I always dreamed of visiting the Maldives at least once and last July I had the chance to make my dream come true as I joined a press trip to Gili Lankanfushi, a luxury resort nestled in tropical gardens on a private island on North Male Atoll.
Even though it was a short trip, just three days, the time I spent on Gili felt like weeks. I felt completely at home and connected to the island. From the moment I stepped off the speedboat from Male, I felt like a big weight of stress and worries fell off my shoulders.
Gili Lankanfushi is not just a beach resort: it is a retreat to get away from the world.
Gili Lankanfushi offers all the facilities and impeccable service you would expect from a 5-star resort, including 210 sqm over-water villas, butlers available 24/7 (Mr Fridays), three restaurants, a wine cellar, private dining on the beach, a gym and spa, outdoor cinema, and more.
Aside from the luxury treatments, what I loved the most about Gili was the friendly and laid-back approach. Starting from the barefoot policy: guests are offered fabric bags to store their shoes as they are greeted at the airport. I also loved having the freedom to get around the island on my own bicycle. At night, watching the stars in the sky from my private terrace, listening to the sound of the ocean…absolutely blissful!
If you are worried that you will get bored on holiday in Maldives (I heard this from many friends…), don’t worry because there’s plenty to keep you entertained. I love active holidays and at Gili Lankanfushi I had the chance to try different activities: snorkelling, lagoon surfing, yoga, spa treatments, a tasting journey with the in-house sommelier and a Maldivian cooking class.
The dining at Gili Lankanfushi is fantastic. Guests can choose to eat at the main restaurant led by Head Chef John Bakker, at the over-water bistro and bar, at the Japanese restaurant or in the comfort of their villas.
From Asian street food to Japanese fine dining, from Maldivian curries to fresh salads picked in the organic garden that is grown on the island, Gili has everything you may wish for.
When it opened in 2000, Gili Lankanfushi was one of the Maldives’ first sustainably-focused luxury resorts and has been pioneering the field ever since.
It was a pleasure to learn about their commitment to sustainability and recycling and their efforts to protect the coral reef. Marine Biologists work on the island to track and identify marine life and educate guests about the underwater world.
I had been to tropical countries before, but never in a place so remote, secluded and peaceful like Maldives.
After months of hectic travels and work, Gili Lankanfushi was exactly the place I needed to be to unwind and re-focus. I fell in love with this resort and I truly hope to re-visit one day.
I am going to share a more in-depth review of Gili Lankanfushi soon. For now, I leave you with this video, which I hope will convince you to book your next holiday at Gili Lankanfushi.
Trust me, you will thank me later!
Rates at Gili Lankanfushi start at $1,440 per night on a room-only basis, based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to taxes.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the resort. All opinions are my own.