This may be one of the smallest of the Gili Islands, but it’s by no means any less exciting. Its wildness is where its beauty lies, and there is so much to explore here – we’ve just picked out the highlights for you!

Beaches, bars and watersports are what characterise this island, so if you’re a fan of any of those then you won’t be disappointed. Conversely, if you’re looking for something more relaxing, there are loads of spas and yoga centres too, where you can unwind and find your zen.

With so much on offer, it can be quite overwhelming when trying to decide where to stay in Gili Air.

But with our easy, step-by-step guide, you’ll find the best areas to stay in Gili Air to meet your interests and budget!

Without further ado, here’s our guide to where to stay in Gili Air, Bali.

Where to Stay in Gili Air

Looking for a specific stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Gili Air …

a man stands near the water on the beach watching the sunset at gili air, indonesia
Right here, right now.

Gili Matiki Lumbung | Best Luxury Villa in Gili Air

This villa is a unique space for you to spend your holiday on a delightful resort with access to delicious food and a state-of-the-art outdoor pool. The hosts offer massages and tours of the local area, but you’re just a short walk from the beach if you want to do your own exploring!

Captain Coconuts Gili Air | Best Hostel in Gili Air

This is a resort-style hostel with all the modern facilities you could need to make your stay comfortable and convenient. There’s a gorgeous outdoor pool and a brilliant cafe where you can get proper, hearty meals. Also, you’ll be sleeping in a traditional suspended hammock-style bed in the bamboo dormitories!

Kempas Villa | Best Villa in Gili Air

A swimming pool, a bar, a garden; this villa has everything you could want and we haven’t even gone inside yet! Just five minutes away from Gili Air’s main beach and you can rent a bike from the property so that you can explore the local area for yourself!

Gili Air Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Gili Air

gili air - The Harbour

The Harbour

When you come to Gili Air, The Harbour will be the first place you come to. That’s because it’s the bustling, beating heart of this small but beautiful island and it’s the perfect place to start exploring if you’ve never been here before.

gili air - West Gili Air

West Gili Air

There are so many cheap or free things to get stuck into that you won’t even have realised and that won’t be advertised anywhere, like a simple bike ride around the island or tips about the best places to find ocean swings!

gili air - North Gili Air

North Gili Air

In the North of Gili Air, you’ll not only have some privacy in one of the less bustling parts of the island, but you’ll also have some incredible options for accommodation.

Gili Air is nestled amongst its sister islands which make up the Gili Islands. It’s the second smallest of the islands and is the least built-up of them, meaning you’ll be in a truly unspoilt paradise. Many visitors to Bali make the trip to the Gilli’s for some chill time. You could possibly stay in Bali and do the island as a day trip but it would be rush and you would not experience the magic.

The western side of the island boasts some of the most stunning sunsets in all of Bali, while the east side has its own treasures to explore. As a result of the coral reef on the eastern shore, there are so many fantastic opportunities to get out diving and even meet a turtle or two if you’re lucky!

Kitesurfing and Subwinging are also available but if watersports aren’t your thing, don’t worry. This island has so much more on offer.

Needless to say, it has some stunning sandy beaches where you can unwind and relax in the sunshine. There’s also some brilliant cultural activities: cookery classes, beach yoga, islands bike rides and much more!

If you’re coming for the first time, then you should stay in The Harbour area. It will be your first PORT of call when you arrive and it’s the busy hive of this island.

Welcoming tourists from all over the world, it’s the perfect place to meet new people. It has some spectacular accommodation which we have hand-picked for you, as well as some delightful beachfront bars and restaurants.

Travelling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be on Gili Air and if you’re trying to save some money, then this can still be the perfect place for you to stay! Once you’re here, you by no means have to splash the cash to have fun.

Take a bike ride around the island, or discover some of the peaceful ocean swings for you to enjoy free of charge! West Gili Air, which is the area we suggest you stay if you’re on a budget is where you’ll find the best sunsets on the island and these amazing sights, of course, don’t cost a penny!

Organising a family holiday can be stressful and confusing, with so many options out there. It can be quite overwhelming but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for this too!

North Gili Air offers the perfect balance of busy and serene, with the option to take on thrilling adventures as a family group or escape to quiet paradises of your very own. Accommodation is in abundance here, so you’ll definitely find something to suit your group size and personal preferences.

Getting here will involve a boat trip from Pemenang or the other Gili Islands, depending on where you’re coming from. The nearest airport is on Bali, so if you’re coming from there, you can get a boat over to Gili Air just as easily!

Hostels in Bali are all of a high standard, with our favorite being Tribal Hostel.

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Tribal Hostel – Bali’s first purpose-built co-working hostel and perhaps the greatest hostel in the world!

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Come on down and enjoy amazing coffee, high-speed wifi and a game of pool 😉

3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Gili Air

With so much history, culture and scenery to enjoy, Gili Air is one of the best places to visit in Bali!

#1 The Harbour – Where to Stay in Gili Air for Your First Time

When you come to Gili Air, The Harbour will be the first place you come to. That’s because it’s the bustling, beating heart of this small but beautiful island and it’s the perfect place to start exploring if you’ve never been here before.

a group of travellers gather with some drinks jamming and playing music near the harbour in gili air, indonesia
Look out for some impromptu jamming at night!

This is a great place to explore the local culture, cuisine and also get your fill of scenery with beaches to spare and loads of adventures for you to try out. Access to the marina means you can get boat trips out to the other islands easily too if you’re interested in exploring or are travelling onwards from here!

Oceans 5 Seaview Poolside Bungalow | Best Homestay at The Harbour

These bungalows are something a little bit different but don’t be fooled by their cute exterior – there is plenty of room inside, with large kingsize bedrooms on offer for you and your fellow travellers. Right next tot eh harbour, you can get straight to your accommodation as soon as you arrive on the island and immediately begin to enjoy the proximity to the beach and your own 25m pool!

Design Tropical Private Villa with pool | Best Villa at The Harbour

This is a boutique villa which has been carefully and elegantly designed to emulate both contemporary and exotic styles. You’ll have your own pool and patio, which opens into the living and dining area so you can enjoy a meal underneath the stars!

Hotel Ombak Paradise | Best Hotel at The Harbour

Enjoy the all-year-round outdoor pool or head out to this brilliant hotel’s private stretch of beach just a short walk from your room door. Grab some free afternoon tea at the onsite restaurant, or just relax in your air-conditioned room, most of which have views of the sea!

Hotel Ombak Paradise is one of our favourites in Gili Air but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Things to See and Do in The Harbour:

  1. Learn all about the local cuisine by having a go at making some yourself! With Gili Air Cooking Classes as Casa Koko, you’ll be taught by one of the very best chefs on these islands and by the end, you’ll be able to rustle up a storm for your friends back home!
  2. Find your zen at Kenza Yoga Gili Air. It’s a beachside yoga school where you can take part no matter what your ability!
  3. Gili Lumbung Beachclub is a great place to let your hair down and get to know the local culture. Sip on a cocktail and watch some live music on the beach as the sun goes down!
  4. Just around the coast is Sub Wing Gili Islands, where you can glide over the waves as you’re pulled by a speedboat! Not for the faint-hearted, but a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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#2 West Gili Air – Where to Stay in Gili Air on a Budget

Travelling in Gili Air doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. There are so many cheap or free things to get stuck into that you won’t even have realised and that won’t be advertised anywhere, like a simple bike ride around the island or tips about the best places to find ocean swings!

a man relaxes on the beach with a hat above his head
Here’s something cheap you could do.

Not only have we found all of these activities for you to do, but we’ve also found the perfect accommodation so all you have to do is book!

Slow Double Private Pool Villa | Best Villa in West Gili Air

This is an authentic and simple villa, with a charming, rustic atmosphere. There’s a gorgeous coconut garden for you to explore, as well as access to a shared swimming pool!

Grand Sunset Gili Air | Best Hostel in West Gili Air

This is a brilliant resort-style hostel with everything you could need on-site! There are 25 comfortable and spacious rooms, an infinity pool, a restaurant and even an on-site diving school! You’ll get so much for your money here, so it’s perfect for those travelling on a budget.

PinkCoco Gili Air | Best All-Inclusive Villa in West Gili Air

This is not only the place to find an incredible beach bar and ocean swings, but it’s also a gorgeous place to retreat. By night, it’s one of the most lively places on the island, giving you the chance to enjoy some local music and food, but by day, you’ll fall out onto the beach and have access to a garden and spa too!

Things to See and Do in West Gili Air:

  1. Head over to Gili Air Divers, where you’ll be able to hire out a SCUBA kit and take on the deep blue yourself! You could even ask to be taken out further west to see the famous submerged sculptures off the coast of neighboring island Gili Meno.
  2. One of the best ways to see this magnificent island is also one of the cheapest – by bike! Gili Air isn’t exactly large, and if you’re going quickly you should be able to get around the whole island in a morning. But being on a bike will also give you plenty of fresh air, and the chance to slow down and find some secret treasures along the way.
  3. At Pinkcoco you’ll find one of Bali’s famous beach swings, which becomes submerged during high tide. However, this one is a gorgeous bright pink! Most of these swings are owned by beachside bars, so enjoy a swing with a drink or without – you don’t have to pay to use the swing!
  4. If you do fancy indulging on anything during tour budget holiday, then head to the Slow Spa, the most luxurious on the island. It offers some brilliant treatments which will leave you feeling relaxed and cleansed.

#3 North Gili Air – Best Area to Stay in Gili Air for Families

Planning family holidays is stressful at the best of times, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In the North of Gili Air, you’ll not only have some privacy in one of the less bustling parts of the island, but you’ll also have some incredible options for accommodation.

an empty table with a great view on the beach in gili air, indonesia
Not a bad place for a morning coffee.

Activities are in abundance here, whether you want a relaxing, lazy holiday or one filled with adventure. There’s something for all generations of the family to enjoy here!

Villa Maiya | Best Villa in North Gili Air

Just five minutes from the beach and a brilliant snorkelling company is this simple yet charming two-storey villa. With a private pool and a lovely kitchen for family meals, this is a great place to enjoy some quality time together!

Pachamama Organic Private Pool Villa | Best Luxury Villa in North Gili Air

Private, bohemian and authentic, this tropical-style island getaway is the perfect place to relax and unwind. There’s a pool for the kids to enjoy while you relax in the garden, and the organic cafe next door serves up brilliant, natural and healthy food! You’ll also be a stone’s throw away from the beach, so adventures are just around the corner.

Wake & Baked Escape | Best Homestay in North Gili Air

Most rooms will have balconies or terraces so you will fall out of bed into the lovely gardens and pool this homestay has to offer. On top of this, there is free Wi-Fi so you can plan your trips around the island. But if you don’t feel like making plans, then I’m sure you’ll be able to manage the three-minute walk to the beach from your front door!

Wake & Baked Escape is one of our favourites in Gili Air but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Things to See and Do in North Gili Air:

  1. Take the kids on a whirlwind adventure with AUS Diving Academy. Grab yourselves either a snorkel or a full SCUBA set and take on the ocean. The eastern side where this company is based is the best side, with coral reefs and turtles everywhere to be seen!
  2. There’s nothing quite like giving back and when you’re staying in a paradise-like Gili Air, you’ll want it to stay as beautiful as it already is. With this in mind, TrashHero are a company which organise beach cleanups every week at various locations around the Gili Islands. Not only will you and the family be saving the planet, but you’ll also have the chance to meet loads of other like-minded people too!
  3. It goes without saying that Gili Air has some of the most beautiful beaches to be found in Bali, so why not take the family down to one on the Northside for a gorgeous day in the sun?
  4. Head out on an unforgettable boat tour around the island with Tin Tin Gili Air. Definitely, the best way to see this amazing place – from the water!
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Gili Air

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Gili Air and where to stay.

What To Pack For Gili Air

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

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Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Gili Air

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Gili Air

Beautiful scenery, exciting culture and thrilling adventures – Gili Air has so much to offer to travellers of all types!  It comes as no surprise that Kuta is the perfect place to visit for all ages!

The Harbour is the best place to stay in Gili Air for your first time. It’s the central hub of everything on the island and is so easy to access!

Gili Air’s most luxurious hotel is Gili Matiki Lumbung. Rave reviews from all its visitors – and it’s easy to see why!

If you are travelling on a budget, then the best place to stay in Gili Air is Captain Coconuts Gili Air. Brilliant service and comfort!

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, enjoy your travels!

Looking for more info on travelling to Gili Air and Indonesia?
drinking a fresh coconut on the beach in gili air, indonesia
I’ll wait for you there.

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!