Gili Air is a fantastic Island off the coast of Lombok. We spent 3 nights and 4 days cycling, paddle boarding, and walking around the ‘town’ (not to mention catching rays on the beach).
There are no motorised transportation on Gili Air. As the smallest of the Gillies, you will find a mix between Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. The key allure is Island vibes. There are lots of places to hire bikes. We highly recommend spending a morning cycling around the island which takes approximately 2 hours, depending on how many photo stops you make. If you are here to relax like us, Gili Air is perfect as a slow paced couples retreat.
We travelled from Serangan port, Uluwatu (3 hours) to Gili Air via Bluewater Express. Bluewater is the best for the quickest, most comfortable sail – especially if you are inclined to seasickness. The air-conditioning is superb and you get a bottle of water on arrival.
On arrival to Gili Air, a horse-n-carte is on stand-by to help you travel to your accommodation. As our hotel was only a 20min walk away, we opted for transport on foot. We took the scenic route through the busy alleys and soon realised that 20 minutes felt like an hour carrying heavy duffle bags and back packs.
Delighted to arrive at the unmissable pink building, welcomed by a chilled rose water beverage and a refreshing, pink towelette to freshen up, we checked in to Pinkcoco Hotel – Gili Air. The receptionist tied the infamous pink string around our wrists as she checked us in with an orientation of the property. We are now ready to chillax!
After settling into our surroundings, we paid a visit to the spa reception. A couples full body massage, priced at €20 for 2 people, was irresistible. We booked in for the next available slot on the same day. We then walked past the fabulous pool straight to the bar for a cocktail.
We were absolutely delighted with our choice of accommodation. With the beach right outside our doorstep, a pool overlooking the beach and the best ocean views, we were all set for island life.
Pinkcoco is a whole lot of fun. From the cheeky decor to the kayak and paddle-boards, it’s the perfect place to swing yourself into paradise island.
We got a bit peckish and walked to the centre of Gili Air to seek out an Instagram recommended vegetarian/vegan Warung (family owned restaurant), called Gili Bliss. Boy o’ boy, were we surprised. What first looked like a garden shed, was actually the entrance to a loft which housed the main seated area of Gili Bliss.
The fruit juices were interesting, fresh, organic and absolutely delicious – not too sweet. The food is completely vegetarian and vegan. We loved the pasta but we both agreed that the chickpea burger with sweet potato fries was the winner. With mushrooms on the side replacing avocados, we could not have ordered a more satisfying meal. It defintely hit the spot.
We travelled back to our hotel in time for our couples massage. I don’t think we have ever been so relaxed during a massage treatment like we were at Pinkcoco. We certainly did not need magic mushrooms to hallucinate – this was very real with pressure on point.
Every treatment ends with a delicious aromatic ginger tea for added relaxation.
After our relaxing spa treatment, we head straight to the beach to watch the sun go down with a fine Indonesian Rose. It was wonderful to watch hotel guests (including ourselves) play on the iconic Pinkcoco water swing under an ever-changing pink sky.
We retired to our room to find a birthday balloon decoration with a thoughtful flower message on the bed and a slice of cake. It was Pauric’s birthday and the hotel marked the occasion.
On our second day, we originally set the alarm to catch the sunrise. We do not regret missing this opportunity as our bodies probably needed the extra hour. We hired bicycles and on our way out we bumped into the General Manager. He let us know about the hotel’s new Tapas Restaurant: Tapas del Mar.
At sunset we created social media content for the tapas restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner and cocktails by the ocean.
P.S.The hotel is extremely accommodating when it comes to dietary requirements. In fact, with everything… just let them know and they will make your experience memorable.
The next day we hired paddle boards from the hotel in the early morning while the tide was still low. Inexperienced, we paddled our way back in forth in close proximity of the hotel. It was wonderful!
This is just one of many things to do on the island.
The Gili Islands have the most popular spots for diving with an abundance of marine life. Known as the ‘turtle capital’ of the world, the Gili Islands boasts 25+ diving sites of which 5 are on Gili Air. This is perfect for diving, regardless of your experience level.
Other things to do, include:
- Fluorescent plankton night diving
- The ocean marine walk
- Kayaking in a glass bottom kayak
- Dive to underwater statues
The best eateries:
On Gili Air, pineapples and coconuts are the obsession. You can drink coconut water from a young coconut anywhere. Pachamama is a hidden gem with delicious deserts (vegan friendly) and Mama Pizza is the real deal when it comes to serious cheesy pizza. Ruby’s, with matching decor has featured in the Lonely Planet as the finest eatery on Gili Air. But our utmost favourite was Gili Bliss – deeeeeelicious!!!
Our time on Gili Air was short and sweet but it certainly did not feel like it as time slows down on paradise island.
Three days were more than enough to experience everything we wanted to with all the time in the world. We wouldn’t recommend staying any longer than 3 days, unless you are island hopping.
Indonesia has so many islands to explore and Gili Air should definitely be on your list for an authentic Indonesian experience.