In the Maldives, we’re blessed with plenty of options when it comes to luxury island retreats. Across a series of blogs, we’ve handpicked some of our far-flung favourites so you can get a flavour of what each of these beautiful boltholes has to offer in terms of its whereabouts, food, accommodation and unique experiences. Their philosophy is to ‘arrive as a guest, leave as a friend and return as family’. It’s the turn of the understated luxury of Gili Lankanfushi Hotel & Resort…
Location, Location, Location
Floating in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives and only a 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, Gili Lankanfushi lies in the North Malé Atoll surrounded by sprawling underwater worlds teeming with marine life and iridescent coral gardens.
Food For Thought
Main restaurant Kashiveli is barefoot dining at its best and its themed evenings, such as Asian street market and Mediterranean spice souk, transport your tastebuds around the world. By the Sea is Gili Lankanfushi’s Japanese restaurant, serving up excellent sashimi, sushi and Japanese fusion cuisine – watching the skilful chefs in the open kitchen is more like a theatre performance. Fini Foni (meaning ‘cold sweet’ in Maldivian language Dhivehi) is the place for a refreshing ice cream, while Gili’s diverse dining experiences range from a toes-in-the-sand meal under the stars to a treat for all the senses in the island’s organic garden. The overwater bar is a great location to enjoy a carefully crafted cocktail, light lunch, and grilled seafood dinners.
A Good Night’s Sleep
All of Gili Lankanfushi’s 45 villas are overwater and each one has direct access to the ocean. Rustic in style and built using sustainable materials, the fact some are named ‘Crusoe Residences’ tells you everything you need to know about the castaway experience you’ll experience. Gili is home to the world’s largest overwater villa – The Private Reserve, complete with an infinity pool, natural coral pool, sea garden, private lagoon, four bedrooms and a private yacht to get there.
Gili Lankanfushi is full of activities for everyone to enjoy and is perfect for a Maldives family holiday. From private film screenings in the Jungle Cinema to sports such as tennis, volleyball, table tennis and pétanque (beach boules) and more laze-inducing pastimes such as a selection of board games and a library well stocked with beach reads. It also has a large lagoon and you can snorkell straight from the beach. The resort is only a 10-minute boat ride away from Manta Point, one of the best places in the Maldives to swim with manta rays! If you want to learn more about marine life, take a trip to their very own marine biology shack, Gili Veshi.
The resort’s spa ‘The Meera Spa’ is an overwater sanctuary set in a secluded bay, with a glass floor in all treatment rooms so you can watch the marine life beneath while enjoying your massage, facial or other treatment. It can be an unforgettable memory for Maldives honeymooners who want to enjoy a relaxing spa day together. In addition to the treatment rooms, the spa also has an Ayurvedic treatment champa, steam and sauna rooms and an open-air relaxation area.
Sustainability is at the heart of this island’s vision, with an emphasis on preserving the natural environment, protecting the fragile marine ecosystem and leaving only footprints behind.
All buildings are constructed using sustainably-sourced materials, they even have a desalinisation plant to provide glass bottles of still and sparkling water for all guests.
Conservation is taken seriously on the island, with the island regularly hosting visiting scientists and academics studying the coral reef ecosystem. The Coral Lines project provides a nursery environment for new corals to grow, bolstering the house reef and monitoring health and survival types across genotypes.
Gili Lankanfushi has introduced an innovative vegan menu to show off the range of fresh produce growing in its large organic garden.
Our Turquoise Tip
If you really want an unforgettable dining experience, take a boat out to deserted One Palm Island. There it’s just you, your loved one and the odd palm tree under a starry night sky.
7 nights at Gili Lankanfushi in a Villa Suite
Includes international flights and transfers
From £4,790 per person