Maldives, October 2019 On 1 December 2019, the Maldives’ much-loved eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi will welcome back sophisticated, eco-conscious guests following an inspired renovation of the resort. Honouring its laid-back philosophy and rustic chic aesthetic, the island will remain an intimate and sustainable paradise for the barefoot luxury traveller, with a new design concept and wellness programmes to further enrich the soulful guest experience.
Originally opened in 2012, Gili Lankanfushi was previously voted ‘Best Hotel in the World’ by TripAdvisor for its uniquely laidback air and impeccable service ethic. Located in the languid waters of the North Malé Atoll, just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, it is the ultimate place to get away from the world. The 45 refurbished villas will offer open-air living spaces, roof terraces and private decks with direct access to the lagoon below, and there will be the addition of new private pools to the enhanced Residence and Villa suites for extra seclusion. The Family Villas with Pools are a new addition to the resort featuring two en suite bedrooms, a private swimming pool for children to splash in the sunshine, a rooftop terrace for further space to dine and play, as well as a living room situated over the lagoon and accessed from a safe walkway. The vast 1,700m2 Private Reserve – the largest overwater villa in the world – is located 500m from the main island 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.
New Interior Design
The warm, neutral colour palette is inspired by the island’s natural surroundings for a calming effect, whilst locally sourced turquoise fabrics will add flashes of colour to the new design. Sustainability is at the heart of the island’s vision, and every piece of furniture in the new villas and living areas will be custom made by skilled craftsman using upcycled materials. The bed frames will be made from recycled teakwood, and lampshades handwoven with recycled wire mesh twist to feature fish and sea turtles from the surrounding sea. The coffee tables have been engraved with stars to reflect the clear night sky and hanging lamps crafted from bamboo prawn catcher baskets. Rooftop daybeds will be made up with luxurious linens so guests have the option of an atmospheric night sleep beneath the stars, and cushion fabrics custom print with coral patterns found on the reefs below. Each villa has a dedicated butler service catering to guests’ every wish.
New Guest Experiences
A paradise for enriching spa sessions at the serene Meera Spa and educational exploration with the team of deeply knowledgeable experts at the Marine Biology Shack, Gili Lankanfushi will mark
the re-opening of resort with a series of new educational and active wellness programmes that combine the two. Holistic Healing is a five-night programme for those seeking a soulful spa experience that nurtures the body and teaches natural beauty methods including: a one-on-one consultation on arrival, daily yoga classes, guided breath-work sessions, bespoke treatments and an essential oil making workshop to create remedies to take home. Dive & Discover is a five-night programme for budding divers with a passion for marine conservation including: daily diving expeditions, guided night time snorkelling, a coral planting experience with a marine biologist to support The Coral Lines Project and a deep muscle massage to rejuvenate at the spa. Surf & Spa is a four-night programme for the eco-conscious sportsman in search of active exploration: days will start with sunrise yoga followed by surf lessons on the lagoon and guided tours to nearby wave break where guests can be accompanied by a resident marine biologist to learn about local marine life. To ease aching muscles, reflexology is available at the spa.
Following days of exploring and relaxing, guests will enjoy fresh and sustainably sourced dishes at the Kashiveli where the surrounding waters form the basis of the resort’s modern Maldivian fusion cuisine served from new live cooking stations. Executive Chef Hari Govindaraj is responsible for growing organic herbs, vegetables and fruits in the organic Gili garden and will offer guests one-on-one classes to learn the art of cooking with seasonal produce, providing hand-written recipes for guests to take home as a memory of their stay.
Rates at Gili Lankanfushi start at $1,440 per night on a room-only basis, based on double occupancy. The new wellness programmes start from $1,443 per night.
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. The wellbeing of the planet is at the heart of the Gili Lankanfushi, with each stay contributing towards preserving the natural environment, protecting the fragile marine ecosystem and treading lightly.