Where to Stay in The Gili Islands: A Guide To Paradise

published by Bren

Last updated: December 3, 2023

The Gilis are a trio of islands in Indonesia, famous for their beautiful beaches, chilled vibes and stunning scenery. Once a hotspot for partying backpackers, the islands have developed in recent years and while it still retains its old school charm, there’s now something here for everyone.

This guide is designed to be a quick reference guide for those trying to find somewhere to stay. All the options in the Gilis can be overwhelming, so I’ve consolidated the best choices into this easy to use list. Each island into this Each island offers something unique, so if you’re heading to the Gilis keep reading – I’ll run through each island and the best Gili islands hotels and hostels available on each.

Let’s gooooo.

An introduction

gili islands hotels

The Gili Islands is made up of three main islands.

First we have Gili Meno – a honeymooner’s dream, with secluded white sand beaches, total tranquillity and flowers draped across every pathway.

For those after a livelier trip, Gili Trawangan (codename Gili T!) is the spot – host to an array of fun bars, beach-clubs and great music. Expect hostels teeming with backpackers ready for ‘gram-worthy nights out.

Lastly, Gili Air offers something in the middle – serenity amidst live bands on the beach, all tied up with amazing diving and yoga.

Each island is car-free, making them little hubs of health and calm. There’s the occasional moped (normally driven by several children!) but the main method of transport are horse-drawn carts or bare feet! If you’re after a detachment from hustle bustle life, this is your spot.

Gili Meno

best hotel in gili trawangan

This little island is probably one of the most romantic areas of Indonesia, with crystal waters, long stretches of white sand and stunning natural surroundings.

It’s popular among honeymooners for this exact reason, and the slow-paced life offers an escape from it all. Expect total peace and quiet, flowers at every turn and utter relaxation. As such, there isn’t a huge backpacker scene, with most solo travellers heading to Gili T’s party vibes.

For those travelling with children, there are options – head to the bigger hotels to avoid the swarms of couples.

Where to stay on Gili Meno?

For the Backpacker

Stay at the Rabbit Tree Hostel.

This is a classic island hostel and the perfect spot to mingle with other backpackers.

Breakfast is available and the hostel features a bar where you can congregate and socialise, along with many other social areas which are very tastefully done. It’s obvious the hostel has been made with solo travellers in mind!

It’s a short walk from the beach, and free wifi is provided.

Best rates here.

For the Budget Traveller

Stay at Meno Dream.

This is a boutique resort that gets all the essentials right for a reasonable price.

The rooms are modern and spacious, free wifi is provided throughout the property, there is an outdoor pool, and a great restaurant is on-site.

The location is excellent and you’re only a few minutes walk from the beach.

Best rates here.

For the High Roller

Stay at Villa Pulau Cinta.

If you’re after paradise within paradise, this is it.

This resort is made up of boutique villas that cater to your every wish. A terrace, private pool, sea views, room service, and all the other bells and whistles.

The rooms are gorgeous and decorated like mini-mansions, the way it should be.

Of course, restaurants are available on site as well as a bar, and room service is always available so you never have to leave the villa.

Truly luxurious.

Best rates here.

Gili Trawangan

best hotel in gili trawangan

‘Gili T’, as the island is affectionately known, is the party hub of the trio. Expect the same beautiful beaches as Meno, just dotted with plenty more late-night bars and live music nights.

This island tends to be most popular with solo travellers who want to meet other people, make the most of the cheap beer and party late into the night. But fear not, there’s a quieter side to the island for those who want the choice of a night in!

There are heaps of low-priced hostels on the island for backpackers, as well as some luxury options if you’re here for the paradise-vibe more than the tequila. 

Where to stay on Gili T?

For the Backpacker

For a second option, you’ve got Jati Village Hostel. Hostels with pools are a bit like unicorns, really, but Jati Hostel brings that and much more. The tidy garden is home to a large pool area as well as plenty of space to relax and meet people. There’s also a bar in the hostel, so you don’t have to wander far to find a nice cold Bintang. The dorms are clean and each comes with a private bathroom. Jati also offers an on-site restaurant, bike hire and tennis-playing facilities. What more do you need? Best rates here!

For the Budget Traveller

Stay at Gili Flush Harmony.

This guesthouse matches affordability and comfort, with modern, air-conditioned rooms, a beautiful pool, and free wifi. This mini-resort is well-located, so you’ll be within walking distance from some of the best dive shops on the island. For this price, it’s one of the best options available. Often booked out, so reserve early.

Best rates here.

For the High Roller

Stay at Kuno Villas!

Easily one of the top villas in the Gili Islands, Kuno is known for its stylish build and luxurious service.

Set in a tropical garden, all villas here come with a private pool, enormous television, and daily yoga classes or other activities.

Breakfast is served daily inside your villa, so you don’t even need to get out of bed.

Built and finished with class wooden architecture, the resort is not only a delight to stay in but beautiful as well.

Not cheap, but you won’t be disappointed.

Best rates here.

Gili Air

gili air accommodation

My favourite of the Gilis, this island is the perfect blend of activity and relaxation. With excellent dive schools, Gili Air is a great place to get into holiday mode.

This reef here is also wonderful for snorkelling, a good alternative for young children.

In fact, the island itself is very family-friendly, with loads of outdoor pools, horse-riding and beaches that are safe to swim on. Not to mention, this island is home to some of the best Gili islands hotels!

Spend your days barefoot-wandering and enjoying the sunshine before a night of fresh seafood and live music on the beach. The nightlife might not be as lively as Gili T’s, but there’s always something going on on this little island…

Where to stay on Gili Air?

For the Backpacker

Captain Coconuts is probably the best hostel across the three islands. It’s set just back from one of the best beaches on the island, in a field of palm trees. There’s a large outdoor pool with sun-loungers and shady cabanas. You can choose from a cheap dorm room (picture hammocks, mosquito nets and a super airy wooden treehouse) or mini-bungalows with private bathrooms. There’s an incredible restaurant, too, offering vegan and veggie food. Just an awesome place overall, you won’t be disappointed. Best rates here.

For the Budget Traveller

Mowies on the Beach quickly became my second home, mainly thanks to the staff and the delicious food offerings. The hotel is set just off the beach, with a large outdoor pool available to guests. The roomy bungalows are kitted out with speedy WiFi and TVs. Cross the sandy path to the restaurant and enjoy their huge menu – it’s packed with veggie, vegan and healthy options, as well as huge burgers! A stunning ocean view from your window tops it off as a small piece of paradise. Best rates here.

For the High Roller

Slow Gili Air Villas are every dream come true.

When I say we’ve saved the best best ’til last, I mean it.

Tucked down a shady, sandy lane just off the beach, this collection of ten private villas will have you weak at the knees.

Stepping stones lead you across tranquil waters to the reception area, before you’re taken to your private villa, complete with private swimming pool, half-outdoor bathroom, and fully equipped kitchen.

Breakfast is served in your room daily.

The on-site spa is a stunning bamboo chapel-style building, offering the best treatments on the island.

There’s an airy, outdoor yoga shala with regular classes, as well as an in-house travel agent service.

It doesn’t get any better than this.

For the best rates, click here.

Enjoy the Gilis 😉


Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13Featured Image

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