1st Time to Gili Islands: Where Should I Stay?

Where Should I Book My Hotel In the Gili Islands?

Let us provide you with some general guidance on each of the three Gili Islands – Trawangan, Meno and Air – and which one would suit you best.

You might be in for great beach bars and a more lively nightlife scene, or, perhaps a total opposite where you simply prefer a ‘retreat’ on a quiet island literally, without the crowds. Maybe something that has the best of both worlds… Unless you’re going for a long stay to experience all of the three islands, choosing which to head to becomes your first critical challenge.

Your single choice could either make or break your stay. We’ve created this area guide for the Gili Islands with this goal in mind: to let you know the highs, the lows, and the main features of these favourite islands, so you can decide which hotel and location on the Gili Islands is best for you.

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Should I book my hotel in Gili Trawangan?

Gili Trawangan: How to decide...

The first Gili Island you’ll approach from Bali is Trawangan, which also happens to be the most popular island, due to its best range of facilities, larger land size and good mixture of styles and preferences for dining and accommodation. Most of the diving operators are found here, and there are abundant choices in terms of PADI courses. The main southeastern coast with the boat harbour is packed with bars and restaurants, and budget guesthouses are not hard to find either. The finer resorts are located on the quieter sunset beach on its southeast.

Who is it For:

  • Backpackers to moderately wealthy travellers.
  • People who like a good mix, from lively beach nightlife scenes to exotic and quiet beaches
  • People who like an eclectic dining experience

What's Good:

  • Gorgeous sunset and sunrise moments
  • Eclectic dining options and seafood galore
  • The best range of facilities

What's Not So Good:

  • Its main beaches near the harbour can be a little busy, especially during the high season
  • 10 Best Hotels in Gili Trawangan

    The best hotels in Gili Trawangan serve as great bases from which you can enjoy your fun holiday escape on this most Read More»

  • All Gili Trawangan Hotels

    Gili Trawangan hotels and resorts range from budget options near its main boat harbour to the selection of finer luxury Read More»

  • Gili Trawangan Island

    Gili Trawangan Island

    Going to the Gilis but looking for a totally hushed island escape among the three choices? Gili Meno might be for you. Read More»

Should I book my hotel in Gili Meno?

Gili Meno: How to decide...

Gili Meno is the total opposite to Trawangan. It is the ultimate island escape – literally. Meno suits best for honeymooners and couples looking for privacy, and absolute rest and relaxation. It’s also good for nature lovers. You won’t find the crowds common on Trawangan here. In fact, proponents of partying and nightlife avoid this quiet island altogether for an obvious reason – the local Meno village administration upholds a ban on late night partying. The more preserved atmosphere is great, coupled with the slow paced village life that you can learn from up close. Budget bungalow-style accommodation is found beside full-fledged luxury resorts along the pristine white coral sand coasts.

Who is it For:

  • Everybody from backpackers to wealthy travellers
  • People who prefer peace and quiet
  • Nature lovers, honeymooners and couples

What's Good:

  • Quietest beaches around
  • Close connection to local village life

What's not so good:

  • The least infrastructure among the three Gilis
  • No shopping, no ATMs
  • 10 Best Hotels in Gili Meno

    The best hotels in Gili Meno become your island homes if you decide to stay on the most relaxing island among the three Read More»

  • All Gili Meno Hotels

    Gili Meno hotels and resorts offer the ultimate island escape, great for honeymooners and couples looking for privacy, Read More»

  • Gili Meno Island

    Gili Meno is the most relaxing of the three Gili Islands. Meno truly sets itself apart from the other two islands Read More»

Should I book my hotel in Gili Air?

Gili Air: How to decide...

Gili Air offers the best of both worlds and can be considered the smaller and even more refined version of Trawangan, with a good mix of restaurants, beach bars, diving centres and activities. Budget accommodation choices are not as many, but still can be found away from the coastal areas. The main south-eastern coast near the boat docks is naturally packed with all the variety of dining and nightlife choices, while the quieter northern beaches are great for the truer ‘escapists’. Air serves as a great alternative to Trawangan, and oftentimes is a concluding island hop for those travelling over all three islands. Its close proximity toLombok also makes it a perfect stepping stone for those ferrying off for an even prolonged trip to Bali’s neighbouring island.

Who is it For:

  • Moderately wealthy travellers
  • People who want a base to discover all 3 Gili Islands, and perhaps Lombok
  • People looking for a beach break without the backpackers

What's Good:

  • Adequate number of dining and shopping options
  • Closest to Lombok

What's not so good:

  • Not as many options for backpackers
  • 10 Best Hotels in Gili Air

    The best hotels in Gili Air include more luxurious selections when compared to hotels on the two other Gili islands. Read More»

  • All Gili Air Hotels

    Gili Air hotels and resorts come in a collection of mid-range to luxury accomodation options, great for couples and Read More»

  • Gili Air Island

    Gili Air is where you can find luxury and a more upscale scene among the three Gili Islands, and it’s often considered Read More»

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