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Reviewed 9 May 2021 via mobile

We first arrived to the Gili Lankanfushi in May 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let me first start off by saying that the staff here at the Gili Lankanfushi including our very own Mr. Friday, Alif, have exceeded all of our expectations.

I traveled with my wife, two children and our babysitter. We reserved two villas for our trip, the residence villa as well as the Villa suite. Both of our villas faced the east side of the lagoon and had absolutely beautiful sunrises. Our residence villa had unobstructed 180° views. If traveling with children, I highly recommend the residence villa or the residence with pool villa. The common living room in these villas have extra air conditioning.

All the villas were stocked with everything that you could possibly want or need when traveling with your family. All the amenities that you would expect at a five star luxury resort. In addition our Mr. Friday Alif went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed for our one year old son.

Snorkeling gear is provided to all the guests, however, we did bring our own. Activities on the island are abundant. The pool on the beach is absolutely stunning. My son seemed to make friends with everyone of the staff and they knew him by name every time they saw him. They even furnished our villa with a special bicycle that I can put my kids into to bring them with me.

We definitely got plenty of beach time, snorkeling time off our private docks as well as plenty of pool time during our trip. The sea life in the lagoon is quite impressive. Lots of stingrays, Blacktip reef sharks, numerous tropical fish and even a guitar shark.

We also went snorkeling with the resident marine biologist on staff, Tiana. She was absolutely fantastic. We booked the private yacht for two excursions. The first was sunset dolphin watching as well as perhaps the most memorable part of our trip, snorkeling and diving with whale sharks. Pictures and videos cannot even begin to describe diving with these majestic creatures. We were even able to take our children on this private yacht and bring them into the water with us, however when they grew tired, the staff on the yacht was beyond happy to play with our kids to give mom and dad this tremendous once in a lifetime opportunity. There were even several beds on the yacht for our kids to take a nap on the 2 1/2 hour ride back to the resort.

I can also say that during the pandemic, the Gili Lankanfushi took all the necessary and commonsense precautions to provide for safety of the guests without burdening them with unnecessary health restrictions. First the Maldives is very forward thinking in that once you are vaccinated you can show proof of your vaccine and a PCR test is not required to enter the country. Nevertheless because we were traveling with our unvaccinated children we all obtained PCR tests. The resort also maintains quarters for all the staff. And all the staff are not only required to remain on the island but are all vaccinated themselves. The resort also has a physician who lives on the island, she was able to provide for our pre-departure PCR tests. In addition my daughter fell and actually suffered an auricular hematoma. We were able to treat it and drain it without having to take her to any kind of medical facility.

One of the most fantastic things is the staff here anticipate for your every need before you even know that you have it. I have to give a shout out to the resort manager Nicolas. He is a constant presence to make sure everything run smoothly and the guests are happy.

Finally the food, there are several themed nights that rotate over a 10 day. Thus the guests are never growing bored of the same food. The Asian Street market was perhaps our favorite. In addition when you arrive you were introduced to the head chef Hari, Who ensures that your culinary needs are met during the entire stay. In closing this is a great place for families, couples, honeymooners or simply to get away from everything. If I could give this place 10 stars I would. This was perhaps the finest vacation my wife and I have ever been on. Certainly in the same class as our stay at the St. Regis Bora-Bora.

We cannot wait to return.

Tips: Definitely do the whale shark snorkeling tour, pricey but worth every penny.

Request Alif as your Mr. Friday, he’s the best!

Date of stay: May 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank matthershcovitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicolas K, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear matthershcovitch,
Thank you for detailed and delightful review of Gili Lankanfushi.
Once again thank you for trusting us with your family holiday in the Maldives. With so many resorts in the Maldives, it is humbling that you not only chose to join us, but left with such a positive and fruitful experience.
Thank you also for recognizing our efforts to keep our guests, and hosts safe during the ongoing pandemic. We have worked hard to ensure safety, without overly burdening, and compromising the guest experience. The resort fortunately lends itself to natural social-distancing, with almost all communal spaces, including the restaurants being “al-fresco”. This is fundamentally important when considering a family trip, such as the one you took.
A highlight of many guests stays, are the private trips taken on the luxury boats. Whether guests choose to go on a sunset dolphin cruise, a sunrise fishing trip, or a day-long adventure to search for the coveted whale-sharks, being accompanied by the resident Marine Biologist is offers a plethora of benefits. I am delighted that Tiana was able to make an impression and accent your yacht excursions.
As you have alluded to the glue that brings everything together is the team. I am overjoyed to see you recognize so many of them. I will be sure to relay your comments to Tiana, Chef Hari, your Mr. Friday, Alif, and indeed the rest of the team.
On behalf of the entire Gili family, let me say that we eagerly await your return, for the next chapter in your Gili story.
Warm regards,
Nicolas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2021

Gili Lakanfushi is widely considered to be one of - if not the - top resorts in The Maldives. One of the things which drew me towards this property is its status as one of the most eco-friendly Maldivian resorts, and its focus on luxury wellness.

Resorts in the Maldives seem to go one of two ways: eco-luxe or modern and lavish. Gili Lakanfushi sits firmly in the former camp, which was a big pro for me. When I’m in The Maldives, I like to feel as though I’m as far removed from civilization as possible! The rustic glamor of Gili Lankanfushi was exactly what I was craving when I jetted off - it was the perfect antidote to my hectic hometown of Miami.

One of the things I loved the most about Gili Lakanfushi was that the higher-end overwater villas were only accessible by boat!

Another highlight was the spa and the wellness journey packages that were so thoughtfully put together. Gili Lakanfushi does a lot more than just pay lip service to wellness - it integrates it into every part of the island experience. If you can, I highly recommend opting for the 7-day Meera Rejuvenating Stress package whereby you get to enjoy daily tailored treatments that will leave you feeling like a whole new person at the end of the week.

In terms of wining and dining, I highly recommend a visit to the dreamy Overwater Bar. It’s the perfect place to grab a light and healthy lunch or some exquisite cocktails at sunset, which are made all the sweeter by the panoramic ocean views. On Sundays, the Overwater Bar serves Indian food and as a self-confessed spice addict, this was right up my street.

Finally, I must mention the stellar service. Each party has a ‘Mr. Friday’ butler to take care of their every need, and trust me when I say nothing is too much trouble for these guys. Gili Lakanfushi really sets a new standard for thoughtful service. Thank you for an unforgettable stay.

Date of stay: November 2020
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Isabella G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicolas K, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Isabela Garofanelli,
Thank you for such a charming review of your recent stay at Gili Lankanfushi.
There are many factors of a stay that contribute to it being a success, and I am glad to see that they all met your expectations - From the delicious food, to your journey at Meera Spa, to the breathtaking views and natural surroundings.
The overwater Bar, comes alive twice a week for the “Passage through Indian Tandoor” and “Maldivian Fisherman’s Grill” dinner theme nights. With fresh naan, tandoori meats, and more, The Indian theme night is surely a guest favorite; I’m glad to hear it made your list of highlights. As you rightly mention it is also the ideal spot to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. For those seeking extra privacy or an extra special evening, the castaway experience offers the chance to watch the sun go down, while you float on a platform above the lagoon.
Another great place to watch the sunset is form the comfort of your private deck in the villa; be it one of the iconic Crusoe villas, which is completely detached from the island, or from a villa with pool. I am glad to see that you really enjoyed the villa set up.
Naturally what brings everything together is the service and care of the Gili team, and I am thankful you were able to feel the full extent of our hospitality.
We hope to welcome you back in the future for more Gili stories.
Warm regards,
Nicolas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2021

There is the 5 star resort/hotel service and then there is the Gili-Lankanfushi service. Not to sound arrogant, but my wife and I travel the world and have stayed at many 5 star hotels/resorts around the world and we have never experienced such delightful service as what we have received last week. From our Mr. Friday, Alif, to Rohan the sommelier, to Siyan, Ziyan and all the way to the General manager Nicolas, they have made us feel like royalty while keeping their distance to respect our privacy. They have found the perfect balance. Alif, our Mr Friday was extraordinary. Always on the lookout for us and he seemed to always know what we needed. We have never been pampered that much and I feel guilty to sat that it felt great. We usually are ready to go home after a week long holiday but this is THE vacation and THE destination we did not to leave. I would highly recommend all future visitors to request Alif (not that the other Mr and Mrs Friday are not good). He is just simply the best. Food was also divine. Fresh caught Tuna was served daily among many other local fish. If you are a snorkeling and diving fan, I would highly recommend swimming around the edge of the drop off near 1 palm island. I was very hesitant because of the sharks but they actually did not bother us and we saw a bounty of marine life. I can go on and on about Gili and how wonderful the staff and the resort is but for me and my wife to say that we cannot wait to go back says it all. We rarely go back to the same spots as there are so many places in the world to visit but Gili is that special place that makes you want to come back. I hope this review was helpful to those of you planning your first trip to the Maldives.

Date of stay: April 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank stacyp839
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicolas K, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Stacy R,
Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at Gili Lankanfushi.
Thank you also for choosing to trust us with your holiday – your comments are truly humbling.
A trip to the Maldives is almost incomplete without seeing what the pristine waters have to offer; from a guided snorkeling trip with the resident Marine Biologist, to a diving excursion, to a sunrise fishing experience. It is wonderful that you were able to explore the marine life around One Palm Island, which as you mention can be quite diverse and numerous.
It goes without saying that the catalyst for all of this, is the warm and authentic service of the team, and I am overjoyed to see you highlight so many of them. From your Mr. Friday Alif, to Siyan and Ziyan in Food & Beverage, to the Sommelier, Rohan. They all play their role in ensuring each guest is well taken care of, and I am delighted to see that they have left such an impression on your visit.
Thank you once again for your strong recommendation of this “special place”. We look forward to welcoming you back soon, for the next chapter in your Gili story.
Warm regards,
Nicolas

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Reviewed 3 May 2021 via mobile

I arrived grumpy from the airport and my mood changed instantly breakfast was a delight and then the enduring thought was “the kindness of strangers” who during my two weeks day became my friends what a wonderful time I had that’s all I need to say
The place has really grown on us
Normally I would write a comment on the special staff but truly on this occasion they all were a fantastic team, specially Fiyaz,Riyaz ,Azuleem, Nicolas, Amjadh, Rohan, Niang, Ruban, Siyan, Hari, Athfa, Thasleem, Farreh.

Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Explore39639026863
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicolas K, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Marua,
Thank you for your review of Gili Lankanfushi.
The short 20-minute speed boat ride from the airport, means guests are on the resort in no-time after their long international flight. From the moment you reach the boat, we make every effort to transition you into holiday mode. From inviting you to remove your shoes and embrace our “No shoes, no news” philosophy, to conducting your check-in in the comfort of your own villa.
It is heartwarming to see that you were able to connect with so many of the hosts. I will be sure to pass on your comments to all of them, as well as the team at-large. Afterall the cornerstone of a positive Gili experience rests in the care and attention provided by the Gili hosts, from the restaurant, to the dive center, and from boat crew to the Spa therapists.
We hope to welcome you back in the near future, for the next chapter in your Gili story.
Warm regards,
Nicolas

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2021 via mobile

I have been traveling to Maldives over the last 30 years, and this hidden and boutique place is one of my favorite resort for love birds looking for magic, attention & privacy. We have been taking care from our arrival to departure, and the team led by our Mister Friday Makif has exceed our expectations all the time. I strongly recommend for the ones that want to live a maldivian dream. The watervillas at the Lagune are stunning and the service and love to Details are impressive. The cherry on top was the creativity, friendliness and support of the executive chef Hari. The whole team is perfectly trained and makes your stay special. We will come back for sure

Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank martinadN6917BS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicolas K, General Manager at Gili Lankanfushi, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2021

Dear martinadN6917BS,
Thank you for sharing this complimentary review of your stay Gili Lankanfushi.
Having travelled to the Maldives over the past 30 years, your feedback is truly much appreciated by our team.
We are delighted to know that you had a magical stay with us and our hosts were able to exceed your expectations through their passion, attention to detail, creativity and friendliness.
We look forward to welcome you back for another Maldivian dream.
Warm regards,
Nicolas

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