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“paradise is here” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Lankanfushi Island, 08290   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lankanfushi
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“paradise is here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

jaw dropping from arrival to departure, running around with a constant smile on your face, never seen anyone as friendly as the entire stuff on this fantastic island.
the villas are awesome, so much love put into every little detail, luxury but still simple.
white sands turquoise water all over, no shoes for your entire stay, amazing food and beverage.
your personal mr friday taking care of everything. you want fresh coconut to your hammock on the beach ? you'll get it within minutes.
my first massage at the spa was not 100% satisfying, my mr friday immediately arranged another one the very next day which was awesome.
their policy- we don't sell a product, we sell experience.
snorkeling and windsurfing all included with no extra fee, never seen this before. very friendly staff at the diving center. all people there very communicative, making you feel home and welcome all the time.
bicycles parked outside the villa to get around on the island, diving into a tropical awesome smelling garden on your way to the restaurants, spa or the diving center.
I am from Greece and I never experienced this kind of treatment in my home country. many could learn from the Maldivians as well as the international staff on this island.
they are not responsible for the perfect climate day and night, at least 10 months a year, but they are topping this entire experience with their lovely service. thank you all, we will be back soon.

Room Tip: anyone you can get, it doesn't matter, they are all great.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Dear Chistosmythos,

Thank you very much for posting an excellent review on Gili Lankanfushi on trip advisor. I am very happy to read that you had a wonderful time during your stay with us and that we managed to exceed your expectations from arrival to departure . I have shared your comments with my team and they are very happy to know about your excellent feedback on service and overall resort atmosphere. We really look forward to welcoming you back to our small paradise soon.

KInd regards, Iain
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824 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (235)
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Brighouse
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

If you are looking for a complete get away this is the place. We booked the resort because of trip advisor reviews and it didn't disappoint, it was all we expected and more. Service was fantastic, Shifaz our mr Friday was excellent polite and efficient. Sam the waiter always had a smile on his face and remembered our orders and special requests each day. The management were excellent and always remembered your name(s) and each day checked that you were happy and if anything else could be done. Elmer, the personal trainer was excellent, very knowlwdgable and certainly put my partner and I through our paces on our pt session! The spa staff,also amazing and very friendly. Lastly, Waheed our room attendant. Extremely efficient and always remembered any special requests, thank you for the feather duvet, pillows and the scented pillows. The only place where I would maybe say the service wasn't as slick would be in the over water bar, we didn't find the staff as friendly in there (apart from the chef) on a lunchtime and the service could be slow.

The villa ( we stayed in 28) was outstanding. It was just paradise and was exactly as it looked on the Internet. Sometimes on the internet pics for hotels and resorts then pictures can be misleading but not at gill lankanfushi. We loved the bikes, thanks Shifaz for getting me a smaller one straight away. :)

The food was again to a very high standard, expensive but all excellent and a great choice. I loved the different juices on a morning and the porridge was delicious - the bestporridge I have ever tasted! By the sea restaurant, the best sushini have ever ate, the chef came to introduce himself and the staff in the restaurant very good and knowledgable. We ordered in villa dining a couple of times which was also very nice to sit back and relax in our villa.

What more can I say, we felt compleltely relaxed for the whole break and really didnt want to go home. We are getting married next year and feel gill lankanfushi will be hard to beat for when we decide on a destination for our honeymoon. We would highly recommend to our friends and family.

Things to consider before you go......take plenty of sun cream we didn't take enough! It was so hot and the sun was very strong. I brought a couple of pairs of flip flops and heels. I didn't wear shoes the whole time I was there apart from my trainers for the gym. Don't take any shoes, you just won't need them. Be prepared before you go to spend.....the resorts expensive but the quality is excellent. Another reviewer had recommended to go half board which I would also recommend, we were b&b and didn't realise this was an option.

The most perfect stay and we hope to return in the future. Thank you to the team at gill lankanfushi.

Room Tip: Villa 28 was fantastic! Large over water area, the others on the other side of the island are not as...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Dear Ameliamark,

Thank you so much for posting such a wonderful review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to read that we had met your expections during your stay with us and didn't fail you on choosing our resort. I really appreciate that you point out the short fall in service at Over Water bar which has been highlighted to the concern Manager. Advance best wishes to both of you and really grateful to know that you are considering Gili Lankanfushi for your honeymoon destination next year. Thanks for recommending us to your friends and family and we really look forward to welcoming you back soon to our small paradise.

Kind regards, Iain
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Glasgow
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

A really wonderful trip made special by the friendly and attentive staff. The water villas are peacefull and luxious and a great escape!

The Maldives are an incredible part of the world and worth a visit - an absoloute must if you are into snorkelling!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 17, 2012
Dear Mhairi W,

Thank you very much for posting such a nice review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to hear that our hosts made your stay special and you consider our water villas as a great escape from busy life. We really look forward to welcoming you back in our small paradise again.

With kind regards, Iain
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Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

From the minute you set foot on this magical island you can already feel the lovely atmophere, the beauty of the island with the lovely set up of all 45 huge water villas, amazing beach, and above all the friendliness from the employees who were unbelievably kind and helpful.
Our Mr Friday ( Hassan Shifaz) was wonderfull and so efficient. The service level is unparalleled to any other places we have visited before, with maybe an exception being " La Gazelle d'Or " in Taroudant , Southern Morocco).

Gili have 280 staff members, taking care of the guests of only 45 villas - amazing numbers. Doesn't matter which staff member you run into they'll be happy to help with anything you need with a big smile.

The Food is exceptional, every day a different style, with twice a week two different fantastic buffet evening : one huge buffet with more western oriented cuisine every Friday, one long and large Asian buffet every Tuesday, with active cooking taking place in front of you according to your wishes, with an amazing variation of frest products ready to be cooked, with the local fish being the absolute stars...

The German chef, Stefan, is amazing and creative, beside being a charming person , and his team efficient and friendly.

In a nutshell this is heaven with peaceful water villas each offering 210 square meters of space plus a large sundeck with total privacy, movie jungle nights, amazing sunsets, snorkling and diving paradise - amazing reef and last but not least great organisation.

The Spa center, also over the water, is beautifully done, the treatments done by an extremely efficient and charming staff, although the prices for treatments are exagerated. This would be our only critcism, as well the prices of the wine list !

We were devastated to leave, and after 7 days we had the feeling of leaving already behind us a familiar and very friendly place, with staff being the best and the nicest !

We do hope to come back next year , but this time for a longer period, 10 days being a minimum in such a paradise...

Congratulations the the Resort Manger, Alexander Blair , for the way he is running that exceptional resort.

B & B

Room Tip: All villas great. The Robinson Crusoe villas are reachable only by boat. The normal water villa are...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Dear Brucelamarche,

Thank you so much for posting an excellent review about your experience at Gili Lankanfushi on Tripadvisor. I'm happy to read that you really enjoyed the food and the buffet during your stay which exceed your expectation. I have shared your comments with Alec, Chef Stefan and Hassan Shifaz and they are very happy to read your feedback as well. We all look forward to welcoming you back with a longer period of stay with us next year.

Kind regards, Iain
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Crowthorne, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

We have never visited the Maldives before and were keen to see whether it could meet our expectations and It did. Gili is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the finer things, including not having to wear shoes for 9 days!

Despite the disappointing weather, we were delighted with the accomodation, the service and the food the resort had to offer. The Villa's are extremely private, with air conditioning in the bedrooms, a music system throughout and a library of music and movies provided tailored to your request. The bathrooms are really spectacular, with views from the bath directly over the ocean, open air showers and there is a nice touch of a private sea garden, which you enter down some steps directly from the bathroom.

We had a wonderful Mr. Friday (Musto) who provided us with everything we needed. He greeted us at breakfast and dinner everyday, to see if everything was as it should be and provided us with lots of information about the resort and the Maldives in general. We had wonderful service in the restaurant from Farahaun (Fari) our waiter, Prasana the restaurant Manager and Rohan the Sommelier. They were a delight and always keen to provide anything we required.

Special mention to Ibrahaim, who serviced our room everyday, he didn't miss anything and even started to notice the smallest of things in how he prepared the room, morning and night.

The resort has a great spa, a very high class Fusion restaurant that serves Michelin star quality food and a very well equipped gym. Gili is also very resourceful, with its own vegetable garden and very obvious enviromental policy, which is a real credit to the Management team.In house dining is also a great touch with a wide menu to choose from. We would suggest you book half-board as the cost of food on a room only basis is pretty expensive and with only two restaurants to choose from, your best to have breakfast and dinner included.

A very relaxing stay that matched anything we've experienced before anywhere in the world and would most certainly recommend Gili to anyone wishing for understated luxury.

Room Tip: Go for Pier 2 and for Villas 17 - 24
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
Dear Mark,

Thank you very much for posting such a nice review about your recent stay at Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to hear that you had a wonderful experience with us. I have shared your comments with Ibrahim and the rest of the team and they are very happy to read your comments. Thank you for recommending us and we look forward to welcoming you back again in our small paradise.

Kind regards, Iain
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Paris, France
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Since I had loved Gili Lankanfushi (formerly known as Soneva Gili) so much during our honeymoon, I was worried it might not live up to the same expectations five years later for our anniversary trip. Well, there was no need to worry because it’s just as amazing as it ever was!

First up – service is still top notch. Special thanks to our waiters Soda and Assad, our room service guy Sammi, Rami in the diving center, and most of all, our Senior Mr. Friday Shifaz whom we loved (and is easy on the eyes to boot)! He took care of everything we ever needed, constantly checked in on us (in a good way), rearranged schedules whenever requested and was overall, just amazing. Here’s one example of the service: during one of Shifaz’s check-ins at breakfast, I told him my husband had left for a few minutes to return to the villa and charge our camera. Shifaz then said how we could’ve just rang him and he would’ve taken care of it for us so my husband wouldn’t have had to gotten up. It hadn’t even occurred to us!

Accommodation. We special requested the same villa we had during our honeymoon and were able to get it. It was like coming back home – all the familiarity and same amazing view. The villas here really are extraordinary (and huge!) – over-water villas with a second floor, deck, little sea garden the shower is above, BOSE sound system piping through the entire place, the list goes on. There are few hotels/resorts I’m impressed by and this is definitely one of my top three (in case you’re wondering – the other two are Ulagalla Resort in Sri Lanka and Vumbura Plains in Botswana).

Food. There is so much food it’s ridiculous! And it’s good too. They also do theme nights which can a nice change of pace from the regular menu – think Asian and Mediterranean nights. I met the sous chef during a private cooking class and he’s super nice and really passionate about food, which is nice to see in-person.

Massages. I get A LOT of massages - at my home bases of NY and Paris - and also for vacation. Gili Lankanfushi has still by far given me the best massages of my life. (FYI - Great Jones Spa in NYC is also very good). And the spa staff is also very friendly. Oh - and there are a lot of reef shark by the spa villa so you can check out the fishes while you're getting a massage (there's a little porthole while you're laying there) or afterwards.

Atmosphere. It’s very laidback and a small/medium sized resort, which I love. As another reviewer wrote – it’s “understated luxury”. You could go barefoot all day if you wanted to – and I don’t mean just in your villa, but at breakfast and even at dinner. I considered my jetty like my little neighborhood and everyone – from staff to guests – as my neighbors.

As for the “negatives” – if you could even call it that because it's barely anything – there were only a few tiny things that I noticed which I didn’t love. I did already mention it to the staff who had a good explanation for everything though. For example – I saw trash on the beach/water – but by trash, I mean like one orange peel and one water bottle floating in the ocean. When a place is so gorgeous little things that are slightly amiss stick out. Apparently, it’s from the nearby yachts and resort. The other thing is I don’t love having to switch waiters in the middle of my stay. That’s like if they abruptly switched my Mr. Friday on me for two days. I do understand it’s hard to have the same person the whole time, but if there were a way that could be mitigated that’d be amazing… or if they let you select whom you want as your backup waiter. The third thing is there were about three to five kids who were there. I believe they’re thinking about turning some of the villas into bigger family villas, so I’m a bit nervous that it’ll be full of families/children, which would scare me and some honeymooners away. Hopefully it’ll only remain with a few children here and there.

Finally, one of the things we quickly found out that’s great about being a repeat visitor (AKA “repeater”) and going for your anniversary, was all the amazing complimentary stuff you get – massages, cooking class, sunset sailing, cocktails at the bar, etc. Totally unexpected and appreciated. They even gave us two little gifts at the end of the trip!

Overall, I highly recommend Gili Lankanfushi and can’t even stomach the thought of not returning for another five years… looks like we may have to break habit and go back in two years instead. It’s one of my happiest places on earth.

Room Tip: Jetty 3 - but ask not to face the other resort.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear ApresNewYork,

Thank you very much for posting such a wonderful review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to hear that you had a wonderful anniversary same like the last time you spent your honeymoon with us. I have shared your comments with Shifaz and the team who made your stay special and they are very happy to read your experience. Thank you for recommending us to your friends and family and we look forward to welcoming you back to the island soon.

Kind regards, Iain
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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Staying here was a most perfect way of spending 36 hours...even in the shadow of a monsoon. The experience began at the airport where I was welcomed from a live aboard and ushered onto the speedboat for Gili Lankanfushi. The Villa surpassed my expectations, which were high thanks to the previous reviews and photos. All Gili staff I met were very pleasant and efficient. I could not have asked or expected more. I used various facilities including the dive centre and spa. The dive was excellent and the spa sublime. Other small surprises on the island also added to the pleasure of the stay, such as the excellent organic garden and outdoor cinema. I would highly recommend staying at Gili Lankanfushi and would like not too much time to pass before I visit again.

Gili - Thank you for a great stay.

Service - Efficient, pleasant and professional (transfers, room service, dive centre, spa, restaurants, checkout, general facilities).
Sleeping - Extremely comfortable bed, bedding and room. The villa was a rare combination of elegance and comfort; all the details made for a very good stay...even with rain and wind pelting down outside.
Location - Its a beautiful corner of the Maldives....what more needs to be said?!
Rooms - The main rooms were seamlessly integrated between in and outdoor. I enjoyed the design and decoration of the rooms and it was great to be able to enjoy a private corner of the Indian Ocean here. It's not every day you can have a bath and watch sharks in a lagoon at the same time.
Spa - It is everything a spa should be.
Breakfast - Breakfast was another extremely pleasant experience at Gili. The food, quality of food, presentation, was exceptional.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Snowboots Travel,

Thank you for posting an amazing review on Gili Lankanfushi highlighting your experience on each aspect of our resort. Also thank you for appreciating our organic garden and the outdoor cinema. It will definitely give an insight to the future guests as to what they can expect from us. We look forward to welcoming you back to the island soon.

Kind regards, Iain
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Address: Lankanfushi Island, 08290
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Lankanfushi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lankanfushi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gili Lankanfushi Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is a short 20 minute boat ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives. It is a tiny coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villas. The forty four stilted villas plus the vast Private Reserve are crafted in a traditional style from natural materials and offer rooftop and over-water sundecks, featuring open air bathrooms, sumptuous daybeds and a personal entertainment center. For ultimate privacy, we have seven Crusoe Residences that are only accessible by personal boat. Come ashore for some great dining and equally great wines or perhaps a romantic moonlit dinner delivered right to the villa. The possibilities are endless.The interior decoration has been devised to recreate a natural habitat, using sustainable woods, natural materials and traditional fabrics, whilst still offering all the modern day amenities and creature comforts of true luxury. At Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives we are very sensitive to the environment. The utmost care has been taken in developing the island with respect to its ecological balance. The Maldives is a paradise for snorkeling and diving and the resort has its own fully equipped PADI diving school plus a variety of water sports. This place tops the list of must-do destinations for those seeking the aquatic paradise. ... more   less 
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