Male, Maldives (3 January 2019): At 11pm on 2nd January a fire broke out at Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives. The alarm was raised immediately and staff were able to safely evacuate all guests from their villas where they were taken care of by Gili hosts with blankets, food and water before being evacuated from the island to alternative accommodation on neighbouring islands.
Seven over-water villas plus one restaurant were destroyed in the fire however thankfully no-one was injured. The cause of the fire is still unknown but Gili Lankanfushi is working closely with the Maldives National Defence Force and a full investigation is now underway.
“I want to commend the bravery of our Gili Team for prioritising the wellbeing of our guests and calmly escorting them to safety as soon as the alarm was raised,” said General Manager, David Stepetic. “And to express our deep gratitude to the firefighters from the Maldives National Defence Force who were able to contain the fire.”
Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, Mr Ali Waheed, visited Gili Lankanfushi the night the fire broke out and has been supporting the team to ensure all guests are being taken care of with alternative accommodation, flights home and any necessary travel documents.
The full extent of damage is still being assessed however the resort will be closed for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the team are in close touch with their future guests and travel partners to assist with rearranging or refunding their holidays whilst the damage is repaired to re-open Gili Lankanfushi later this year.
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Gili Lankanfushi: 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.