Your own lagoon access, open-air bed and personal butler awaits

Luxury resorts with views of crystal clear waters from your room are a dime a dozen in Maldives. At the soon-to-reopen Gili Lankanfushi, located at the North Male Atoll that’s a 20min boat ride away from the international airport, picturesque views are just the beginning.

The 45-villa, rustic chic barefoot luxury island resort is set to reopen come December 1, after closing in January this year for renovation works due to a fire that broke out (no one was hurt), offering travellers the same top tier service and comforts regulars have come to expect from the number one resort (as ranked on TripAdvisor) in the Maldives.

They’ve taken the time to not just update existing villas, but add new villa types as well, most notably the ones with their own private pools. Still, all villas are overwater, allowing you direct access to the turquoise blue lagoon that surrounds the island. Plus, all categories (from their entry-level Villa Suites to the massive Private Reserve) offer open-air living spaces, roof terraces and a personal butler.

This butler service is one of the things that set Gili apart. Called Mr/Miss Friday—in line with the Robinson Crusoe vibe of the resort—each butler is on hand to attend to your every need. Add to that top notch dining options, excursions, and a palpable marine conservation programme, the Gili Lankanfushi is easily deserving of its award-winning acclaim.

Take a look at the various resort offerings in pictures below.

Aerial view of Gili Lankanfushi

No one wears shoes on the island; it is meant to be barefoot luxury afterall

All villas are perched overwater, allowing you instant access to the lagoon

The Villa Suite bathroom, featuring an open-air shower

The Residence bedroom; imagine waking up to this view

The Lagoon Villa; the waters are so clear you can see the friendly sea creatures swimming around

The Crusoe Residence, standalone water villas that are accessible by a personal boat

The Private Reserve is the largest overwater villa in the world, and has four bedrooms, its own gym, spa, cinema and even a water slide

The Private Residence outdoor bath, where things can happen

You can choose to sleep under the stars if you wish; just ask your Mr/Miss Friday to set it up

Not feeling like leaving your room? In-villa dining can be arranged

The breakfast and all-day dining spot

The Asian Street Market is the place to dine at for a buzzing atmosphere

There's Japanese cuisine available too

There are many experiential dining options, including doing so by the beach

We'll definitely be chilling at the Over Water Bar, cocktail in hand

There are many activities to do, like going on a sunset sail

Or simply relax at the spa, featuring a cool floor window

Whatever you do, be sure to support their coral lines project, that's replenishing the island's house reef

Gili Lankanfushi is a 20min boat ride away from Velana International Airport (aka Male International Airport). It reopens Dec 1, with rates starting from $1440 a night.