Soneva Fushi – Maldives
Arriving at Soneva Fushi is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful journeys you’ll ever take. Flying low across the Indian Ocean and over countless powder white beached islands set in sapphire blue lagoons, you arrive at the heart of the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and one of the largest reefs in this island nation. What we love about the resort most is its strong eco principles, aiming to minimise its impact on the planet.
The resort set the standard for Maldivian luxury, whose mantra is “inspiring a lifetime of rare experiences”. And that is exactly what you’ll find. Guests have bicycles to explore the island, and each villa comes with a butler to look after your every need. Barefoot luxury with impeccable service and cuisine that is truly astounding, it’s an island paradise like no other.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For its natural beauty & amazing family friendly beach villas.
Style:Understated Indian Ocean chic.
Location:In the Baa Atoll, Kunfunadhoo Island is one of the largest islands in the Maldives.
Rooms:63 beach villas & 8 overwater villas.
Swimming:In the turquoise ocean or in your own private villa pool.
Children:An exotic playground like no other.
Accessibility:The resort doesn’t have any villas specifically designed with disabled access however their sister hotel Soneva Jani does have.
Open From:All year round.
Price:Weekly price from £11,260 per room.
The palm thatched villas are tucked away amongst lush vegetation, just steps from the shore line, many with a saltwater pool and all with their own tropical garden and stretch of powder white sand. Luxurious and secluded, they are also some of the largest suites and villas you’ll ever stay in and come in a wide variety of options. Choose the sunrise side of the island for privacy, or the sunset side for romantic views and snorkeling and expect a castaway experience from all of them.
There are one or two bedroom overwater villas that are reached via a jetty from the beach and all have private swimming pools as well as slides straight into the sea! This private island really takes luxury to unimaginable levels and some of the villas are simply breathtaking
It’s hard to believe the gastronomic heights reached on such a small island in the middle of an ocean. From the exotic and bountiful breakfasts to the extraordinary range of cuisine, there’s never any danger of going hungry. The spectacular Out of the Blue restaurant, on stilts out in the lagoon, has five different dining options, from grills and seafood to Japanese, Vietnamese and Indonesian.
You’ll also find an ice cream parlour and a slide into the lagoon… one for the children we think! Fresh in the Garden, surrounded by banana palms has fabulous views over the island and sits above the resort’s herb and vegetable garden. Make sure you book a table at the eight seat only Once Upon A Table, where there’s no menu, after having relaxed in the catamaran nets of Bar(a)bara, for pre-dinner cocktails and dolphin watching. Soneva Fushi also features the first vegan restaurant in the Maldives – Shades of Green. And all the while, the resort ensures that no unnecessary ingredient is flown in.
It would be all too easy to spend a week or two here, with your toes in the soft sand, a cool drink in hand, staring out across the ocean and not moving very far. However, there’s a remarkable amount of activities that could keep you busy for your entire stay. Soneva Fushi is a diver’s dream, with access to some of the world’s top diving sites. The resort has its own PADI dive centre, where guests can learn to scuba and join excursions to more than thirty different sites.
Snorkelers will often swim alongside turtles and at the right time of the year, Manta rays. Camp under the stars in Bedouin style tents, or take a sunset dolphin cruise, and make sure you visit the Observatory, where the wonders of the universe are revealed. Hidden away in the palms is the Six Senses Spa, where the extensive range of therapies will soothe away what little stress you have left after having been here for just five minutes. Then end the day watching a movie on the giant off shore cinema screen. Pure indulgence.
This is somewhere families will struggle to leave. Pirate ships, water slides, cinema, a two storey open air playground and even a mocktail bar, everything has been thought of. Younger guests will absolutely love the den where their imaginations really will run wild. Just try to keep your children away from the two chocolate and ice cream parlours! Parents can borrow buggies, sterilizing equipment and monitors; there are kids menus and babysitting too.
The resort is committed to a number of initiatives designed to improve their sustainability. Soneva Namoona is one such project, aimed at reducing plastic and improving ocean stewardship in the same movement. Waste-to-wealth is another project that bring a unique approach to waste management, recycling and repurpose excess produce, by also generating money.
Amongst their other programmes, the hotel produces its own drinking water, is largely powered by solar panels, is helping develop a coral nursery to promote regrowth, has phased out chemical insecticides, and is involved in forest restoration and hornbill reintroduction. On top of this, they are engaged with social initiatives too, hiring from the local community and using local providers.
In the Baa Atoll, Kunfunadhoo Island is one of the largest islands in the Maldives. The resort is a 30 minute scenic private seaplane ride from Malé, then a 5 minute speed boat ride. International flights land at Male’s International Airport. A member of the hotel team will meet you & take you to the seaplane.