Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives
Few years ago while “surfing” on the internet I found a photo of a paradise beach somewhere around the world. For many years, this stunning image was the background of my computer. I recently discovered that this wonderful beach with unmistakable coconut trees was on the private island of Lankanfushi in the Maldives.
Considered the # 1 luxury resort in the Maldives, Gili Lankanfushi is possibly the most special resort I have ever been to. To get there you only need a 20 minutes speed boat ride from Malé airport till you reach the incredible turquoise lagoon that surrounds the resort. We arrived in paradise!
After a warm welcomed by Makif, our Mr. Friday, a person who is dedicated to the guests in order to make the service personalized, we took our sneakers off and put them in the “No Shoes, No news” bag, here you walk barefoot throughout the whole stay and it’s the best way to connect yourself to this paradise… In the middle of this pandemic, all we want is a few days of pause, forget the drama and live the moment! We were escorted to our bungalow, the only way to get there is on a small boat. The resort has 45 villas, all of them overwater, some have a platform till the door of the house, others, more exclusive are isolated in the middle of the sea.
The trip to the villa takes less than a minute and boats are always available. When the weather is good, each villa has its own small boat for self driving, unfortunately the sea was a little rough and we couldn’t use ours.
We stayed in one of the 7 Cursoe Villas, isolated at the ocean. The villa has 250m2 and a room with windows to the sea, it is so spacious that honestly all my friends could fit in there, given the amount of sofas and lounges scattered around the bungalow. The decor is rustic but luxurious, almost entirely based on recycled wood. The villa has two bathrooms, the main one has a bathtub overlooking the corals, an outdoor shower and private access to the sea.
All villas have a deck with sun loungers, direct access to the sea and a private hammock in the water, this one also has catamaran hammocks for moments of relaxation. The villa also has a small support kitchen with wine fridge, kitchen utensils and a Nespresso coffee machine. On the first floor of the house there is a huge terrace with open views over the lagoon, a bed that if guests wish can be made to sleep under the stars.
Now let’s talk about the resort, there are two restaurants that serve different food styles, the beach restaurant called Kashiveli, which means “coral sands” has dishes that fuse European cuisine with the Maldivian, it is also here that you eat breakfast and dinner. Some night they do different events, we tried the Mediterranean market with a huge variety of food made at the moment, from risotto to fresh pasta. It was a pleasant surprise to have a chef speaking Portuguese, a special thanks to the friendly Chef Roberto for the good chat moments and the wonderful food.
Breakfast is divine, one of the best I have ever had with a huge variety of fruits, juices, bread and cakes … there is also a Cold Room where you will find a variety of cheeses, chocolates, cereals, jams and sushi. Speaking of sushi, the other restaurant is called “By The Sea” and is dedicated to Japanese food, here you can eat fresh fish and drink from the extensive collection of Sake.
Much of the vegetables, fruits and herbs come from the hotel’s organic garden, which you can visit and even ask to have your meal there. Don’t forget to visit the recycling center that is right next door.
We were invited to take a trip through the flavors of chocolate and wines from around the world in the hotel’s wine cellar, which you can find underground to maintain the right temperature for wines. The environment of the wine cellar transports us to another reality, with a different decoration with a table made from a huge tree trunk from Indonesia that appeared at the island in 2004 after the tsunami… When building the wine cellar, the first thing to be placed was the table and only afterwards the walls and ceiling were built. I was surprised and happy to know that they have many portuguese wines at the cellar.
The resort also has a huge pool on the beach, and a huge overwater bar where you can have lunch or spend the afternoon in the lounges and hammocks while in the company of a beautiful cocktail and baby sharks that stroll there. We also had the opportunity to have a nice seafood dinner under the starts here.
For those who like activities you will find a tennis court, cinema in the middle of the forest where I watched a movie, a laboratory center dedicated to marine biology that we had the opportunity to visit and get to know more about their coral protection project. A diving and activities center where you can do things like surfing, stand up paddle… A spa that we were unable to visit but that I certainly won’t miss next time!
A super well equipped gym and an area on the beach dedicated to Yoga that I had the opportunity to take a class with an instructor.
A list of some activities you can’t miss during your stay:
- Meditation and Yoga class at sunrise.
- See a movie in the middle of the jungle with the stars.
- Snorkeling around the reef
- Chocolate and wine tasting.
- Eat the wonderful breakfast at your villa.
- Seafood dinner under the stars in the overwater bar.
- Sleep under the stars at your villa rooftop
My favorite part of the island is, as you can imagine the beach with the coconut trees, if there is a paradise on earth it is here. In the shade of the palm trees you will find comfortable sun loungers where you can spend the day. Each guest has a bicycle to move around the island, even if you don’t have to go anywhere, take yours through the dense and lush vegetation of the island.
We had the opportunity to visit the largest floating bungalow in the world, The Private Reserve has no less than 1700m2… Comprising 4 bedrooms, numerous bathrooms, several indoor and outdoor living rooms, a spa, sauna, gym, kitchen, cinema, terraces, a 63m2 swimming pool and a water slide directly to the sea water. It is undoubtedly a dream for those looking for a place to gather family or friends for an unforgettable stay.
One of the resort’s main goals is its commitment to sustainability, in addition to the marine conservation program, its organic hours, and its recycling center, the resort has a no plastic policy.
Working in the travel industry for many years gave me the opportunity to visit many fabulous hotels and resorts around the world, but few are unforgettable. Gili Lankanfushi is a unique resort, without equal, truly special! I want to thank all the staff, especially Tammy who was extremely kind and also the tireless Makif, thank you very much! I hope one day I can visit this amazing island again, until then I will continue staring at my background screen picture. dreaming about the beach and the coconut trees, but now with a photo of my own.
Photos without my logo are own are used with the consent of Gili Lankanfushi. Photographer: Sakis Papadopoulos
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Hi! My name is João Cajuda, I’m a travel blogger from Portugal and founder of this website. In this blog I share my adventures around the world and give you tips about hotels, restaurants, activities and destinations to visit. You can travel through my videos or join my group tours that I organize to selected destinations. Visit my Adventure Travel Agency LEVA-ME and join one of my journeys!