05 August 2019
Music – Lana Del Rey – Doin’ Time.
Gili Lankanfushi is one of the most sustainable resorts in the whole archipelago of islands in Maldives. Ever since we landed in Male and taken the boat that took us to the resort, they asked us to get off (island policy – No News, No Shoes) and served each one with a tropical juice – a mix of fruits sweets, citrus fruits and ginger (probably not bad) that had straw – yes, it had straw, but one made of paper. “… And got got paper straws, so so nice” – I said.
You also listen to the fresh air in your hand, looking at the islands, the shore, the water of an impeccable turquoise … you can’t help but feel on vacation! I arrived on the island in less than twenty minutes and I think this is a real advantage for the resort – the fact that in twenty minutes you arrive from the airport to your new house in Maldives.
They re-use everything they can. The water on the island is desalinated and purified by a process that uses crystals, of course I use glass bottles, which I refill every day – with plain or mineral water, according to the guests’ preferences. The bikes that they provide for guests are made of bamboo and if you take a stroll on the island you will discover that they have their own organic garden, so that at lunch / dinner you can serve all kinds of dishes that come just from their garden.
A walk on the island from one end to another takes about ten to fifteen minutes. Using the bike, on organised routes – even less. Discover in your way all kinds of idyllic places – from the jungle cinema, to the yoga temple, the Japanese restaurant, the diving center and the water sports … the options are limitless but most of the time when you get here the landscape and everything will steal your eyes and you’ll end up longing to stay and enjoy the view, the water, the vegetation. Everything is picture like and the pictures are a pure testimony to us. The water has the most beautiful hue of turquoise that I have seen in my travels, everything is so beautiful. A joy for the eyes.
The houses are certainly impressive; the one we stayed in had two hundred square meters – a large bedroom with master bed and another single bed, an office with ocean view, mini bar, air conditioning and music system. I had a generous terrace with two sofas – corner sofas, as I say, full of big, yellow pillows. The bathroom, with separate toilet, bath with ocean view and a fantasy shower with wooden paths over the water garden. What is that? A kind of private natural pool, where you can enter in the morning (not that you would not be surrounded by water) directly from the bathroom. The top is a huge terrace, with two or three covered places where you can sit in the shade.
If you get to Gili, though, I know what you’ll be doing in the morning. You wake up, get on the pontoon and jump into the water. There is nothing more beautiful than that clean water, the colourful fish two to three meters from “house” and the morning sun. Breakfast is served on the ocean shore, under palm trees. Surreal. Tropical fruits, porridge, cereals, super many types of fruit jam and honey. Shrimp / chicken congee, miso soup, pastry selection … Pine honey, lavender, avocado, orange blossoms, the options are endless. Eggs are off the menu, so you pay for them – but you have options – sunny side up, scrambled, or any other combination. For “cold cuts” – sausages and cheeses have to go down in the cellar, which I found out later. The first few days I still ate sweets, yogurt, fruit for breakfast – and I wondered (not a sweet “fan”) where we find the salted selection, an egg, something. However, breakfast is a very nice experience at Gili, you can order it in the room, of course, but it is worth waking up and starting a beach break at the restaurant. No news, no shoes, remember?
Lunch / Room Service – they know what instagramable means, without you telling them, trust me.
The services are impeccable from the moment you arrive on the island until you leave. Ever since we arrived we have been assigned a “Mr. Friday” – see again the reference to Robinson Crusoe, Athyph – who is actually a sort of concierge, an island guide if you will, who helps you with whatever you have need throughout your stay on the island. Our Atyph is also a painter, during leisure he paints landscapes on the island as a souvenir for guests. You can find it here. Just because he lives on an island doesn’t mean he doesn’t have Instagram.
Prices are also somehting. You can find the prices for each period (and room separately) on their website. At the time we were there it was around 1300euro / night – for the villa we chose. Prices depend, of course, depending on the period and the type of villa selected. For the moment, as much information as we have, Gili is still under reconstruction after the 2018 fire (read more here).
When Atyph – our Mr. Friday came to our room, we were taking pictures for the INFSD campaign, he told us he would like us to spend a night at The Private Reserve. We already knew what The Private Reserve – Gili Jewelry was – he largest water villa in the world – which is neither more nor less than 12,000 dollars / night. The truth is, that madness only makes sense when you have about 11 other people with you. Or when you have something to film, as we had, the INFSD neons campaign 2019. Read an article about The Private Reserve here
“THE PRIVATE RESERVE”
Obviously, at one point, like all the beautiful things, our stay in Gili had to come to an end.
So we flew the seaplane to another island. The seaplane flight was a unique experience. We both took sedative pc from the waiting room before we embarked. As soon as the coordinators invited us to the dock, from where I got on the plane “parked” on the water, my hands began to sweat. If you have to get from one place to another, from one island to another in the Maldives, this is the only option.
The pilot was wearing flip-flops and t-shirt, tanned and smiling, the plane was small, the ventilation was actually a small fan attached to the front and our plane had 20 seats. There were also luggage with us. It was crazy until we took off. We kept floating on the water, heading for what I suppose was the runway. Carmen and I were really emotional. As soon as we took off and got in the air, I put my headphones on my ears, began to play Depeche Mode – Free love, and what I was given to see – the Maldives from above, the water, the springs, the landscapes – everything was purely sublime. All my emotions passed instantly. I was looking at Carmen, who was sitting behind me and gesturing, “Are you okey? I am … the music, just look down.”
And slowly we said goodbye to Gili, with the promise that we will return as soon as possible to the island of Paradise, our first island in Maldives, which remained in our soul for their care, the beauty of the landscapes, the dinners always. excellent, crystal-clear water, full moon nights, sunrise on which goes “Enjoy the silence”, the feeling of freedom and union with nature. To be continued. Soon Gili!