Set on the private island of Lankanfushi in the North Malé Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives is an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villa accommodations, where ultimate privacy can be found. The scenery at Gili Lankanfushi is breathtaking. Powder soft and sugar white beaches, lush tropical vegetation with plenty of palm trees and impossibly turquoise, clear waters in Gili’s Lankanfushi’s stunning lagoon will await you. Everywhere you look, marine life abounds. And the gleaming waters beckon.
Gili Lankanfushi is an upmarket boutique resort that stands at the forefront of the eco-luxury sector and acts as a benchmark for luxury resorts. All of its 45 over-water villas which reflect the harmony of life by the water’s edge. The villas plus the vast Private Reserve uphold the philosophy of Intelligent Luxury. They are crafted in a traditional style from natural materials and offer roof-top and over-water sundecks, featuring open air bathrooms, sumptuous daybeds and a personal entertainment center. For ultimate privacy, they have seven Crusoe Residences that are only accessible by personal boat. 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. All villas at this luxury resort offer a private water garden, open air bathroom, roof-top terrace and over-water sundecks.
Savour grilled seafood over the water, sip champagne in a traditional dhoni as the sun sets or venture into the underground cellar for a unique dining experience. Luxury comes in the form of a private dinner on a secluded island. The cuisine will whet your appetite with fresh offerings and local produce, while the extraordinary settings will leave an indelible impression. The main restaurant is outdoors on the sand, and there’s also the intimate restaurant, By The Sea, serving Japanese fusion dishes. For a dining experience quite unlike any other, an underground gourmet cellar is reached by descending a glass staircase, with a cavern showcasing more than 600 wines. After a bespoke tasting menu with wine pairings organised by an excellent sommelier, discover the artisanal cheese room and chocolate cave. At Gili Lankanfushi, there are many other dining options beside having your meals at the restaurants. Whether you choose to indulge in a beachside barbecue at Horizon, a zero-carb experience in Leaf, Gili Lankanfushi’s organic garden, a Bedouin-inspired bonanza at Palm Beach or you choose to dine in the dark with the help of discrete staff, mealtimes here are certain to leave unforgettable memories.
At Gili Lankanfushi they are very sensitive to the environment. The utmost care has been taken in developing the island with respect to its ecological balance. Speaking of which, built right over the sea, amidst the best that nature has to offer, Meera Spa provides a nurturing, soothing haven that looks to water as its main elemental reference. Glass floor panels beneath the massage tables offer a peek underwater to heighten the sensual experience. The Spa offers a range of holistic therapies, and the signature bamboo massage with warmed aromatic oils presents yet another new encounter. Other facilities include six overwater treatment rooms, a yoga or Tai Chi champa, steam and sauna rooms, as well as a relaxation area with panoramic views of the sea.
Surrounded by a whole host of renowned dive sites, guests will be able to take advantage of the advice of the Ocean Paradise Dive Centre’s multilingual PADI instructors to ensure the dive of a life time. Further water sports include catamaran and Hobiecat sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and more, whereas for a more relaxing submarine experience, the guided snorkel tours are not to be missed. Over on dry land, visitors will be spoiled for choice as they navigate a fun-filled program which takes in a fitness experience, sunrise yoga, sandbank picnics, excursions to the capital city and even private movie screenings at the Jungle Cinema. If all that seems like too much hard work, you are of course free to simply curl up on the beach with a good book and enjoy the sunshine. Although the island is small, you will get a pair of bicycles to get around. Alternatively, you can make use of an efficient buggy system.
The resort’s philosophy “No Shoes. No News” means that the Gili Lankanfushi offers natural sophistication accentuated with personalized services, culinary excellence and rejuvenating wellness. At Gili Lankanfushi, they offer their guests the freedom to make that choice, providing an opportunity to redefine what luxury means, and ensuring that whatever their definition, they continuously strive to meet and exceed their expectations. Because luxury today is seen to be related to the quality of life, but its definition is deeply personal to the individual. Luxury can be defined as time spent with loved ones, a sense of belonging, a moment of absolute privacy, a perfect cup of coffee, a wonderful book, or simply an opportunity to escape from reality. Gili Lankanfushi is definetely a place that feels like home; a place where you arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family.
Located on the island of Lankanfushi, this idyllic island rental is hidden away in the Malé Atoll. A breathtaking 20-minute speedboat journey is all separates this 5-star private island from the archipelago’s International Airport. Situated on the equator towards the south of India and stretching over 800 km, the Maldives are the visible coral tips of an oceanic volcanic mountain range whose outer edge at some points plunge to depths of over 3 km. The islands are blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, crystal clear blue lagoons, incredible underwater wildlife, and unrivalled luxury resorts. And Gili Lankanfushi is no exception to that: it is one of the top resorts in the Maldives, an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villa accommodations.
At Gili Lankanfushi, boredom is not an option. Whether diving Manta Point, windsurfing crystal lagoons, or unwinding with yoga to a perfect sunrise, there’s something for everyone. Made up of 1.192 coral islands that are grouped into 26 atolls, the Maldives stretches over 800 km across the Indian Ocean. Only about 200 of these islands are inhabited. Gili Lankanfushi is set on the private islands of Lankanfushi in the North Malé Atoll. The surroundings are teeming with marine life 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 in the know. Rich marine life awaits in coral garden at every turn, in the surrounding turquoise lagoons.
Spa & Wellness
Wellbeing and balance in body and soul is central to Gili Lankanfushi’s ethos. Meera Spa, meaning ocean, offers holistic healing in a spectacular overwater setting. Open air walkways link the treatment rooms, steam room and sauna with the vast relaxation areas, where guests can watch the waves and enjoy a spicy pot of freshly brewed Maldivian ginger tea after their treatments. The range of global therapies, drawing on age old cultures and knowledge, begin with a pampering mineral-rich sea salt foot cleanse in a symbolic ritual. Therapeutic treatments use organic products by Voya and Sodashi, as well as Meera products created on the island from the finest oceanic and plant extracts to heal and revitalise. Glass floors in the six treatment rooms allow guests to watch the fish flitting amongst the coral during treatments. The immersive wellness journeys, which range from one to five days in length, include a range of bespoke and curated restorative experiences with long-lasting benefits. Journeys range from a lavish five day detox retreat, aimed to purify body and mind with a host of treatments and healing experiences, to a one day Ayurvedic remedy journey, which revives weary travellers through therapeutic massage. New active programmes combine surfing or scuba diving with tailored spa treatments to allow guests to reach their full potential whether under the sea or riding the waves. A range of holistic activities, including meditation, reiki, crystal healing and ancient singing bowl sessions supplement the wide range of spa treatments, drawing on Ayurveda, ocean therapy and healing journeys, to ease mind and body into a state of serene relaxation. Meera Spa regularly hosts a rotating schedule of international visiting practitioners for a curated programme of therapeutic journeys, featuring signature treatments and healing rituals. Daily complimentary yoga classes take place at sunrise each morning at the beachside Yoga Champa. Guests can also organise one-on-one yoga and meditation practices with the resort’s resident and visiting practitioners.
20 Things not to be missed at Gili Lankanfushi
Dramatically perched on stilts above the Indian Ocean, Gili Lankanfushi’s vast over-water villas offer extraordinary luxuries but the greatest luxury of all is being able to find total inward peace. There’s no need to do anything. Shoes off, power down, bliss out. However, should you decide to venture beyond your villa, the experiences are suitably awe inspiring.
1 – Continental Champagne Breakfast on Palm Beach, One Palm Island or on our Sailing Dhoni
2 – Private Garden Breakfast at our organic ‘Leaf Table’
3 – Sunset Splash Cruise
4 – Guided Snorkelling by our Marine Biologist
5 – Private Sunset Cruise in our Sailing Dhoni
6 – Cast away for Sunset Champagne and Canapés
7 – In-villa Barbeque
8 – Gourmet Wine Dinner in our Underground Wine Cellar
9 – Chocolate and Wine Tasting
10 – Private Dining on One Palm Island
11 – Sushi Making Classes
12 – 360° or Horizon Dining Area with bespoke Menus
13 – Dine ‘By the Sea’ Restaurant – Japanese fusion Dinner
14 – Watch a movie under the stars at the Jungle Cinema
15 – Villa experience of Sleep under the Stars
16 – Aromatherapy Bath Menus
17 – Sunrise or Sunset Yoga and Meditations
18 – Sandbank Picnic Island
19 – Dolphin Cruise
20 – Environmental Eco Tour
Value for Money
The lowest rate for the entry villa category in low season is US$ 1,224.00 per night (before tax) and in high season is US$ 3,350.00 per night (before tax). Please note that all the rates are subject to 23.2% Tax & Service Charge per night and Green Tax US$ 6 per person per night regardless of age.
Access for guests with disabilities?
– The resort is based on a small tropical island and therefore the layout and design is not very friendly to people with disabilities/special needs
– In order to assist any such guests we will try our best to understand the requirements before booking confirmation so that we can provide accurate information
– They will have dedicated butlers (known as Mr./Ms. Fridays) who can assist with various requests of the guests including pick-up from villa, drop-off to restaurants or other guest facilities such as bar, spa or poolside.
An intimate family friendly resort with bespoke children’s activities and experiences.
Mr. Friday Concept
Named after Robinson Crusoe’s loyal friend, Mr. Friday makes guests’ stay as pleasant as possible. Day or night, the Mr. Friday will swiftly answer any request in mind. Even keeping the little ones entertained with storytelling and activities with parents spend some romantic time reconnecting with each other.
The Responsabile Actions of Gili Lankanfushi:
At Gili Lankanfushi they work on strategies to reduce their environmental impacts. Everything from purchasing, through operations and all the way to waste management is looked after. Through building awareness, they do their best to ensure that everyone on Gili Lankanfushi (regardless if a guest or host), appreciate and respects the beauty of the Maldives. Unforgettable learning experiences with marine biologists. Whether it’s an island eco-tour, a presentation, a dolphin cruise, coral planting, extraordinary blue light night snorkelling or shark snorkelling trip, be prepared to be captured by facts of the deep blue. Diving with Green Fins eco-certified 5star dive center. They strive to keep on improving and building on their environmental conscious initiatives.
Supporting Local Schools
Young generations determine the future. That’s why they invite local school children on field trips to the resort and guide them through their environmental initiatives. This includes energy saving, waste management and eco design.
Wasting Less and Using Smart
They make everything count. Organic waste is composted and used in the garden on the island.
Eco Design and Concept
Strict energy conservation measures are central to the island retreat. The restaurants and bar have been designed with this in mind. For instance, cross ventilation reduces the need for air conditioning.
Gili Veshi meaning “Gili Environment” in Dhivehi language, Gili Veshi is the primary marine research facility with two dedicated marine biologist and also the central hub for all sustainability and conservation issues.
Eco-friendly concept focusing on sustainability in all activities that we do with/for guests and internally with staff. Activities include organic garden farming, producing our own water, an in-house eco-centre to recycle and reuse materials – turning them into new items, more significantly our coral line project, where our marine biologist grow these corals to protect and replenish the island house reef, to maintain biodiversity and mitigate episode of bleaching.
Energy Efficiency in the Resort
In recent times, they have drastically lowered the carbon footprint. Since 2006, they have decreased their fuel consumption by 30% and are on track to improving this. Moreover they are Silver Certified in Earth Check.
Building Materials from Renewable Sources
At Gili Lankanfushi, they try to carefully pick materials that do not have a negative impact on the world. Every effort is made to ensure that their over water jetties and villas are crafted from responsibly harvested wood.
They believe in the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. In order to keep their island the natural haven it is, they pride themselves on obeying these rules, keeping waste to a minimum.
Gili says NO!
Being a responsible business requires passion and dedication. Gili Lankanfushi is committed to a responsible lifestyle and they proudly (without exceptions) say ‘NO’ to certain things:
– NO whole shells for sale
– NO coral products for sale
– NO shark/ray/turtle/crocodile/snake products for sale
– NO shark fin soup
– NO rugs in guest rooms
– NO Blue-fin or imported tuna.
– NO laminates or artificial wood.
Be a responsible gust and help them to promote their philosophy:
– NO fishing in Lankanfushi Lagoon & Reef.
– NO standing on the reef (Not only does it destroy this natural habitat to countless Marine-life which takes many years to grow, It’s also dangerous as you may accidentally stand on stonefish or other sharp animals or coral).
– NO touching marine wildlife (some fish and shells may be poisonous)
– NO feeding fish.
– NO taking anything from the reef.
– NO snorkeling without fins (safety).
Our Special Readings
Discovering the Maldives like a local
We won’t fault you if you can only dream up scenes of sunbathing, overwater bungalows, and fancy cocktails when you think of the Maldives. It’s practically impossible to hear or see the word Maldives without conjuring up visions of the clear, turquoise waters and powdered-sugar sand beaches. However, do you think that the Maldives is all luxury hotels and dive schools? Look a little closer to discover genuine local culture in this little slice of paradise.
Hop onboard the public ferry
Forget seaplane transfers from the airport to a resort, if you can master the public ferry timetable it’s possible to travel from Male to a number of atolls. Travelling by ferry provides a great opportunity to engage with local people, as well as the chance to take in the beauty of the islands. It’s a real adventure and if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins.
Tuck into afternoon tea
Walk into any coffee shop, café or restaurant on any island from 3 to 5 pm, and you’ll find an feast of bite-size savoury and sweet delights known as hedhika. Savory nibbles are filled with vegetables, tuna, egg and chili, and the sweet treats include pancakes, French toast and sponge cake. In true Maldivian style, wash them down with a mug of black tea.
The 5 Ws of Hanifaru Bay
Hanifaru Bay is a marine protected uninhabited island located in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives. Its size is no greater than that of a football field and yet it has become the hottest spots on the planet for underwater photographers and videographers. The reason for this modern day phenomenon of underwater diversity is because plankton is trapped in the funnel like lagoon during the West monsoon from May until November. If the plankton stays at the surface, it would wash over the bay’s coral walls and out to the safety of the open sea. But instinct forces them to dive away from daylight. When they do, they get trapped in the lagoon. In just a few hours a massive concentration of plankton builds up attracting manta rays by the hundreds. At any one time there can be up to 200 manta rays feeding off the coral reefs as well as plenty of whale sharks which do the same. Hanifaru Bay has become the world’s largest Manta Ray feeding destination. Here are our 5 Ws!
Manta rays are cartilaginous elasmobranch fishes. This means they are a close relative of all sharks and rays. The fact that they are fish means they don’t breathe air, but instead they use their gills to respire underwater. Mantas must keep moving in order to keep water flowing over their gills, which means they can never stop to sleep or rest on the seabed. The word “Manta” comes from the Spanish for cloak or shawl and in the Maldivian language mantas are known as En Madi, which in English means “small fish eating ray”.
Growing up to 9 mt wide, these elegant but harmless plankton feeders are a spellbinding sight for the diver. Hanifaru Bay, a huge lagoon on the Baa Atoll Hanifaru in the Maldives, has become renowned as a global manta ray hotspot. Mantas gather here in their hundreds, along with whale sharks and other big pelagics, to engage in a feeding frenzy on the unusually-rich plankton blooms that appear here each year from June to October. Diving is prohibited in Hanifaru Bay, but if ever wanted to snorkel with mantas, this is just about as good as it gets.
Special City Guide: Maldives
The Maldives are scattered across 806 km of Indian Ocean. Their pure white sands are fringed with green palms and surrounded by some of the clearest water in the world. Coral reefs and tropical fish, from neon clownfish to slow-moving manta rays, thrive in the warm ocean water. Sunset catamaran cruises are de rigueur, as are picnics on uninhabited islands, and decadent Spa treatments. Secluded resorts on far-flung private islands are within an hour’s boat or floatplane ride from the bustling capital and a world away from everyday life.
No Maldivian resort is complete without its own stretch of private beach and resort size determines how crowded beaches can be in the December-to-April high season. Cocoa Island, in the South Malé Atoll, is delightfully uncrowded as there are just 36 rooms at the resort here. The shallow lagoon is well-suited to snorkeling and kayaking. Ideal for children are the pristine, manmade beaches at One&Only Reethi Rah, carved into small, safe bays with bath-like shallows.
The main island and high-rise capital Malé is home to the National Musuem, where you can gaze at the opulent thrones and ceremonial robes once owned by local sultans. Day or overnight cruises around the atolls include diving or snorkeling the thriving coral reefs. Spas overlooking the ocean have glass-bottom treatment rooms so guests can watch schools of fish during a rejuvenating massage. Most travelers choose one resort and rarely leave the lap of luxury.