My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon in Gili. I invested a huge amount of time and effort researching the right hotel in the Maldives for us to stay in as there really are so many to choose from. I can honestly say that my effort was not in vain. We have both traveled to five star hotels all over the world and this is one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in and by far the best hotel in the beach/relaxation category that we have ever been to. We stayed in Huvafen Fushi for 5 nights and Gili for 7 nights and Gili is by far the better hotel. This place truly is magical. This is the first time I have written a review on Trip Advisor, which should convey to you how much this hotel had an impact on us.
Room – We stayed in Residence 17 on Jetty 2. The rooms are stunning in every way. The hotel has managed to achieve the perfect balance of sophistication and Maldivian authenticity. There was an abundance of space and the most incredible panoramic views. I highly recommend staying in a Residence or a Crusoe Villa. The water was pretty shallow by our villa so I recommend requesting jetty 3 whether you are in a Villa or Residence. Our Villa contained every amenity and more that you could possibly want and there are many surprises to discover. Wherever you are staying you will not be disappointed.
Food – After the accommodation, the food is the most important part of the holiday. From day one, John Bakker, The Executive Chef, superseded our expectations in every way. The food is a non-stop, glorious celebration of global cuisine using only the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the world. John, who is extremely personable and exudes charisma, has previously worked at the Ritz in London, as well as being a senior tutor at Cordon Bleu. What this man does not know about food you can fit on a postage stamp. John manages to inspire his army of chefs to produce a non-stop lip-licking repertoire of dishes and if it is not on the menu, he will go out of his way to make it for you. John is truly the Willy Wonka of the culinary world, laying on the most mesmerising buffets and meals. What other hotel in the world has a direct call button to the head chef on the room phone? This man’s passion and love of food is reflected in everything that he touches. Don't forget to get a tour of the organic garden and sample his ice cream sundae that will evoke all the best edible memories of your childhood.
My wife and I had six massages in the Mera Spa and enjoyed every minute of them. It is so much fun looking through the window in the floor at the reef below during the treatments.
The hotel offers a large range of activities that gives you the option to be constantly occupied or just relax in the number of hammocks dotted around the island. A special mention needs to go to the complementary yoga and tennis court (all equipment provided), the gym, the jungle cinema, the dolphin cruise and the biggest DVD collection I have ever seen.
Waheed, our Mr Friday (butler) was always on hand to ensure that everything was organised and that we never had any problems. He arranged all of our activities and ensured that everything went smoothly. Craig, who is head of food and beverage, deserves a huge amount of credit for being outstanding front of house. One can see that he invests a huge amount of time and effort into interacting with the guests and constantly strives to improve the hotel, while remaining extremely approachable, laid back and friendly. This does not go unnoticed.
It is extremely hard to convey in words how special this place is. You will read many reviews on Trip Advisor all singing the praises of various hotel establishments in the Maldives. All I can say is, trust me, you won’t be disappointed. You will look back on your experience at Gili and you will realise that you had a very special and unforgettable experience.
- 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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