Gili Air is a small island in Lombok, Indonesia, about 10 minutes by boat from Lombok’s mainland or 2.5 hours speedboat ride from Bali’s mainland or 2 hours from the Nusa Islands. It has beautiful clear water, coconut palms and you can get around the entire island by riding a bicycle. In fact, motorised transport is not allowed on Gili Air, just adding to the island vibes. So where to stay in Gili Air? Here’s our Gili Air Accommodation Guide to help you choose…
- Absolute Splurge: Luxury Hotels In Gili Air
- Gili Air Villas
- Luxury For Less
- Best Hotels In Gili Air Under $100/night
- Best Hotels In Gili Air Under $50/night
Where To Stay In Gili Air? Gili Air Area Guide
So where to stay on Gili Air? Gili Air is a tiny island and most places can be reached within a 10 – 20-minute bicycle ride. The main areas to stay in Gili Air can be divided into staying by the beach or staying inland, or by North, South, East and West. But what is the best area to stay in Gili Air?
Gili Air Map
Staying By The Beach Or Inland?
Honestly, in our opinion, it doesn’t really matter if your Gili Air accommodation is right on the beach or not, as even if it is inland it will be very close to the beach, and perhaps a little more tranquil. We stayed inland, which was only a 5-minute bicycle ride to the nearest beach and was on a gorgeous quiet road with coconut palms and some local houses around. Inland would be our pick for where to stay in Gili Air for a more local feel. The east side beaches would be our pick for where to stay in Gili Air for the best beaches.
Should I Stay In The North, South, East Or West Part Of Gili Air?
The east side of the island is the best area to stay in Gili Air for swimming and snorkelling, as it has the best beaches.
The south side of the island is perhaps the busiest as this is where the Gili Air jetty is and where boats arrive and leave. So this would be our pick for where to stay in Gili Air if you don’t want to walk far with luggage but also don’t mind a more touristy feel.
And the western side is the best area to stay in Gili Air for sunsets, where you can see Mount Agung on Bali.
In terms of getting your luggage to your accommodation, you can get a cidomo which is like a small horse and cart, but as we honestly didn’t know about the treatment and care of the horses, we decided not to use them. You could also hire a bicycle if you had backpacks. We walked to our accommodation with our bags, which was fine but will be slow. Keep in mind some roads are sandy/dirt, particularly part of the west and north roads around the beachside, so this will be harder.
But overall, due to the small size of Gili Air, it’s one of the only places that location doesn’t really matter, I would decide based on the best Gili Air accommodation for you, whether that be a Gili Air hotel or Gili Air villa. You really can reach all areas of the island easily, so below we have our Gili Air Accommodation Guide with all of the best places to stay in Gili Air Lombok.
Should I Stay On Gili Air or Gili Trawangan?
Gili Air may only be a short boat ride from Gili Trawangan, but the two islands are very different. One question we had the first time we visited the Gili Islands was which Gili Island to stay on? All of the Gili Islands have no motorised transport, and all have clear water surrounding them.
Gili Trawangan has the most tourists, restaurants, shops, bars etc. It is the busiest island and the one to stay on if you want to party. Having said that, there are areas of the island where you can escape the crowds and have a more tranquil stay if that’s what you’re after.
Gili Air is a quieter island then Gili Trawangan with fewer tourists. It still has some delicious restaurants and things to do. I personally preferred the beaches here for swimming and snorkelling. Gili Air would be our pick for where to stay in the Gili Islands for a nice balance of activity, things to do and yet fewer crowds.
How Many Days To Stay In Gili Air?
Personally, I think 2 days and 2 nights is a minimum for how long to spend on Gili Air. Spending time on Gili Air is all about relaxing, taking it slow and enjoying nature, which is difficult to do if you have a short stay. You could also easily spend up to a week on Gili Air if you are happy to have a slower paced holiday and fully enjoy the island time, or if you are staying here to do a dive course or something similar. If you have the time I would recommend picking two of the three Gili Islands to stay a couple of nights each on, as each island has a completely different personality.
Booking Accommodation In Gili Air
When looking for where to stay in Gili Air, we always search for our hotels on Booking.com. Simple to use and also has a great app. We book most of our hotels through Booking.com.
Airbnb tends to have a lot of villa options for Bali, so another good option if looking to stay in Gili Air villas.
Gili Air Accommodation Guide
Our Gili Air Accommodation recommendations below are based on our favourites that we have stayed in, knowledge of Gili Air hotels and their specific locations, lots of research, reading reviews, hearing from you guys and just putting this all together with our own experience to find the best places to stay in Gili Air. So here are our favourite picks for where to stay in Gili Air…
Absolute Splurge: Luxury Hotels In Gili Air
Gili Air Villas (2 or more bedrooms only)
Luxury For Less
Best Hotels In Gili Air For Under $100/night
Best Hotels In Gili Air For Under $50/night
We will be continually updating this post with any new places we stay and love, to make sure we are recommending the best Gili Air Accommodation.