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“Wonderful experience”
Review of Gili Lankanfushi

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Gili Lankanfushi
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lankanfushi
Reviewed September 26, 2013

I love Gili cos even though it was a luxury property, everything was Eco friendly and down to earth and unpretentious. The staff genuinely love the environment and service came from the heart.
I gve top marks for the villa but of cos everything here demands top dollar too. Worth every single cent except for the spa which I found thoroughly overpriced.

Room Tip: I stayed at villa 43. During low tide I could walk for miles in the clear blue water, only at knee l...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pinny83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

Dear pinny83,

Thank very much for sharing your wonderful experience with other Trip Advisor readers. It was so nice to read that you really appreciate our eco-friendly approach that can be felt and seen in the resort which is our little way of taking part on environmental conservation.

With regard to the price of our Spa treatments, a careful study and comparison has been made before finalizing the price and we make sure that everything was less or same range with 5 star resorts in the Maldives which include also the luxury standard and products themselves.

Again, thank you for a very nice review and we all look forward to welcoming you back again to our little paradise in the near future.

Kind regards, Iain

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Reviewed September 26, 2013

Our stay at Gili Lankanfushi for sure went beyond our imagination. We stayed at a different Maldivian island 5 days and after, we went to Gili for another 5 days. All the staff are superfriendly and also very much seem to enjoy their jobs (something I find very important). The surroundings (OCEAN) are amazing!!! We jumped in the water for snorkelling daily, right from our private sun deck. The reef for snorkelling was nicer at the other place we stayed, but still there was a LOT to see!!! Reef sharks, manta's, and turtles were swimming by our villa!! Lots of options for water activities, we did some great wakeboarding, and a snorkelling tour which brings you to a gorgeous reef nearby.
We have stayed at quite some luxury places before, but Gili exceeded our expectations. ALso the food was soooooo good!!!!!! Never had a better breakfast before, so much superfresh food, with lots of variety. And besides this all, the whole atmosphere at the island is extremely relaxed.
Oh and I haven't even mentioned our CR villa yet: maybe because there are no words that can describe how GREAT it was!! All facilities there, lots of space, different rooms, lots of outside space, beautiful rustic atmosphere, SUPER comfortable: LOVED IT!!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in a crusoe residence, and the only dissapointment was that there was an island (for local...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jojanneke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2013

Dear Jo S,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful remarks with Gili Lankanfushi. It is a true pleasure to read your detailed comment about the resort atmosphere, the variety of foods, your Crusoe villa and the marine life that you encountered that you really enjoyed during your stay with us.

I am delighted to read that you appreciate our eco-friendly approach that we are doing on the island which makes you feel the relaxed atmosphere far away from busy life in the city.

Once again, thank you for your comments and we all look forward to welcoming you back again to our little paradise soon.

Kind regards, Iain

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Reviewed September 26, 2013

We have been lucky enough to visit the Maldives a few times now and this was our second visit to Gili. We last came in 2010 before the management change and were a little concerned that the wonderful time we had then could and would not be repeated. It started well with a very speedy and professional response to my email enquires (always a good sign) and some fabulous complimentary incentives for returning guests.
Our BA flight landed on time and without incident and we were quickly met by our tour operator representative who handed us over to the Gili team. This is probably our only gripe, we then had to wait around for a further 3 couples before we could board the 'Gili go Quickly' speedboat. Just a bit of a pain when you have had a long journey. Also the boat accommodated 3 love seats so 3 couples got a great seat and the last couple on the boat had the 'cheap seats'. Small point but I guess we were spoiled by a private transfer last time.
The island remains ridiculously beautiful and we were blessed with fantastic weather considering we went in August.
Much has been already said about the villas but they really are enormous and fantastically laid out. So much thought has been put into their design and we felt blessed to be able to sleep on our top deck under the stars.
Our Mr Friday worked incredibly hard to ensure our stay went smoothly (thank you Musthafa) and for us the concept of a singular point of contact worked very well. We used to call him each morning to say we were off to breakfast and he would ensure that housekeeping had visited before we got back. A simple thing but it meant you weren't disturbed at all for the rest of the day.
We felt the management were visible, genuinely friendly and interested in their guests. The team is being led superbly by the GM Iain. Staff retention and morale appears high. Again this can make a huge difference to your Maldives holiday experience.
Overall, this is a very special place and everyone you meet, guests and staff included all seem to realise that.
Would we go back? - in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Out of season, Jetty 1 and 2 have calmer seas. Jetty 3 in season and for better snorkelling. If in...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank WearyMummy39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear WearyMummy39

Thank you once again for sharing your Gili experience with other Trip Advisor readers. It is indeed a true pleasure to receive such a wonderful feedback from our highly valued repeater guests. I will personally ensure that your words are shared with all of our team members especially Musthafa who made your stay special.

Once again, thank you so much for the strong recommendation and we look forward to receiving you again soon.

Kind regards, Iain

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Reviewed September 23, 2013

I truly can't say enough good things about this hotel. My wife wanted an amazing over-water bungalow for our honeymoon so we researched a lot of destinations and settled upon the Maldives. From there, it seemed there are so many great properties to pick from, but we are so happy we ended up at the Gili Lankanfushi. It will no doubt be a week we will remember for the rest of our lives. I'd like to thank our Mr. Friday, Atheef, as well as the rest of the hotel staff for making it such a perfect week. The moment you land at the airport to the moment you leave, the people that work at Gili work tirelessly in the most friendly possible way to make sure you are having the perfect time. From our room attendant, who always made sure the curtains were raised in the AM and closed at night, even placing fresh bottles of water by our bed each evening, to the amazing restaurant staff who prepare and serve the most delicious meals in an extremely friendly way, to the people who run the most amazing spa, to all the people at the dive center who are helpful, knowledgeable and very accessible, and to all the others on the island that must work tirelessly to keep the bike paths smooth and clean as well as everything else just seem perfect at all times.

The rooms are amazing and huge, giving you every bit of luxury you could possibly need, while keeping a certain island charm about them. People saw our pictures and couldn't believe the size of our private deck alone. The Bose sound-system connected throughout the Villa is a nice add-on as well. Each room has two bikes, which are a great way to get you around the island. While the motto of the island is no shoes, no news (most people really don't wear shoes all week), I must say the WiFi in the room was excellent if you do want to connect here and there with the outside world.

The food is unbelievable. The breakfast buffet was better than anything I've ever seen. The dinners were delicious and the drinks reasonably priced. We checked out the Japanese restaurant one night and that was a highlight as well. We even did a sushi cooking class which was a lot of fun. I find it very impressive, when you think how they are able to prepare such a diverse array of food to please anyone on a remote island as good if not better than some of the best restaurants in big cities.

The dive staff were great, always available and friendly to answer questions. We did an intro to scuba lesson, snorkeling trip, private sunset cruise (just absolutely amazing) as well as the dolphin cruise. We also took out the kayaks and even checked out the windsurfing.

The spa was amazing and we got several massages, all of which were great and in such an idyllic setting. We woke up most mornings to take advantage of the yoga classes which was a great way to start the day. The gym was also beautiful as well, looking out over the ocean - a great way to motivate you to go.

There are so many other little things that make this resort just perfect. We even went to the movie one night in the outdoor theater - sitting there looking up at the stars being served popcorn and drinks really makes you wonder if it is all real or not.

If I didn't say it before, it really is the people that work here who bring everything together. Our Mr. Friday Atheef just made sure we had everything we needed the whole week. It just all works so seamlessly and you are sad to leave when you do. We even bought a painting from Atheef in the shop which he painted specifically for us (if you are going - make sure you get a painting from him and sorry if he raised his price from $40 USD as I told him he needed to!).

Thank you so much to Iain and the entire Gili team for making us so right for choosing this spot on our honeymoon. I rarely say I want to return to a hotel, especially one as far from New York as this, given there are so many places in the world to see, but my wife and I do hope to make it back here one day.

Room Tip: We had a regular villa suite which was perfect and more than enough space for 2 people. I'm sur...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear Brian K,

First of all, I would like to thank you for choosing Gili Lankanfushi on your first trip to the Maldives and for considering our resort again on your return.

I am so grateful to read all your wonderful feedbacks in each aspects of the resort. Also I have well noted your remarks about your Mr. Friday Atheef who is an asset to my team and he was very happy to know that he made your holiday experience so special.

Again, thank you so much for a very nice review and as you mentioned, you will visit us again one day thus we at Gili look forward to welcoming you back to our little paradise soon!

Kind regards, Iain

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Reviewed September 21, 2013

What sets the resort apart from others must be the rustic lifestyle they pursue. Shoes get collected for their "No News No Shoes" policy, guests are encouraged to get lost on the island (the island map says "Sometimes it's good to get lost."), organic garden where you see chefs picking up their ingredients! The nature is part of villa in its open-concept layout - You can jump into the ocean anytime from the overwater deck and shower room. At night, my partner and I enjoyed after-dinner coffee at the rooftop deck under the starry sky.

The stay wouldn't have been so perfect without the exceptional service they offered. Every staff we passed by smiled and greeted us, and our personal butler (called Mr. Friday there), Aboo, made our stay even better as we made conversations every time he saw us at dining venues.

And it was lovely that they gave the villa key charm as memento, at the end of our stay. Thoughtful and personal with our villa number with it. From the very beginning of the trip on speedboat till we left the island, every detail seemed to had been tailored with heart and so much thoughts.

Whatever I write seems not enough to tell how great this place was!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank kina1129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear kina1129,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful reviews about Gili Lankanfushi with our Tripadvisor readers. It is indeed a pleasure to read that we made your holidays a truly memorable one.

We are grateful to see that you really appreciate our rustic concept with our personalized service done by Aboo, your Mr. Friday who made your stay special.

On behalf of my team, we all look forward to welcoming you back again to our paradise in the near future.

Kind regards, Iain

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Reviewed September 19, 2013

I've been there for my honeymoon from august,16th to august 26th. I've never been to a place like this! All the people were superb! We didn't get a single "NO", everything we needed or asked they just did for us. All the staff were expecional, everybody always smiling and talking to us. Every detail were thought to make our stay better. Simply the best hotel I've ever been in my life. I definetely recommend it for those who want to be in a magic place. It's not far from Male, what is great. The food is fantastic. the breakfast were a dream! The best choise for our honeymoon. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Flavia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear Flavia T,

Thank you for posting an excellent review and strong recommendation for Gili Lankanfushi on Tripadvisor. I am happy to read that we managed to create a wonderful honeymoon experience during your stay and my Team has succeeded in providing a friendly and personalized service that Gili is renowned for.

Once again, thank you so much for choosing us on your Honeymoon and we all look forward to receiving you back on your anniversary next year.

With kind regards, Iain

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Reviewed September 18, 2013

This is our third time stay at this resort with the last stay being at 2010 when it was managed by Soneva group. Any concern that we had whether there is going to be a service difference with the management change was forgotten as soon as we checked in the resort. Having stayed at a few resorts in Maldives, I still consider this resort as one of our favorites for many reasons including easy proximity to the airport (20 mins speedboat transfer), intelligent luxury, great dive center, great food and absolutely incredible service.

We enjoy the rustic wooden feel to the villas, no news no shows, very open feel to the villas with views all around you and simple and intelligent luxury. If you are a person who likes modern, chic feel to the resort, then this is probably not the place for you. We stayed in Jetty 3 and this is a good location if you enjoy snorkeling because of its close proximity to drop off point.

I think enough has been said about the villas from other reviews. We especially like the open feel layout of the villas, gives you that stunning clear water ocean view from all rooms and all around.

We did a lot of diving on this trip and the dive center is run by great staffs who makes your whole diving experience both on and below the water exciting. Their guides are very familiar with the local diving spots and all the dives we had were great. Highly recommend the folks that are running the dive center.

Food is another area where they maintain high standards and has a good variety. We enjoyed all our meals and had no complaints on dining. Breakfast spread has such good variety (Bread selection, Cheese, Eggs selection, A-la carte food selection, Fruits, etc. etc.) that we have seen in any resort and it was so fresh which is very hard to maintain for breakfast buffet, but they did it. we tried the over the water buffet for one of the nights which again was equally good, Asian BBQ buffet at the beach one of the days which we highly recommend and the Japanese restaurant once which was again very good.

We had in villa dining for lunch on few occasions and the quality of the food and the service was good.

We visited spa once and the treatment was good and the scenery of the spa itself is worth going for a treatment. Again run by a very good service oriented team which made the spa experience even better.

We had Ahmed as our Mr. Friday and he is a great guest relations officer who is very knowledgeable in local areas and made our trip even more memorable. This is the second time he was our Mr. Friday and he is simply a great GRO to have and we will definitely ask him as our Mr. Friday on our return visits.

We keep thinking of trying different resorts in Maldives and we have stayed at a few other resorts, but we still want to go back to Gili since we know that if we go there, we are guaranteed to have a great experience.

Room Tip: Stay in Jetty 3 if you want to snorkel. Jetty 1/Jetty2 for more quietness and bigger deck/hammock.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank global_traveller112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear global_traveller112,

Thank you once again for sharing your experience on our magical island with other Trip Advisor readers. It is indeed a true pleasure to receive such a wonderful feedback from our highly valued repeater guests.

I am very grateful while reading all your nice comments in all the aspects of the resort that will enable our future guests to know what they will expect from us. Thank you for appreciating our rustic design, the cuisines, the Spa and Dive Center Team and last but not least, the Mr. Friday Service. I will personally ensure that your words are shared with all of our team members specially Ahmed who made your stay a truly memorable one.

Once again, thank you and on behalf of the entire Gili Team, we look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Kind regards, Iain

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Additional Information about Gili Lankanfushi

Address: 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: $1,311 - $4,311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Gili Lankanfushi 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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