Your secret Maldivian hideaway

WT Writer
May 1, 2018
With no noise and no distractions, Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives invites you to slow down the pace and reconnect with nature


Set on the private island of Lankanfushi in the North Malé Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi, Maldivesfeels luxuriously remote, yet the five-star resort is just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport. No tiresome lengthy transfers – just an easy ride, skimming across the atoll to reach a tropical island paradise of white-sand beaches, palms that bend in the breeze, and barefoot staff padding about in white linen.

There are few occasions in life where you will be encouraged to do as little as you like, but at Gili, there’s no need to do anything except decompress and enjoy the magic of the island. Unwind in your private villa, making the most of the no news and no shoes philosophy, calling on your very own Mr. or Ms. Friday – discreet and intuitive personal butlers named after Robinson Crusoe’s loyal assistant and friend – should you need anything.

Stilted above the water, the island’s 45 spacious overwater villas offer utter seclusion; crafted using sustainably sourced wood and glass, the low-impact, open-air design is effortlessly harmonious with the surrounding environment. No noise, no distraction – these private, exclusive homes are your own personal hideaway. Read a book on the deck, dip into the iridescent lagoon for a lazy swim alongside the resident fish, and when it’s time to explore, the island is your playground. Hop on a bicycle and head for the swimming pool; have a picnic on Palm Beach, a shifting sandbar dotted with slender palms; take a traditional dhoni cruise; or utilise the expert knowledge of the resort’s resident marine biologist who knows exactly where to go for the finest snorkelling and diving in the atoll.

Worked up an appetite? Gili’s bar-raising culinary experience makes every meal memorable, with fresh produce plucked from the island garden, an impressive drink and cheese cellar, two restaurants and exciting evenings of gastronomy, such as Asian-style food markets. Perhaps you’d like more solace? A star-lit private dinner on One Palm Island will do the trick.

It wouldn’t truly be a holiday without a relaxing massage, which is just one of many bliss-inducing treatments on offer at Meera Spa. With six over-water treatment rooms, an Ayurvedic Treatment Champa, steam and sauna rooms and an open-air relaxation area, the luxe-rustic haven suspends over the lagoon, with glass-viewing floors to gaze at, as therapists knead and soothe away any tension.

Beauty and barefoot luxury is everywhere in the Maldives, but Gili is more than just a five-star island resort. It’s a place where you arrive as a guest, leave as a friend and return as family.


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