Gili Lankanfushi is considered to be one of the top resorts in the Maldives, and for good reason. No wonder Novak Djokovic is practically a regular here. The stunning laid-back eco-friendly resort is located just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the airport in the North Malé Atoll, delivering unpretentious, barefoot luxury. Shoes are removed as soon as guests get on the boat from the airport, and everyone is taken care of by a personal butler with the title Mr. Friday. The spacious rustic chic overwater villas are made of wood, and have outdoor (and rooftop) decks. Freestanding tubs, Nespresso machines, Bose sound systems, and free Wi-Fi are standard. On land, the beautiful resort offers a beachfront swimming pool, a spa with a range of wellness activities including yoga, and a series of restaurants and bars.
POWERED BY PLANTS
Gili Lankanfushi has introduced a new ‘Powered by Plants’ package, a series of plant-based offerings and nature-based experiences to continue to strive to reduce the resort’s impact on the planet, and further facilitate responsible travelers in honoring their natural surroundings. Arriving at the resort, guests will settle into their villa with vegan treats, feather and wool-free bedding and a complimentary bottle of reef-safe Australian gold botanic sunscreen so they can take a dip in the crystal-clear ocean, knowing that they are protecting the surrounding eco-system. Its furnishings are inspired by the island and made by skilled craftsmen using upcycled materials. Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, guests will be treated to colorful and balanced plant-based menus, drawing inspiration from Maldivian culinary traditions and carefully crafted by Gili Lankanfushi’s executive chef Hari Govindaraj using organic herbs, vegetables and fruits grown in the resort’s organic garden without using harmful pesticides. On nature-based days, guests will enjoy a private vinyasa flow yoga class on the beach before accompanying a local marine biologist on a guided snorkeling session, learning about Gili Lankanfushi’s pioneering Coral Lines Project, which provides a nursery environment for new corals to grow, bolstering the house reef.
Gili Lankanfushi offers a 5-night active wellness program and a series of wellness journeys that allow guests to indulge in enriching spa sessions at the serene Meera Spa.
Holistic Healing is a 5-night program for those seeking a soulful spa experience that nurtures the body and teaches natural beauty methods including: a one-on-one consultation on arrival, daily yoga classes, guided breath-work sessions, bespoke treatments and an essential oil making workshop to create remedies to take home.
Guests can also choose from the following Wellness Journeys: 1-Day Ayurvedic Remedies, 2-Day Meera De-Stress Away, 3-Day Meera Revitalising Recovery, 5-Day Meera Detox Retreat, and 7-Day Meera Rejuvenating Senses.
The Journeys include breathwork, meditation, reiki, sound healing, reflexology, steam and sauna sessions, and of course beautifying facials, hair treatments, body scrubs, wraps and soothing massages.
There are 45 villas which are all located overwater. They include 24 airy one-bedroom Villa Suites (6 of them with pool), 5 Gili Lagoon Villas with overwater hammocks, 7 Crusoe Residences with total privacy and a secluded location in the lagoon, accessible only by boat, 4 Residences located away from neighboring villas (2 of them with pool), 1 Gili Lagoon Residence which also offers a luxurious lagoon hammock, 1 Family Villa and 2 Family Villas with Pool with access to its own private island, and 1 Private Reserve spanning 1,700 sqm (the largest overwater villa in the world).
WHAT WE LOVE
- There’s a dedicated marine biology facility, which also acts as a central hub for all sustainability and conservation issues. It manages Gili’s coral reef, spreads environmental awareness, improves guests’ experiences, links the resort with national environmental programs and advises management on any ecological issues.
- We love the standalone 1,700-sqm overwater Private Residence which is only accessible by boat – perfect for a honeymoon. It is the largest overwater villa in the world, located meters from the main island, offering four vast bedrooms in addition to a private open-air cinema, spoiling spa, air-conditioned gymnasium, infinity pool and a two-storey waterslide directly into the lagoon.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Gili Lankanfushi has a strict “no plastic” policy on the island.
- The resort is committed to minimizing its environmental footprint through implementing sustainable initiatives. Gili Lankanfushi works closely with EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for sustainable travel and tourism.
The Meera Spa is an overwater sanctuary. This holistic wellness haven includes six treatment rooms, an Ayurvedic Treatment sala, steam and sauna rooms and an open-air relaxation area offering stunning ocean vistas. A seaside yoga and meditation sala, ideal for sunrise and sunset, is located close by.
There is one communal pool, but some villas come with their own pool, and all villas are located overwater with direct access to the ocean.
TRAVEL IN STYLE
It’s pretty relaxed at Gili Lankanfushi. Swim and beachwear during the day and resort chic at night.
WHEN YOU SHOULD GO
The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April during dry season. The island nation is warm and sunny year-round, but consists of a dry season and a wet, rainy season from May to October.