I’ve told you before that I’m like a kid on Christmas Day, the first day of holiday. And at Gili Lankanfushi in The Maldives I had never been more excited to jump out of bed…light flooded through the window of our beautiful bedroom and I was soon up and ready as the day grew brighter and brighter.
For once it wasn’t too hard to drag Mr S out of bed with the glittering turquoise sea right outside his door! I’ve already told you all about our wonderful room and there’s so much more to tell you about this beautiful rustic-luxe castaway island. I thought I’d continue in this post with a general tour of the island and stay tuned to read more about the food and romantic experiences at Gili Lankanfushi.
Barefoot and fancy free we made our way down the board walk admiring the other gorgeous rooms. There’s 45 villas in total, including the seven standalone Crusoe Residences and the spectacular private reserve – more on that later!
It’s pretty easy to make your way around this small island that we would call home for the next few days…
Stepping hand in hand across the powdery white sand dunes with the warm waves of the Indian ocean lapping at your feet.
Or taking your bike through shady jungle paths.
And as you go along there’s plenty of pretty places to take a rest…out door living areas I thought of the them as. Well-equipped with comfy cushions, books and games.
There’s a gorgeous boutique selling clothes and souvenirs so you’ll never forget your time at Gili Lankanfushi. Though I can promise you, this place will always be an incredible memory for me – but I *did* buy a dress just in case.
There’s even an outdoor pool table! Everything at Gili Lankanfushi is created with natural materials, so nothing looks remotely out of place it just all blends seamlessly.
A partnership with Earth Check means Gili strives to achieve the best practices possible, nothing is wasted and a commitment to eco-friendly practices is at the heart of the resort. The team work on strategies throughout the entire running of the resort to manage their impact on the environment; for example plastic is used as little as possible, only glass and they desalinate their own water from the sea. They even invite local schools to the resort to find out more about waste management – quite a field trip!
And here’s the beachfront yoga champa which can also be used for private dining.
If you wondered to the left of our room, you’d eventually arrive at the Main Restaurant, a romantic location where you can enjoy breakfast or dinner with your feet in the sand!
And just beyond is the Over Water Bar, raised on stilts above the Indian Ocean with panoramic views. See how open it is? Cross ventilation means there’s no need for air-conditioning, another eco-friendly practice on the island.
Full tours of these and more deets on the food to come!
At Gili Lankanfushi, the entire ocean is your pool, but if you prefer there’s a beautiful beach side pool located right next to the restaurant.
It’s also on this side of the island that you’ll also find the Ocean Paradise Dive Centre.
Of course on this coral island, diving and snorkelling is one of the key activities and the resort offers excursions and eco-tours with their resident dive instructors or marine biologists. It’s a fantastic opportunity to swim among the brilliant blue fish, see turtles, manta rays and even black-tipped sharks. Mr S and I were taken out to One Palm Island, the resort’s tiny castaway islet with one of the resident experts and from there we had the opportunity to swim among the coral. One Palm Island is also one of the many locations on the island for private dinners and romantic getaways.
Confession time, I’m actually scared of snorkelling (I know I’m a bit pathetic…) as I find the mask claustrophobic and I don’t like being in deep water but Mr S took these shots with our new under water camera.
Preserving the beautiful environment is fundamental at Gili and guests are invited to join the Coral Line project, a work in progress to preserve Marine life. Or you can collect data on Turtles with the Olive Ridley Project or find out more about Manta Rays with the Manta Rays trust.
Unfortunately it wasn’t a very clear day so he didn’t get too many pictures! Mr S also regretted not taking a surf lesson while we were at Gili Lankanfushi run by luxury surfing company Tropic Surf. With the location in the North Male atoll, the resort has one of the most ideal locations for surfing with some of the best breaks in The Maldives. There’s plenty of other water sports too such as catamaran, kayak, windsurfing, canoeing and paddle boarding or you can drink champagne while cruising in the hotel’s 14 metre yacht.
Honestly, as someone that likes ‘doing things’ on holiday, I was worried I’d be bored in The Maldives, but there’s absolutely no chance of that! The days flew by while we were staying at Gili Lankanfushi.
On the other side of the island, to the right of our room was the Meera Spa and opposite that was the By The Sea Japanese restaurant – I’ll go in to detail on both of those in upcoming posts.
Just by the restaurant is the fitness centre. Honestly, I never go to the gym on holiday but that view is *almost* an incentive. Floor to ceiling windows allow panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and just like the rest of the resort, even the gym is decorated with natural materials.
Finally I want to tell you about one last villa – and it’s not just any villa. Gili Lankanfushi’s Private Reserve might be the most amazing ‘hotel room’ that I’ve ever seen.
Just like the Crusoe Residences, the Private Reserve is accessible only by boat but honestly once you’re there you never need to leave. Mr S and I were lucky enough to have a tour of this very special villa that can be hired out for families and groups. Spanning 1,700 square metres, the Private Reserve is a microcosm of the hotel itself, encompassing all the luxurious hotel amenities in one super private space, 300 metres from the closest villa.
Central to the Private Reserve is a huge open plan living and entertainment centre – similar in style to our living room pavilion but large enough to accommodate a big group.
From the living area a jetty stretches out to a sun deck…
The location for the Reserve’s private infinity pool and over water hammock.
Once you’re standing here you have to take a look back at the room…
As it comes complete with a water slide!!!
Mr S absolutely could not resist!!
The reserve is separated into five units and each living area has four bedroom suites branching off it.
Each bedroom suite is a self-contained unit in itself.
Similar in style to our own villa suite, each has a bedroom, out door living area and bathroom. But every one is slightly different and unique adding a element of interest as you explore the reserve. Can you imagine arriving with your friends and bagsying your room?
I particularly loved this outdoor bath floating above the water – and though it was tempting to get in to get the perfect Instagram shot, we weren’t actually staying in this room so that might have been a little inappropriate!
As well as four bedrooms, the Private Reserve also has it’s own spa, gym AND a private cinema! See I told you that you’d never need to leave. There’s a separate room for the resident Mr Friday and a gourmet kitchen, guests are even invited to design their own wine cellar. When can I move in!?
I hope you enjoyed this tour of the resort and learning about the eco-friendly practices…my foodie post is coming next!
Have you ever been to The Maldives? What did you think? Have you stayed in an eco-friendly hotel before?
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Our stay at Gili Lankanfushi was complimentary on a full board basis.