Gili Lankanfushi is quite unlike what my wife and I are used to. Being frequent resort dwellers is one thing, but Gili Lankanfushi has certainly taken this experience up to another stratospheric level. One that I’m afraid it would be insanely difficult to match, let alone surpass.

Picking a resort in Maldives is a tough task. Just how does one start to choose? My wife and I have fairly similar tastes (phew) and it made it easy for us. We love the idea of rustic luxury and it was no surprise that Gili Lankanfushi appealed to both us. An eco-friendly wellness retreat, what’s not to like?

View of the sunrise from our Water Villa Suite #19 at Jetty #1

Make no mistake, this slice of Maldivian paradise is the playground of the rich and exclusive.

There are guests who return to Gili Lankanfushi for their favourite water villa, every single year. There are celebrities who crave for isolation. There are water villas that are booked for months in duration, even when it lies vacant, so that someone could drop by their favourite villa any time they want.

Even the largest water villa in the world is no obstacle. According to our Mr. Friday, once a particularly wealthy individual had booked it for months. At its rack rate of more than US$15000 per night, I’ll leave you to crunch the numbers on how much it’ll cost even for just one month.Do people actually spend US$15000 to snag one night at The Private Reserve? Not everyone can. José Mourinho did. No, I didn’t – even though I did get a private tour of the 1,700 sqm water palace 😉

Gili Lankanfushi – The Private Reserve. Yeah, a water slide. Who would have thought?

Indeed, Gili Lankanfushi is an expensive destination. With a little bit of planning and a little bit of willingness to spend, my wife and I removed one item off our bucket list in the most indulgent way possible. Why settle for less when we can get the best?

This is a prime example of a perfectly orchestrated travel experience. From the moment you step off the plane to the time you bid goodbye to Maldives, you’ll find yourself in the safe and competent hands of Gili Lankanfushi. An airport concierge welcomes our arrival at Velana International Airport and whisks us away to the speedboat that is waiting. Cold towel? Check. Welcome drink? Check.

Gili Lankanfushi is a 15-minutes speedboat ride from Velana International Airport

Once you hop on to their private speedboat, we were made obvious of the theme of the resort – no news, no shoes. We were asked to remove our shoes slippers which was kept safely into cloth bags. By the time we reached the arrival jetty at Gili Lankanfushi, we were starting to get used to the idea of barefoot luxury – and we were greeted by an assortment of staff from Gili Lankanfushi including our Mr. Friday, Dahaa, and the resort manager, Brad who gave us a warm welcome.

Champagne and canapés for breakfast

Mr. (or Ms. Friday) are the Gili Lankanfushi trademarked names (think Robinson Crusoe) for their butlers. Each guest has a Mr. Friday for the duration of their stay and they are available 24/7 who can do as much, or as little, as we like. I felt that the concept of a Mr. Friday is the heart and soul of Gili Lankanfushi. To be able to execute this is a huge gamble, and one that paid off handsomely, especially in our case. Our Mr. Friday felt like a friend to us during our stay at Gili Lankanfushi and we are eternally gratefully for his generous sharing on Maldivian life and culture.

Our Mr. Friday brought us on a private tour of The Private Reserve

Our Villa Suite – 210 sqm of paradise

A trip/resort review would be excessively long if I were to blog all of it at one go. The accompanying posts, when I finally get to blogging about them, will be full of spoilers but give you all the information you would ever need if you are considering a stay at Gili Lankanfushi.

Before I went on vacation to Maldives, I had a triple-post Maldives special feature (Part One | Part Two | Part Three) on how to get more for less. I wasn’t quite expecting this but a number of you guys and ladies left me comments and private messages asking for the contacts of the travel agent that I had engaged.

I won’t publish the names of the agents here because things can change very quickly in the travel industry and a reputable agent can easily turn rogue in a matter of months. If you insist on knowing or simply wanna ask a quick question or two, just drop me a private message or comment here and I will reply you directly.

Gili Lankanfushi : A Sanctuary Hidden From The World
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Open Secret To Saving Money : Last-Minute Deals

I didn’t include this in my 3-part posts but thought that I should mention it here. You know, just in case.

If your situation and schedule allows you to go on a vacation on a whim, last-minute deals could save you a lot of money. Of course, you have to understand that this is a demand vs. supply issue. Empty rooms are always bad. They’ll rather stick someone (or two) inside and earn less, than earn nothing. You’ll have to keep checking the official websites. Last-minute deals may not open up, and they may run for a very short duration, plus they may not be as discounted as you would expect. Last-minute flights can be expensive too.

Travel Blogging ?

A short while back, I mentioned that I would be gradually posting more than just finance related stuff on this blog. This is because time is a resource that has increasingly become more and more scarce, and I find that I no longer have enough time to spread across all my interests and projects.

I used to write frequently on my travel blog but my future attention would probably be on Turtle Investor where all my blog posts are consolidated. That’s why I have a not-so-new travel category. I will still have the usual content on saving money and value-for-money ideas. But I will also have fun, ridiculous and extravagant stuff – that’s just the way we are. I have experimented with cross posting and blog post imports in terms of content, and that is probably the way to go in future 🙂