Updated: Nov 25, 2019
How to get to Gili Air
Just off Bali, there’s three islands called the Gili’s. From Bali they’re positioned Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. To get to those islands you can take a ferry from Bali (we took the Blue Express Ferry from Padangbai). A ferry ticket costs 55€ one way and the ferry ride takes roughly 75 minutes. The ferry will first dock at Gili Meno, before docking at Gili Air. When you arrive at the ferry terminal on Gili Air, it only takes 10 minutes to walk to Grand Sunset Resort. Of course if you had luggage like us, a horse carriage is to prefer – BUT I have to strictly point out that I do not support the carriages in any way. The roads are gravel and sand so it might be a struggle to transport them to the resort yourself. There is no cars or motor vehicles on the islands.
First impression of Grand Sunset Resort
When you arrive at Grand Sunset Resort, you can see the pool on one side and the beach with their restaurant on the other. Their reception is outside and all of their buildings are cute wooden structures. The staff is very friendly and all welcomes you with a big smile. As they show you your way to your room, you pass the outdoor pool table, the pool and walk through a cute little garden with rooms on both sides.
We stayed in one of their Double Rooms and it was just perfect. Every room has an outdoor bathroom, where you shower, go to the toilet and even brush your teeth under an open sky. It’s just magical and really gives you the perfect island experience. The rooms are nice and clean, with a good sized closet and there’s WiFi everywhere. In every room there’s even a book with tips for the island and useful phrases in Indonesian. That’s such a good service!
The staff are always smiling and super helpful. They will start to remember you when you stay more than one night, and knows where you would prefer to sit in the restaurant. If you have the slightest issues or questions they are always ready to help. We asked them for a private boat trip to go snorkelling and just enjoy the water, and they quickly planned the most perfect day trip for us.
As mentioned, the resort has their own restaurant on the beach. Here you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even soak in the sunset with a drink or two. The food is delicious and you order from the menu for every meal, as there is no buffet. So you get to choose exactly what you would like to eat and they just put it on your room. Some days they will have a fire show or dance performance on the beach, so you can eat on the beach while enjoying a show. It was just perfect.
Trips from the resort
As mentioned, we went on a private boat trip from the resort. The boat picked us up right in front of the resort on a big boat, that we had all to our selves. We snorkelled, had the most delicious Indonesian lunch, that they prepared on the boat while we went snorkelling, and even went exploring Gili Meno, which is the neighbouring island. It was just the perfect day.
Biking around the island
Walking or biking around the island does not take more than 15-20 minutes, because Gili Air is so small. Just to the right of Grand Sunset Resort, there is another resort where you can rent cheap bikes for the day. We biked to the other side of the island, where we went snorkelling and had lunch. We had our own masks, but if you don’t you can rent them cheap pretty much anywhere on the island.
If you want to go diving on the Gili Islands – and I strongly advice to do so – Grand Sunset Resort also has their own Dive Center, called Gili Island Divers. We went out with them a couple of times and it was an amazing experience. We saw sea turtles, manta rays and octopuses, amongst a lot of other colourful fish.
Overall experience at Grand Sunset Resort
The overall experience was amazing. We stayed here for 5 days and felt perfectly at home already the first day. I can really recommend staying at Grand Sunset Resort, and I will for sure be staying with them when I’m back on the island.
Address: Pantai Barat, 83352 Gili Air, Indonesia Website: www.grandsunsetgiliair.com Price: €€€ Stars: ★★★
If you want to read about my whole trip around Bali, you can read it here.