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Lisa Eve
United States
Heaven is a place on Earth...
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed May 11, 2016
And it exists at Gili Lankanfushi!

The pictures are NOT filtered! This place is real!

From the moment I was on the arrival jetty, I could not believe my eyes and I was speechless. The sand was so white and the sea so blue, my desktop beach images were being realized. Dreams do come true!

I jumped in the buggy with my Mr. Friday, Mamdhooh. He toured me around the island and everywhere we went, I got out and took pictures. I was in awe. I was so grateful.

To the Villa we went and even though Villa 27 on Jetty 2 was gorgeous, I wanted a little more privacy. So, the second night I moved to Villa 43 on Jetty 3.
The Villa was rustic, yet comfortable. Spacious, yet cozy. The sea was beckoning in the morning and night. And all you had to do was walk down the stairs from your lanai and you were having a swim. Put on your snorkel gear and the fish were happy to greet you, without needing to go very far.

No news, no shoes - my most favorite part! Walking barefoot on the island was so nurturing. But you do need to bring slippers/flip-flops for walking on the jetties. During the day, it gets VERY hot and you don't want to burn your footsies!

Bicycles are also provided at your Villa, so have a ride around the island! It's a beautiful way to see it!

The food was outstanding. Plentiful options and very fresh. You will never go hungry there. And if you're a dessert person, you're in for a treat! Many yummy treats!!! :)
I highly recommend taking advantage of the different dining options available. They also have theme nights with different food stations, and your wish is their command. The food is made to order within minutes of your request. It's not your average buffet. This is luxury taken to another level.

I had the fortunate gift to experience the Jungle Cinema with wonderful ladies staying at the resort and it was a delightful experience indeed! Watching a movie on a big screen, sitting in a comfortable lounger with the stars shining above, was priceless.

I did a Snorkel Tour with Marine Biologist Josie and had the best snorkeling experience of my life. I've been snorkeling many times, but have always had issues with my mask and it was never fun. With Josie, I learned how a mask is supposed to be worn and I felt totally at ease with her guiding me. I was so inspired by my great experience, I decided to learn to Scuba Dive! Yuri was my instructor and she was patient and I felt very safe with her!

Speaking of great people, the staff was amazing! Mamdhooh, my Mr. Friday, was there when I needed him and not overly obtrusive. I've stayed in other resorts where Butler service was overwhelming and my privacy was not respected. Not at Gili. There's just the right amount of "tending to" and whatever I needed, was fulfilled. If I wanted to be left alone, I was left alone. If I wanted to make a spa appointment, it was handled immediately. Confirmations were made within minutes.

So many people to recognize for their outstanding hospitality - Mamdhooh, Bahau, Michael, Andre, Assad, Shifaz, Ismail and Eka in the Spa!

Speaking of the Spa - GO! When you are face down on your massage table, you will be looking at the fishies. It is so peaceful there and you will be well taken care of! Eka is a gem!

Also, fancy a picnic on a private sandbank? High tide, no sandbank. Low tide - break out the champagne and enjoy your private island. This was the most random thing I indulged in, and why not? I was in the middle of the Indian Ocean with sea birds and crabs enjoying a most pristine view under an umbrella with the waves lapping on the small shore.

Okay, now a few things to note to help you make your stay most enjoyable:
1. It is unbelievably hot there. I was there in the beginning of May and was surprised how hot it was, and I'm familiar with high humidity. Wear lightweight clothes.
I noticed there was a nice light breeze on Jetty 3 at night, and I imagine Villas 35-37 might enjoy this on their lanais.
2. The Villas are not that private if someone is swimming in the water. You could be sitting on your lanai, or walking from the bathroom to the bedroom and if someone is in the sea, you may see them, and they may see you. Wear the robes provided if you're unsure. Or, stay in the Private Reserve! :)
3. There is adequate A/C in the bedroom. If you like to sleep cold, have no worries.
4. Mosquitoes. I checked many reviews for information about mosquitoes as they love me no matter where I go. And if they love you too, just ask for the Mosquito Repellant they can provide for you in the Villa. I did get bitten. It is the tropics, the humidity is quite high, I saw them with my eyes and I felt them on my legs. There are also sand flies I believe that leave little red bites - don't scratch them!
There's a great product I use called "Ssssting Stop" that I bring with me when I travel to the tropics. It will stop the sting/itch immediately.
5. This is truly a very relaxed resort. Dress as you want. You can show up to dinner in shorts and a t-shirt, no problem. You can do as much or as little as you want.

Overall, I LOVED being at Gili and was sad to leave. It was the most relaxed I've been in years. Even though it is on the other side of the world, I would not hesitate to go back. The journey is worth it!
Date of stay: May 2016
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    Reviews (4,529)
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    2,470 - 2,475 of 4,531 reviews
    Reviewed May 11, 2016

    There is so much to say about Gili that it’s hard to know where to start!

    Firstly, believe the reviews – this place is absolute heaven on earth. From the warm welcome on the jetty by the GM Steven, to the fantastic service by Shifzan, our Mr. Friday who felt like a friend by the end of our stay. The overwater villas are true luxury and every need or want is catered for, they manage to deliver this is a ‘rustic’ manner which makes your Maldives experience all the more real. The surroundings are breathtaking; we snorkeled with rays, turtles, reef sharks and many more just off our own terrace, incredible!

    The food alone makes Gili worth the visit, Chef John does a fantastic job and we can’t recommend the Teppanyaki experience with Chef Michael enough. A must do for all guests is the Meera Spa…total bliss, I’m not sure I’ll ever see a Spa menu quite like it – I just wish I had longer on the island to try more!

    In short, it’s easy to see why Gili was voted the No.1 hotel in the world - the staff, the service, the surroundings…all unparalleled!

    Date of stay: May 2016
    • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    3  Thank Nicola F
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2016

    Dear NicolaF

    Thank you for taking the time to share your recent Gili Lankanfushi experience with the Trip Advisor community.

    It’s great to read that you enjoyed our brand of rustic luxury and amazing sense of space from our large villas to our spacious island and open lagoon.

    Thank you for also appreciating all the hard work by your Mr Friday and our culinary and Meera Spa teams.

    We all look forward to welcoming you to our “heaven on earth” sometime soon.

    Warm 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 May 9, 2016

    Our weekend stay at Gili Lankanfushi left us completely relaxed and unprepared to return to reality. Our "Mr. Friday", Gasim, as well as the rest of the staff,made sure that every tiny need and want were met. The island is quiet and calming, the grounds are stunning and the water is to die for. Chef John has created the French Laundry of the Maldives. I have many food allergies and have not been able to eat freely feeling safe to do so in a very long time. Chef John made that happen, a highlight of my stay. Cannot recommend Gili enough! We will definitely be returning!

    Date of stay: May 2016
    • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
      • Location
      • Service
    2  Thank Missy E
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2016

    Dear MissyE

    Thank you for your very complimentary Trip Advisor review.

    It’s very satisfying to read how much you enjoyed your stay at Gili Lankanfushi. Thank you also for recognising the attentive service provided by our resort hosts and your Mr Friday who we like to think begins your holiday as your butler and leaves as your friend.

    At Gili Lankanfushi we are passionate about food, from our local fisherman who delivers our daily catch prepared fresh to your table, to our organic garden growing an array of herbs, leaf and baby vegetables, to the extraordinary talent and diverse ethnicities of our culinary team all headed up by our Executive Chef John Bakker. It was great know you appreciated the behind the scenes tour to see how the master pieces arrive to the plate.

    One of the hardest part of our job is saying goodbye to our guests but we do look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you once again to Gili Lankanfushi and I know Gasim has many more adventures to share with you.

    Warm 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 May 9, 2016

    Dear Gili Lankanfushi staff and specially to Mr. Aboo, John and his team, Michael in the Teppanyaki...We do miss our stay. It was lovely letting the day pass with no pressure whatsoever. Loved the sea, your eco-friendly mentality, your food, the sand...absolutely nothing can be criticised. Thanks for your care and concern with our family. And hopefully see you in the near future!!!

    Date of stay: March 2016
    Trip type: Traveled with family
    Review collected in partnership with this hotel
    2  Thank Pumbita25
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2016

    Dear Pumbita25

    Thank you for your Trip Advisor review from your recent family holiday.

    It’s great to read that you appreciated our eco-friendly mentality as we are strong believers in sustainable luxury.

    John, Aboo and Michael thank you for recognising their efforts to make your stay special and they both eagerly await the day when you will return to Gili Lankanfushi to visit them.

    Warm 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 May 4, 2016

    We had the opportunity to take part at an event organized by the Gili Lankanfushi a few weeks ago.
    As invited chef for a special gastronomic evening in their restaurant, we had the pleasure to collaborate with a highly skilled team. We can only praise their professionalism, the mostly efficient organization and the excellent service to all guests.
    When it comes to our stay and the location, we only stay speechless : the warm welcome, the astonishing landscape, the remarkable accommodation… Really everybody should be lucky enough to stay here one in his life !

    Date of stay: April 2016
    Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    4  Thank Laurence R
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    steven p, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2016

    Dear both
    Many thanks indeed for your amazing Trip Advisor review and the whole team here will be delighted to read your comments.
    It was as much our privilege for us to have you both with us and I know the Culinary team thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    The Michelin style dinner was warmly applauded by those guests attending and we all hope that we can do this again.
    With the very best of regards
    Steven

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
    Reviewed May 3, 2016

    We were welcomed as part of their family. Everyone in the island was so friendly especially our Miss Friday Nicky.
    Stayed over in Crusoe residence and it was a mind blowing stay. Overall our stay was so serene. The staffs are over friendly. It must be either in your bucket list or 1000 place to visit before you die.

    Date of stay: April 2016
    Trip type: Traveled with family
    Review collected in partnership with this hotel
    3  Thank navaneep
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    steven p, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2016

    Good evening from all of us at Gili Lankanfushi and thank so much for your great review.
    We are all delighted at how much you enjoyed your stay and Nikki has asked me to pass on her thanks for mentioning her.

    Our Crusoe Residences are certainly unique and it was lovely to see that you enjoyed the experience there.

    We all hope to see you again at Gili Lankanfushi and many thanks once again for your very kind comments.

    Cheers

    Steven

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