Sustainable, serene and oh so sumptuous, nobody does barefoot luxury quite like Soneva, a brand that carefully balances looking after local people and places, with offering utterly unforgettable experiences and luxury living for its guests. From sensational scuba diving and sampling cutting-edge cuisine, to unwinding in a world-class spa and making memories to cherish forever, stay in style at one (or both) of Soneva's luxury Maldives resorts...
S is for... Sustainable Luxury
With its hotels inhabiting some of the planet's most pristine locations, Soneva's brand is built on the foundation that the business must benefit local people and places. "We've never seen sustainability as a differentiator, we see it as a basic qualifier", says founder and CEO, Sonu Shivdasani. Keeping this philosophy in mind, the brand's luxury Maldives resorts offer some incredible experiences that let you delve deeper into the resort's superb sustainable practices - from snorkelling with the resident marine biologist, to a family-friendly tour to learn more about the local wildlife. Across both resorts, there are thriving organic gardens that source most of the restaurants, innovative waste programmes, and there' a zero tolerance for single-use plastics.
With sustainability at the forefront of its vision, Soneva Fushi has partnered with three neighbouring island communities and international NGO Common Seas, to provide a plan for how all Maldivian islands can eliminate single-use plastic, introduce recycling and inspire the next generations to protect the ocean in the future. You can take a trip to the island of Maalhos to see the sustainability initiative in action, visiting the pioneering 'Eco-Centro' complex that aims to introduce creative new ways of waste management to end the hazardous open burning of waste.
O is for... Outstanding Surroundings
The Maldives is one of the planet's most awe-inspiring locations - characterised by perfect white sands, gin-clear waters and an abundance of magical marine life - and nowhere is this truer than at this duo of dreamy resorts. Whilst lying back on a lounger admiring the views is always an option (and a great one at that!) both Soneva properties offer an incredibly impressive menu of experiences that allow you to delve straight into the destination and its natural treasures. Choose from snorkelling with rays, expert-led scuba diving, eco-friendly surfing, dreamy castaway picnics, sunset cruises in search of dolphins, stargazing and much (much) more!
N is for... New Additions
It's hard to believe that Soneva Fushi could get any more impressive... until they introduced yet more awe-inspiring accommodation options in the form of eight brand new Water Retreats. Available with either one or two bedrooms, these ultra-luxe hideaways just so happen to be the largest overwater villas in the world, featuring private pools and waterslides that whisk you straight into the turquoise lagoon. They also boast spacious living areas and Soneva's signature outdoor bathrooms, while the master bedroom's retractable roof is perfect for pre-slumber stargazing. Of course, an array of amazing amenities come as standard, including a full wine fridge, bicycles for exploring, and a personal Barefoot Butler to perfectly finesse your trip's finest details.
New to our luxury portfolio, the already award-winning Soneva Jani has recently turned the page onto its new 'Chapter Two' concept, which includes the addition of 27 luxurious overwater villas (all with private pools and many with waterslides right into the ocean), three innovative new dining concepts and a sparkling new Soneva Wellness Centre. Plus, if you stay in a Chapter Two Reserve Villa, you can indulge in Soneva Unlimited, enabling you to fully experience every element of the resort - including all fine dining and wines, spa treatments, and signature experiences - all included in your villa's rate.
E is for... Exceptional Eats
Prepare to be whisked on a culinary journey around the world whilst keeping your feet firmly planted on the white sands of the Maldives. Whether you're feasting on artfully prepared sushi and sake, authentic Indonesian delights or a tonne of cheese in the dedicated cheese room, expect only the finest ingredients and spectacular surroundings at Soneva Fushi. Perhaps the star of the show, be sure to visit Fresh in the Garden, a unique eatery suspended within the trees, where the aromas of herbs from the extensive gardens waft up from below. Dine on delicious, organic dishes inspired by the Mediterranean, with plenty of vegetarian and plant-based options available.
Plant-based or not, you must dine at Soneva Jani's So Wild by Diana Von Cranach, serving seriously delicious, raw vegan dishes that are inspired by the fabulous flavours of South East Asia and created using ingredients from the resort's organic gardens. Enjoy stunning á la carte menus throughout the rest of the dining experiences at the resort, all using fresh and local produce where possible, or sample personalised meals from an elusive chef with the unique dining experience, 'Guess Who's Cooking'.
V is for... Villa Living
Promising space, seclusion and understated luxury from the moment you arrive, both resorts offer exclusively standalone villas, whether suspended above the lagoon or nestled on the soft sands of the beach. Rustic in design, legendary Soneva Fushi is the blueprint for barefoot bliss in the Maldives. Boasting a unique style and using natural wood and stone elements, the luxury villas are like elaborate treehouses tucked within fabulous flora and fauna. Choose a sunset side villa for insane snorkelling and views of the neighbouring island, or opt for the sunrise side of the island for serious serenity and the first of the morning's rays. Fantastic for families, various villa types are on offer here, ranging from one to nine bedrooms, with many flaunting private pools and waterslides. Naturally, each beautiful thatched hideaway comes with a dedicated butler who will ensure your stay in paradise is just perfect.
Over at Soneva Jani, look forward to maximum space, privacy and unforgettable views, no matter which overwater villa you choose. Each is home to its own personal pool with a tranquil deck and sunken seat area. Enjoy the villa's chic, natural tones whilst relaxing under the stars with the retractable roof in the master suites, or simply gaze at the lagoon through floor-to-ceiling windows, or from your alfresco bathroom. Perfect whether you're travelling as a couple, group or family, the overwater retreats offer between one and four bedrooms, many of which include thrilling slides right into the turquoise waters.
A is for... Activities for All
Between them, Soneva's two luxury Maldives hotels offer an utterly awe-inspiring array of activities to suit all ages and types of traveller. Whilst both welcome guests of all ages, Soneva Fushi is pure paradise for families, home to multi-bedroom villas and easily one of the best children's clubs in the Maldives... and beyond! At The (duplex and simply huge) Den Kids' Club, every personality is catered for, with dressing up and make up areas for mini fashionistas and a music room for budding rockstars. There's also a library, cinema and dedicated Lego room, all encouraging little ones to conjure up their creativity. The whole family can enjoy a variety of aquatic adventures in the Indian Ocean, whilst land-based pursuits include local glassblowing in the impressive Art & Glass Studio, and stargazing alongside the in-house astronomer from a dedicated viewing platform. Those with a sweet tooth will be in heaven at So Cool (serving a mind-boggling selection of complimentary ice creams and sorbets) and So Guilty, a dedicated chocolate room, offering complimentary chocolates hand-crafted by the in-house chocolatiers!
For ultra-romantic experiences and serious seclusion, couples should head to serene Soneva Jani. Wake up in your super-spacious pool villa, before saluting to the sun with side-by-side sunrise yoga or indulging in rejuvenating therapies from around the world at the superb Soneva Spa. Private beach picnics and dreamy dinners can be arranged for intimate dining moments, whilst alfresco cinema screenings, stargazing, dolphin-spotting trips and serene sunset cruises are just a few of the ways to make memories to cherish forever.