Slow Villas Gili Air

I don’t look for sight seeing when I go travelling, I look for nooks and spots that I come to as a stranger, and leave as a friend. Such a place can hide just around the corner, in an almost abandoned camp on Istra coast, or on the other side of the world in the Slow Villas on Gili Air. What we’ve experienced is available almost everywhere, you just have to know how to indulge in it.

Slow Movement Slow Villas Gili Air
Slow Villas… A wonderful environment for “slow down” holidays.

Slow Down

Many times I’ve returned home even more exhausted than I was when I left. Until Peter and I once tagged alongside a friend on his barely 6m long boat. And travelled with the wind. Along with the sailed miles, I was losing all the things I to that day thought were necessary for survival; the code I need to get into my phone, constantly being reachable to people, an accurate compass to tell time. But I’ve gained so many unforgettable moments, that will stay with me forever. Ever since then I travel with an easy mind, and go with the flow. Instead of rushing to see all the sights in an “I’ve already seen that, but have forgotten all about it” mentality, I rather slowly look for corners that I’ll remember because of the scents, kind smiles from the locals, the sounds of nature… Without the tourist hustle, amusement parks, salesmen with all that Chinese junk. This kind of a holiday is usually also friendlier to the local environment, the people, and probably also better for my wallet. But that doesn’t mean it lacks comfort or a bit of luxury… actually quite the opposite, I look for a good place to stay where the everyday chores (cooking, cleaning) get done by others. But at the same time I want this comfort to include locally grown food, so we can get to know the area through what we eat, and also get to know the culture, people’s religious views (We also travel in January, when prices for accommodations are lowest). One definite benefit from such a holiday, is that I come home well rested and full of momentum. But also an urge to go back, not just to explore the places I haven’t gotten the chance to explore the first time round, but to relive everything all over again as well.

Slow Villas Gili Air

Ecstatic for the climate, greenish blue hues, the scent of tobacco mixed with cinnamon and cloves, the marine world, unusual fruits,… we decided to come back to Indonesia and visit Gili Islands again, after three years. Gili Air is a little bit more serene compared to Trawangan, which is a little bit more packed with tourists. This is usually what couples in love, newlyweds and families with small children opt for. Amongst the four most beautiful accommodations on the Island, we chose Slow Villas resort, which was giving off a very special luxurious kind of feeling; absolute privacy, as every villa has it’s own pool area with a garden and coconut palm trees, as well as the kindest staff (or owners) who were very professional, friendly and unintrusive all at the same time. Slow Villas is an assembly of eight Villas in Balinesian style, that are based upon a Slow living concept (slow food, slow yoga, slow travel…), which means that it offers an opportunity to find a big piece of yourself, on a small piece of your surroundings. You can focus on yourself and the serenity, which enables you to experience the basics of life’s value. Every Villa is its own “home” with a pool area and a garden space, every one of them has its own home made breakfast, while also offering travellers their individual daily activity programs; diving, snorkeling, kiting, yoga, pilates, zumba, golf… We chose… none of these actually. Slow travelling also means as little planned out activities as possible, and choosing what we want to do as we go, depending on what we as a family are feeling like at the moment. We’ve spiced up the feeling of idleness (which is not the same as being bored or having nothing to do), with:

  • thought out swimming alongside sea turtles; there’s still plenty of them along the shoreline of Gili Islands.
  • wonderful diving experience, which Peter and I did plan ahead, because we also had to find day care for the girls.
  • visiting their new Supermarket of about a hundred square kilometres, that offers only the basic necessities; from a needle to a machete, bananas to aspirin.
  • observing all the large Iguanas that were hanging out near the swamp on the east side of the island.
  • cycling through the length and breadth of the centre of the island and its adorable small villages, and round-and-round the beaches.
  • knocking on the door of the publishers of a really good Gili Life magazine.
  • a Balinesian and Lombok massage with locally produced essential oils and Aloe Vera in the SPA area of Slow Villas.
Slow Villas Gili Air Room
I admit, it’s pretty easy to overlap into the slow swing of things, when you’re in an environment like this.
Slow Villas Gili Air Room
A wonderful design with a trendy combination, ethnic pieces, that immediately contributes to the holiday spirit and disconnecting.
Slow Villas Maja Stamol dress
Ready to explore the island with my Maja Štamol dress.
Slow Villas Gili Air Resort
Our starting point and the point we return to on Gili Air.
Slow Villas Gili Air Resort
Circles, an element worshipped by nature, Bali culture and Slow Villas as well.
Slov Villas Gili air Design
Amazing traditional Indonesian house architecture, is the focal pint of the resort.
Slow Villas Resosrt Architecture
Details that gently caress the eyes and soul.
Slow Villas Cat
And a Kucing (Indonesian word for a cat)…
Slow Villas Indonesia Animals
Our newly adopted pet. He just loves my battered looking sandals,
Slow Villas Indonesia
And Amalja loves him…
Gili Air Indonesia Lombok
A walk through the inside of the island, from the resort toward the nearby villages.
Gili Air Indonesia House
A typical house… and a less typical guard dog (a goat).
Lombok Indonesia Gili air
If you want to get an ice-cream, you have to make effort and take quite a walk.
Slow Villas Indonesia
These kinds of holidays teach us to be humble: one of the rare toys you’re able to buy is a ball. Despite being made of hard plastic (which means it doesn’t bounce back), the children enjoy it just as well.
As she counts, I enjoy the idleness.
These holidays always reassure me the fact that peaceful parents equal peaceful children.
Indonesia Dragon Fruit Slow Villas
Time to try out new tastes.
Dragon Fruit Indonesia
Because they’re in season, the Dragon Fruit is extra packed with scent.
Pink dragon fruit Indonesia.
In Indonesia, the inside is also the pink colour of the outside.
Dragon Fruit Pink Indonesia
It tastes sweet and smells very nice, Dragon Fruit or Pitaya is the perfect healthy treat.
Slow Villas Fruit
Fresh fruits are available on every step of the way.
Slow Villas Coconut Garden
Rain drops are a true refreshment on the other side of the world.
Slow Villas Gili air Rain
For Bela this meant an excuse to bring out her new umbrella, that was kindly provided to us by the owner Julie, at the first sight of rain. And an excuse to jump barefoot through the puddles ;).
Gili Life Slow Villas
I don’t bring books with me on holiday, instead I try and read whats within reach right there on the Island. This great Gili Life magazine and books on interior design in Indonesian style, were just what I needed.
Gili Islands Indonesia
The colours on the island set off very good feelings in me, and are a true colour therapy.
Peter Poles Diving
It’s also very much lively underwater as well.
Diving Gili Air
It’s a pleasure to dive into the water, listen to yourself breathing, observe turtles, fish and corals.
Diving Gili Indonesia
Even sea shells come in odd shapes and sizes.
Gili Islands Beach
The only thing that makes us leave the beach, is when it starts getting dark, and even then sometimes only to the first table that serves cocktails ;).
Slow Villas Traditional Spa
Traditional pieces or fashionable ornaments?
Slow Villas Gili Handcrafting
Handcrafting is still very appreciated and practised in Indonesia, so I can indulge in and admire a vast variety of pieces made from wood, shells from crops, stones, straw…
Slow Villas
One of the first Indonesian habits that get under your skin…
Slow Villas Children Indonesia
Shifting stones a.k.a Bela’s meditation.
Gili air Slow Villas Pool
And mine… enjoying the pool area.
Slow Villas Gili Indonesia
Our Slow Villas Gili Air holidays are leaving an imprint on me; realising that moments of idleness are important, because they weigh out all the endless days of rushing around and keeping up with time.

Slow isn’t just the name of the resort or the villa, it’s a way of spending your holidays, that truly brings you rest, comfort and a feeling of freedom. Do you also enjoy this style of travelling? What is your slow hideaway? Thank you for commenting and sharing this post.

⇒♥ You can also find out where we found a paradise for family holidays and how I met founder of Slow movement, mr. Carl Honoré.

Shine bright,

as I do, full of wonderful memories 😉


** More information:

Slow Villas: Website of our slow holiday destination. Estimates of travel and accommodation and other useful tips and information to sow travelers. Official website of the Slow movement, where you can find information about slow travel, slow food, slow yoga …


This post is also available in: Slovenian

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