By Ananya Viswanathan, 10B
We visited Gililankanfushi Resort for an educational field trip, on October 1st, Saturday. We departed from Male’ at 8:00am, and it took us 40 minutes to get there by ferry. We reached the resort at nearly 8:45a.m.
As soon as we entered, we were greeted by Mr. Fazeel, who gave us a detailed explanation on how they took care of their surroundings and how we were supposed to remove our shoes in accordance to their rules.
After having some refreshments, we were taken to the training room. where we were given some brief information about the resort. There, we had a small questions-and-answers session with the leading managers of the resort.
This beautiful resort had opened on May 14, 2002. Previously this resort was also known as Soneva Gili, until the name was changed to the current one in July 2012.
Due to the unfortunate tsunami incidents, the resort had faced some damages, and its authorities decided to reopen the resort with a new look and a new name. The resort was reopened on June 12, 2005, with a much more beautiful environment.
As we saw, this resort gave most of its priority to nature—or to be more specific, this resort cared a great deal about its flora and fauna. This resort had its own motto, ‘No news, no shoes’, a policy where visitors were not allowed to wear shoes, and instead had to walk barefoot on the warm sand.
The resort’s head office is situated in Singapore. Mr. Steven Philips—who is presently in U.K.—is the General Manager of the resort, and Ms. Deanne Garling works as the H.R. Management Head.
In this resort, all the rooms are situated over water—so if a visitor is interested in going to the mainland of Gili Lankanfushi, they have to travel in boat, which is referred to as a ‘crusoe.’
Gili Lankanfushi is very fortunate to own the Private Reserve Villa—introduced on September 15, 2005—which holds the title of being the largest overwater villa in the world!
The luxury of this mesmerising place is no match for any other resort. As a matter of fact, it holds its own water production and is reputed to own a beautiful organic garden. The adventurous water sports of this resort is managed by ‘Ocean Paradise.’
Gililankanfushi Resort owns a special ‘Can do’ policy: the resort officials are not allowed to deny anything to the customer. Of course, there might be exceptional cases, in which case the staff will have to deny a particular request of the customer—for example, if a customer wants to fish around the island. In these cases, the staff is compelled to say no to the tourist… though they do provide alternatives to the customer that might be to their interest.
The resort is renowned for another motto:
‘Let’s grow better together.’
The resort management, the staff, and the chiefs all belong to different nations. This is why the resort has a special programme for resort officials, called the ‘Monthly Meet the Management.’ During this program, they share the recent and the most common concerns the resort is facing, and put forward their suggestions in order to make their resort even better than it already is.
They arrange other such programs for their staff, which include awards and recognition, host training, qualifications, promotions, and more.
Vision and Mission are two of the most commonly used words used in Gililankanfushi Resort. Their goals are to touch people’s hearts, exceed expectations, and make their guests happy.
This resort holds a completely trained Nepalese security team. They are also the proud owners of 45 on-water villas, 29 villa suites, 8 residences, 7 crusoe residences, 2 spa suites, and 1 Private Reserve.
When it comes down to the food, this resort gets even better! They provide cuisines as per the customer’s requirement. The customer service is just as good, consisting of butlers and waiters known as Mr. and Ms. Fridays.
This resort has its own peak and lean seasons. Peak seasons are November, January, February, and all kind of festive seasons. Lean seasons would be August, September and October.