Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Soneva Gili) was the first all over-water villa resort in the Maldives and continues to lead the way with its palatial villas-on-stilts. There is a total of 44 villas plus the vast Private Reserve. All are crafted in a traditional style from natural materials and offer roof-top and over-water sundecks, featuring open air bathrooms, luxurious daybeds and a personal entertainment centre. Some of the villas at Gili Lankanfushi are accessed by walkways and for the ultimate privacy others can only be accessed by personal boat. Gili Lankanfushi has a casual atmosphere, the food is superb and nothing is too much trouble for your personal Man Friday.
The interior decoration has been devised to recreate a natural habitat, using sustainable woods, natural materials and traditional fabrics, whilst still offering all the modern day amenities and creature comforts of true luxury. At Gili Lankanfushi the utmost care has been taken in developing the island with respect to its ecological balance.
Dining experiences include a romantic, moonlit dinner on the deck of your villa, a sunset champagne cruise on a traditional dhoni, or dinners in the underground Gourmet Cellar - the settings are as memorable as the cuisine. From the fine wines to the excellent malts, Gili Lankanfushi has achieved a reputation for providing guests with unique dining experiences.
Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Soneva Gili) offers just 45 sumptuous over water villas, including Crusoe Residences and The Private Reserve reached only by boat. Each villa has not only been designed and built with the utmost attention to detail, but are also environmentally friendly and reflect the harmony of life by the water’s edge. Each has its own private water garden and sun decks, and the bathrooms have
a separate shower accessed along an open-air walkway.
Due to the fact that the majority of the villas are over water, children are accepted, but not encouraged to stay at Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Soneva Gili). A resort like the Four Seasons would be better suited and able to cater for children of all ages.
Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Soneva Gili) has a fully equipped fitness centre, table tennis, badminton, tennis, beach volleyball and various water sports on offer. All villas have a Mr & Mrs Friday/Butler service.
The Ocean Paradise Dive Centre is PADI certified and is equipped with the latest equipments with many renowned dive sites including world famous Manta Point are within 10 minutes boat ride. Guests can tailor their activities from a selection of water sports like waterskiing or wake-boarding around Gili Lankanfushi, snorkelling, dolphin cruises, sunset cruises, diving, fishing trips or any of the island based activities which seem endless.
Mr Friday/Butler service for Crusoe Residences and The Private Reserve.
When to travel
The Maldives has a tropical climate distinguished by two seasons, or monsoons: the dry northeast monsoon from December to March, and the wet southwestern monsoon from May to November, with more strong winds and rain. April is a transitional period noted for clear water and heat. The temperature remains remarkably consistent at around 30°C.
February to April is the hottest period and resorts are almost all operating at capacity during this period. Mid-December to early January comes at even more of a premium due to Christmas and New Year and prices are even higher. Easter and the Italian holiday week in August also attract peak prices at most resorts.
Storms are more likely from May to November, though it’s still warm, skies can be cloudy and the humidity is higher. This is the low season, with fewer people and lower prices, with the exception of August.
Diving is good year-round, although a basic rule is that life on the reef is more varied and visibility better on the western side of any atoll from May to November and from the eastern side of any atoll December to April.
The surfing season runs from March to October, which is when resorts are cheapest.
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Location and directions
North Male Atoll, Maldives
Soneva Gili is a short 20-minute boat ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives. It is a tiny coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villas.
How to get there
10.5-hour direct flight to Male International Airport, followed by a 20-minute speedboat transfer to the island.
Minimum stay of 10 nights
For bookings that fall over New Year