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“You'll never know until you go and experience !!!!” 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
Seoul, South Korea
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“You'll never know until you go and experience !!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

I stayed from 25th ~ 30th, 5 nights in GILI Lankanfushi, total 7 days round trip.
We were four people, 2 adults and 2 children stayed in Cruso Residence #5. I selected GILI Lankanfushi, based on the few definite guidelines. 1.Good Beach, clear shallow sea for my family and my photos !! 2. Enough isolation from neighbored villa for privacy 3.Speed Boat Resort : Don't want to waiste too much to wait for seaplane roundtrip or further domestic connection. 4.Quality of Foods and Services. 5.Many things to do, not to be bored so much. It was not an easy decision, as you can understand and you are doing now! I was also worried about a few things as well. 1.Underwater Condition (Beautiful Lagoon means no fishes?) 2.Friday Service (Buttler service is somtimes stupid and only interuppting) 3.Fear of Deep Sea Snorkeling (Can I really do with my kids ?) 4. Pricy Foods & Activities (It is Maldives...) However, my stay in GILI LANKANFUSHI was definately much much better than I expected, and I cannot think any better choice than this experience I had with GILI Lankanfushi this summer. The initial benefits and selection criteria were quite correct that we were directly transfered by Boat and arrived only after 30 minutes after Male airport arrival, and the resort has wonderful surroundings. Each spacious vila of GILI Lankanfushi was well located away from other vilas. Furthermore, we really enjoyed the daily breakfast buffets and the mediterranean dinner buffets, while the dinner was a bit pricy. And there, my family enjoyed much to do water sports, pocket pool ball, wind-surf, rowing boat ride, and catching the small crabs under my residence. And for the things I was worrying a lot, GILI Lankanfushi provided real value to surprised us much. For the underwater conditions, we witnessed a few small and midium fish daily through the floor window, and many sharks big fishes near the over water bar and spa area. It is true that GILI Lankanfushi's house reef area is not a easy location for beginners. But we found very good solution, so - called "package" from the GILI's diving center, to offer snorkel + fun tube + water sports lessons for 2 people. The schedule can be arranged based on the needs, so we took a water skiing lesson for 2 kids while parents were on the boat, and took a wind-surfing lesson the other day for 2 kids. I succeeded to capture the wonderful moment of my kids standing up and moving with the the wind for the first time in thier lives!!! And my children really loved the fun-tube, a tube ride driven by motor boat. Then for the most important and worried event, the deep sea snorkeling, I also took another "package", since I also could choose snorkeling tour by charter boat up to 4 people with the same cost (Activity1 60 min + Fun Tube + Activity2 60 Min).
We went to a house reef of 15 minute speedboat ride distance, and did a guided "snorkelling of life" with 2 GILI staffs there. One staff was standing by on the boat, and the other went for the snorkelling together with us, guiding my kids not to miss the sharks and thousands of fishes there. It was really a wonderful moment!!!! And for the last, not the least, GILI Lankanfushi resort designates an excusive staff called "Friday", which I didn't believe to worth that much. But the actual experience was really wonderful that I've never been experienced such a personalized service ever in my lifetime. MeHye was the Ms.Friday of ours, and we did make every arrangements, reservation, activities booking and even for DVD rental, in vila dining, she showed really a service a way beyond our imagination. It was pretty different from the "well trained staffs" or the normal buttler services of others, while a designated one person takes care of everything from beginning up to the end. The only shortage we felt during the stay was a bit expensive pricing of restaurants and fishing trips, or chartered trips, but in-villa dining is quite fair. And the Japanese reastaurant, called "by the sea" was a bit too fusion style, that I would not recommend so much to the Japanese food lovers. I would suggest GILI Lankanfushi to return a bit to the origin of Japanese food, especially some basic items such as UDon (noodle soup), and Tepan Yaki should remain the origin. Hope this comments help anyone who are struggling to plan a wonderful holidays in Maldives. I also attahced a few picutres, just taken from my SamSung Mobile Phone. You can refer to those. You'll never know until you go and experience !!!!

Room Tip: Among the Cruso Residences, 3~5 would be better in terms of the surrouding sea condition. 1~2 would...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 11
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, August 22, 2013
Dear Parksem,

Thank you very much for taking time to write such a detailed review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am happy to read that you were really satisfied with our water sports activity and Mr Friday service and I have shared this with them. We noticed few areas which you mentioned on the review which we need to look at and rest assured we will look at it and definitely try to improve it.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards, Iain
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877 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 (243)
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English first
Merrick, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Simply stated - exceptional and memorable experience, service, food and vacation. We stayed here due to our travel agent's recommendation so were unsure of what it would be like. Upon arriving, we were greeted by the staff and got a tour of the island. After a week, we felt like we knew the hosts and employees so well. It is definitely a homely place that is also environmentally friendly. The food buffet boasts over 35 fruits daily and has an amazing selection of foods, desserts and the presentation of everything is gourmet, unique and 5+++ stars. We live in NY, which is the heart of many unique restaurants and culinary creations, so it is hard to wow us, and Gilli definitely did. It was also very relaxing, personal and special for our anniversary trip. The personal butler, Mr. Friday, was very accommodating and we were not disappointed. It is the Maldives, so if you do not get the full board package and have to pay for everything, it will be very expensive, with lunch at about $150 a couple each day. We got the half board which included breakfast and dinner -- both exceptional and worth it. Wine and Chocolate tasting, dhoni cruise, submarine excursion are all highly recommended. The restaurant By The Sea is Peruvian Japanese and is also a great culinary experience. Everything is organic and a tour of the island on your own bicycle is a neat escape from the hustle and bustle of NYC. SPA -- AMAZING AND BREATHTAKING!!! I worked in the spa industry and have been to top spas all over the world and this is one of the top spas in regards to atmosphere, service options and unique style. Not sure why this is not rated #1 on Trip Advisor :)

  • Stayed July 2013, 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, August 22, 2013
Dear ChrisSandy2012,

Thank you very much for posting such a wonderful review on your recent visit to us. We are pleased to see that you were impressed with our food and spa. I have shared your review with our team and all of us look forward to welcoming you back for your next anniversary if not earlier.

Kind regards, Iain
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

I will definitely go back to their Resort. Very Relaxing, Great and quick Room Service.
Nice food. Great View and nice nature.
They can provide you anything you can think about.
Wifi coverage is great. The free snorkeling time I had with their Marine was great and I would like to thank our butler Lathif for the great time we had over there.
The hotel is 20 mins away from the airport by boat. You do not need to worry about the distance as well.
The have a great Reef.
My Husband and I experienced a great Spa treatment with their Indonesian and Thai Masseuses.
The Trip from the UAE to the maldives is only 4 hours so it is a great break time if you got a good budget for it.
It is worthing each penny you spent on their service.

Thank you all for looking after everyone in personal.

I am looking forward to seeing you at the earliest.

3 days are more than enough for staying there.

Room Tip: Try to stay away from the boat pathway "Southern area is more quiet than the entrance to the ho...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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, August 4, 2013
Dear Rawanrg,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write the wonderful Trip advisor review. I am delighted that you had the best Honeymoon ever with us and that all our facilities and services exceeded your expectations.

On behalf of the entire Gili team, we look forward to welcoming you back and creating another unforgettable Maldivian experience for you.

Kind regards, Iain
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

My Husband and I decided to lash out and spend out holiday at Gili Lankanfushi - we were not disappointed with any aspect of the resort. The greeting was a respresentation on how we would be treated throughout the whole stay - like Royalty. The massages are so relaxing we had one every second day. The food was all just too much and of such high quality, infact we over ate everyday. Nothing was ever too much for the staff to attend to and always handled in a friendly way. Our Villa No.38 was the best in the resort, in fact other guests also commented they thought so as well. It was great to see a resort that gave so much to it's environment, something I beleive others could learn to also try to achieve. Well done Gili Lankanfushi we will be back!

Room Tip: Vila 38 - fantastic sunsets and private
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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 1
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, August 4, 2013
Dear Polly255100,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your holiday experience at Gili Lankanfushi with other Tripadvisor readers. It is indeed a true pleasure to read the title of your review and your feedback about the food and the villa set up.

Our eco friendly approach, with five star services yet maintaining the balance of “laid back chic” is something unique experience that you would feel when you are on the island; we really thank you for appreciating our concept.

And as you mentioned, you will visit us again thus we all look forward to welcoming you back to our little paradise soon!.

Kind regards, Iain
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

From the minute of your arrival at Gili Lankanfushi, you realise you are not at just any resort: The friendly staff welcome you at the boat jetty, and inform you of their “no shoes, no news” policy. Removing your shoes is the first step in shedding the stresses of reality, readying you for what the island life has to offer.

The island itself is beautifully tiny, about 250m wide and 500m long and contained on its own coral atoll. The inside of the island has its natural vegetation maintained, with pockets of development sprinkled within it (including the tennis court, herb garden, specialist restaurants, and open air movie theatre).

The protected atoll provides a natural swimming pool surrounding the island; coconut palms arching overhead. The structures throughout the island are unobtrusive, allowing one to fully experience paradise. The focus is on sustainable construction techniques and management techniques to limit the impacts to the island life. A highlight is the island transportation: Personal bikes for when the golf-carts are not required. The recycling program, island sourced herbs, and drinking water derived from the on-island reverse osmosis plant are further examples of the islands attitude to the environment. This fits in perfectly with the Maldivian relationship with the environment.

Accommodation is provided within private over-water villas extending from the island to the atoll edge via wooden jetties. These villas defy apt description; I’m limited to the highlights including: A bath with views of the atoll, a private ocean swimming area, a secluded sundeck with steps direct to the shallow atoll water and corals, well equipped living areas (both roof-top, and indoors) with unobtrusive yet complete entertainment system, and a dining area so beautiful that the in-villa dining option was a firm favourite of mine.

The major attraction of the atoll is the diving in the area, and the professional, friendly and knowledgeable staff tailor-make trips, with a variety of dive options ranging from beginner to advanced. My personal favourite was the snorkelling exploration of the corals surrounding the island. A hop off the jetty and a short swim and you are at the edge of the shallow atoll that drops to a depth of about 10m. Bright soft and hard corals are in abundance, with sightings of a massive variety of animal life possible. For me this included reef fish, anemones, game fish, reef sharks and eagle rays. In terms of other attractions, there are water sports (including stand-up paddle boards, wind-surf boards, kayaks and snorkelling under the guidance of the friendly staff), tennis, and a well-equipped gym.

An overwater Meera Spa has a stunning range of treatments; a highlight being a massage while watching the reef fish in the turquoise water below through the floor porthole, followed by sipping ginger tea while gazing over the unobstructed atoll leading into the Indian ocean
A range of food if on offer that caters both for the traditional tastes, as well as the more adventurous; ranging from traditional fare, to international cuisine. This is served in a variety of locales, ranging from relaxed to decadent. Their names provide some insight: The Overwater Grill, By The Sea, The Wine Cellar & Underground Chocolate Cave. A must is the “Destination Dining”, including a private dining experience on “One Palm Island”; quite possibly the most romantic dining experience on the planet.

There is a ratio of more than 3 staff per guest. This allows for all ones needs to be met; yet the staff remain unobtrusive. You’re free to relax, and assistance is never far off and always available. The friendly staff are knowledgeable in all ascepts of hospitality, and I found them to be genuinely friendly, polite and helpful. A fantastic feature is the idea of the Mr Friday. Each of the guests is assigned a Mr (or Ms) Friday, named after the Robinson Crusoe character. These friendly individuals are able to help out wherever possible: Think a personal concierge and butler service combined, they will arrange entertainment and activities, and ensure personal assistance is never far off. Although I am not a parent, a key aspect for those with children is that the “Fridays” are equally as adept at caring for children, leaving time for the parents to indulge in relaxation.

The worst part of the stay? Saying goodbye

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 5
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, August 4, 2013
Dear Andrew G.,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful remarks on our resort. It is indeed a true pleasure to read that you enjoyed all our island has to offer.

I am delighted to see you had the opportunity to experience all of our restaurants, which are unique and offer different concepts. I am proud to share with you that it is our passionate and dedicated teams who continuously strive to deliver our guest dreams that makes Gili uniquely special. As such, I gladly share all of your wonderful comments with our team, which I know will only continue to inspire them.

On behalf of Gili team, we all look forward to having the privilege of welcoming you to our piece of paradise again!

Kind regards, Iain
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013 via mobile

For my 10 years anniversary, my boyfriend surprised me and booked to stay at the Maldives for 2 weeks.

The first week, we stayed at Cantara Resort which was beautiful and the snorkelling there was excellent. The only negatives was that it was extremely crowded and the food was average.

When it came time to leave Cantara to go to our next resort, I was expecting Gilli Lankanfushi to to be same. Boy, was I wrong.

This place is truly AMAZING. From the moment we arrived at Gilli, my boyfriend and I felt so welcomed and was so surprised with the high level of service. We both looked at each other and knew this was going to be good!!

We arrived to our villa no. 27 and I was lost for words about how huge the villa was. It was absolutely stunning.

Everything from the room, food, service, snorkelling and the dolphin watching was seriously first class. I swear I saw more staff than actual hotel guess during my stay. I have stayed at a lot of 5 star hotels all over the world and this is by far, the best hotel I've ever stayed in and their themed buffets are the best.

Thank you to the Gilli Lankanfushi team for making our 10 years anniversary a special one. I promise, we will return soon.



  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, July 24, 2013
Dear Tien2323,

It is so nice to hear from you and thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful remarks about Gili Lankanfushi. We are delighted to read all your comments and glad that we managed to succeed in creating an amazing memories on your 10th year anniversary.

Thank you for spending your second week' Maldives holiday in our resort and we look forward to welcoming you back again on your next anniversary.

With kind regards, Iain
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Singapore, null, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

6 days in Gili Lankanfushi - Maldives was easily one of the most relaxing holidays ever. Part of it is the pristine beauty of Maldivian islands itself - but Gili makes it complete through their service and facilities. Rooms, restaurant, food, water sports, spa- its all top quality, but its their attention to what makes a great holiday which sets the experience apart. Starting with setting your foot to 'No News, No Shoes' policy, this distinctive experience carries into the spacious villas, clear lagoon waters and food - anchored by the expert Mr. Friday (we had Mushto who deserves a special mention alongwith Ramish at the Dive Center - between these two guys our 7 year old had the best time in this secluded resort).
Considering this holiday was with a 7 year old, its even more phenomenal - how they kept him pampered throughout was outstanding.
As I write this, its difficult to point out any single thing which outdid every other aspect - there was not a thing out of place from the airport till you are dropped off - and every single bit carries Gili stamp, right down to the names of the boats - Gili Goes Gliding, Gili Goes Slowly etc....

Thanks to the Gili team for making it such a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: For families with kids - Villa Suite is most suited - Crusoe apartments are nice but a bit restricti...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
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, July 24, 2013
Dear HSK_1605,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful remarks on our resort. It is indeed a true pleasure to read that you enjoyed our concept of not wearing shoes on the island and having a wonderful holiday experience with your kid.

Our team has made their mission to ensure that all our guest dreams and desires are met while creating many unforgettable memories. I will pass on your best regards to Mustho and Rameez who you have mentioned and looked after you and your family so well during your stay here.

Once again, thank you very much for the wonderful comments and on behalf of the entire Gili Lankanfushi team, we look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Warm regards, Iain
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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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