Peace, quiet, luxury, excellent standards, excellent service, excellent accommodation, beautiful beaches. Everyone knows what to expect in the Maldives – and this resort offers all of the above and bit more too.
The best way to describe Gilli is “understated luxury”. Absolute perfection of service, food, facilities and accommodation without the stuffiness and dressiness of other top class resorts. They take your shoes when you arrive. There is no front desk – you have your own “Mr Friday” who is on call (ours was called Atheef and was superb). It doesn’t take long for the staff to know you by name but it’s also easy to keep your anonymity if you want. Shorts and t-shirts are acceptable attire at any time, anywhere on the island. Everyone is so friendly and genuinely wants to help and make sure you have a great experience, all under the watchful, attentive and superb eye of the Resort Manager - the wonderful Alec!
Gili has a reputation amongst locals as the ‘one to work for’ because staff are valued and cared for. This is probably the ‘secret sauce’ that makes for a very genuine and enjoyable environment. That, and the fact that the owners injected significant amounts to improve back-of-house facilities. Note that there are 300 staff for a maximum of 100 guests.
Things to try are: a massage (ask for Tree), morning yoga with Dave (although I’m sure he’s not really called Dave), wine tasting with Rohan (what a great guy), Dolphin spotting (hope you get lucky – we did and it was amazing), snorkelling (wow)!
When it comes to food, the breakfast is superb (from sushi to congee to bacon to curry to porridge to croissant to (lots of) fresh fruit...you get the picture). Everything is fresh and prepared on site from top quality ingredients. I recommend the wholemeal pan au chocolate. There are two evening buffets each week: the Mediterranean and the Asian. I never thought I’d actually enjoy kebabs as much as I did at the Mediterranean buffet – you have to try the schwarma. The Asian buffet, however, deserves a special mention. Chefs are invited to represent their home country’s cuisine or one they particularly love. The buffet is set up as a street market with food from The Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan etc. The chefs pour their hearts into the cooking and are delighted when guests want to learn more about their dishes – the origins, ingredients, how is it cooked, why it was chosen. In that brief moment, the chefs are at the centre of the magic of Gilli – it is their moment. Under candle light and to the sound of the gently lapping waves in the background, guests are merely bystanders in the wonder of this culinary expression of national pride and tradition.
- 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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