To find a place where you can unwind, relax, and reminisce some good old days in this time and age is an extremely rare feat, but Maldives’ Gili Lankanfushi by means of its ‘no news, no shoes’ policy is seamlessly acing at this. Situated at just a 25-minute boat ride from Male, the intimate resort is popular for its ability to both welcome and indulge guests in every way. The speedboat ride from the airport, in its truest sense, manages to succeed in delivering an unpretentious, breath-taking, and relaxed luxury. With top-notch service, outstanding facilities, soul satiating food, and a beautiful setting, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Gili Lankanfushi is one of the most famous holiday destinations not just in the Maldives but world-over.
Rightly justifying its repute, the luxury property attained the title of ‘number one hotel in the world’ in 2015 on TripAdvisor, so it’s not just about our recommendation. 45 enchanting wooden villas are placed around the 600-meter-long island where patrons wander around on their bicycles or walk barefooted on the sand. To term it is serene would be an understatement – you could go an entire week or even a month without talking to someone in the neighborhood; provided you wish so!
The villas and restaurants are aptly built so they never exceed capacity, which also means, the guests do really feel a sense of calm and privacy at every little space of the property. At the same time, the members of the staff do not fall short in offering services either – and quite literally they are there to make their visitors’ experience as special as possible. The bonus point: every villa is provided with an individual ‘Mr. Friday’ who’s there to meet the needs of those staying there. This personalized concierge service is like no other and this is exactly what makes Gili so different from its competitors, which is why so many guests pay a repetitive visit year after year.
From having someone 24 hours a day to fulfill the requests of its guests to being able to select the fragrance that would go on the pillow, the staff takes all the possible efforts to make its guests feel comfortable, stress-free, and at-home whilst being away from home. Gili’s 45 villas of three different sizes – let it be the Villa Suite or an even bigger Crusoe Residence and not to forget, the most luxurious Private Reserve – which also currently happens to be the world’s largest over-water villa in the world – your stay in any of them is certain to leave you impressed and wanting to stay for a longer period. And while the villas remain exclusively equipped with all things one possibly needs, the true beauty of this space lies in the complete seclusion it offers. This holds especially true at the Private Reserve – which is located 500 meters away from the island and accessible only by boat. But again, even the other villas are built in a way that guests cannot really see anyone else and nobody can see them either; thereby giving a sense of privacy that’s hard to attain on holiday.
If something has repeatedly impressed the visitors there, it’s the magical spa treatment that barely keeps one awake. And talking about other sensory experiences, the food at the Gilli under the directives of executive chef John Bakker takes it all to a level unimaginable. From saki and sushi at the Japanese Fusion restaurant – By The Sea – to the world’s classiest curry buffet and an evening dedicated entirely to freshly barbecued fish, it’s impossible to get tired of eating here. But possibly, one of the best experiences of visiting Gili Lankanfushi can be witnessed through the very chic wine and cheese tasting session. Sited in the subversive wine cave (occupied with cheese and chocolate rooms), the sommeliers offer as many wine tastings as needed and for those non-cheese lovers, a combination of wine and chocolate can do equal wonders. For a more romantic and relaxing time, get on to the sunset cruise or watch a movie at night under the stars at the jungle cinema. Let it be any activity or no activity at all, what makes an experience a memory is the time spent by truly being there!