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“The most amazing week of our lives!”
Review of Gili Lankanfushi

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Gili Lankanfushi
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lankanfushi
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The most amazing week of our lives!”
Reviewed July 7, 2014

I have been chatting to my family since we returned from Gili yesterday afternoon, and the biggest problem is that there were too many amazing experiences for us to mention about our stay! My review would be 6pages long!

We travelled to gili with our group of eight (5 family members and partners) and from the minute we got on the transfer boart, we knew the experience was going to be magical! We were given our "no news no shoes" bags to put our shoes in, and from then on we didn't put shoes back on the entire trip!

The villa and island decor was absolutely stunning, making us feel as though we were living in a real-life Robinson Crusoe story. Beautiful timber everywhere and perfect attention to detail.

Crystal clear water, amazing white sand and the best snorkelling I have ever experienced. Even just swimming off the front of our villas we saw sharkes and giant rays!

The food and drinks were faultless. We loved the food from the overwater bar and main restaurant, but the icing on the cake was the special meals we spent at the Japanese restaurant, the degustation in the wine and cheese cellar, and a exclusive destination meal set up for us on the beach!

But the one thing we all agreed was the best aspect of our trip, was the service. Our two Mr Fridays (Fiyaz and Aboo) we're fantastic, always happy to help out with anything we needed! We formed great bonds with many of the staff, especially Shofov (?spelling) Shann and Alif. They would often have our coffees and drink orders waiting for us before when we arrived at breakfast. Something small but a lovely touch :)
It was also great to meet and get to know the senior staff members Brad, Craig and John. They were always happy to chat and suggest an activity that we hadn't thought of! We were even lucky enough to spend a few hours touring the Private reserve (heaven on earth!!) on Craig's suggestion.

The most amazing 8days we have ever experienced, and a great way for us to all bond in a rare full-family holiday. Thankyou for everything, we will be back sometime in the future I am sure!

Alisha and the Millers xx

Room Tip: Jetty one was out of the wind that sometimes kicked up on the other side of the island.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Alisha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 18, 2014
Dear Alisha and family

It was lovely having you and the family over at Gili Lankanfushi a short while back and it was wonderful to read on your TA Review that you all had an amazing time. it was our pleasure to look after you all, and the guys that you specifically mentioned were very pleased to read your comments. (Next time you should book the Private Reserve and you acn enjoy the experience for longer than just a couple of hours :)

We look forward to seeing you again and wish you all a fantastic second half of the year!

Cheers

Steven
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English first
Zug, Switzerland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014

This hotel was so unique - so well worth the time of sharing our experience below.
Pros:
- Small hotel – there are ca. 45 villas only, all in the water. That frees-up the island, and although small, you can enjoy a large unattended beach and deserted trails. Outcome: you can hardly see or meet any people apart from the time of breakfast or dinner;
- The hotel is very close to Male – only ca. 30 min by speedboat from the airport. This saves the inconvenience and cost (and fear) of internal Male flight (especially after you have spent 10+ hours flying to the Maldives);
- The hotel is all natural – this was amazingly the main advantage. You can hardly find anything plastic in the hotel – all is wood, glass and natural ingredients. Villas are rustic, still luxury and convenient.
- Food is delicious – all fresh and high-quality ingredients. There are only 2 restaurants on the island, but the choice of food is amazing – we could hardly taste half of the variety during our 8-day stay. They make thematic evenings – Mediterranean, Indian, Thai, Asian etc. and all those are super tasty and with plenty of choice– it was impossible to try all. The secret was simple – they have imported the proper chef! They had Indians for the Indian food, Thai for the Thai food, a German, Italian, Canadian Chef, etc.
- You are supposed to walk bear-foot (this is the concept: ‘No news, no shoes’) and it actually works! We did not put anything on our feet for 8 days and we did not regret it for a moment!
- Great marine life around the hotel – both for snorkeling and diving. My son had great time snorkeling and enjoyed a lot of corals and fishes.
- The Marine biologists Vaidas at the diving centre was amazing – a young guy, very passionate about environment, corals and fish. We learned a lot about the marine life and corals, and he was a great company to our son (he joined us for a private diving at a distant reef). We participated in a ‘coral line’ project – where we planted a few lines of corals in the ocean (in some kind of nursery) – so next year when we come, we are eager to see the progress of our corals!
- The hotel SPA is super with an amazing ‘master in residence’ who made massages out of another planet! They also have a top-notch fitness centre.
- Hotel service was absolutely amazing – they try to anticipate your needs, are careful and in the same time not intrusive to your privacy if this is what you want.

Cons:
- Nothing really – my wife was initially worried that such a natural place will be inconvenient (e.g. wooden chairs would not be comfortable, it will all be basic and rustic etc.), but found out exactly the opposite. It is all really well built and super comfy.
- The hotel is close to some obviously good diving reefs, and therefore in 500 m proximity there were constantly several big diving boats. You can hear at night the diving boats and their air compressors working (or maybe it was just me who is very sensitive to noises at night).
- At daytime, from time to time you hear airplanes taking-off or landing, but that was OK – hotel is enough away from the airport – it was more that this distant sound reminds you about the civilization.

Room Tip: We stayed at a ‘Crusoe residence’ – very big and all in the water – there is no connection to the is...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Nikolay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 18, 2014
Dear Nikolay and family

Many thanks for the amazing TA review subsequent to you recent stay with us. It was fantastic to read how much you had enjoyed your vacation.

It was also great to read that you enjoyed the cuisine that we have on offer and you will be pleased to read that we have recently taken on a Vietnamese Commis chef in order to ensure even greater authenticity. Further to that a great French guy will also be shortly joining the Culinary team.

Vaidas was very happy to read that in particular, your son had a great time snorkelling. Since your visit we have added a second Marine Biologist, Debs, and she has already settled in with great guest feedback.

We look forward to seeing you all again on our very special Island and in the meantime assure you of the best intentions at all time.

Warmest regards

Steven
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2014

We stayed here in early July and the occupancy was quite high, but we felt like we were the only people on the island, such is the privacy you can enjoy. We had a private speedboat transfer from our previous resort which was very comfortable. At the jetty we were greeted by the Resort general Manager and our Mr Friday, Rasheed who was extremely helpful and attentive through the stay. The two bedroom villa we stayed in was unimaginably large with every facility possible. The kids enjoyed the open view Jacuzzis, the enclosed "sea pool", the bathtub overlooking the sea, the lovely day bed on the top storey. The villa also had spacious living and dining areas as well as a breezy outdoor deck for sunbathing and nooks for lounging and reading. We did not want to leave the villa, so most of our meals comprised of in villa dining which we felt had good menu options to choose from. The resort is like a slice of paradise, with exceptionally clean water, fantastic food with a lot of herbs and greens locally grown, an amazing spa on the water where my husband and myself got a complimentary foot massage while our room was getting ready. On the last day of our trip we had to leave the villa and move in to a day hut until our late checkout at 10pm that night, the hotel gave the accommodation to us complimentary. While it was quite basic compared to the villa, we appreciated the gesture. We had bikes for each of us and really loved cycling around the resort to the poolside, library and restaurant. We did not really venture out too deep into the water to snorkel as we had done our bit in the previous resort we stayed in (angsana ihuru which has an amazing house reef) but we enjoyed the dips into the sea right from the villa. The resort is very eco-conscious and we appreciated observing that in our stay with no plastic, a waste to wealth program, an organic garden, untreated wood used for the villa furniture and construction,etc. The service was also exceptional, with a pre-stay questionnaire determining our choice of bedding, toiletries and also checking sizes to ensure right sized snorkels and flippers were in the room before we arrived. This stay has raised the bar very high for us! We will definitely make a trip back.

Room Tip: Go for villas on Jetty 3 if you want deeper waters and a windy breeze and an awesome sunset view. Bu...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank aktitus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 15, 2014
Good afternoon from Gili Lankanfushi!

Many thanks indeed for a fantastic review on TA subsequent to your visit to us. It was great to see that you and your family thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

We are very proud of our work on creating a sustainable and environmentally positive environment at Gili Lankanfushi and will be moving further forward in this direction shortly. The whole team buy into these initiatives and it is producing some very good results.

It will be great to see you again on your next visit and if myself or any member of my team can help you with this, please feel free to contact us.

With the very best of regards

Steven
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2014 via mobile

We are blown away by the philosophy believe the resort's sustainable efforts and also the concept behind Mr Firday. Service and location are simply beautiful. Well curated amenities and island activities for families and honey mooners.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Leon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Leon.

Thanks for much for your TA review subsequent to your stay with us. It was fantastic to read that you enjoyed your time at Gili Lankanfushi and in particular your appreciation of our continuous efforts in the area of sustainability. This is something close to the hearts of the whole team and watch this space for some new initiatives that we are about to launch.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Cheers

Steven
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014

My family and I stayed here for 5 glorious days last week. Simply put, it was the trip of a lifetime - the best beach holiday we have ever had. Maldives is already stunning in its natural beauty and any trip there, at any resort, would certainly be good. The clear water and coral reefs, the white powder-sand beaches, the wonderful sea breeze - all these earn Maldives a place on anyone's bucket list of places to visit in one's lifetime.

However, Gili Lankanfushi makes a memorable trip truly outstanding. Enough has been said on Trip Advisor about how great the villas are in their rustic luxury and I can't really add anything extra. These have to be lived in to be believed as they certainly are indeed, that good.

But what makes Gili Lankanfushi is its people and the impeccable service they provide. And it is very obvious that they do indeed enjoy being of service to her guests. This in itself makes each guest feel at ease and welcome. General manager Stephen obviously sets the tone with his breezy yet warm and welcoming demeanour. Our Ms Friday, Olga must be commended for her patience and kindness. The little things which she did to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable, were big things for us and I'm sure for most guests. The restaurant staff who were amazingly in attendance throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner, and who knew us well from our second visit onwards, were fabulous. Of particular note were Bonde - who impressed us with his friendliness and obvious love for his job and meeting and interacting with his guests - and Rohan the sommelier, with his knowledge and ability to remember what I had drunk the previous night.. Deb, who gave up her day off just to come snorkelling with us and look after us on a memorable private snorkelling trip and Nape ( apologies if I've got the name and spelling wrong ) who was our snorkelling guide and who kindly took our camera and repeatedly dived down to ensure we got fantastic photographs of the reef, must also be thanked and mentioned. And lastly, a big shout-out to Shahid, our housekeeper, who did a great job looking after our 2 villas - not easy when considering the mess we would leave behind each day.

Mention must be made of the superlative food we enjoyed each day. At a single resort island, one certainly has to worry that if the food were not up to standard, the entire experience may be compromised, especially since there are no dining alternatives. I am glad to say that we were not disappointed. Each meal was thoroughly enjoyed. The wine cellar with its selection of cheeses, gourmet chocolates and cured meats to complement the already impressive breakfast array each day was exquisitely unique. Some of the chocolate flavours were out of this world. Dinners were impressive - whether these were buffets or set menus - each dish was painstakingly prepared. Presentation and layout for each buffet were excellent. The desserts were to-die-for.

Congratulations to Gili Lankanfushi - a terrific team has been assembled to make the experience wonderful for its guests. It's a stand-out resort in a breath-taking country with numerous other luxury resorts. Well-deserving of its rating on Trip Advisor.

Room Tip: We stayed on Jetty 1 - shallow waters with coral and wonderful marine life to be seen - including sh...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Peter G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Peter
Thanks so much for the wonderful TA review completed after you and the families stay with us at Gili Lankanfushi. It was a pleasure to read and one that the team here had great pride to absorb.

Our team of hosts here really are the main reason for our success and although our facilities are superlative, they are most certainly enhanced by the fantastic attitude and skill levels of those who provide the personalised service.

Olga, Bonde, Rohan, Debs and Shahid were so pleased to see their names posted on our Host notice board along side your review and a personal thanks from me also.

The cuisine we offer here is of particular pride to us all and it was great to read that you enjoyed the Wine/Cheese and Chocolate Cellars. Many a few kgs/lbs has been put on here and I expect a few persons have had to work this off at the gym once they return home.

Peter, we very much hope that you and the family will come back to visit us again soon and in the meantime we assure you all of our very best of intentions at all times.

Best of regards

Steven
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Memphis, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2014

We actually stayed at Gili Lankanfushi in March 2013. We stayed in Crusoe Residence #2. Some reviewers said it could be noisy due to its' proximity to the boat landing, but the only thing we heard was the soothing sound of the water. If you can afford it, book one of the Crusoe residences. You won't regret it!

The resort was 3/4 when we were there, but we felt like we were the only ones on the island most of the time. The only time we saw more than 3 or 4 couples at a time was at breakfast and dinner. Speaking of food, everything was delicious!

All in all, it was a week that we will remember forever!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Allison A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Allison

It was great to read your TA review of Gili Lankanfushi and many thanks for giving one of such a positive nature.

We are so pleased that you enjoyed the tranquility of our Island and as I often say, you can either do absolutely nothing except enjoy the peace or if so inclined have an action packed experience, enjoying the Water Sports and Diving.

Thanks once again and we hope to see you here again in the future.

Warmest regards

Steven
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Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2014

We had a week at Gili Lankanfushi and my wife and I agree that this is the best resort experience that we have ever had. This is of course relative but we have stayed at resorts in Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Seychelles, Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philipinnes. We agree with all the superlatives provided by other contributors but are surprised to read that some believe that the service is not up to other top resorts. On the contrary, we consider that the service was truly outstanding examples being coffee and tea being brought to our breakfast table before we had reached the table by our excellent waiter Hashid who had seen us walking along the beach. This is also the only resort where fresh towels are provided in situ at remote deck chairs plus discrete ice boxes containing still and sparkling water aplenty. The over the water villas are outstanding with visits from herons, sharks, rays and pelagic fish to interest you plus as much privacy as is reasonable without being remote. The bathing areas are huge with a sea view bathtub and the roof is perfect for lazy days. The quality of the food is exquisite and every dinner is an experience from Indian, Asian and Mediterranean buffets to sumptuous set dinners. Our man Friday Rashid was extremely helpful and pleasant and the Diving Operation by Ocean Paradise very professional, very courteous and above all very careful. Lena was possibly the best diving guide/instructor ever and the service on the dive boat unbeatable. There was a fresh towel, water and oranges provided within seconds of equipment coming off. The Marine Biologists Vaidas and Deborah are hugely enthusiastic about the Coral Lines Project which is designed to regenerate the coral reefs damaged by El Nino and La Nina but I would stress that the snorkelling around the resort is still excellent and caters for all levels. There is a wife range of butterfly fish, powder blue tangs, triggers but we also saw angels including a rare juvenile angel fish, different varieties of box fish and many species of parrot and wrasse. There was the occasional white tip shark and eagle ray at the drop off near One Palm Island and juvenile black tip sharks in very shallow water.
I suspect that it will be a very long time before any other resort comes close to Gili Lankanfushi and congratulations must go to Stephen, Craig and all the very friendly and helpful staff.

Room Tip: Rooms at jetty 3 for experienced snorkelers who can snorkel to the drop off or be picked up by ponto...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank mikeyHongKong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Mikey

Many thanks indeed for taking the time to complete a TA review subsequent to your stay with us! It was fantastic to see that you had a great time and also enjoyed practically all the services that we have on offer at Gili Lankanfushi.

Hashin, Craig, Vaidas and Debs have asked me to pass on their personal thanks for picking them out as performing particularly well and the team at Ocean Paradise also say hi to you.

It was great to read that you acknowledged out ability to anticipate your requirements even before they were expressed. This is a key part of our objective here and although we do train the team, it is their attitude that really does ensure that this happens.

Thanks once again and we very much hope that you will visit us again. If we can be of any further help, please do just let us know.

Best of regards

Steven
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gili Lankanfushi

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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