The private residences at Villa Tokay aren’t simply boho-chic holiday homes with photogenic infinity pools and tropical gardens — they’re a sculptural, show-stopping statement in what local artisans can do with bamboo. The towering structures are handcrafted in nature-inspired shapes like leaves, shells, and rolling waves, setting an indoor-outdoor scene that’s deeply connected to Gili Air and the island’s relaxed, barefoot rhythm. Step straight from your bedroom into the pool for a floating breakfast, hop on one of the hotel’s bikes for a pedal through paradise, before returning to your hammock, bath tub, or palm tree-level lounger to drift from one castaway daydream to the next.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £132.49 (IDR2,600,000), including tax at 10.5 per cent.
Rates include an à la carte breakfast served in your villa (vegetarian, vegan, and Halal options are available on request).
Sadly, this property is not suitable for guests with mobility issues.
At the hotel
Bikes and snorkelling gear to borrow, shuttle service to Gili Air Harbour, private gardens, charged laundry service, plug adaptors, and free WiFi. In rooms: air-conditioning, private pool, sarongs and robes, kitchenette, coffee machine, tea-making kit, minibar, mosquito repellant, aloe vera, and eco-friendly bath products from the island.
Our favourite rooms
Each bamboo-built villa seems to defy gravity in one way or another, but it’s the canopy-level hammock in the Leaf villa which really takes relaxation to new heights. The large netting above the pool lends itself as a reading-and-napping nook, sheltered from any tropical rain bursts by the overhanging leaf-shaped bamboo awning. A similar foliage-inspired structure rises over a copper bath tub hidden within the Leaf villa’s gardens, so you can quite literally soak up the island’s natural beauty and tropical surround-sound. We also love that you can jump straight from your Tide villa bedroom into the infinity pool.
Ensconced within each villa’s frangipani-scented gardens is a private pool, with parasol-shaded sun-beds and bamboo-crafted lounge areas just a few barefoot steps away. Some of the pools gently curve around the front of the villas, with netting suspended above the water for aerial naps; others are dotted around the garden in secluded spots, fringed by coconut trees and towering palms.
Your villa doubles as a private zone for rest and relaxation — skilled therapists are on hand for soothing massages and yoga sessions by the pool, or to set up traditional flower bath rituals in your tub.
You’ll mostly be living in swimwear here, so it’s worth bringing stylish options for bronzing and dipping, as well as more active, sea-faring numbers for snorkelling and island-hopping.
The hotel’s concierge offers a handy WhatsApp service (for speedboat bookings, restaurant recommendations, the best snorkelling spots, and more) and a special map of Gili Air for you to experience the island like a local.
The private villa layout makes this property ideal for honeymooners and families alike. The nanny service must be booked in advance.
All ages; this is a tropical playground for the whole family.
Families of four are best placed in the two-bedroom Swell villa; larger groups can book three- and four-bedroom configurations and gain access to additional pools and gardens.
Littles ones can get into the island spirit at the hotel’s kids’ club, which keeps all ages engaged in creative, active, and educational activities (perfect for when parents would like some poolside peace and quiet).
Kid-sized bicycles and safety seats are provided free of charge for family cycling trips, and there are plenty of watersports on offer for beginners to stronger swimmers.
There are floats and pool toys in every villa to keep water babies endlessly entertained.
Highchairs are available on request, and your villa’s kitchen is ideal for whipping up between-meal snacks.
The hotel can organise a babysitter as long as you give them a week’s notice.
No need to pack
On-the-go parents should bring any essentials, but you can ask for cribs and extra beds to be made up in some of the larger villas.
Villa Tokay sources most of its energy from the island’s solar-panel field, and has installed energy-efficient lighting throughout the sustainably-built property. The bamboo villas were crafted by local artisans from Gili Air, Java, Bali, and Lombok using natural materials from the Gili Islands, as well as the hotel’s handmade furniture. There are eco-friendly amenities in every villa, in addition to impressive water-saving measures and waste management systems in place. The hotel also makes ongoing contributions to a local school (which provides an extra teacher each year), and participates in the island’s ‘Refill Your Bottle’ project in an effort to reduce single-use plastic.
The indoor-outdoor kitchen in your villa is just steps from your pool, so you can dine while dangling your feet in the water.
Barefoot and beachy-keen (with a splash of boho-chic).
There’s no restaurant at Villa Tokay, but you can order a delicious spread of exotic fruit bowls, banana pancakes, freshly pressed smoothies and juices, and local dishes made using ingredients from the Lombok market. Ask for one of the pool trays if you’d like a Bali-style floating breakfast.
A piña colada by the pool? Or perhaps a glass of iced rosé to sip as you gently swing in your hammock? Your tipple wish is Villa Tokay’s command, taking a whatever-and-wherever-you-fancy approach to refreshments.
Put in a request via WhatsApp to the hotel team between 7am and 11pm for deliveries to your villa door.
Backed by tropical jungle and fronted by a sugar-white shoreline, Villa Tokay is set on the western side of Gili Air, a tiny island just off the coast of Lombok.
International arrivals should make for Denpasar in Bali, then head to the port at Padangbai (taxis are readily available and shuttle buses easy to flag down). From there, it’s a two-hour speedboat journey across to Gili Air. If you’re coming from Lombok, you’ll need to take a boat from Bangsal Harbour to Gili Air (it’s just a 30-minute trip). The hotel organises free transfers to and from the harbour, just let them know your approximate arrival and departure times in advance.
There’s no motorised transport on the Gili Islands — horsepower comes in the form of cidomos, traditional horse-drawn carts.
The hotel can help with helicopter transfers from Bali, with prices on request (and at least seven days’ notice).
Worth getting out of bed for
It’s not all fly-and-flop on Gili Air, though the island’s postcard-perfect beaches are an idyllic place to start. The western shores are best for sunsets, the eastern side is a snorkelling haven, and the northern tip is almost untouched (secluded sunbathing coming right up). Grab the snorkelling gear provided in your villa, hop on one of the hotel’s bikes to borrow, and pedal over to Turtle Point to swim with sea turtles. The coral reefs surrounding the island are prime scuba-diving territory — for more exhilarating underwater encounters, divers often spot black-tip reef sharks at Shark Point on the north-west side of nearby Gili Trawangan (a short island-hopping trip away). Villa Tokay can also hook you up with local instructors and guides for kayaking, paddle-boarding, surfing, kiteboarding, and Subwing (a towing board which makes you feel like you’re flying underwater). Land-based leisure time mostly revolves around cycling and yoga, but the hotel can also organise cooking classes and visits to local markets if you’d like to get an authentic taste for Indonesian cuisine.
When the address is on an ‘unnamed road’, you know you’ve hit upon somewhere off the tourist trail. The Orange’s is a traditional warung serving freshly-caught seafood grilled by the beach, run by the lovely Mona and her family. It’s all very casual, but everything is cooked to perfection — the barbecued fish is the main attraction, but the chicken satay, banana-stem curry, gado-gado peanut-dressed salad, and ice-cold mango juice are also must-orders. For more of a fine-dining experience, Dolcemare is an Italian-inspired restaurant with tables on the beach. Build your own bruschetta by candlelight, and sip Mediterranean wines as you watch the waves lap the shore. The owner even spears his own fish for the catch-of-the-day.
Known locally as the pink café (for its Barbiecore decor), Gili Bliss serves the best smoothie bowls on the island — plus dragonfruit pancakes, superfood-packed salads, and a health-boosting array of vegan savouries.
Gili Air’s lively neighbour Gili Trawangan is more known for its nightlife, so the post-sunset activities tend to be more relaxed on this island’s beachfront bar scene. Sink into one of the striped bean-bags on the beach at Lucky’s and keep the tropical cocktails coming (there are daily happy hours between 4pm and 7pm). Gili Lumbung is more upbeat, with live music nights, pool parties, and a set of seafront swings (the perfect stargazing spot if you’re taking a breather from the frozen-mai-tai-fuelled dancing).
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this cluster of private villas in Gili Air and unpacked their shell jewellery and hand-woven sarongs, a full account of their tropical island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Villa Tokay in Indonesia…
Been to Bali, done Lombok? Make your next heading for the Gili Islands, where Villa Tokay welcomes beach-floppers into its palm-fringed embrace — with a few iced Jamu juices on arrival. Gili Air balances the party-going crowds on Gili Trawangan with the away-from-it-all remoteness of Gili Meno, promising the perfect blend of toes-in-the-sand relaxation and tropical action. Much like Villa Tokay itself, where you could quite easily spend all day horizontal, counting the gentle thuds of coconuts as the only passing-of-time marker from a sun-dappled hammock or canopy-skimming terrace. And these balmy, blissful days might soon blur into one were it not for the in-villa snorkelling kits and sky-blue bicycles beckoning you out of your infinity pool or flower-filled bath tub. There are coconut farms to cycle through, coffee stalls and seafood shacks to sample, and sea turtles to swim with — and some of Indonesia’s most rustic shorelines to stake out.