Viw Magazine


  • Written by Sophy Williams

Privacy, space and new facilities at the world's largest overwater villa

Gili Lankanfushi, named the Best Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor in the Traveller's Choice Awards 2015, is about to get even better.  The resort's amazing Private Reserve – the largest overwater villa in the world – has been upgraded, making it more dazzling than ever.

Standing alone in the middle of a sparkling turquoise lagoon, 500 metres from the resort and only accessible by boat, the spectacular sprawling villa takes privacy and luxury to another level entirely. The closest neighbouring villas are 300 metres away, allowing guests to relax in total seclusion.  

An incredible 1,700 square metre space, the luxurious three-bedroom hideaway offers the utmost in natural chic, with its wood and glass design complementing the breathtaking Indian Ocean views and flooding the villa with light through floor-to-ceiling windows. 

As part of an extensive renovation programme, a new 63 square metre fresh water swimming pool has been added overlooking the lagoon sunrise side. With a vast sun-deck and shaded pavilions, access is via wooden walkways from the master suites, as well as the main lounging area.  There will also be a jacuzzi within the pool, the perfect spot for sundowners.

“The beautiful pool adds an extra dimension to the Private Reserve, a wonderful alternative for those who prefer fresh water to the sea – and it's obviously unaffected by the tides,” said Steven Philips, General Manager of Gili Lankanfushi. “We also wanted to make the most of the deep channel right in front of the villa, so it was built without having to disturb any of the local ecosystem.”

A spacious new en-suite bedroom has also been added to one of the two master suites – ideal for families. But as each suite is the same size as the resort's huge Crusoe Residences, there's still ample room for total privacy for friends. There are further bedrooms for two live-in Mr Fridays (private butlers on call 24/7 to cater to every whim), or if this is not desired, some guests opt to bring their nannies, secretaries or bodyguards.

Other improvements include a new library and study for any business needs, complete with an en suite bathroom and large comfortable lounging beds. A shower room is being added within the gym and fresh new furnishings throughout the villa.

Guests at the Private Reserve can relax in the ample indoor and outdoor living and lounging spaces, and soak up endless views.  There's a private spa with sauna and steam room for all pampering needs and a state-of-the-art cinema for film screenings of their choice. A wide water slide from the top deck into the lagoon adds to the fun.

When it comes to dining, quality and imagination are key. A personal chef will plan tailored meals using produce from the resort's organic vegetable and herb gardens.   Choice abounds from Michelin-quality fine dining to BBQs and more casual eating – served in the open top-floor dining room or at cushioned round tables close to the ocean.  The wine cellar and bar are stocked to individual tastes too.

And, of course, all the facilities of the main resort are just a short boat-ride away, whether guests use their personal motorised boats or enjoy a chauffeur driven water taxi with their Mr Friday.

All Private Reserve bookings include exclusive transfers on the resort's sumptuous new 14-metre luxury yacht for the 20-minute journey from Male' airport. Guests also have use of it for an additional day  - perhaps for a fishing outing around the local atoll or a private snorkelling trip with the resort's own marine biologist.

For those who value true privacy, luxury and the space to enjoy it, there really is no place like the Gili Lankanfushi Private Reserve.

The Private Reserve will re-open on 15th November.

Privacy. Exclusively. Yours.

Private Reserve Rates / night range from $11,000-$23,630.  Plus local government taxes. Room-only basis. The Reserve sleeps up to twelve people.

For bookings contact the reservations team on or +960 6640304

About Gili Lankanfushi

Voted Number One Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor, Gili Lankanfushi - the ultimate jewel in the crown of the Maldives - is an easy 20-minute journey from Male' international airport. The original over-water resort, it's an idyllic hideaway with white, palm tree-lined beaches, naturally chic accommodation and a genuine, intuitive 24/7 Mr. Friday butler service.

Set in the middle of its own aqua marine lagoon, guests enjoy a barefoot existence and 360° views of the Indian Ocean with nothing but the occasional fishing boat passing by. Gili Lankanfushi's 45 enormous over-water villas, including the vast secluded Private Reserve, offer unrivalled privacy and space to breathe – for total escape, the iconic 250sqm Crusoe Residences are accessible via (either your own or chauffeur driven) boats.  

It's natural luxury all the way. Dip your toes in the sea from the outdoor shower room, or watch spectacular marine life glide by from the overwater bar as the equatorial sun sets over the horizon. Relax at the holistic over-water Meera Spa or outdoor jungle cinema. Get active at the Padi-accredited dive and watersports school, go sailing on a traditional dhoni, surf on the nearby reef or work out in the fitness centre with a mesmerising view of the white waves breaking over the reef.

Enjoy imaginative and diverse dining options around the island - from fine international fare prepared with produce from the organic gardens to a high-end Japanese themed restaurant, and don't miss the underground wine cellar, chocolate and cheese caves. For ultimate romance there's an over-water wedding pavilion too.


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