Plated at Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives.
Story by Randy Kalp. Photos by Bethany Salvon.
Eating at Gili Lankanfushi was a pure delight. I ate better at the Maldivian resort than any other place in my life. With a dizzying amount of fruits, juices and herbal elixirs to complement the outstanding cuisine, I felt rejuvenated by the time our five days were up.
At home I struggle with preparing delicious meals for myself. I’m just not creative in the kitchen, and, even worse, I have a hard time planning out meals for the week. So spending a week in paradise with an amazing selection of tasty dishes and foods to choose from was a real treat.
It seemed like every kind of fruit you could think, plus a few we never heard of, were available at Gili Lankanfushi. We did our best to be adventurous with our fruit choices and walked away with some incredible finds, like Mangosteen, Rambutan and Dragon Fruit.
Gili Lankanfushi understands that for the Maldives to survive (climate change is causing them to disappear a little more each day), then they need to do their part to be eco conscious. That’s why you won’t find any throwaway items here – the resort is pure eco-luxury right down to its coconut cereal bowls and recycled newspaper bread bowls. As big fans of recycling and reusing we were very excited to see the re-purposed use of items that are already on the island!
Crystal water, elixirs, nuts, and a list of juices that would make even Jack Lalanne swoon had me feeling good from head to toe. The resort and staff does a superb job of detailing the health benefits of each liquid delight. Gili Lankanfushi’s selection of beverages was one of our favorite parts of the resort. Beth drank at least two fresh juices daily along with a glass of crystal water. We both drank the elixirs and wished for a bank account where we could have them on a daily basis. Just being at a place that put such a high value on health was unbelievable.
Imagine being able to go to a 5-star restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. The quality and level of service was absolutely stunning. Every morning we sat underneath of our favorite palm tree along the powder sand shores of the island. I quickly fell into a routine of sushi, eggs Benedict, champagne, fresh fruit, and a juice or two. It was divine!
For some reason, lunch is when we sampled the Gili Lankanfushi’s vast selection of mixed drinks and homemade desserts. Some of my favorite memories are from our lunches at the Overwater Grill, where fresh seafood, choice cuts of steak, lamb, duck and pork, cooked on a lava stone grill, were on offer daily, along with fresh organic herbs and vegetables from the island’s garden.
Dining at Gili Lankanfushi is on an entirely different level with the resort offering up more unique options than Las Vegas. One of the coolest things about staying at the eco-luxury resort is its dedication to giving every guest a unique experience. Guest can enjoy an array of what the resort calls Destination Dining options that couple extraordinary settings with a private chef. For example, Beth and I enjoyed a rainy night meal in a lush palm forest. We were supposed to have our dinner on One Palm Island in private (yes an island just for us!), but the weather didn’t corporate. So with the help of our Mr. Friday, the staff improvised and we ate in this beautiful setting (a yoga champa during the day) instead. Still incredibly private as we were surrounded by lush trees overlooking the water. Really, really beautiful.
Another dinning option is The Wine Cellar and Underground Chocolate Cave. After walking down a flight of glass stairs to the chilled, cavernous cellar. Guests are offered a winter fleece and a hot water bottle to place under their feet as a sommelier educates guest on the resort’s huge varieties of wine from more than 30 regions around the world. In addition to the wine cellar, there is also a deli room, which features artisan cheese and imported cured meats, and a room dedicated entirely to handmade chocolates.
We also got to enjoy lunch in Gili Lankanfushi’s organic garden as part of the resort’s Destination Dining option. Before we sat down to eat, we got a personal tour from Executive Chef John Bakker of the island’s biodynamic garden. Bakker said the garden is an evolving experiment to see what grows well in the coral-laced soil. Currently, the garden produces about 70% of the resort’s vegetables and herbs.
By the time dinner rolled around on most nights, though, Beth and I were relaxed and sleepy. We had been waking up before sunrise every morning and then going for multiple swims and bike rides throughout the day. So we took full advantage of the In Villa dining menu. Honestly, we got a little addicted to it. It’s so much more than just room service. The care and attention by the staff to set up your villa dining table is exceptional, and made the experience extremely special. Along with your meal they bring a variety of oils and sauces. The best part is since it is included you can order whatever you want – multiple juices, drinks and meals for your In Villa dining! Just to sit there on your own private balcony on the water each night with fantastic food was such a treat!
Being at the resort inspired me to really get back on the healthy train. It’s something I’ve wanted for a while, but after seeing firsthand how much better I felt with a constant stream of high quality food, fresh fruits and juices in my diet, I’m ready to finally overcome my cooking deficiency once and for all.
We absolutely loved everything about our stay at Gili Lankanfushi but the foodie delights were definitely a highlight for us. Being able to have whatever you want in such a beautiful setting was impressive and it spoiled us completely. After seeing how the other half lives it’s pretty hard to go back to our daily routine of avocados and English muffins.
Do you want to visit this paradise? Be sure to grab our promo code for a free night!
We’ve worked out a fantastic promotion for Gili Lankanfushi that is exclusive to our readers! Please read about it below and be sure to visit the Beers & Beans page on the Gili Lankanfushi website to book your stay and learn more about the promotion.
The Promo Code: You must write “Beers & Beans Special Promotion“ in your subject when making reservation inquiries to get the special deal.
- A bottle of champagne in your villa on arrival
- One candlelight dinner for two (beverages excluded)
- 30mins Spa treatment per person
- Non-motorized water sports activities
- Sunset cocktail party (Tuesday’s only)
- Regular Yoga
- Steam & sauna at Meera Spa
- Bottled sparkling and still drinking water
- Wireless internet access
For reservation or more information, please contact us: