07 June 2019
The Private Reserve of Gili Lankanfushi is the largest water villa in the world, a water-chalet, a real experience for those who have an unlimited budget when they go on vacation. Even though I think the best experience you can have there is on a week spent with the family, neither the opportunity of having a dinner party or spending a night there with your loved one – if it’s available – of course – should not be ignored. Also, the idea of a video or other shooting that requires a jaw-dropping location should not be ignored. On one side, I’m sure the Gili crew would take care of such a moment: an anniversary, a marriage request or other special moments in the life of those who cross their door – or, dock. If you plan something, click here and I’ll “help” you with the ring. * Wink *
From the very first moments I stepped on the welcome’s deck at The Private Reserve, I felt this sense of freedom. Maybe it was because the villa was in the middle of the ocean, some three football fields away from any other place? Maybe it was because the floor I was standing on with my huge Balenciaga sneakers was plexiglass, so I saw the light water and the fish underneath us that seemed to have made a “nest” there. The entrance was in fact a kind of reception hall, a generous room, decorated in the Gili style, as though detached from Robinson Crusoe, but minimalist and lush. Natural materials, glass and so much space. The entrance then opened to a huge living room, in the middle of which there was a net above the water. Beneath the net, a thin, long and silver fish bank floated in the water. I told you theyhad their nest.
The living room continued to the left with two colours leading to the two main wings. Like a castle on the water. Next, there was a large round table to the natural pool, or the “outside” area where you could dine with the whole family (a large one of course). “This place is perfect for a wedding party” – I tell Carmen already filming on insta stories and explaining what we’re doing here. We’re here to shoot some of our INFSD campaign – # INFSDneons2019 video will be cooler than I thought – I’m telling myself in my mind as I drop down my baggage filled with swimsuits and photo lenses. I cross the deck to my right and after the table there’s the natural pool. On the right, a kind of bed with a canopy for a sunbathing session. Then again the same nets above the water where you can relax, an oasis of silence, because there was nothing to hear until Athiph connected Paul’s iPhone to the music system. Because there’s no cinema without an integrated music system, right? As I head south, I end up in front of an infinity pool where you only see the ocean and not much else. How much does one night cost here? Starting from $ 12,000 & up, from what I understood, depending on the season.
Maybe words are not enough to explain the beauty, the luxury, the tranquility, the enthusiasm, the sense of moment. But the pictures certainly can tell you more and the videos even more. We filmed there for a few hours, then we regrettably returned because we couldn’t stay the night (we had to move to another resort) in our boat. And then I figured the options. You come here, you want to have dinner. Does the taxi come after you? I mean, the boat. Do they have “room service” – also helped by the boat. Are they able to cook at the villa? No, because hey don’t have a cook … and as we got away in the boat, we returned to the gorgeous Maldives water at our villa where we luggage was waiting impatiently.
In 2018 – we were to find out from Instagram – much of the dream complex at Gili Lankanfushi burned in a fire. Out of solidarity, many of the former Gili guests have encouraged them and offered to help, as they can, upon restoring the resort, which probably meant for many – as for us – a corner of paradise, a moment of silence, a family holiday or a successful couple retreat. It is no secret that Delia and her husband Razvan, for example, go there whenever by a spare time on the agenda and even have their own customised bicycles with their names engraved on them. This and not only – shows how much care Gili have of their guests. We really enjoyed our time there … so I found sadly the news that Gili had burned for the most part. Both I and Carmen wrote back to the resort saying that we have confidence in them and that we know that they will come back with fresh forces “in no time” – a fact that is slowly becoming true. As far as I know, they will soon announce a reopening of the resort – somewhere in July this year. We’ll keep you up to date.
Gili Lankanfushi, thanks for the cool holiday experience, we hope to be back soon! See our INFSD neons 2019 campaign video here:
Shots & photos: Alina Ceusan / Grebenisan Carmen / Toma Paul.
Drone: Toma Paul / Swimsuits: https://www.infsd.com