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“Trip of a Lifetime!”

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lankanfushi
Memphis, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Trip of a Lifetime!”
Reviewed 1 July 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, travelled 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 Maldives, responded to this review, 9 July 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
162 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 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, travelled as a couple
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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 Maldives, responded to this review, 9 July 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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atlanta, ga
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

So…this is a review for younger couples from the USA on their honeymoon. If you are reading this review, you’re considering traveling to the Maldives and Gili. If you have the time and can swing the cost, book it. You will not regret it. Gili Lankanfushi is absolutely amazing. My wife and I just returned from a week-long stay (June 19th to 25th) and could not be happier with the decision to hit the beach here.

I’ll address a few concerns we had and then tell our story.

Weather:
June is the rainy season. We had read a few horror stories about non-stop rain for days at a time in the Maldives during June, July and August. During the first six days it rained for a total of three minutes while we were there. The last night it sprinkled for about two hours. I’d book again in the summer months without question. There were, however, some clouds in the sky or on the horizon at nearly all times. We had tons and tons of sunshine, but were not able to see a perfect sunset. Didn’t bother us, and the sunsets were spectacular anyway. Also, there was constant wind, due to the season I was told. This made the air feel amazingly pleasant, but did make the water a bit choppy versus glassy. I would take wind over sweat for sure.

Cost:
I’ve stayed at a fair share of first class hotels and resorts when my parents foot the bill, but honestly had never paid more than about $300 or $400 for a hotel before. We had a honeymoon package and paid $6,400 for six nights at Gili, which included breakfast and dinner, a spa treatment, a dolphin cruise and speedboat transfers. 100% worth every penny. Expect to pay around $10 for a beer, $12 for a cocktail, $6 for a juice or soda and $20-$30 for burgers/sandwiches/curries at lunch. One cool thing is that Gili only charges a nominal $10 fee for in-villa dining. Amazing. Plus this helps them keep the kitchen from ever backing up at the restaurants. Genius.

Activities:
I figured I might go insane spending the week sunbathing. Not so. The villas are wonderful to chill at and even come with a fully-load iPod and nice sound system. The pool/beach area is top notch. And thankfully, there is no shortage of watersports, and most are complementary. From your villa you can swim and snorkel (we saw about 15 different types of fish, plus crabs, octopus, rays and reef sharks), you can take out paddle boards and windsurf (the have plenty of boards and sails) from the dive center. You can also ask the staff to take you out scuba diving, sailing, or surfing. As to the surfing, Moha, in the dive center, was kind enough to drive a boat out to the local break our second day to check it out for us. The swell was nice, but he said there were about 40 other tourists surfing there, so we opted to stick to the waters around Gili. Per scuba, we heard from other guests that they actually saw more wildlife snorkeling than diving, which makes Gili a great spot for those not scuba certified. Tennis and the spa are around for the land-dwellers.

Why Maldives and Gili?
Like many grooms, I was assigned honeymoon duty. My wife wanted to go to a beach, but ruled out the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Hawaii as destinations to common. So, I went down the exotic path looking into French Polynesia, the Seychelles and the Maldives. We choose the Maldives pretty quickly. We didn’t hear great things about the beaches in Bora Bora, nor did we want to stay at a large luxury resort, and we like the choices for resorts more in Maldives versus Seychelles. Plus, the opportunity for stop-overs in Europe or Turkey was quite appealing. We spent a week in Paris and Burgundy on our way over to the Maldives from the USA.

Once we told our travel agent we chose the Maldives, she suggested only one spot: Gili Lankanfushi. After speaking to a few previous guests and checking out the ridiculous TripAdvisor reviews, we were sold. The only other resort I’d considered was Four Seasons Kuda Hurra due to the surfing school. I haven’t been to the Four Seasons nor any other resorts in the Maldives, but I would be pretty shocked to find a better honeymoon destination.

What makes Gili so great? The service and the quality of the staff taking care of you.

The villas are pretty sick and ridiculously spacious. The island, beaches and reef are stunning, but I bet that’s the case at most of the high-end resorts. The food is as good as the reviews say it is, perhaps even better. The intimacy and privacy of a 45-villa resort is just what you would want for a honeymoon. However, the service has to be the distinguishing trait. The list of celebrities we heard about as previous guests at Gili was crazy, and the staff does an amazing job of making you feel the same as Cristiano Ronaldo even if you’re Mr. Nobody.

At Gili, there are around 280 staff on the island for less than 50 rooms. I don’t know the hotel business, but that’s a ratio I like as a guest. Also, the island is only a quick boat ride from Male, which does cause some light pollution and reduces the Robinson Crusoe remoteness feel. However, the proximity to Male enables Gili to recruit and hire the best staff. Plus, the management team does an unbelievable job training those who serve you. Our Mr. Friday was Rasheed, and Sam and Alif were our waiters, although everyone from the general manager to the chef to the doctor to the dude sweeping the beach made our stay unforgettable.

I’ve rambled on long enough, and my flight is now landing. Gili Lankanfushi is a no-brainer as the honeymoon destination in the Maldives. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank casiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Good morning from a slightly windy but sunny day in the Maldives.

Thanks so much for your fantastic TA review of Gili Lankanfushi. It was a pleasure to read that you thoroughly enjoyed you honeymoon with us and also the facilities that we have on offer to all our guests.

You were right in your comments on the weather during our "low season". We are fortunate that overall the sun is still out, the waters crystal clear and actually many of our guests enjoy the odd sprinkle of rain as it gives the seas a different hue and perspective.

We do have a very high host:villa ratio, probably around the highest in the Maldives and when combining this with the great attitude our hosts have, this only adds to the personalised experiences we are able to offer. I have a fantastic team here and one I am proud to lead.

Thanks once again for your most comprehensive and thorough review and we very much hope to see you again at Gili Lankanfushi.

Cheers

Steven
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New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2014

Upon arrival at the airport we were greeted by the friendly staff with a smile and a helping hand. The moment we stepped onto the boat headed to Gili Lankanfushi we were handed a bags for our shoes that served as a subtle reminder to truly use this time to relax and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Maldives.
As we approached the private island, I could not believe my eyes. This oasis is everything I expected and more! The wood panel constriction allows the resort to seem as if it serves to smooth the natural color contrast between the palm tree, speckled white sand beach, and the deep blue lagoon. When we arrived at the resort we were welcomed by the friendly staff and transported to our villa. It was then I knew we made the right choice.
We stayed in a private villa with close friends, and again, I was taken aback by the beautiful construction. A perfect combination of wood and glass gave way to a high ceiling open air concept that allows for the visitor to feel the fresh breeze off the seemingly endless ocean. This combined with a roof deck that allows for a 360-degree view of the surroundings that initially drew us to Gili Lankanfushi.
As much as I can go on about the beauty and wonder of this resort and its perfection, what truly makes it unique are the people who work very hard to ensure that you have the BEST possible stay. Mr. Sannath (aka Friday), the steward of the villa, was there to help with every need. From arraigning transportation to providing amazing breakfast and lunch spreads, Sannath was there with a smile and a quick answer for every question.
I cannot thank the people at Gili Lankanfushi enough for providing us with amazing memories and an incredible stay!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank TJ C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Hi there TJ

Cheers for the great TA review after your recent visit to our Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi.

It was fantastic to have you with us, especially after such a long journey from New York! It is great. that you found the whole experience so worthwhile.

Sanath has asked me to pass on his personal thanks for picking him out as performing exceptionally.

We look forward to seeing you again and in the meantime hope that the rest of the year is both fruitful and as exciting as you time with us.

Best of regards

Steven
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seoul
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I was there a week ago with my fiancé.
There was very nice great place.
They gave me good experience! Now I am still there with mind. Everything is perfect! I want to go there again!
If I go there again I want to do more activity.
Probably I will do till 3years
Thanks Gili!
See you Gili!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sunboylee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
May I wish you a good evening as a beautiful sun set happens over Gili Lankanfushi!

It was fantastic to read your TA review subsequent to your recent stay with us and the whole team were delighted to read your comments on the Host notice board.

It was great to read that you enjoyed your time with us and we very much look forward to seeing you again on your next visit.

With the warmest of regards

Steven
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Having just returned from a 4 night stay at Gili Lankanfushi, words fail me on trying to describe this wonderful oasis in the middle of the Indian Ocean. From the moment that you step foot on the speed boat at the airport, you are taken care of with the utmost of attention. Upon arriving at the resort, the smiles of the staff and the crystal clear blue water welcomes you into what many would call paradise. The whole resort has a very relaxed vibe that is perfect for any holiday seeker.

We stayed at the Private Reserve with our large party, and there really is not much to find at fault there. The villa is beautifully designed with natural wood being the primary element used. The large entertainment area with unobstructed views to the Indian Ocean is the perfect backdrop in which to celebrate our combined birthday party. From oversize couches to a large sun deck, there are plenty of options in which to sit and relax.

The master suites are huge and are beaufiully appointed with a lounge/dining area, an incredible sun deck and a bathroom that comes with its own outdoor Jacuzzi. Ample space is provided for storage and again, the suite takes advantage of the incredible view. Everywhere you turn, you are reminded of the beauty of the Maldives.

One of the highlights of the Private Reserve was there upstairs outdoor dining area, where one can take advantage of watching the sun as it sets over the water. This unobstructed view with the Maldivian wind blowing, is absolute perfection and will make for many incredible photos.

The live-in butler Mr. Sannath, was a dream, as he organized, planned and made sure everything was taken care of. From boat rides, to scuba dives, to waking us up at the correct hour, he ensured that we enjoyed our Maldivian experience to the most. No request was too much for him and his team.

The breakfast spread at the main dining area is incredible. From Asian to western cuisine, there is a plethora of amazing eats.

A huge thank you to everyone at Gili Lankanfushi who really made our stay an incredible experience. The warmth and smile of the staff, combined with the sheer beauty of the island make for a holiday that will be remembered forever.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ghm2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Good morning!

It was with the greatest of pleasure that I was able to read out your TA Review subsequent to your recent stay in our Private Reserve @Gili Lankanfushi!The whole team especially Sannath were over the moon to see that you had thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

We are all very proud of our Private Reserve which is reputed to be the largest over Water Villa in the world and also its unique design.

The team very much hopes to see you back at on our Island and in the meantime wish you a very pleasant and prosperous summer ahead.

Warmest of regards

Steven
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Male
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

A great place to relax... Brings you more closer to nature and it's so amazing how vegetative the place is. Staff as well are fantastic starting from the crew who welcomes you on your arrival in the airport.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jan_de_nice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven-Philips, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear Janice.

Many thanks for your short but very sweet TA review subsequent to your stay with us.

It was fantastic that you enjoyed your time @Gili Lankanfushi and we very much look forward to seeing you again soon. Hopefully on that occasion you can bring your husband as I am sure that he will enjoy the experience.

Bast of regards

Steven
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Additional Information about Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Property: Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
Address: 08290
Region: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Lankanfushi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre 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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