Gili Gede – Lombok Indonesia
Reasons to Visit or Stay on Gili Gede:
- You enjoy peace and quiet, away from the crowds
- You’ve been to Bali or Lombok and are looking for more of a ‘local’ experience
- Secluded, white sand beaches sound appealing
- Shorter travel time to and from Bali than the most popular Gilis
- Intimate travel experience with a loved one or group of friends/family
How to Get to Gili Gede:
As of February 1st, 2016, Gili Getaway now offers direct fast boat service to Gili Gede from both Bali and Gili Trawangan three times weekly. Fast boats from Bali’s Serangan Harbor take approximately 90 minutes to reach Gili Gede, while an easy 45 minute ride from the popular Gili Trawangan makes it an easy alternate destination.
Another option is private group transportation via the Dive in Bali boat, specifically for guests of the brand new Villa Vista Gede, which leaves directly from Padang bai.
Gili Gede Accommodations:
In a nutshell, there aren’t many. And that’s the beauty of it! However, with land selling quickly and new accommodations in the works, we have a couple excellent options for travelers seeking a bit of rustic luxury.
In March 2016, Villa Vista Gede will open its doors, an absolutely gorgeous 4 bedroom, 3 bath, fully-staffed and scenic villa, centrally located on the hilltop of Gili Gede. With panoramic ocean views and a full staff, as well as wifi, A/C in all rooms, and pool with an equally amazing view, this is absolutely the best place to stay with a group of friends or family members. Email Guy at [email protected] for booking information.
Another option is the chic Ko Ko Mo Resort Gili Gede, a new, serene beachfront resort with spacious one and two bedroom villa options, all beautifully decorated with an onsite restaurant, private swimming pools, tennis court, spa, putting green and more.
Madak Belo Guesthouse includes 2 bungalows and 3 upstairs rooms in a large wooden house, all located only 20 meters from the ocean. There is an onsite restaurant and bar as well, and the accommodations are low-key but charming, especially considering the view.
Yet another option includes Secret Island Resort, which offers well-placed accommodation near the shore, including 2 bungalows over the reef, a hillside bungalow, 2 bedroom villa, and beachfront rooms. Enjoy fresh seafood and a pool table at the Yacht Bar and relax with a nice view.
For those seeking a more low-key option, go camping! Rental gear will be available from Guy, the owner of Villa Vista Gede, so ask away and enjoy waking up with the sand between your toes (and everywhere else).
Gili Asahan Accommodations:
Another excellent option for accommodations is only a quick boat ride to the neighboring island of Gili Asahan!
Here, the newly opened Gili Asahan Eco Lodge offers stunning beachside bales and bungalows, perfect for those seeking an even quieter escape on their own piece of island paradise. The onsite restaurant offers delicious Italian-inspired dishes, and relaxing comes easy in their hammocks or wooden Yoga Shala.
Spend the day swimming in the clear, warm waters and evening lounging by the fire pit!
Gili Gede Tips & Activities:
Pearl farming and fishing remain as the main industries on Gili Gede, though tourism is likely to make a big splash in the coming years. Take time to meet the locals, who are all very interesting and friendly, and remember to dress appropriately (bathing suit cover-ups when walking around town, etc.), as it is a Muslim island.
There are currently no ATMs on Gili Gede, so remember to bring plenty of rupiah!
Keep in mind that dining options are limited and there are no bars, so bring what you need, and remember to dispose of all literally properly during your visit.
During our trip, we were lucky enough to meet Abu, whose grandfather was the chief founder of the island. His property, Tamarind Gili Gede, includes a lovely two-level home as well as a small restaurant with delicious local dishes. Word is that he will soon offer stand up paddleboarding (SUP) here as well, so pay him a visit and say hello!
If you’re interested in giving back during your trip, consider volunteering with Aqua Gratis, a company dedicated to delivering sustainable drinking water to communities in need. You can see and learn more about their water filtration system directly on Abu’s property.
There are also excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities nearby, as well as the famous surf breaks of Desert Point & Bangko Bangko only a quick speed boat ride away. Ocean enthusiasts will surely find what they’re looking for on this charming, desert-like oasis.
We hope you have the opportunity to explore Gili Gede on your next trip to Indonesia, and as always, terima kasih for reading!