Before visiting Gili, like you we read all the amazing reviews on Trip and thought can it really be that perfect. The reality is "YES" it is truly amazing. As a couple we have travelled the world (with the exception of Tahiti and Bora Bora) so our review is based upon many experiences.
From our greeting at Male airport with our private speed boat transfer to the the Island, to our tearful departure, we were spoiled by all the wonderful resort team, management and staff, food, beauty of the Island and the simple but exquisite luxury.
It is simply not possible to put into words the holiday we experienced, but I will attempt to provide you with the highlights of our 2 week stay!
We had considered a two centre holiday, thank goodness we didn't as I feel sure nothing would have come close to Gili.
The villas are beautiful and the simple stylish decor and layout is fabulous, being able to breath in the fresh air and walk directly into crystal clear lagoon every day make you want to pinch yourself to check out it is real.
The food is delicious and so varied from breakfast to dinner and the service is excellent (thank you to Nashid our waiter and his origami animals!) We really enjoyed the varied buffet and 'market' evenings where you can observe the chefs creating mouthwatering food. We also experienced the in villa dining which was efficient and just as wonderful. We took advantage of a full moon dinner on the beach which was delightful but the highlight would have to be the arrangements that were made for the evening of my birthday (in secret). Well done to our Mr Friday, Gassim who was instrumental in creating and keeping the secret! Between my amazing partner and Gassim an evening never to be forgotten was arranged which involved relaxing on the pontoon whilst watching the sunset and sipping champagne, Mr Friday arriving by boat with a personalized chocolate birthday cake and then a private dinner on 'One palm island'. It was just magical and will stay with me forever.
Prior to visiting Gili I had not experienced snorkeling and felt quite apprehensive, however once again Mr Friday arranged and delivered our equipment and with encouragement from my partner we set off across the lagoon to the reef area. It was breathtaking. The fish are all around you and the edge of the lagoon is quite a sight. My tip would be take a good underwater camera as you will be amazed at what you see. We were both left feeling very privileged when a sea turtle swam right by us!
Everyone you encounter on Gili is so polite and courteous, from the resort management team to the team responsible for keeping the island looking so beautiful.You really feel that everyone involved with Gili is there because they love it, respect it and are looked after. We loved the fact the staff have team events and football matches against other islands. The positive approach to team work seems to fuse everyone together.
We visited the herb and vegetable garden and immediately the gardener proudly showed us around and gave us samples of the aromatic herbs. We both visited the spa which was a sensual and relaxing experience, we also tried the meditation and Qi Gong classes which made us realise how we forget to look after our well being when leading stressful lives! Thanks to Pascal for all of his advice.
We experience a private cinema and dining evening (Mrs Doubtfire, our choice) fantastic!!!
To sum up, if you want privacy and wish to not see another person it is there for the taking, if you want to interact then you can.
My advice - stop reading the reviews and just go, you will never forget Gili.
We will return, without a doubt!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Many thanks indeed for reviewing Gili Lankanfushi after your recent stay with us. It was fantastic to read that you both thoroughly enjoyed our island and its many facilities.
We are very proud of our villas and the housekeeping and engineering teams take great pride in looking after them
Chef John and his Kitchen and stewarding teams were very please to see that you enjoyed the Island Cuisine. We have built a great reputation for this and long may it continue. Our Full Moon dinners are very popular, in fact the next one on the 15th is exceptional busy with couple combining both te Full Moon with the Valentines Day celebrations
Nashid and Gassam have asked me to pass on their thanks for picking them out as performing particularly well. The team here are rewarded for being mentioned and this is very important for their morale.
It was also great to see that you enjoyed our Meera Spa and the snorkeling. We feel that these are an intricate part of a guests stay and their overall experience. (For your information, we do sell underwater cameras in the Boutique :)
We very much look forward to seeing you at Gili Lankanfushi on your next visit and in the meantime assure you of our very best of intentions at all times.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.