As soon as the boat pulls up to the balcony of our ultra-luxe 250 square meters’ overwater villa home “Crusoe Residence No.5”, we wanted to jump out into this endless crystal clear turquoise water and blue lagoons, plant both of our feet in the sand, then swim out to our private overwater hammock along with incredible underwater wildlife friends, and lay there from sunrise to sunset. Then stay right there without moving as we watch the stars coming out at night, each one of them blazing out so brightly across the sky, like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Yes, our overwater villa home can only be accessed by boat, that is how exclusive this paradise is. This is by far the best overwater villa we have ever stayed in here in Maldives. Gili Lankanfushi or the formerly known as Soneva Gili Lankanfushi runs with one rule and one rule only “no news, no shoes”. Making it feel so damn good leaving the rest of the world behind as this place leaves us breathless and makes us believe we can walk on water, an ultimate barefoot luxury. Not only that they are a home to the world’s Overwater Villas (Yes! All of those you now see in Bora Bora is the imitation of this) but they also are a home of The World’s Largest Overwater Villa “The Private Reserve” 1,700 Square Meters. It is not often you found yourself in a place that its real life beauty surpasses that of magazines and advertisement you have ever seen. Gili Lankanfushi is a resort beyond any words and expectation. Something truly to be experienced by oneself.
Upon our arrival at Male International Airport we were warmly greeted by Gili Lankanfushi representative who took care of our smooth and trouble free transfer. On board we were offered soul refreshing drinks with ginger, lime, and brown sugar base. Without finishing the first drink you might already think of having the second one. Just a short speedboat ride (20 minutes) from Male Airport we have arrived on paradise, Gili Lankanfushi. What we have seen is completely breathtaking; endless pure powdery white sand beaches, lush green tropical forest, island long palm trees, and all surrounded by calm waves of insanely clear blue ocean water, like a dream land floating on water. So if you have decided to come here for next holiday prepared to get yourself blown away and get ready for an upgrade to your holiday standard for the future trips. Oh and please don’t forget, “pack light” when it comes to toiletries. You really don’t need to weight down your suitcases with Sunscreen, After Sun Location, Aloe Vera Gel, Insect Repellent, and etc. As each suite is well equipped with all of these amenities which remain at your disposal through your entire stay.
For a complete Robinson experience, I highly recommend you to go for Crusoe Residence such as that our ours, standing alone away from the island and accessible only by your very own private boat. The bedroom, the bathroom, the living room are featuring big doors and windows completely overlooking panoramic ocean view of which can also be converted from air-con atmosphere into open-air sea breeze walkways. The indoor living room features see through floor revealing the beautiful ocean beneath our feet, huge day beds with endless oversized pillows; one with table perfect for lounging & lazing around and another with chest board, and large dining table seating comfortably for 4 guests, and wine cellar. Once we got into the outdoor living room we have double overwater sundeck one on the left one on the right topped with pillows in yellow and grey, two sun beds with matching umbrellas, and stairs leading directly to the ocean and our private over water hammock lying in the middle of the pristine lagoon (the key feature for us). During high tide you can get experience of sleeping half off half on water (our favorite). Being able to take unrestricted timeframe nap on these hammocks as the sea breeze and warm sunlight smoothly touching our faces and bodies along to the beat of on calm waves and birds singing, not seeing anyone but wildlife and lush island greenness for miles and miles away is a privilege in life. If you have come to Gili without being on one of those amazing overwater hammock, it is like you haven’t been here at all. The right wing is our insanely spacious bathroom which feels like a mixture between a walk in closet and the spa room. Everything was well segmented, a bathtub for two sitting in the middle against floor to ceiling view of undisruptive Maldivian oceanic heaven with double sinks and mirrors on each side left and right – for Mr. and Mrs., separated toilet, double closets for him and her, u shape spa cushion chair, separated showers one indoor and one outdoor, and stairs leading to the ocean and your private lagoon with wooden barricade blocking others from seeing outside in. The left wing is our master bedroom. As the courtesy of Soneva, the superb interior designs boast unique atmosphere optimizing natural light and utilizing both eco-friendly and stylish materials with warm and bright colors. The dreamy extra comfy and extra soft white bed is topped with the fashionable yet useful mosquito net hanging beautifully over it. The view is also to die for, undisruptive panoramic ocean view runs throughout consistently. There is a writing desk next to it, perfect corner for those of you who love to write like me. Upstairs, there is a large rooftop sundeck with day beds and dining facilities. If you wish, sleeping under the stars would be requested with your Mr. Friday, your very own private butler.
You really do need at least one full week to do justice for the endless dining options Gili Lankanfushi has to offer. The restaurant by the beach serving breakfast and dinner with wooden chairs and table lying beneath the shades of the palm trees. Breakfast is served with wide section of homemade freshly baked pastries, hot dishes, and endless tropical fresh fruit juice & smoothies. If you are like me, wanting to drink many different fresh fruit juice but knowing that the full fat cups will get you too full, you can ask for them in shooter glasses (my daily-go-to drinks are peach smoothies and jungle cooler). Don’t forget to check out the chocolate cave! For lunch, we always go to “The Overwater Bar”, they do have the best salad bar I have ever seen and everything is organic and homegrown. With more than 100 vegetables, 50 types of salad leaf, 100 toppings, 10 kinds of seeds, and 11 basil types. We can certainly eat only salad for the rest of our lives without getting bored here. However, our most favorite is, of course, nothing but the dining destination on one-palm-island. To us, this is the most stunning venue and what could be a better holiday than to book the own island just for yourselves? It is beautiful both by day and by night, so we did both ways. The downside of picnic lunch on one-palm-island is the hot weather, sunlight in Maldives is pretty strong as there is no shady area on the island direct sun exposure is inevitable. However, we didn’t encounter any problem. Just keep yourself hydrated, drink a lot of water, wear sunscreen, and the rest is history. During the day you will see how clear the water is and how white the sand is, it is a pretty amazing shade deep blue turquoise on white. After the picnic you can lay down for sunbathing getting new shade of bronze on your skin or snorkel around the island as this is one of the best spots to see underwater wide life in Gili. Private barbecues dinner on one-palm-island during is ultimately romantic. As you can see this sandbank that standing alone away from the main island completely lit up by endless candles and lanterns. The island can only be accessed by boat so I have decided to go with get there by the Maldivian ultimate classic “Dhoni”. We sailed where the wind takes us, “Gone with the Wind”. Upon our arrival to one-palm-tree island we were warmly greeted by our private chef and waiter whom have created a night to remember for. Our last day proved to be a truly Grand finale to our truly Grand holiday in Gili Lankanfushi.