ENRICHING RETREATS IN THE MALDIVES
SONEVA’S FAMILY OF BAREFOOT RESORTS OFFER SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A LUXURY BREAK
With vast beachfront and over-water villas, stunning natural settings and dedicated Barefoot Guardians providing an exceptional level of personalised service, Soneva’s resorts are the perfect examples of luxury in the Maldives. And yet, at Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll and Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll, the real definition of ‘luxury’ goes far beyond the material – instead, it means the time, space and privacy to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life, as well as the opportunity to immerse yourself in rare, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that stay with you forever.
At Soneva Fushi, the first barefoot luxury resort in the Maldives, one- to nine-bedroom island and overwater villas fringed by lush tropical vegetation capture the essence of a luxurious castaway fantasy. With views of the ocean and the lush tropical forest, expansive decks, idyllic walkways, shaded plunge pools, and even a spa, gym, sauna and steam room in some of the villas, no luxury is spared.
Across the Indian Ocean at Soneva Jani, guests can choose from expansive one- to four-bedroom island or overwater villas that embrace the natural beauty of its surroundings. Each water villa opens to its very own stretch of sparkling lagoon and is complete with an infinity pool and a retractable roof to stargaze from the master bedroom. What’s more, many of the villas feature slides into the lagoon. The three- and four- bedroom reserves offer views in every direction, and feature fitness rooms, spacious kitchens with fully stocked mini-bars, outdoor bathrooms and temperature-controlled wine vaults.
Since opening Soneva Fushi in 1995, Soneva has pioneered a new kind of responsible luxury travel. Showing how sustainability and indulgence can go hand-in-hand, from the organic gardens and Eco Centro waste-to-wealth centres at the heart of each resort, to details such as open-air bathrooms in each villa, or its famous cheese, chocolate and ice cream parlours, complimentary for every guest.
Soneva’s signature experiences are also designed to enchant and enthral. Rub shoulders with the world’s top glass artists to learn the art of glassblowing in the Maldives’ only hot glass studio, Soneva Art & Glass. Join the passionate Marine Team for hands-on conservation efforts that really make a difference, such as coral restoration or monitoring critically endangered turtles. Discover the secrets of freediving, swim with dozens of manta rays and cruise into deeper waters to watch playful dolphins in the light of the setting sun. Back on dry land, younger guests can let their imaginations run free at The Den children’s zones in Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani – one of the largest children’s clubs in the Maldives. With a fun-packed daily programme of activities and experiences, explore the soothing sensory room for toddlers and areas for music, Lego, dressing up and creativity, as well the hidden hangouts for teens where mocktails and music set the scene.
Children can also enrich their minds at the Soneva Academy, which offers an array of fascinating courses. The team are also hosting bespoke Summer Camp programmes that combine experiential learning and crafted play to instil a sense of passion, purpose and oneness with nature. From yoga and meditation on the beach and cooking classes using organic ingredients to workshops on digital storytelling, dolphin cruises, astronomy sessions and more, it’s the ultimate invitation to discovery for young minds.
Swapping land for sea, dive into new adventures with the Soneva in Aqua two-bedroom, 23-metre yacht. Setting sail from Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, Soneva in Aqua comes with the same signature touches and superlative service as Soneva’s award-winning villas on land, including a Barefoot Guardian as part of the crew. A personal chef prepares a bespoke menu that’s tailored to your exact tastes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between: a healthy breakfast served straight to your cabin; a barbecue lunch on a deserted island; cocktails and canapés with the sunset; or a sumptuous feast under a sky blanketed in stars. Also on board is your very own wellness specialist who can provide an indulgent array of treatments on demand, as well as yoga and meditation sessions. Should you desire, the crew can be joined by other experts, including a surf instructor, dive master, astronomer or one of Soneva’s skilled ‘digital storytellers’ that can capture photos and videos of every memorable moment of your voyage.
Throughout the year, the Soneva Stars calendar ensures every stay is completely unique, welcoming a sparkling line-up of Michelin-starred chefs, best-selling authors, sports legends, wellness therapists and more at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. From now until the end of summer, resort chef’s tables will be hosting residencies with Manu Buffara, Jonathan Zandbergen, Alberto Faccani and Konstantin Filippou to name just a few. Pilates specialists Daniel Dittmar and Julie Park will be leading one-on-one movement sessions, Mexican defender Rafael Márquez will be keeping guests active with his football skills, while tennis legends Mike and Bob Bryan serve up exclusive coaching sessions on rainforest courts. Guests of all ages can also embark on a journey through the Milky Way with planetary astronomer Dr James O’Donoghue and astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy.
Looking ahead, Soneva will be unveiling a new ultra-luxury private island concept later this year, marking a milestone chapter for the award-winning sustainable resorts operator. Embracing hyper personalisation in every aspect and signature exclusivity, the secret hideaway is set in a remote tropical location that’s off the maps, surrounded by shimmering turquoise waters and rich marine life.