Best of the Maldives: No Shoes – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - no shoes

All of the Maldives exemplifies ‘no shoes’ natural relaxation. Yes, some of the newer super premiums have introduced a little bit more formality with their posh luxury, but the best still maintain that informal and casual elegance. Dressing for dinner typically doesn’t mean footwear (though we like to freshen up after a day in the sun and salt and put on some of our more stylish attire for our Maldivian evenings).

The brochures and websites emphasize this barefoot ethos, but Gili Lankanfushi hits you over the head with it. The minute you step foot on their transfer boat, is the last step you will take in your shoes. Don your life jacket, grab your tropical refresher and then they hand you a canvas bag with the words on it “No News, No Shoes”. It is a shoe bag to put your shoes in immediately. They will take care of getting them to your room and then the idea is you don’t crack open that bag until you board the boat again on your departure.

I love this explicit approach. Not just because I come from America, the land of explicit directness, but because I think many people do need this direction and even prodding. The Maldives is so unlike any place on earth, many people have trouble accepting that it is actually as laid back and idyllic as it is. They think it is maybe a bit of marketing hyperbole and it takes them a few days for it to sink in that things truly as relaxed as promised. And it’s a shame that in those initial few days they’ve missed out on a degree of relaxation for fear that they were violating some decorum.

No confusion at Lankanfushi. They want their guests to start feeling the sand between their toes the minute they step off the boat.

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