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Gili Lankanfushi
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Reviewed November 24, 2013

I don't think I've ever stayed at a place, and there have been many, that claim to be 5 star that not only meet that but beat it. There are touches here that only very detailed people notice, but everyone would love, like the soft covers on the bike pedals (as everyone is just in barefeet), or the small touches in the suites, and just the warmth of the people.

This is the only resort where room service is not just fabulous, but its cheaper than dining out...and much much better. Highly recommended.

The kids loved every moment in our Crusue Suite. Lots to do, and see, fish everywhere, crabs, and beautiful ocean warm water, waist deep making the biggest swimming pool in the world. Snorkling, biking, the spa, diving, you name it, but sitting and just looking at the most beautiful ocen in the world is the best. Sand is so white you can think your walking on clouds.

We live in Singapore, and for an extra 2 hours, this beats anything imaginable in Thailand, Bali or otherwise.

And..if your concerned with money, this is not your place. It will set you back around US$2,500-$3,000 a day, but if you have the money, this is an amazing value. My 3 boys smiled non-stop, and had very full days. I hadn't slept so well in months, and the 5 days seemed to last forever.....we can't wait to return

Special thanks to all staff, but especially to Atiffe, our personal concierge.

Room Tip: If a family, you have to book the Crusoe suites...in fact, any size ...book it, well worth it. Stay on WEST of the island, not EAST, you have to see the sunset.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank gregblakney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2013

Dear Mr. Blakney,

Thank you for posting your holiday experience at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives. It is indeed a true pleasure to read that your expectations were exceeded.

I will pass on your appreciation to the team of Hosts who looked after you and your family so well, with special mention to your Mr. Friday Atheef.

We all look forward to welcoming you back again in our little paradise and thank you once again for posting your holiday experience as this really does mean a lot for the team.

With Kind Regards,
Brad Calder
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

We had high expectations when we booked our trip to Gili Lankanfushi. However, they weren't high enough. Not only is this an extremely well run resort that should meet anyone's realistic expectations for a five-star resort, but it exceeded our hopes in so many ways. Instead of re-iterating what is in many other reviews, I'm hopefully just going to mention some areas that were above and beyond anything we expected.

1) The people who work there are genuinely friendly, interesting, and interested. I'm listing this first because it is the crux of what I believe sets Gili Lankanfushi apart from similar other places around the world we've experienced (Fiji, Hawaii, Greek Islands, Galapagos, etc.). ALL of the people we met that work at the resort were so friendly and genuine. Everyone from our Mr. Friday, to the Wait Staff, the Dive Masters, the Executive Chef and all of his staff, the Manager of the resort (Ian), etc. The Executive Chef exemplified this several times in particular, giving us a tour of the Mediterranean feast they had prepared as well as providing us with a couple recipes. There are MANY more examples like that.

We enjoyed their company immensely and when they asked what we did that day or what we would be doing, they also shared their own experiences and insights. It's hard to convey, but it's relatively easy to tell the difference between someone who is an excellent service provider and someone who exceeds that by being sincere and making friends with the people they are aiding. We have many examples of this, which I'm happy to reply to this review with if folks are interested, but I'll move on to keep this review from being pages and pages of stories.

2) The accommodations have so many special touches that did not go unnoticed. The Villas themselves are really special. They are spacious and decorated very nicely, but it's much more than that. They are put together to feel like a home away from home with everything you might need or want. Many other resorts that we considered had luxurious rooms that looked like hotel rooms decorated with an island feel. The Crusoe Villas felt naturally a part of the islands. They are unique as far as we're aware. However, there were so many small touches that took it even beyond those expectations. Everything from an ipod specifically for our villa with music and movies that we'd enjoy, to the little cloth and wooden coverings to hide the outlets, remote control, etc. to the fan mounted in the bathroom that my wife loved to use while blow drying her hair. There were amenities that we didn't know we'd need, but when we did they were already there. Things like aloe vera, an extra electrical transformer, etc. Needless to say, we were extremely happy with the accommodations and particularly all of the little details that went into the room.

3) The dive shop was excellent. I've been diving for over 20 years and have been to many different types of dive shops. This was the best that I've experienced in many ways. They covered all the things you would expect with quality equipment that was well prepared, knowledgeable staff, safe procedures, good dive site picks, etc. However, they were safe and respectful while still being very fun and friendly. Every dive we had a great experience (6 dives while we were there). Every dive we had confidence in the dive masters. They made the environment relaxing even when there were challenges like drifts/currents. While on the boat to and from the dive sites or on the resort, they were genuinely friendly and helpful as well as encouraging.

4) I would be remiss without specifically mentioning the food. The presentation, variety, and quality was exceptional. Everything was very fresh, even things that were challenging to get on the island, like fresh octopus or smoked salmon. The Chefs and in particular the Executive Chef do an amazing job to keep every meal interesting. Instead of getting into all of the examples of great food, I'll provide one that was unexpected. We went to the over the water bar just to grab a drink and snack (where I subsequently met the Executive Chef who was very friendly). We ordered the gazpacho to share and it was the best we've ever had. There were similar small experiences, like the iced tea they brought us to the room as a welcome, was the best we've ever had. So many small things like that surprised us it was wonderful.

5) We try to be eco-friendly when we can, but it isn't something we valued as highly as we do now. I was very impressed that the resort has it's own marine biologist. He had very informative classes about the marine life in the area and discussed how the resort makes all of the best efforts to be as eco-friendly as possible. It is also possible to go on a snorkeling trip with him to learn even more about the underwater ecosystem in the Maldives and around the immediate islands. He also raised my awareness of resorts that are responsible and many ways that we can specifically be more eco-friendly in our daily lives.

6) Lastly, our Mr. Friday rounded everything out in an amazing trip of a lifetime. He was attentive, but not push. He was always helpful (for example, he booked Yoga for my wife before I even had to ask, anticipating what we'd want based on a peripheral conversation). Really, more than anything, he made us feel like we were never inconvenienced or inconveniencing him. This level of service was very much appreciated.


So, I could probably go on and on about many other things at the resort, but I'll leave it at this. It's been a few months since we left, but a week doesn't go by when I think of the next time I could possibly go back. I hope it is soon!

Room Tip: We preferred Jetty 3 since it had an amazing sunset and a bit less boat traffic. However, I think any of them would have been great. The villas near the end of the jetty's are slightly better since the water gets a little deeper.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank shappysfunland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riaan_Drever, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Dear shappysfunland,

Thank you so much for posting an amazing review on Gili Lankanfushi highlighting each and every aspect of our resort. This will certainly give an insight to our future guests as to what they can expect from us.

I have also shared your comment with the Management Team and they so happy that we managed to exceed your expectations and created a wonderful memories during your stay.

Thank you once again for a very nice review and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

With kind regards, Riaan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

My wife and I are incredibly fortunate and have had the chance to see the world. This includes 3 visits to the amazing Maldives, heaven on earth.

In addition to Gili, we've stayed at Huvafen and the W. All three are hotels that are hard to explain on a website as all are remarkable in their own right. Gili was something I will never forget and if you can afford it.... DO IT.

My 5 step program:

Step 1: dont think about the money. Yes, your room is over $1,000 US a night and yes you will spend $100 a day in alcohol. Dont think, just do it as in your lifetime, you will be lucky to be there ONCE.
Step 2: all of the rooms are over the top and ridiculous. And I do mean RIDICULOUS. However, if you can, do the Crusoe suite. We did the Crusoe suite 2 nights and the regular suite the other nights. It helps by having the variety and I HIGHLY recommend you do this. Dont worry about the pack and move of rooms as Mr Friday can help you.
Step 3: Breakfast...dont miss it, and trust me on this one.
Step 4: make sure there is air in the tires on your bike.
Step 5: relax. its what you are here for. This includes Maldivian night which is great fun.

Enjoy! There is nothing like Gili!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank D M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riaan_Drever, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2013

Dear D M,

Thank you so much for being a great supporters and ambassadors for Gili and recommending us to Tripadvisor readers.

We look forward to welcoming you back again in our little paradise and thank you once again for posting your holiday experience as this really does mean a lot for the team.

With kind regards, Riaan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Having read a huge amounts of reviews before my visit, i came there with quite some expectations and was (honestly) a little bit "disappointed" at the first sight (it is all nature / wood styled and therefore it is not glamour overkill, but looks a little bit like "comfort" and has seen some years) .. however that first impression just on the sight, changed dramatically while staying there. Actually everything was better / more beautiful / more functional and in the end more relaxing than i expected / have seen before (ok, maybe with an exception of the Gili Butler concept which i personally have experienced better / more personal on some other hotels (e.g. in Ubud/Bali)). The food is just outstanding (in any respect: variety, quality and presentation), the villas (we stayed in a crusoe) are large and very well thought in all details and the island is just beautiful (especially comparing its size / comfort with the number of guests which are hosted there). We were especially lucky with the visiting practicioner in the SPA (a world class experience) and also with the diving (as we had very few divers with us, so having boats / dive masters on our own).

The only "drawback's" i can think of (still not making my overall experience anything less than perfect) would have been:
+ sometimes the boat service (in a crusoe villa you depend on this for dining, etc) is not utterly swift / perfectly managed (tides happen :-), guest boats are "larger" than staff boats (but guests SHALL not use staff boats))
+ timed appointments (e.g. we meet at 4 PM) are not taken "european" (ok, german) style by some of the hosts (however, it is holiday in any way)
+ there are better snorkel reefs (and easier to reach) on other island / resort in the maldives (however: the swimming / sand at our villa was OUTSTANDING and we were scuba diving anyway)
+ the WLAN / technical infrastructure is way better / more state-of-the-art on other islands / resorts (but anyway, everything was basically there and you are not there to share fotos with friends :-))

Overall this trip was superb relaxation and i would recommend it to anyone looking for a special holiday (and not having to turn each dollar twice)

Room Tip: Personally we had a crusoe villa .. it seems for me that Jetty 1 / Jetty 2 are better choices if you want / need to snorkel from the villa
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mha67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riaan_Drever, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2013

Dear mha67,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on your stay in Gili Lankanfushi. It was indeed a pleasure to read that your first impression changed dramatically during your stay and have found the tranquility on the island and beauty within our concepts.

I have well noted the list of comments you mentioned and discussed it right away with all the department heads. We highly value the constructive feedback of our guests as we always strive to improve all facets of our resort continuously. I am sorry to learn that despite the best efforts of our team, we failed to meet your expectations in some areas.

However, we are grateful to your recommendation and look forward to welcoming you back again in the future.

With kind regards, Riaan

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Reviewed November 11, 2013

In June we spent the first week of our honeymoon in Gili and were extremely impressed by the quality of service and accomodation. The villas are really huge and offer all the possible facilities. Your concierge (they call him Mr.Friday in Gili) is always eager to help you. The food is great, especially in the Japanese restaurant and during beach cuisine parties. I would like to thank all the managers of the hotel for their hospitality.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Leonid R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riaan_Drever, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2013

Dear Leonid R,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your Honeymoon experience in Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives. I am delighted to read of your overall comments with regard to our standard of service and attention to details that surpassed your expectations.

I will pass on your best regards to all the Managers who you have mentioned and looked after you so well during your stay.

Thanks again for a very nice review and we all look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future.

Kind regards, Riaan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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