When I landed on Indonesia’s Gili Air island I only expected to stay a few days. But somewhere between the candy-colored sunset, the iridescent ocean, and the sea of delectable fare I found a home.
Three days quickly shifted to eight, and before long I knew most of the locals on the island. Days were spent laying on the beach, gazing out into the ocean or swimming in the crystal-clear waters with bright-colored sea creatures. I never imagined spending so many days on such a small island, but after sampling all the island had to offer I began to understand how one could arrive and never leave.
With the numerous health-conscious restaurants and local BBQ, two yoga studios, and some of the cutest eco resorts I’ve ever seen, I can pretty confidently say that this island will be the next hot spot within the next 5 years. If you’re pondering a visit, don’t think, just book. You won’t be disappointed. Lazy beach days are queen here, but if you’re looking to explore, here are some of my top picks.
The highest rated hotel on the island, PinkCoco is a predominantly pink immaculately decorated hotel that is perfect for Instagram pictures. Among the various facilities of this property are a garden, a terrace, a spa center, and a few restaurants where guest can enjoy a good meal and a great sunset view
The chilled out vibe at Mowie’s has drifted closer to the beach with a modern sunset bar offering ice cold drinks and a stunning sunset view. Quality organic ingredients are imported fresh from Bali and Lombok and the menu boasts healthy eats such as Spanish mackerel with soba noodles and a killer tuna burger.
On the northeast side of Gili Air, Pachamama’s menu is focused on fresh and healthy foods to heal the body – all super delicious and predominantly plant based. You will find a good selection of vegan and vegetarian (as well as some meat options), lots of incredible juices & smoothies and sweet raw deserts. They also brew our own kombucha!
With an emphasis on embodied, dymanic yoga embedded in philosophical expositions– Flowers & Fire Yoga aims to guide your mind, spirit and body through asana, facilitating a sense of expansion, deep connection and relaxation on all levels. Their large L shaped open-air yoga studio provides you with 360-degree village and tree top views of Gili Air and became a regular in my rotation on the island.
The three tiny Gili Islands, fringed by white-sand beaches and coral reefs, are one of the best places to snorkel in Southeast Asia. The crystal-clear waters make the perfect setting for turtle watching (the main event on the island) as well as exploring the creepy-but-cool underwater sculptures.