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“It was a 100 in every way!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lankanfushi
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“It was a 100 in every way!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

Once back, you remember all the little things you took for granted while there, the glass bottom room, the high tide that brigs the small black tip sharks, the low tide that bring the rays, the power juice of the day, the small boat in the pool, the sunrise, the quiet in the night, the jungle walk, and on and on. The experience continues in our minds, and replays beautifully. We stayed at villa 15, and out of hundreds of cities we've been to, Gili was a highlight. Thank you to the entire Gili family and our very special Mr. Friday - Rasheed. Thank you also also for that island hour (one hour ahead of Male) gained at the end and the very smooth and ride back on the private boat!

Room Tip: Biked and swam around the three jetties, and we preferred casual snorkling by jetty 1 (near rooms 15...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DreamCloud27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Dear DreamCloud27,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience on our magical island with the other Trip Advisor readers. It is a delight to receive such wonderful feedback highlighting the special aspects of your stay, these indeed are the little things that makes for a unique experience at Gili Lankanfushi.
It is also a pleasure to share all your wonderful comments with our team of Hosts and I will especially share your appreciation with Mr. Friday Rasheed, who will be most grateful for your feedback.
Thank you once again and on behalf of the Gili Team, we look forward to having the privilege of welcoming you back to our little island soon.

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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1,711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (400)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

The Gili Lankanfushi was truly the perfect place to spend our honeymoon. Our expectations were very high, given the cost and the fact that we were travelling all the way from Canada. We were looking for the trip of a lifetime and the Gili Lankanfushi not only met our expectations, it exceeded them in every possible way. We have travelled all over the world but this is as close to paradise as we have ever found!

Our villa was perfect -- very spacious, comfortable and private -- and had everything we could possibly need. We especially enjoyed our back deck over the ocean with multiple seating options and watching the stars at night from the bed on our rooftop patio.

The resort itself was wonderful -- the beach is magnificent, the hammocks (especially the one over the ocean) perfectly appointed and everything is superbly maintained. The spa was exceptional, both in terms of its physical beauty and the caliber of the treatments (we had a couples massage and I had a facial).

We loved every excursion/activity we did -- the dolphin cruise, sunset sail (a particular highlight), cooking lesson (we learned to make lamb curry), shoreline dinner, windsurfing lessons, snorkeling and kayaking.

The food was really incredible, always delicious and beautifully presented. The “buffet” evenings -- Indian tandoori, Asian street market and Mediterranean -- were particularly memorable and very well done.

The special touches abounded -- homemade sorbet in the afternoons by the pool, 5 star service at every turn, free champagne seemingly at every turn and our bed adorned in flower petals.

Finally, special thanks to Executive Chef John Bakker and his culinary partner in crime Craig Gemmell who seemed to make it their personal mission to ensure we experienced honeymoon perfection. They added to our experience in countless ways, including arranging for us to enjoy a private sunset on a floating platform (complete with candles, snacks and a bottle of wine) and, upon learning of the special role Portuguese custard tarts played in our courtship, sending a tray of them to our table.

We could not have been more thrilled about our experience at Gili Lankanfushi and would not hesitate to recommend it!

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank j t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear j t,

Thank you for choosing Gili Lankanfushi, winner of the “Most Romantic Resort In The Maldives”, for your honeymoon.
It was truly our pleasure to make every moment of your honeymoon a memory that you will always treasure.
We are so pleased to hear that the efforts of our Hosts exceeded your every expectation. They will be most appreciative of your kind words and we sincerely thank you for sharing this with our TripAdvisor readers.
I will personally pass on your appreciation to the Meera Spa team, Executive Chef John Bakker, and our Food and Beverage Manager, Craig.
We do hope you will visit us again for your first wedding anniversary.

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.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014

We selected Gili unsure about the over water accommodation format. In fact the crusoe villas are dream like and impeccable in every respect, we absolutely loved our Gili vacation. Food was consistently world class, service excellent at all times, including Mustafa, our sophisticated mr Friday. The hands on management team have created a genuinely impressive combination of (1) luxury that blends into the environment, (2) plentiful activities in both a private and a more social setting, and (3) ecological awareness.

Nature is amazing both on land - the small island is very beautiful, and the sea around it including the lagoon and reef which offer a most amazing experience. We highly recommend Gili!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank T P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 5, 2014
Dear Theo

Thank you very much for writing such a wonderful recommendation for our Resort, Gili Lankanfushi.
We are so delighted that you enjoyed our blend of luxury, nature and world class cuisine.
Thank you for recognizing the efforts of our Culinary team and I will personally pass on your kind comments to your Mr. Friday Musthafa, a man of many languages and talents.
On behalf of all the Hosts at Gili Lankanfushi we all look forward to having the privilege of welcoming you both back once again.

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.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

We stayed for 5 nights at Gili. Originally we read different reviews that there are lots of add on cost staying at resort at Maldives eg drinks excluded, meal supplemental cost. We have therefore asked for the full board package.

We arrived late night at airport and the boat came to pick us up. We liked the idea of "Gili local time", "no shoes no news", which made everything special. We had welcome drinks on the boat, then in our villa, Maldivian night and dolphin cruise for our honey moon ... All of these were served with lots of champagnes for free :)

Although there are less than 50 villas here, and the island was not huge, we felt that we had a good space (you won't even see your neighbour that close) and only bump into other couples 1-2 times during the 5 days not everyday! I guess this helped a lot with the free in-villa dining every day!


The food was great (restaurant with different food themes every day, lobster salad, Indian meal, Asian meal), the service was great, our Ms Friday (Mehye) was great! Most of the days was filled with sunshine and we rested during the day or snookled.

One thing, however was that given the size of the villa we would have thought the management would try to greet every guest in the Maldivian night instead of just sticking around with guest of 1 or 2 villas. But this didn't spoiled our mood.


We would highly recommend this place if you don't want to go to the big chain with full of tourist. We really like the idea of a yacht big and spacious enough for a small group watching a lot of people cramming on the other boat! Well done for your service!!

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank JetsetterFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 5, 2014
Dear FloraC,

Thank you for taking the time to share your Gili Lankanfushi experience.
We are delighted that you embraced our “No News, No News” policy unique to Gili Lankanfushi and that our extra hour of sunshine provided each day made for a truly special holiday.
It is true that our island paradise makes for a secluded stay with lots of unique areas for our guests to enjoy their privacy.
Thank you for recognizing the exceptional value of our half board package, we are so pleased to hear of the variety of cuisine that you enjoyed and I will certainly pass on your appreciative comments to our team of culinary artists.
Please accept our sincere apologies if our Management team were not able to get to meet you on the Maldivian night, we certainly strive to meet with our guests on a daily basis to ensure all their expectations are being exceeded.
I will personally pass on your kind comments to your Ms. Friday, Mehye who will be most pleased that her efforts during your stay were recognized.
We look forward to welcoming you once again.

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.
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014

Had a three night stay back in November with my wife. It's my second visit to Gili, with the first many years ago. The good news is that the resort is still absolutely stunning, with the villas and land-based facilities providing the perfect complement to the natural beauty of the island. Food was exquisite, particularly the Japanese fusion (we have exacting standards having lived in Japan for many years) where the staff were fabulous to us. The only two slight disappointments were the waters around the island and some of the service. The waters seemed to have quite a lot of waste (plastic bags, empty bottles etc) when we were out snorkelling. It's not something that the hotel can easily control but it does take a little bit of the shine off the experience. The service is though something that could do with some fine-tuning. We had a couple of issues with breakfast, including having to wait 45 minutes for a cappuccino one morning. We were told, after the second gentle reminder, that it was because they were busy which was true when it arrived but not when we had originally placed the order! We were also a little disappointed to find that on our second day, having spent the morning at the spa, the guys decided to clean the villa and perform some maintenance after our return. Given our spa treatments were booked in advance, I would have expected a top-class resort to work around the guest's itinerary a little more thoughtfully. I won't suggest that these were any more than minor niggles, and the stay was lovely, but it just might be worth the resort taking a look at how to get service back to the highest levels.

Room Tip: They're all good
See more room tips
Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank brightonian74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear Brightonian74,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review and for sharing the many positive highlights such as the beauty of our island, the appreciation of the villa, and the amazing food. We are particularly pleased to hear that our Japanese cuisine met with the standards that you have come to expect after living in Japan. I will share your comments with our Japanese restaurant chefs and of course the hosts who served you. They will be most appreciative that their efforts were recognised.

We were surprised to hear that you encountered floating debris in the waters whilst snorkeling. We happen to share a lagoon with one of the local Islands and in September 2013 we funded a year-long Environmental Education program for the island community, aimed at educating the locals about the importance of proper waste management, reducing, reusing and recycling. Moreover we also donated a modern incinerator so it is very rare that we encounter floating debris in our waters.

Thank you for bringing to our attention that your villa was not attended to during your departure to our Meera Spa. This is certainly not reflective of our normal high standards and rest assured I will be following this up with those concerned to ensure there is not a repeat of such an instance for our future guests.

I am confident in our team's ability to improve upon your concerns raised and to exceed your expectations upon your return visit.
It is our sincere hope that you will yet again return to our beautiful island, Gili Lankanfushi in the near future.

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.
R., Russia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2013

I have spend one week in paradise!!!! Best holidays of my life!!! Service, food, beach, villas...exellent!!!!! i hope to comed back one day. Thanks a lot for hotel team who did so much for guest happinest!!!!!))))))) Big greetings to Mustafa)))))

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NRow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, December 29, 2013
Dear NRow,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful experience at Gili Lankanfushi.

I am delighted that our team of Hosts exceeded your expectations and created the “best holiday of your life”.

I will pass on your kind comments to our team of Hosts and will personally congratulate your Mr. Friday, Musthafa for his efforts.

We all look forward to welcoming you back to our island paradise, and assure you that we are ready to create many more unforgettable memories just for you.

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.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2013

This place checked off almost all the boxes:

Food- Incredible cuisine and if you fancy something that is not on the menu they will figure out how to make it [ Try the English Chicken Pie]. By the Sea Japanese restaurant was good but not great. Overpriced and the main restaurant had plenty of choice. Try the Job Fish.

Location: 20 minute speedboat to and from the Male airport cuts down travel time and hassle after a long flight. Much better then waiting around for a sea plane.

Accommodations: The standard individual units were enormous [2 levels with plenty of space to lounge about in the sun and shade] Would recommend room 42 on the same side as 1 palm island. Better swimming off of the back deck and sunset views. Moved rooms after a few days and wish we had stayed in the original unit. Felt like our own villa in paradise with sea life on our doorstep

Service: Very good. People were genuinely nice. Have been to the Caribbean and Asia amongst other beach destinations where it has a far more contrived feeling. Felt like a guest versus a commodity.

Value for money: This place is not for the financially faint of heart. Best way to prevent unnecessary stress is to go with the half board option. Understandably food will be expensive because of logistics and Maldives excise tax on alcohol. Room service was reasonable so lunch in the villa was a great option to break up snorkeling, reading and laying about. With that said, it did feel like they could have tempered the cost of activities. example- we were offered an individual showing of Life of Pi for $150 excluding popcorn, in the jungle cinema when the original complementary show was overbooked. I would recommend booking the movie night in advance. But then again it's a 5 plus star place so not a deal breaker.

General atmosphere: Laid back and diverse international clientele: Was concerned that given location, the Maldives Brand name, plus 5 star rating would attract the "bling" crowd. Not the case at all. Allot of Honeymooners but also a mix of families and couples. Weather was also amazing in late early Dec. Bring factor 30!

Spa: Amazing. Massages were truly amazing and added benefit was looking through glass flooring at the fish below as you receive your massage. Gym was ok. Like free weights/resistance training so felt they could have added a few things including heavier weights but for light workouts its acceptable.

Top tips: Have your Mr. Friday take you around the island and snap photos of the you and family/partner or better yet have them organize a professional photographer from Male. It was our honeymoon so nice to get something besides a few selfies or pictures of the two of us at dinner.
Also, would highly recommend the sunset dolphin cruise. Saw dozens of dolphins while sipping Champagne.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ErichG4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brad_J_Calder, Resort Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, December 27, 2013
Dear ErichG4,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review of your experience at Gili Lankanfushi for the benefit of Trip Advisor readers.

I am delighted that our team of Hosts succeed in creating a genuine service experience. I will pass on your appreciation to the team of Hosts who looked after you so well, with a personal mention to our team of Culinary Artists and Spa Therapists.

We are so pleased to hear that you embraced so many of experiences that our island has to offer, particularly enjoying the view of dolphins whilst sipping champagne.
From all the Hosts at Gili Lankanfushi we look forward to welcoming you back again to our little piece of paradise soon.

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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Additional Information about Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Property: Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gili Lankanfushi Maldives 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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