Gili Lankanfushi is quite unlike what my wife and I are used to. Being frequent resort dwellers is one thing, but Gili Lankanfushi has certainly taken this experience up to
another stratospheric level. One that I’m afraid it would be insanely difficult to match, let alone surpass.
Picking a resort in Maldives is a tough task. Just how does one start to choose? My wife and I have fairly similar tastes (phew) and it made it easy for us. We love the idea of rustic luxury and it was no surprise that Gili Lankanfushi appealed to both us. An eco-friendly wellness retreat, what’s not to like?
Make no mistake, this slice of Maldivian paradise is the playground of the rich and exclusive.
There are guests who return to Gili Lankanfushi for their favourite water villa, every single year. There are celebrities who crave for isolation. There are water villas that are booked for months in duration, even when it lies vacant, so that someone could drop by their favourite villa any time they want.
Even the largest water villa in the world is no obstacle. According to our Mr. Friday, once a particularly wealthy individual had booked it for months. At its rack rate of more than US$15000 per night, I’ll leave you to crunch the numbers on how much it’ll cost even for just one month.Do people actually spend US$15000 to snag one night at The Private Reserve? Not everyone can. José Mourinho did. No, I didn’t – even though I did get a private tour of the 1,700 sqm water palace ;)
Indeed, Gili Lankanfushi is an expensive destination. With a little bit of planning and a little bit of willingness to spend, my wife and I removed one item off our bucket list in the most indulgent way possible. Why settle for less when we can get the best?
This is a prime example of a perfectly orchestrated travel experience. From the moment you step off the plane to the time you bid goodbye to Maldives, you’ll find yourself in the safe and competent hands of Gili Lankanfushi. An airport concierge welcomes our arrival at Velana International Airport and whisks us away to the speedboat that is waiting. Cold towel? Check. Welcome drink? Check.
Once you hop on to their private speedboat, we were made obvious of the theme of the resort – no news, no shoes. We were asked to remove our
shoes slippers which was kept safely into cloth bags. By the time we reached the arrival jetty at Gili Lankanfushi, we were starting to get used to the idea of barefoot luxury – and we were greeted by an assortment of staff from Gili Lankanfushi including our Mr. Friday, Dahaa, and the resort manager, Brad who gave us a warm welcome.
Mr. (or Ms. Friday) are the Gili Lankanfushi trademarked names (think Robinson Crusoe) for their butlers. Each guest has a Mr. Friday for the duration of their stay and they are available 24/7 who can do as much, or as little, as we like. I felt that the concept of a Mr. Friday is the heart and soul of Gili Lankanfushi. To be able to execute this is a huge gamble, and one that paid off handsomely, especially in our case. Our Mr. Friday felt like a friend to us during our stay at Gili Lankanfushi and we are eternally gratefully for his generous sharing on Maldivian life and culture.
A trip/resort review would be excessively long if I were to blog all of it at one go. The accompanying posts, when I finally get to blogging about them, will be full of spoilers but give you all the information you would ever need if you are considering a stay at Gili Lankanfushi.