size with Gili Trawangan being the largest, and Gili Air being the smallest island out of the three.

I’ve made many trips to the Gili Islands and stayed in a variety of accommodations. So, I wrote this useful guide recommending my top picks for Gili Island hotels and accommodation options.

The Quick Answer: Great Hotel Picks in the Gili Islands

It can be a little overwhelming when looking for the best hotels to stay when visiting the Gili islands. There are lots of accommodation options on these three islands including luxury hotels, villas, hostels, and fancy resorts.

Below I have listed my top picks to save you time and ensure you have a wonderful stay.

Aerial view over pondok santi estate

1. Pondok Santi Gili Trawangan

Picture an on-site wellness retreat on the quiet side of Gili T. These beachfront villas feature stunning ocean & garden views from your private pools and it's only a short walk from seaside restaurants.

Aerial view of villa tokay

2. Villa Tokay Gili Air

Uniquely styled bamboo palace villas with a private pool & multiple rooms boasting epic views of the island's tropical forest.

Gili meno escape outdoor seating area

3. Gili Meno Escape Gili Meno

Boasting villa-styled rooms with an incredible outdoor swimming pool & within a 200m walk of Gili Meno's Turtle Conservation Center.

Breaking Down the Best Places to Stay in the Gili Islands

Below are the three Gili Islands in Indonesia off the coast of Lombok. These islands are famous for their crystal clear waters, party atmosphere, and incredible accommodation options.

  • Gili Trawangan - Gili Trawangan is known for its incredible nightlife and turtle snorkeling. The west coast of the island offers incredible sunset views over the ocean and the north and south coasts are great places to go if you're looking for a relaxing area without the crowds.
  • Gili Air - Gili Air is a mix of both calm and exciting atmosphere. It draws many crowds who are not up for the party scene of Trawangan yet want more than just relaxation like Gili Meno. This Gili island has a range of excellent hotel options and boasts many things to do. Couples and families find Gili Air a great place to stay.
  • Gili Meno - This island shouldn't be missed if complete relaxation is on your to-do list. Gili Meno offers guests some of the calmest locations among the three Gili islands. Although the island is quiet it is very easy to travel to both Gili Trawangan and Gili Air for the day if you're looking for some adventurous activities. It also boasts some great snorkeling spots and is known for its famous underwater statues.

After visiting all of these islands, my favorite is Gili Trawangan since it offers more opportunities for activities.

Where are the gili islands? , indonesia
Map location of the gili islands next to bali and lombok

Gili Trawangan: Best Place to stay for Nightlife & Turtle Snorkeling

Aerial view over pondok santi estatePondok Santi$$$$
Hotel lumi gili trawanganHotel Lumi$$
Mad monkey gili trawanganMad Monkey$$

1. Pondok Santi Estate

The Pondok Santi Estate is definitely on the high end of the scale when it comes to price. However, the good news is that this hotel is one of the best hotels to stay in the Gili Islands as a whole.

This fancy hotel essentially consists of multiple private villas which you can choose from. Their Deluxe Private Pool Villa is the most impressive for couples, offering a sizeable private swimming pool, all-day room service, air conditioning, and a bunch of other impressive amenities.

For those traveling in a smaller group, this hotel estate offers smaller accommodation options such as their Palm View Bungalow or Hill Room View. I particularly like the Hill Room View room, which offers cozy aesthetics along with tropical gardens that include its own palm trees.

The largest villa option in the estate is the Family Villa. This is a 2-bedroom villa with ensuite bathrooms in each bedroom and daily housekeeping.

This is the perfect place to stay in Gili Trawangan if you aren't budgeting and the best option for couples who wish to spend their vacation in style.

2. Hotel Lumi

Hotel Lumi on Gili Trawangan offers great value which is reflected in both the accommodation and given facilities.

Is there anything not to adore about this great place?

Not only is the special hotel a short 10-minute walk from Sunset Point, which is great for hikers, but it also offers free bikes to get around the island and a 24-hour front desk.

When it comes to room choices at Hotel Lumi, you can pick from either a beach cabin, a cottage, or a deluxe cottage. All of these offer air-conditioned private rooms with a double bed, private bathroom, and free WiFi access.

The best way of experiencing this hotel is to get a deluxe cottage. This is not only notably larger than the other rooms, but the cottage is just a short walking distance from one of the best white-sand beaches on the island.

When you combine all of the factors above, with the fact the hotel has a terrific continental breakfast every morning, it makes the list for one of the best Gili Island hotels to stay the night at.

3. Mad Monkey

Mad Monkey Hostels have developed a reputation as being some of the best hostels in Southeast Asia, and their Gili Trawangan hostel certainly contributes to that.

Although their room rates are at a higher price compared with other hostels, it is still worth staying here for a multitude of reasons.

One of the best things about the Mad Monkey in Gili Trawangan is that it offers everything you can imagine. Not only can you do group day trips around the island with activities such as scuba diving, but there are also nightly events that offer a more social experience, including foam parties with talented DJs offering exciting dance music.

If you plan on booking a day trip that includes water sports like surfing or diving, I would highly advise having travel insurance. For those looking for a less adventurous activity with a high reward, you can sign up for the beach clean-up every Friday with Gili Eco Trust.

The hostel also offers its own Gili T Cheat Sheet. This gives their guests only the best information on places to visit on the entire island, including Turtle Bay to see sea turtles and explore the coral reefs close by.

Aerial views over gili trawangan hotels and beaches, indonesia

Gili Air: Known for its Unique Villas and Calm Atmosphere

Aerial view of villa tokayVilla Tokay$$$$
Outdoor pool at night at pinkcocoPinkCoco$$$
Captain coconuts outdoor swimming pool and seatingCaptain Coconuts $$
Where is gili air
Map of gili air

4. Villa Tokay

Villa Tokay is a well-rounded and complete accommodation choice when it comes to opulent places to stay in Gili Air.

Despite the incredible villa choices on offer at Villa Tokay, it is also important to mention that these luxury private villas are located in possibly the best area on Gili Air.

This is because it is close to the main Gili Air beach, as well as being a short walk from the center of the island, which is home to all of the significant attractions and best restaurants.

When it comes to villa options, their Leaf Villa provides enough space for couples to fully enjoy a getaway together. Not to mention the fact that this villa has its very own tropical garden for guests to enjoy.

Their Leaf Villa also includes a serene garden space to appreciate your time in. You can feel all of the natural elements of the villa in harmony with one another while you stay here.

Finally, Villa Tokay also arranges floating breakfasts, flower baths, private yoga lessons, and massages on site. Another activity they offer is a free local tour which could also include the possibility of trying local food onsite.

5. PinkCoco

Another fabulous Gili island hotel option is the PinkCoco. This is an adults-only hotel on Gili Air, so this means bringing the kids isn't possible.

This hotel features its own professional spa service, and there is no doubt that this is highly enjoyed by all guests. I would also say that this is the easiest way of getting a professional massage if you're staying at the hotel and it saves both time and energy.

Although PinkCoco has a large amount of rooms, each is uniquely designed and very spacious. This is especially true of their special Grande Room, which is not only big, but it offers easy access to the main swimming pool which is an enormous 30 meters in length.

In addition to all of the above, the hotel also has its onsite restaurant. This is convenient as you can eat a meal from here whilst watching the sunset without leaving the hotel.

6. Captain Coconuts

Captain Coconuts on Gili Air is an eco-friendly-focused hotel, and this is reflected in almost every aspect of its design and amenities.

In addition to this, the water system as a whole is heated through solar energy alone, which is certainly reassuring to the environmentalists out there. There aren't many hotels that could say the same, and this proves their passion for renewable energy and the environment.

What is another reason why Captain Coconuts is special?

Captain Coconuts is known to offer a mouth-watering breakfast every morning. This is offered with gluten, dairy, and sugar-free options, so you can be sure to keep your health in check at the same time.

Their restaurant's menu also contains foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly. This contributes to their healthy and environmentally friendly image.

Lastly, it boasts an incredible outdoor swimming pool which is the perfect place to cool off after lunch.

Woman standing in ocean at sunset on gili air

Gili Meno: Great Value Accommodation for Ultimate Relaxation

Meno house - adults onlyMeno House$$$$
Gili meno escape outdoor seating areaGili Meno Escape$$$
Queen bed at divine divers gili menoDivine Divers$$
Where is gili meno infographic
Map of gili meno

7. Meno House

Meno House certainly isn't the cheapest way of staying on Gili Meno, and this is reflected in their top-notch service and hypnotizingly comfortable villas.

You can choose from several villa options here, including a beachfront villa and a garden villa. They're all equal in size, so you don't have to worry about one of them being smaller than the other.

Instead, the differences in each of the villas at Meno House is focused on where they are located. For example, the beachfront villa is going to be a much more pleasant experience for most people, as it provides easy and fast access to the beach.

Another fantastic option is their Deluxe Garden Villa. This will be the most peaceful, making it perfect for recharging your batteries.

Each of the villas on the property includes room service, heating/air conditioning, a king-sized bed, as well as plenty of other special amenities to appreciate.

8. Gili Meno Escape

Gili Meno Escape is on the small side of things considering it is a resort, however, the focus here is on quality rather than size.

This resort consists of multiple bungalows which include everything you could possibly need and more. You even get your own mini-bar which is worth making the most of.

Each bungalow is aesthetically stunning and there is no doubt that they contribute to a memorable stay. They have been made with natural materials such as bamboo and palms to create a calm vibe.

It is important to note that Gili Meno Escape isn't exactly budget-friendly. However, you won't be disappointed with the price you pay as the calm atmosphere, service and location are worth every dollar.

9. Divine Divers

What makes Divine Divers another one of Gili island's best hotels is the fact that it is a dive center, hotel, and restaurant all in one. This gives the hotel another layer of interest, as the dive school is on its guest's doorstep.

Why not plunge down to Gili Meno's coral reefs with one of Divine Diver's many diving courses?

There are a wide range of courses offered by this dive center/hotel. These go all the way from Open Water to Rescue Diver. Each of the dives comes with a professional instructor to guide you each meter of the way.

You will also be taken to your diving spot by private boat with your group.

It's great for those who want to experience adventure but don't want the crowded atmosphere like its sister islands.

Each onsite bungalow comes with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, a double bed, and a hot shower. This is certainly nice to come back to after a long diving trip. Especially considering the prices aren't overly expensive at roughly $70 per night.

Aerial view of gili meno and gili air, indonesia

My Hotel Selection Process

  • Accommodation Criteria: I combed through hotels & lodgings to narrow down those that are within a 10-minute walk to the beach, close to many restaurants & bars, and those that feature pools & extra facilities.
  • My Experience: while Haylea & I didn't stay at every hotel, I have stayed at several hotels and hostels across the islands (some of which didn't make the list). I'll only recommend lodgings that I can personally vouch for, or those highly recommended by travelers & locals.
  • Top Reviews: All the hotels, hostels, and beachside villas have earned a high customer review rating on popular booking sites such as, Expedia, and I have included the links to book each on the site with the best price.
  • Local Insights: after spending so much time in Gilis and on Lombok, I've made good friends with locals on the islands. I consulted my friend Dayat from Feel Lombok for hotel recommendations, some of which made this list.

Read more about how I review & select hotels & accommodations.

Years Traveling
Hotels Stayed
Olly gaspar

I'm Olly, a full-time traveler since 2018. Each accommodation option in this guide is handpicked by me. Read my travel review ethics statement.

Unmissable Activities on the Gili Islands

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. These can also be enjoyed from Gili Meno & Gili Air if you catch a short water taxi to Gili Trawangan.

Gili trawangan snorkeling with a turtle

1. Gili Islands: Snorkeling Tour

Spend half a day snorkeling around the Gili islands. Swim alongside turtles, and tropical fish and witness the incredible coral forests. Departing from Gili Air & Gili Trawangan.

Gili trawangan sunset and diner cruise

2. Sunset and Diner Cruise

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.

Gili trawangan cooking classes

3. Gili Cooking Class

Take a cooking class on Gili Trawangan filled with information about Indonesian culture, cooking, and traditions. The best part is you eat what you cook!

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Gili Islands

When is the best time to visit the Gili Islands?

I would personally say the best time to visit the Gili islands is during the high season. This is from May through to July, which is when most visitors tend to come to the islands.

This makes for more exciting group activities. You can be assured of meeting new friends if you are backpacking or traveling in a small group. Another important reason for coming during this time is the weather.

You can expect the weather to be sunny most of the time, which is especially good for outdoor activities on Gili Trawangan. Many people come to the Gili islands for diving and other water sports.

Great weather means these are possible most of the time, and you won't have to cancel any trips.

Which island is the best to visit?

This is down to both personal opinion, and the reason you are visiting in the first place. I would personally recommend Gili Trawangan or Gili Air due to their variety of things to do and great turtle snorkeling locations.

However, Gili Meno is still a great place to stay, and a short boat ride to either Gili Air or Gili Trawangan can be arranged if you're looking for things to do.

How to get to the Gili Islands?

The most common way to get to the Gili Islands is to take a fast boat ferry from Bali. Alternatively, you can also take a local boat or fast boat from Bangsal Harbor in Lombok.

Aerial views over the gili islands, indonesia
How to get to gili trawangan, indonesia
How to get to gili trawangan

More Accommodation & Adventure Guides to the Gili Islands

Did you enjoy this Gili Islands hotel & accommodation guide?

If you did, feel free to check out our other Indonesian travel guides below. I am sure they will be helpful to plan for your next adventure.

Pinterest pin for the best gili islands hotels and accommodation options
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.