Rodrigo Buanafina has been named resort manager of Gili Lankanfushi, a cutting-edge sustainable barefoot luxury resort in the Maldives.

Buanafina was formerly the Director of Food & Beverage at the upscale five-star eco-resort and brings to his position more than ten years of substantial experience in the luxury hotel sector.

Buanafina will be in charge of managing daily operations at the 45-villa complex, including the Overwater Bar renovations planned for this summer, as part of his promotion to Resort Manager.

“I am thrilled to be stepping up to the Resort Manager position at what is such an exciting time for Gili. It’s been a joy to be part of this incredible team and iconic property over the last five years and I couldn’t be more excited for this new chapter in my Gili journey,” Buanafina said of his new promotion. “I look forward to seeing our beloved island go from strength to strength, offering our clients a Maldivian adventure like no other in 2023 and beyond.”

Gili Lankanfushi Maldives. (Photo/Gili Lankanfushi)

Brazilian native Buanafina was hired by the Gili Lankanfushi team in 2018 as the F&B Manager but was soon promoted to the post of Director of F&B. He oversaw a workforce of close to 100 people while serving as the F&B director, and he ran a range of authentic gourmet offerings and experiences. As part of this, a brand-new blind-dining experience, a Brazilian churrascaria theme night, and a motivational bartender competition called "Destination Drinking" were all introduced.

His creative curation efforts substantially improved the island's culinary offerings, helping to establish Gili Lankanfushi as one of the top destinations in the Maldives for indulging in extraordinary culinary experiences. Buanafina worked in different F&B management positions across Europe and many resorts in the Indian Ocean before being posted to Gili. This includes two years spent working as the Assistant Director at Pine Cliffs, the biggest Luxury Collection resort in Europe located in Portugal.

In the Maldives, Gili Lankanfushi takes pride in offering visitors a remote island setting only 20 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport. The resort combines rustic eco-design, unmatched service, breathtaking natural surroundings, and a laid-back-luxury, 'no news, no shoes' philosophy that makes it ideal for couples, families, solitary travellers, and groups of all sizes. Following a comprehensive renovation of all 45 villas in 2019, the acclaimed eco-resort celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2022.