The Gili Lankanfushi, a secluded resort on a private island located a 20-minute speedboat ride from the Male International Airport, caught fire on Wednesday around 11pm local time, reported RT.
Videos from the scene show villas going up in flames as panicked residents scream in the background. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
“Thankfully no-one was injured and everyone is being taken care of at neighbouring resorts. The cause of the fire is still unknown but Gili Lankanfushi is working closely with the Maldives National Defence Force and a full investigation is now underway,” the resort said in a statement on Twitter. (See post here.)
“We can now confirm that seven of our over-water villas plus one of our restaurants was destroyed in last night’s fire,” the resort added.
“We wanted to commend the bravery of our Gili staff for prioritising the well-being of our guests and calmly escorting them to safety as soon as the alarm was raised last night… And we express our gratitude to the firefighters from the Maldives National Defence Force who extinguished the fire by 5AM this morning.
“Thank you also to the Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, Mr Ali Waheed, who visited Gili Lankanfushi last night and is supporting our team to ensure all of our guests are being taken care of with alternative accommodation, flights home and any necessary travel documents,” the resort posted in its statement yesterday. (See here.)
“We are still assessing the full extent of damage however the resort will be closed for the foreseeable future,” the resort added.
Last year, the hotel was ranked among the top five best hotels in the world by TripAdvisor, and is the number one hotel in Maldives, noted RT.
Its accommodation, style and locations have been repeatedly praised by international reviewers. The Telegraph called it a “lotus-eaters' paradise” while CNN Travel guide described it as “one of the premier tropical getaways for the super-rich and famous”, RT added. (See report here.)