Five Barefoot Resorts Where you Would Happily Take Up Residence
In 1972, George Corbin, an Italian travel agent, opened Kurumba, the Maldives’ first resort, on a former coconut plantation. Since, hundreds of hotels have sprung up drawing international tourists seeking remoteness with all the luxury and extravagance you could possibly imagine: opulent villas on stilts, marble jacuzzis, gold faucets, gigantic swimming pools, and specialties from all four corners of the globe… In other words, extreme luxury and ostentation.
Yet, the topography of the atoll, the ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a body of limpid pale blue water, is rather simple, a stark contrast to the superfluous luxury one often encounters in the Maldives. The strand of pearlescent coral islands - over 1,000 of them - stretches over 800 kilometers, providing ample white sand and coconut palms. In truth, the beauty of the Maldives lies it's in nature: pristine sandbanks, tropical plants and of course, the ocean that is brimming with aquatic life.
In recent years, hotels embracing an eco- stance on hospitality have sprung up. Others, set on private islands, seem to embody the ultimate luxury. This new generation of hotels is dubbed “barefoot luxury.” It is not uncommon to see signs that read “Leave your shoes and your worries at the door.” Barefoot luxury usually entails sand-floored restaurants where guests may dine barefoot, but also lagoons within which motor-boats are not allowed.
Discerning travelers, increasingly aware of sustainability issues, are actively seeking out hotels that are simpler, albeit no less luxurious. In fact, many of these hotels, because of their proximity to Mother Nature, epitomize luxury.
Our team of travel curators have combed through the lot, and have narrowed their selection down to five standout resorts worth reserving a stay at. We invite you to discover five hidden gems and book your stay to experience the ultimate barefoot luxury (not to mention, you’ll get to pack light without so many pairs of shoes taking up space in your suitcase).