MALE, Jan 22 ― A paradisiacal resort in the Maldives composed of stilted, overwater villas has been named the best hotel in the world by TripAdvisor users.
If you’re shopping for a luxurious, tropical getaway this year, you might want to take the word of more than 890 travellers who gave the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives a five out of five-bubble rating and helped it snag the top Travellers’ Choice award for hotels 2015.
That’s no small feat, given the pool of 8,151 properties from eight regions around the globe. Travellers’ Choice award winners are determined based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings collected during a single year.
Overall, the Maldives and Peru scored two spots each on the top 10 list.
Set against a ludicrously turquoise sea, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is made up of a string of 44 stilted bungalows, some of which are connected by one long overwater boardwalk.
Constructed from natural materials, villas feature rooftop decks and daybeds, open-air living rooms that open out to the pristine seascape, and personal entertainment centers.
“The overwater bungalows are larger than most apartments; the service is absolutely flawless; and the food and wine selection is something you would expect to get in the best restaurants in London or San Francisco,” wrote guest Neelam F. “All of this is delivered in a pristine island setting with some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world.”
Activities at the resort include include windsurfing in crystal lagoons, sunrise yoga, diving, therapeutic spa and jungle cinema.
Marine biologists are also on hand to provide island eco-tours, dolphin cruises, coral planting expeditions, blue light night snorkeling and shark snorkeling.
Guests also have at their disposal their own “Mr. Friday,” named after the Robinson Crusoe character, to serve as their personal concierge.
Located 20 minutes by boat from the island of Malé, the eco-friendly resort is built from natural materials and energy efficient.
The average nightly rate at the Gili Lankanfushi Maldvies is US$1,733 (RM6,263). The least expensive month to visit is September, with rates dropping to US$1,415.
The average nightly rate of winning hotels on this year’s list is US$357.
Here are the winners of TripAdvisor’s 13th annual Travellers’ Choice:
1. Gili Lankanfushi Maldives ― Lankanfushi, Maldives
2. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens ― La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
3. Shinta Mani Club Siem Reap ― Siem Reap, Cambodia
4. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace ― Budapest, Hungary
5. Belmond Palacio Nazarenas ― Cusco, Peru
6. Cocoa Island by COMO ― Cocoa Island, Maldives
7. Hotel Alpin Spa Tuxerhof ― Tux, Austria
8. Al Maha Desert Resort ― Dubai, United Arab Emirates
9. Hotel Estalagem St. Hubertus ― Gramado, Brazil
10. Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa ― Urubamba, Peru ― AFP-Relaxnews