SETTING THE SCENE
Imagine a place where I am free to be me and time is mine to spend as I wish; I do think of this private island resort lapped by the gleaming Indian Ocean. Gili Lankanfushi is set on Lankanfushi Island in the North Malé Atoll, a 20-minute boat ride from Malé International Airport. Once the boat reached the jetty, I stepped ashore and left my shoes aside, owing to the ‘No News, No Shoes’ keystone of the resort. Mr. Friday, my 24-hour available butler, greeted me with a warm smile and heart-warming conversation, which assured me to count on him for my entire stay.
I observed that the resort blends so harmoniously into the surroundings: villas and jetties are built on stilts to ensure minimal disturbance to the marine life, while sustainably harvested woods are used as building materials. Natural ventilation and lighting are integrated throughout, reducing excessive electricity use.
Among 45 sumptuous water villas, I picked one Villa Suite for my idyllic hideaway. My first step in introduced me to a large living room with a glass-bottomed floor at the centre, which drew my attention with its multi-coloured fish darting in turquoise water. Walking through the other door, I found myself on an over-water sun deck gazing at dramatic infinity. A cosy and roomy bedroom stays at one side, with air-conditioner or overhead fan as options, while a semi open-air bathroom with separate glass-walled shower exists at the other side of the main living area.
I believed that besides a spacious 210-square-metre area, an open design of its living space gave me the vibes of freedom – complete with stretching blue ocean. In addition, my exquisite stay was enhanced with a memorable night on a rooftop terrace with boundless sky filled with countless stars. In case any guests prefer a more heavenly and private stay, they could choose between standalone Residences and Crusoe Residences, with more living space and luxurious amenities.
I began a day with an extravagant breakfast at the Main Restaurant, where a daily changing gourmet experience is presented, as well as a Mediterranean Spice Souk on Friday evening and Exotic Asean Street Market on Tuesday evening. For lunch, I chose to seat myself at Overwater Bar, enjoying Mediterranean delicacies along with a selection of martinis, whilst soaking up the ocean views.
Changing the ambience, I climbed up above the beachside forest to By The Sea and went through a Japanese culinary adventure that offered the freshest sashimi I ever tasted. My exceptional moment was attributed to wine-tasting, hosted by an expert sommelier at The Underground Wine Cellar & Chocolate Cave, with the opportunity to discover handmade chocolates as well as artisanal cheese and cold cuts.
To achieve the utmost dining experience, Dining Destination – a private dinner on a selected secluded island – could be arranged to create the unforgettable.
WHY I’D RETURN
I do miss the azure sky, turquoise water, and my Mr. Friday, and I want to see them again. And there is an array of activities I haven’t joined (or am glad to do it again): diving, snorkelling, surfing, sunrise yoga, sunset cruise, or movie at the Jungle Cinema. In particular, I would like to take a journey back to myself and find my inner peace again.