where to stay in Gili Islands.

Where To Stay In Gili Islands In 2024 (Best Places & Accommodation)

Are you wondering where to stay in Gili Islands? As regular visitors to the Gilis, we know that choosing between the three picturesque islands isn’t easy, especially for first-time visitors. 

That’s why we compiled this guide to the best places to stay in Gili Islands, including the best things to do, the pros and cons of staying on each island and our top hotel and resort picks for each island. 

We love visiting these paradise islands. Although each island offers something different and unique, they all offer a welcoming island vibe, amazing seafood, unspoilt white sand beaches and incredible snorkelling. We normally stay on Gili Trawangan, which is the largest island with the best facilities. But we also stayed a couple of times on Gili Air and Gili Meno.

Accommodation on Gili Islands ranges from dorm beds to luxury hotels, from wooden tree houses to lavish beachfront resorts. You are sure to find accommodation to suit you in this article. 

Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno offer a unique opportunity to leave your car behind, get away from it all and recharge and rejuvenate in a stunning natural environment. 

So, let us help you to decide which island – and which hotel –  is best for you. 

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Best Places To Stay in Gili Islands: At A Glance

Here is a quick summary to help you decide where to stay.

📍 Gili Trawangan ➡️ Gili T is the best place to stay in Gili Islands for backpackers, lively nightlife, and a good choice of restaurants.

🌟 TOP ACCOMMODATION PICK ➡️ Casa Kapuas Vintage

📍 Gili Air ➡️ If you’re looking for where to stay in Gili Islands for a honeymoon or simply a romantic, up-scale holiday, Gili Air is your island.

🌟 TOP ACCOMMODATION PICK ➡️ PinkCoco Gili Air 

📍 Gili Meno ➡️ Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest island, perfect for an off-the-beaten-track stay with gorgeous beaches and plenty of snorkelling opportunities.

🌟 TOP ACCOMMODATION PICK ➡️ Le Pirate Gili Meno

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      #1 Gili Trawangan – Best Place To Stay On Gili Islands For Backpackers And Parties.

      Gili Trawangan is where to stay in Gili Islands for good nighlife.

      If you’re wondering where to stay in the Gili Islands for a vibrant party vibe, we recommend staying on Gili Trawangan. It is one of the best places to stay in Gili islands for nightlife

      Gili Trawangan (or Gili T for short) is the largest and busiest of the three Gili islands. However,  it is only 3 km long and 2 km wide, so it is tiny compared to other tropical islands you may have visited.  

      For lively places to stay in Gili islands, Gili Trawangan’s bustling east coast is your best option. It is where most of the 1,500 local residents live and where most of the beach bars, clubs and restaurants are located.

      Plus, as some of the best resorts in Gili Islands are found on the east coast, you won’t have far to walk to restaurants and bars. 

      Beaches On Gili T

      With so many beaches to choose from on this island, we’ve divided them into geographical sections to make it easier to choose the best area for you to stay in. 

      North and east beaches

      Gili Trawangan beaches.

      The beaches north of the island are quite narrow and have stronger waves than you will find elsewhere on Gili T. However, they are also some of the quietest beaches on the island and are good locations to spot sea turtles. 

      The northwest beach is also where you will find the Instagram favourite in-water swing

      In contrast, the beaches on the east side of the island – and particularly the southeast – are the definition of paradise. They are wide, clean white sand beaches with calm, crystal clear blue water. 

      These eastern beaches are ideal for swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkelling. 

      Good Heart Beach, towards the southeast of the island, is one of the most popular beaches in Gili Trawangan. It is a pristine beach with lots of shade and some fantastic beach bars. If you want the best Gili Islands hotels with a beachfront location, this area is a good place to stay. 

      South and West beaches

      Gili T’s southern beaches are narrow and don’t seem to get as much sun as other beaches on the island. However, they are quite tranquil and feature a handful of beach bars. 

      We like Malibu Beach on the southwest coast; it’s relatively quiet and has a good choice of cool beach bars.

      The west coast of Gili Trawangan is where you will find the highest density of luxury hotels and upscale restaurants on the island. 

      The beaches here are clean and well-maintained, and there is a wide choice of restaurants and bars. You will also find beach swings and an outdoor cinema. If you want high-end accommodation with great views, the hotels here are some of the best hotels in Gili Island.

      Sunset Beach is situated on the western coast, and, as the name suggests, it is one of the most popular places on the island to see a sunset. We loved Window Bar with its boho decor and good cocktails. We had here Mi Goreng, which was super tasty. Robin dropped his first portion on the sand by mistake, which we don’t recommend doing 😂.

      Watching the sun set beneath the horizon is free from the beach, but if you want to watch from a beach bar or restaurant, you will have to pay. The uninterrupted views across the coast of Bali are spectacular. 

      As the island is so small, all of these beaches are within easy reach. For example, Malibu Beach to Sunset Beach is only 15 minutes by bike. 

      Things To Do In Gili Trawangan

      • Rent a bike and explore the island
      • Go snorkelling off the beach or join an organised trip.
      • Learn to surf
      • Take a day trip to Gili Air or Gili Meno
      • Taste the street food at Gili Trawangan night market (it’s the cheapest place to eat on the island)
      • Sample the nightlife (if you like dancing, we recommend the Sama Sama bar)
      • Get your photo taken on a Gili T swing

      PROS

      • Gili T is ideal for a first visit to the Gili Islands
      • The island offers great surfing, snorkelling and diving
      • It has a lively, party vibe
      • Its small size and convivial atmosphere make it a good place for solo travellers to meet people.

      CONS

      • The lively party vibe is not for everyone! 
      • Gili T is the busiest of the three islands.

      Best Accommodations On Trawangan Island

      Of all the accommodation on Gili Islands, Gili T offers the best variety and the best selection of luxury hotels. 

      Our recommendations of the best places to stay in Gili T are based on our numerous trips to the island. 

      Gili Islands where to stay

      Top Pick: Casa Kapuas Vintage

      This hotel is 500 m from the beach. It has a pool, bike hire, breakfast, an airport shuttle, a coffee shop and a bar. Each detached bungalow has a porch with hammocks and an outdoor bathroom with a shower. 

      where to stay Gili Islands

      Luxury: Gili Treehouse 

      This beachfront hotel is 400 m from Sunset Point. It offers elegant thatched roof treehouse style villas with balconies, a private pool plus a minibar, fridge and kettle. There is a bar, room service and an airport shuttle. 

      where to stay on the Gili Islands

      Mid-Range: Pearl of Trawangan

      This centrally located beachfront hotel has 2 pools, a swim-up bar, hot tub, daily housekeeping and complimentary breakfast. Speed boat transfers are available. Spacious, classic-style rooms have a/c, a TV, patio, kettle, fridge and an outdoor bathroom with a shower. 

      where to stay on Gili Island

      Budget: Jati Village

      Situated 600 m from the night market and beach, this lively hostel has a pool, cafe, bar and restaurant, plus organised activities. Breakfast and evening entertainment is included. Private rooms have an outdoor bathroom and a patio. Cheaper dorm beds are also available.  

      #2 Gili Air – Best Place To Stay In Gili Islands For Honeymoon.

      Gili Air

      Looking for where to stay in Gili Islands for a honeymoon or romantic getaway? Then Gili Air is the island for you. 

      It is the second smallest of the three islands, and with a circumference of under five kilometres, you can easily explore Gili Air on foot or by bike.

      We have visited this tropical paradise multiple times and think it’s the ideal location for a romantic trip of a lifetime. It’s best known for its amazing white sand beaches and excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. 

      Plus, some of the best adult-only hotels in the Gili Islands can be found on Gili Air. We stayed here three nights to celebrate our anniversary and had a super romantic stay at PinkCoco.

      If you are having trouble deciding which island to stay on, Gili Air is a good compromise. 

      It offers some of the accommodation options and nightlife of Gili T (but on a much smaller scale) with the tranquillity and remoter feel of Gili Meno. 

      Beaches On Gili Air

      Gili Air is where to stay in Gili Islands for honeymoon.

      If you want to know where to stay on Gili Islands for the best beaches, we recommend the beaches southwest of Gili Air. These idyllic and picture-perfect beaches have lots of white sand, plus they are clean and lapped by impossibly clear blue water. 

      Plus, you will find some in-water swings here for that all-important vacation photo.

      The southwest is the best area to stay in Gili Air if you want some of the best resorts Gili Islands have to offer and the best Gili Air private villas.

      The northern beaches aren’t as nice as those in the southwest, but they are quiet and a good option if you are seeking a more secluded stay. 

      Things To Do On Gili Air

      • Join a cooking class and learn a new dish to recreate at home
      • Take a day trip to Gili Meno for snorkelling
      • Walk around the island – without stops, it takes around two hours.
      • Try kitesurfing or subwinging

      PROS

      • A small population of 1,800 people
      • Get to know the local community by joining fishing or cooking classes.
      • A good mix of lively and quiet spots
      • Ideal for yoga lovers

      CONS

      • Gili Air doesn’t have the same range of accommodation options as there is on Gili T
      • A smaller selection of restaurants

      Best Accommodations On Air Island

      Our following recommendations all offer air-conditioned accommodation, in-room tv’s and free WiFi. We think this selection demonstrates that there is accommodation in Gili Islands to suit all travel styles and budgets. 

      Gili Islands where to stay

      Top Pick: PinkCoco Gili Air 

      If you like pink, this is the best resort in Gili Island for you. This adults-only beachfront hotel has a pool, spa, bike hire and complimentary breakfast. There is a bar, a restaurant and an in-water pink swing. Modern, funky rooms offer a kettle and ensuite with a walk-in shower.

      Gili Islands best place to stay for couples

      Luxury: Villa Tokay

      Situated 200 m from the beach, these luxury staffed villas sleep 2 – 7 people. Each has a private pool, garden, free bikes and a kitchenette. The hotel has a coffee shop, an airport shuttle and offers yoga classes.

      places to stay Gili Islands

      Mid-Range: Dolcemare Resort

      This stunning hotel has a 27 m pool, a kids’ pool, 2 waterfalls, a restaurant, and complimentary breakfast. Bike hire and boat transfers are available. Balinese-style rooms have a safe, kettle, kimonos and a patio with pool views. The beach is 150m away.  

      best places to stay in Gili Islands

      Budget: Mustika Ocean Lodge

      This eco-hotel has a 24-hour reception, a minimarket, a continental breakfast and WiFi. Bike hire and yoga are available. Pitched roof bungalows have a fridge, minibar, porch with beanbags and an enclosed shower. 

      #3 Gili Meno – Best Gili Island To Stay On For Peace And Relaxation.

      Gili Meno is where to stay in Gili islands for the off beaten track vibes.

      Gili Meno is the island to choose if you want to get away from it all. We think it’s the ultimate paradise island experience.

      It is perfect for people who want to switch off and do nothing but relax in a hammock, listening to the sound of waves on the beach. 

      Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest of the three islands. It is only 2 km long and 1 km wide, so of all the accommodation on Gili Islands, Gili Meno has the least variety. Resorts here are small, high-end, or boutique hotels.  

      However, the upside is that Gili Meno offers the best beaches – and that’s saying something when you see the amazing beaches on Gili T and Gili Air! 

      A trip to Gili Meno is all about rest and relaxation, so if you want a range of restaurants and some nightlife, this is not the island for you. 

      We love taking mini-breaks to Gili Meno as it is the perfect place to recharge. We normally stay in the northeastern part, where you can spot turtles by just swimming a few meters away from the beach!

      Beaches on Gili Meno

      We think the best beaches on Gili Meno are in the less developed northern part of the island. Note that the white sand around Gili Meno can be a little rough underfoot as it is made from tiny bits of coral. 

      Things To Do On Gili Meno

      • Swim with sea turtles at Sea Turtle Point off the northeast coast of the island
      • Snorkel over the underwater sculptures
      • Take a leisurely walk around the island
      • Visit the turtle hatchery
      • Walk around the saltwater lake and mangrove forest

      PROS

      • Great snorkelling, including underwater statues and a high level of marine biodiversity
      • Tranquil secluded beaches
      • Intimate island atmosphere with a small population

      CONS

      • Some travellers may find Gili Meno too quiet
      • The island lacks a wide choice of accommodation or dining options

      Best Accommodations on Meno Island

      Our following recommendations of the best places to stay in Gil Meno are based on our recent trips to the island. These are some of the best hotels on Gili Islands for adult-only and budget travellers. 

      best place to stay Gili Islands Meno

      Top Pick: Le Pirate Gili Meno

      This adults-only beachfront hotel has a pool, restaurant and bar. Breakfast, an airport shuttle and bike hire is available. Each white-toned raised bungalow has a/c, a porch with hammocks and an outdoor shower with pool or garden views. 

      where to stay in the Gili Islands

      Luxury: Villa Pulau Cinta Boutique Suites

      This lavish beachfront hotel has 6 stylish rooms, each with a/c, a TV, safe, porch with loungers and a rainfall shower. The hotel has a pool, an airport shuttle, a restaurant and a bar, plus complimentary breakfasts and afternoon tea. 

      best place to stay on Gili Islands

      Mid-Range: Gili Meno Escape

      A highly rated, value-for-money hotel 400 m from the beach. It has a pool, an airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast and WiFi. Spacious, Balinese-style pitched roof bungalows have a tv, a fridge, a shower and a porch with pool views. 

      places to stay Gili Islands

      Budget: Tropicana Bungalows

      This hotel has comfortable, no-frill ensuite bungalows with a/c and a porch. Tropicana Bungalows offers a restaurant, WiFi, complimentary breakfast and is 300m from the beach. 

      Where To Stay In Gili Islands: FAQs

      hotels in Gili Meno

      How to get to Gili Islands from Bali?

      The fastest and easiest way to transfer to the Gili Islands is by boat. The fastest route is from Padang Bai in Bali to Gili Trawangan, a 1.5-hour crossing. 

      Alternatively, you can catch a boat from Bangsal Harbour in Lombok, which will take around 20 minutes to reach Gili Trawangan. 

      From Gili T, a fast boat to Gili Air takes 15 minutes. The slow boat is only 5 minutes longer. 

      From Gili Air to Gili Meno, it is 10 minutes by fast boat and just 15 minutes by slow boat. 

      On these inter-island routes, you will have to wait for the boat to be full before it departs. However, in our experience, we’ve only had to wait around 15 – 20 minutes. 

      What is the best time to visit the Gili Islands?

      The best time to visit is during the dry season from April to September, though this is also the high season, so prices will be higher than at other times of the year. 

      Many people like to visit during the wet season from October to March to see the islands at their greenest. 

      If we had to choose the best month, we would opt for April or May as you will have mostly dry weather but will still see lush green islands. 

      Which Gili island is best to stay on?

      Where to stay in Gili Islands depends on your travel preferences. If you love nightlife and want lots of choices of where to stay, what to eat and what to do, we recommend you stay on Gili Trawangan. 

      If you want to only hear the sound of waves and experience the ultimate get away from it all, stay on Gili Meno. 

      However, if you want a little bit of both, we advise choosing Gili Air. 

      Is it worth staying in Gili Islands?

      Absolutely yes. We think there are very few places like the Gili Islands in the world.

      Not many people get to experience such beautiful, natural and small islands with good tourist infrastructure for such an affordable cost. You’d be crazy to pass up the opportunity of visiting any of the Gili Islands. 

      Which is the most popular Gili island?

      The most visited island is Gili Trawangan due to its range of accommodation, dining options and nightlife. However, we think one of the best places to stay in Gili Islands is Gili Air as it offers a bit of everything.

      How many days do you need in Gili?

      This depends on what you want from your vacation. If you want to relax, visit all three islands, as well as join a few local-led experiences such as fishing, snorkelling or cooking, we recommend staying for at least one week, ideally longer. 

      However, due to the short transfer time and small size of the islands, you can get a flavour of the Gilis and see one island in just a couple of days. 

      Which is better, Nusa Penida or Gili Islands?

      That’s a difficult question to answer, as we love both! But if we had to pick one location over the other, we would pick the Gili Islands. 

      The Gili Islands feel more ‘remote’ and closer to the paradise island idyll which we love. 

      How long is the boat ride from Bali to Gili Islands?

      Depending on your departure point, the journey time varies between 20 minutes and 1.5 hours. 

      Are the Gili Islands cheaper than Bali?

      Yes. Generally speaking, accommodation, food, and activities are all cheaper on the Gili Islands than in Bali. Plus you won’t have any transport costs as you can walk everywhere on the three islands. 

      If you are wondering where to stay in Gili Islands for the cheapest costs, we recommend Gili Trawangan. More competition generally means lower prices. 

      What is Gili Island famous for?

      In a nutshell, the Gili Islands are famous for pristine beaches, world-class snorkelling, excellent diving, sun-kissed vacations, great seafood and a friendly island vibe. 

      What more could you ask for in a vacation?

      Where To Stay In Gili Islands: Final Thoughts

      If you’re finding it difficult to choose where to stay in Gili Islands, don’t fret.

      We think you can’t go wrong with whichever of the Gili Islands you choose. Plus, as the islands are so close to each other (plus cheap and easy to get to), you can visit all three islands on your vacation. 

      We love visiting the Gili Islands; in a busy, developed world, these paradise islands offer something truly special. 

      Whether you want to learn to dive or surf, party the night away in a beach bar or daydream in a hammock, you can do it all in the Gili Islands. 

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