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Gili Lankanfushi
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Reviews (1,983)
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Reviewed December 5, 2013

We have stayed in Gili for 5 nights in villa 27 jetti no 2, and our experience has been amazing.. The place is ultimate relaxing and luxuries, very beautiful villa with all the facilities and best thing is Mr Friday,, your own reception..we have got amazing mr Friday Atheef, which made our stay even better..
Other services also were fantastic all the staff was so kind and always ready to help..more the place we felt the people working were nice, which makes this place even more beautiful..
Restaurant manager Zaheer, other people in restaurant and bar Adam, shaan, latheef, and faya specially in bar..were all fantastic., we would like to specially thank Chillai chef who has always prepared amazing food for us, as we both were vegetarian..
Final words are we will be back soon...:-)

Room Tip: Jetty 2 is very secluded for honeymooners
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gaba21
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 Gaba21

Thank you very much for posting your wonderful experience at Gili Lankanfushi.

Your kind words will be most appreciated by your Mr.Friday and the team of Hosts that strived to provide you with the perfect resort experience. Rest assured I will personally recognize Chilliah the Chef for his efforts to provide you with amazing vegetarian cuisine.

On behalf of all the Hosts at Gili Lankanfushi, we truly look forward to welcoming you back and creating another unforgettable stay.

With Kind Regards,
Brad Calder
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We've just returned from spending a week in Gili Lankanfushi and I really couldn't recommend highly enough. We did a lot of research before choosing a hotel for our week's holiday and given all the fantastic reviews on tripadvisor we went with very high expectations and it really didn't disappoint. Absolutely amazing experience - really can't fault it.

From the moment we arrived at the airport and were promptly met to an awaiting speedboat, the service was outstanding. When we arrived at the island we felt like we'd landed in paradise, it's absolutely stunning. If you look at the virtual tour on their website, it really does look exactly like that! Clear blue sea, amazing beaches and the villas were stunning, huge and every small detail considered. We loved their "no shoes, no news" policy, as while it's utter luxury, it really feels relaxed which is exactly what we were looking for.

Our Mr Friday (Atheef) was fantastic and made sure we were really well looked after during our stay. Nothing was too much trouble!

One of the best things about this hotel is the quality and range of activities. We loved paddleboarding, waterskiing, kayaking, guided reef tours with the resident marine biologist, dolphin cruises, wine and cheese tasting, cocktail hours, speed boat trips to the neighbouring Four Seasons (which in our opinion doesn't compare to Gili), guided snorkelling tours etc....all excellent. You can really do as much or as little as you like during your stay, and you'll never get bored here! The spa is also fantastic - clear glass floors so you can look at the fish while having your massage, and the beaches are stunning.

The other big plus about Gili is the quality of the food. When you're on a small island like this for a week - for us having top class food was a must and it really didn't disappoint. Craig and his team do an amazing job and everything from breakfast through to lunch and dinner was top class. The two sommeliers were also excellent and the selection of wine was great. You also get dedicated waiters for the week which makes it all the more relaxed and you really feel at home here.

Overall, we've travelled the world and Gili is by far the most amazing hotel we've every stayed in. Everything was top class - amazing facilities, atmosphere, food and top class service. We will most definitely be back, outstanding from start to finish.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DublinPinky
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 DublinPinky,

We sincerely thank you for taking the time to write such an appreciative review of your recent holiday at Gili Lankanfushi. We are absolutely thrilled to see that you had the pleasure of enjoying all that our island has to offer.

Our team of Hosts made it their mission to ensure that all of your dreams and requests were met while striving to create many unforgettable memories.

Thank you for recognizing Craig and our team of culinary artists who strive diligently to provide our guests with an array of inspired menus daily.

I am delighted to see that your Mr. Friday, Atheef, and the team of Hosts have succeeded in providing you with the friendly and personalized service that Gili Lankanfushi is renowned for. I will ensure that your feedback is shared with them, which will only continue to inspire them.

On behalf of all the Hosts at Gili Lankanfushi, we look forward to having the privilege of welcoming you back again to our piece of paradise soon.

With Kind Regards,
Brad Calder
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

We had researched and researched and finally enlisted Lindsey Wallace from Linara Travel who found this GEM of a resort. From top to bottom (and we had a behind-the-scenes tour too) it was spectacular.

Perfection in: Barefoot luxury - No New No Shoes - Travel by Bike - Mr. Friday - Breakfast Buffet - Themed Dinners - Late Night Bon Fires - Snorkeling - Swimming - Laying in the Hammock - Sunrises and Sunsets... I could go on and on but
The best parts are:
- It's a small resort: if you are looking for a special spot with that special someone and want to focus on just that, this is a great place. Not too many people - only 45 villas, all over the H20 that is as blue as blue gets.
- The Mr. Friday concept is the ultimate in guest service: only one contact person from arrival to departure to ordering a bucket of Ice.
- Servers assigned for your trip are special and well paired.
- Even the cooks we encountered and the guy who fills the jetty jars of water to wash your feet with: the whole staff was phenomenal.
Favs:
- I would highly recommend Jetty three facing Palm Island - the best snorkeling and the best views.
- The Mera Spa is to die for: awesome couples embrace massage with views of coral and fish through the floor and a plunge tub for two sprinkled with flower petals.
- Yoga with Deve every morning was perfect: a Hatha style with plenty of space to ramp up or modify down: "Be There"
- Riding the bikes to and fro is a lovely way to get around and they have three wheelers for anyone challenged with balance.
- Cocktails overlooking the Ocean were well made
- Our Mr. Friday let me look behind the scenes and we saw great accommodations for the staff; well kept go rungs; nice looking cafeteria for them; incredible desalination facility; power plant was immaculate and a real village for the workers to relax.
- Enjoyed early morning runs up and down each Jetty=3.3 miles if you work it :-)
Issues:
It was hard to find ANY issue with this property. I guess we were slightly annoyed by a small family who popped up every now and again, mainly because of the woman's whiny voice :-p ... but we could easily avoid that happenstance if we wanted.
We will be back!!!

Room Tip: Room 43 on Jetty 3 facing Palm Island was our fav but they are ALL awesome
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank christopheraboettche
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 Christopher Aboettche,

Thank you so much for posting such a wonderful review and strong recommendation for Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to know that you enjoyed every minute of your stay and that our team of Hosts exceeded your expectation with their personalized service.

We all look forward to welcoming you back again on your next visit to our little paradise soon.

With Kind Regards,
Brad Calder
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

I am working in the travel industry so I have very high expectations for a place where I will be spending my honeymoon at.... and Gilli Lankanfushi exceeded my sky-high expectations by a thousand miles.

All guests are provided complimentary speedboat transfers (20mins ride from Male Airport) and on the way there we were given refreshments, cold towels and a lovely canvas bag to put our shoes in as the resort has a "No News No Shoes" policy. We felt the warmth and hospitality the moment we were greeted at the airport!

Upon arrival at the resort, all the guests were greeted by the General Manager and our Ms Friday, Momoko-san (from Japan!) drove us to our villa in a buggy. On the way to the villa she will stop at various location to introduce the resort and also familiarize us with the layout of the place. This is really useful as we instantly know where the restaurant was, where the spa was, etc.

Every villa has a dedicated butler, a Mr Friday or Ms Friday who will take care of your every needs during the stay. We did not have to check-in at the front desk like other conventional hotel, all the documents have been prepared in the villa itself.

Your butler will plan your itinerary for you according to your wishes and make all the reservations for you. We highly recommend the dolphin cruise! :)

We enjoyed the spa tremendously at Meera Spa and had 2 sessions there during our 5 days stay.

Breakfast is a sumptuous and wonderful affair! Remember to head downstairs to the Wine Cellar for the cheese, cured meats & chocolates! All the chocolate pralines are kept in the cupboards and you can eat as many as you like! (Usually they charge a couple of USD for each pralines).

I've stayed in many 5 stars properties around the world and Gili Lankanfushi is easily the top 3, if not the best property I've stayed at before. Their attention to details never cease to amaze me and they are really committed to be eco-friendly in every ways possible!

It seems that the staff are elves (like in Harry Potter) and appear at times when you don't see them to make the resort as comfortable as possible in it's natural state. That means twice a day fogging to rid the mosquitoes (we did not notice the fogging and only knew when we asked Momoko on the lack of mosquitoes as during the city tour on another island, we were heavily bitten), smooth paths for our bicycles with no leaves (they sweep and pick up all fallen leaves and twigs several times a day), cute porcupine sand sweepers at every entrance of all buildings at the resort so you can sweep your feet (cute & ticklish!) before heading in.. there are just so many to name!

Words cannot describe how wonderful the resort & the staff are.. I have not started on the gorgeous villa and the meals.. you just have to go and experience it for yourself!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Room Tip: Jetty 1 & 2 have calmer waters and more fishes swimming around. Jetty 3 has a sunset view but skip it because the waters are too strong for snorkelling.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JasmineTay
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 Jasmine Tay,

Thank you so much for being a guest of and Ambassador for Gili Lankanfushi and for recommending us to other Trip Advisor readers.

I will pass on your appreciation to the team of Hosts who looked after you so well, with special mention to your Japanese Ms. Friday Momoko and to our team of culinary artists.
I am proud to share with you that it is our passionate and dedicated Hosts who continuously strive to deliver our guests dreams that makes Gili Lankanfushi uniquely special.

On behalf of all the Hosts at Gili Lankanfushi, we all look forward to having the privilege of welcoming you back again to our piece of paradise soon.

With Kind Regards,
Brad Calder
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

Gili is a very special place, and working hard to keep it's place amongst the top spots in the Maldives. It goes without saying that the place is well looked after, facilities are great and service is close to perfect.

Choice of where to stay: when choosing a place to stay, think about the pros and cons of the detached villas surrounded by water (the "Crusoe" villas at Gili). The feeling of isolation is amazing - knowing that to get anywhere, you have to get a boat and waking up every morning surrounded on all sides by the light blue marine of the lagoon is a unique experience. Having said that, being unable just to walk to the gym or breakfast can be a little bit of a hassle after a few days. They give you a little boat to use but in rough seas you probably want the pontoon. If you are there for a longer trip, you could always consider a week in a regular villa (connected via walkways to the island) and move into a Crusoe villa for a special 2-3 days at the end.

At the Gili, things are generally well-maintained, though there are a few things showing their age: our aircon kept switching itself off after 5-10 minutes, and it took the resort staff two attempts to fix it. Similarly, the engine on the little boat they gave us kept breaking down.

Two more helpful tips: they may tell you mosquitos are not a problem (we were told they were not a problem), but I got bitten 5 times over the first breakfast. After that, I wore mosquito repellent and had no more problems. I don't think mosquitos are a big problem, but if you tend to attract them, as I do, then do be careful.

Another tip: Gili is a 'no shoes' resort. It's a great liberating feeling not wearing shoes for a week, but beware the long wooden walkways - they can get very hot during the day. I burnt the soles of my feet a little on day 2, which made walking for the next few days quite uncomfortable. I only learnt later that this is not an uncommon problem and they've had injuries in the past. I suggested they should exercise caution with guests on the longer walkways.

Finally, our two highlights - activities that are not so well advertised: they have an outdoor cinema, the 'jungle cinema'. I strongly recommend a private viewing. You can even bring your own DVDs or get one from their collection. We watched 'Life of Pi', under the stars - starting with a 4 course dinner, then reclining on the lounges. Our own private cinema, surrounded by palm trees, lit only by candles, brought a whole new element to this magical movie.

The second highlight, a private BBQ. They set up a table outdoors on the sundeck of your private villa, surround it by candles and BBQ your chosen menu to perfection, served by your dedicated waiter. Again, a unique experience - under the stars, the only sounds the water lapping around the edges of the villa.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank T1ggerTraveller
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 T1ggerTraveller

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Gili Lankanfushi with our Trip Advisor readers. I am delighted that our team of Hosts at Gili Lankanfushi managed to succeed in creating a wonderful holiday experience during your stay.

Please be advised that all wooden Jetty’s are fitted with terracotta foot baths every 15 meters to allow you to cool your feet with water. We apologize sincerely if this feature was not highlighted to you but are also pleased to hear that you embraced our “No News, No Shoes” policy with such enthusiasm.
I have noted the list of other comments that you have mentioned and we highly value the constructive feedback of our guests as we continuously strive to improve all facets of our resort experience.
I am delighted to see that your Mr. Friday, Atheef succeeded in providing you with the friendly and personalized service that Gili Lankanfushi is renowned for. I will personally ensure that your kind comments are shared with him, which will only continue to inspire him.
We at Gili Lankanfushi are very grateful to see all the wonderful comments that you shared and all our Hosts look forward to welcoming you back again to our little piece of paradise soon.

With Kind Regards,
Brad Calder
Resort Manager

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