If you’re looking for the ultimate destination to spend a romantic weekend, Gili Lankanfushi, one of the most beautiful eco- resorts in the Maldives is the perfect spot to do so. Ideal for romance, as well as group travel for those looking for adventure, or a fun spot to celebrate the weekend of love with those who matter the most, your family.
Located in the North Male Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi opened in 2000 as the original over water resort Soneva Gili. In 2012 the island was acquired by HPL (Hotel Properties Limited) a Singapore based company investing in hotels, lifestyle and properties around the world. Voted number one hotel in the world by Trip Advisor in 2015, Gili Lankanfushi is an easy 20 minute speedboat transfer from Male international airport. Set in the middle of its own lagoon, guests enjoy a barefoot existence with 360 degree views of the Indian Ocean. Gili Lankanfushi’s 45 overwater villas, including the vast and secluded Private Reserve offer unrivalled privacy. The wellbeing of the planet is at the heart of the Gili Lankanfushi, with each stay contributing towards preserving the natural environment, protecting the fragile marine ecosystem and treading lightly. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the overwater villa resort:
- Gili Lankanfushi is a boutique resort with just 45 private villas, but guests have a choice of eleven villas. From private pool villas with a hammock in the glistening waters of the ocean, Gili Lagoon Residences or the Crusoe residences all complete with private pools and a dedicated Man or Woman Friday, inspired by Robinson Crusoe’s trusted friend.
- All 45 villas are located overwater and offer open-air living spaces, roof terraces and private decks with direct access to the lucent turquoise waters that surround the island – meaning guests each have their own private to be at one with the surrounding water. Expect to see a wide variety of beautiful marine life around the pillars of your villa.
- For those looking to embrace luxury at its finest, the Private Reserve is the largest standalone overwater villa in the world. Offering total seclusion 500m away from the island and 300m from the nearest residence, it comprises five vast buildings, linked by open-air walkways, four bedrooms with spectacular lagoon views, extensive private living space and open-air bathrooms, as well as a well-equipped and air-conditioned gym, pampering private spa with sauna and steam room, open-air private cinema with cosy seating and large open-sided dining area.
Its outdoor space includes a 21m infinity pool and waterslide directly into the lagoon, where guests will find corals, reef fish and eagle rays drifting through the shallows. The ultimate destination for love, whatever its size.
- Gili Lankanfushi is the pioneer of ethical, sustainable, barefoot luxury in the Maldives. In fact, sustainability is at the heart of the resort with a big emphasis placed on preserving the natural environment and protecting the fragile marine ecosystem. Guests can give back to the surrounding community by taking part in coral reef planting in the lagoon, meeting the Marine Biologist to learn more about the surrounding ocean and its inhabitants and even snorkeling with them, as well as taking part in an eco-tour of the organic gardens with the Chef.
- From ocean to plate, Gili Lankanfushi’s gastronomic vision embraces the bounty of the surrounding waters alongside carefully sourced seasonal ingredients, which feature across the island’s three restaurants. Guests can savour a champagne breakfast on the Sailing Dhoni (a Maldivian boat), have sunset canapes on the castaway platform or take part in the Gili Tasting journey – a chance to enjoy a tour of five different locations and cuisines throughout the island.
- If that’s not all, guests can also enjoy a private sandbank picnic, or a starlit outdoor seafood dinner at the Overwater Bar, or private dining at 360 or Horizon with their own curated menu for the ultimate intimate and romantic evening.
- The resort Executive Chef Hari Govindaraj who oversees the culinary vision on the island has a penchant for plant-based dishes that celebrate local ingredients sourced from Gili Lankanfushi’s very own organic garden. Why not enjoy the Powered by Plants package, a five day package complete with Vegan meals and a series of plant based offerings and nature based experiences to offset the impact on the environment.
- A sanctuary of scented bliss, the overwater Meera Spa sits in a secluded bay and is sprawled across languid water. This holistic haven includes Six over-water t
reatment rooms with glass floors allowing you to enjoy ayurvedic treatments, seaside yoga and meditation – or simply choose from diverse range of therapies, each drawing on age old cultures and knowledge. 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.
- If you’re looking for adventure, Gili Lankanfushi also offers an extensive activities programme, including surfing, diving, snorkeling with manta rays and big game fishing trips on the resort’s luxury yacht. The sunset dolphin cruise, surfing and snorkeling with manta rays is not to be missed!
- If you’re travelling with family, the Gili island is the ideal natural playground for all ages. From activities such as the non-motorized water sports, to climbing the hundreds of trees around the island, to cycling throughout the island, it is the best playground for children to create their own cherished holiday memories.