Maldives – BIRD is delighted to announce its appointment to represent luxury boutique eco resort, Gili Lankanfushi — one of the Maldives’ best-loved resorts and previously voted ‘Best Hotel in the World’ by TripAdvisor. With a uniquely laidback air and impeccable service ethic, Gili Lankanfushi is the ultimate place to get away from the world.
Located in the languid waters of the North Malé Atoll, just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, Gili Lankanfushi is an intimate and sustainable island paradise existing in harmony with the natural surroundings. The 45 villas — all overwater — provide a secluded retreat from the world, with a rustic design aesthetic which belies the luxurious open-air living spaces, roof terraces and decks leading directly into the lagoon below. Emphasising the connection between the land and sea, glass floor panels offer a glimpse of the corals blooming below, whilst rooftop daybeds can be made up with luxurious linens for an atmospheric night spent sleeping beneath the stars. The calming wood surrounds are enlivened with flashes of bright turquoise and terracotta fabrics, whilst the bathrooms boast hammered copper sinks and bathtubs with panoramic lagoon views.
One bedroom Villa Suites and Gili Lagoon Villas boast 210m2 living space with open-air bathrooms and private coral gardens, whilst the Residences, Gili Lagoon Residence and Family Villa have the additional option to convert living areas into an air-conditioned second bedroom for families and groups.The unique Crusoe Residences are located apart from the main island, in the midst of the lucent turquoise lagoon, offering flexible living accommodation with a private boat to access the main island.The vast 1,700m2 Private Reserve — the largest overwater villa in the world — is located 500m from the main island for ultimate seclusion and offers four vast bedrooms in addition to a private open-air cinema, spoiling spa, air-conditioned gymnasium, infinity pool and two-storey waterslide, directly into the lagoon.
Dining at Gili Lankanfushi focuses on fresh and sustainable ingredients; the bounteous surrounding waters form the basis for the resort’s unique Modern European-Maldivian cuisine. The daily changing menu at the Main Restaurant draws upon the spice, sweetness and fragrance of Maldivian gastronomy with locally-sourced seafood and organic herbs and vegetables grown in the resort’s extensive organic garden, whilst the perennially popular street food markets introduce a wide variety of authentic global dishes. For a taste of something different, Japanese-fusion restaurant By the Sea dishes up the freshest sushi, sashimi and teppanyaki with panoramic sea views. Guests can opt to dine in the comfort of their own villa or set out on a culinary adventure, with a private sunset champagne cruise or a moonlit feast on a secluded sandbar, surrounded by hundreds of glowing lanterns.
The island’s dedicated marine biology shack — set to open in May 2017 — will support the work of the two resident Marine Biologists who work to protect the reef, track and identify marine life and educate guests about the underwater world. Regular visiting academics bolster the resort’s reputation as one of the strongest in the Maldives for marine biology research, whilst partnerships with the Manta Trust and Olive Ridley Project protect vulnerable oceanic species.
The overwater Meera Spa — meaning ‘ocean’ in Sanskrit — is a mecca of wellness, offering holistic healing and pampering spa treatments in a serene setting. An extensive range of global therapies draws on age-old cultures and healing knowledge and uses Voya, Sodashi and Meera products, created from locally sourced plants and botanicals, to revitalise and restore. Treatment rooms feature glass floors so guests can watch fish drifting by amongst the coral as their worldly woes are pummelled away by the spa’s team of expert therapists. Guests can reconnect with nature through complimentary daily yoga classes at sunrise in the beachside yoga champa.
A rotating schedule of international visiting practitioners bring thought leadership and specialist healing knowledge, whilst a curated programme of healing journeys offer guests a choice of detoxifying, destressing and spiritual experiences with the opportunity to dip their toe into wellness with a one-day Ayurvedic journey or plunge into a lavish, detoxing five-day retreat. Active programmes include breath workshops to aid divers and tailored spa treatments to allow surfers to reach their full potential. A range of holistic activities, including meditation, reiki, crystal healing and ancient singing bowl sessions supplement the wide range of spa treatments to ease mind and body into a state of tranquility.
Divers can explore the vast and vibrant underwater world with the dedicated Ocean Paradise dive centre, offering certifications as well as fun dives where guests have the opportunity to spot white- and black-tipped reef sharks, eagle rays, manta rays, hawksbill turtles and more. Surf lovers can ride the world-famous breaks at Cokes and Honkies, whilst adventure seekers can take a seaplane out to the most distant and far-flung breaks in the archipelago with the island’s resident TropicSurf Surf Shack.
Sustainability is at the heart of the island’s vision. Accredited to silver standard by EarthCheck, Gili Lankanfushi emphasises preserving the natural environment, protecting the fragile marine ecosystem and treading lightly. An advanced rocket composter can process up to 100% of the resort’s food waste, producing compost which in turn nurtures the island’s extensive organic herb garden. All buildings are constructed using sustainably-sourced plantation teak, palm wood and bamboo, in addition to recycled materials such as telegraph poles. Organic toiletries are provided in refillable earthenware containers to minimise plastics use and the island’s dedicated desalinisation plant provides freshly bottled water.
Gili Lankanfushi opened in 2000 as one of the Maldives’ first sustainably-focused luxury resorts and has been pioneering the field ever since.
Rates at Gili Lankanfushi start at $1,440 per night on a room-only basis, based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to taxes. Call +960 664 0304 / Email Mr.Friday@gili-lankanfushi.com
Editor’s note: Located in the North Malé 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 TripAdvisor in 2015, Gili Lankanfushi is an easy 20-minute speedboat transfer from Malé 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
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