Comment: Nicolas Khairallah is capitalising on the rising 'bleisure' trend

Nicolas Khairallah

The Gili Lankanfushi GM says remote working is the most exciting travel trend to arise from the pandemic

Due in large to the restrictions caused by Covid-19, many companies now offer employees the chance to work from anywhere.

With ultra-flexible digital working models established by necessity during the pandemic, employees can enjoy extended weekends away, take long family summer vacations, reap the benefits of working from new places, and, essentially, make up for lost time while still remaining on the job.

Just over a year into his appointment as general manager of Maldives-based luxurious private island resort Gili Lankanfushi, Nicolas Khairallah is taking advantage of the 'workation' trend. Here he discusses how he’s helped create an environment equally suited to both work and play.

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Hybrid Hospitality
More than ever before, working individuals are heading to destinations with their transportable laptops, phones and gadgets, and this movement is providing both hotels and other accommodation options with immense opportunities.

Business and leisure hotels should no longer feel disconnected as now, the world is much more ‘nomadic’, and we are seeing all types of travellers being drawn to hybrid resorts. The concept of ‘workcation’ and ‘bleisure' trips is definitely an attractive one, especially for individuals working in creative professions who crave stimuluses, which can ultimately support in boosting one’s mental agility and health.

New, beautiful environments can harness innovative ideas, helping to invigorate the mind, and it is up to hotels to fully take advantage of the remote-work future, and make sure they have the right amenities and packages in place to accommodate this new type of traveller.

Villa Suite with pool

Longer Stays
Ultimately, people feel safer in hotels and enjoy the comforts they offer. Therefore, providing packages for long-term stays and offering unique, private and creative spaces for productive work with high-speed internet facilities is key.

At Gili Lankanfushi we have found our guests working in a variety of beautiful spots: our famed organic garden, which is overflowing with fruit trees, leafy greens and fragrant herbs; under shaded trees and benches nestled around the island; even in our large infinity pool located on the beach and, of course, in the comfort of their room.

All 45 villas are situated over water, with open-air living spaces, roof terraces and private decks with direct access to the lucent waters ocean that surrounds the island.

Room for One
An immense amount of family time during the pandemic has led many to embark on solo vacations. Lone travellers we've hosted have included corporate mums who are burnt out and independent freelancers. We've seen multi-generational travellers too: Gen Z and millennials, and adults over the age of 44, referred to as the ‘super boomers’ all looking to embrace their solitude and independence when they travel.

We recognised this trend early on and developed a specific package for solo travellers looking to live adventurously in the moment and deeply feel and appreciate mother nature. Our Gili Solo Experience offers different experiences which evoke the senses, including daily sunrise yoga sessions, non-motorised water sport activities, relaxing massages at Meera Spa and Maldivian cooking classes.


In an age of mindfulness, the hospitality industry should be keen to capitalise on this growing group of travellers, by offering special packages, experiences and accommodations geared towards single people.

Moreover, to guarantee solo travellers feel as relaxed as possible, interior design choices need to be made which conjure a sense of homeliness. This, along with a less blatant divide between guests and locals will encourage a feeling of hotel community.

Finally, the welcome, care, and warmth of our hosts will always make the biggest difference to every stay, and that’s why our Mr Fridays (named after Robinson Crusoe’s loyal assistant and dear companion) are Gili Lankanfushi’s dedicated guest experience hosts. On call no matter the time of day, Mr Fridays make each stay seamless from the moment of arrival.

For more information, visit www.gili-lankanfushi.com

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