Today (October 10, 2016): Top 10 reasons to visit the Maldives’ ultimate resort, Soneva Jani.
The Maldives is my favorite destination on earth and I recommend everyone to travel at least once in their lifetime to this phenomal Indian Ocean archipelago. Tiny islands and atolls house some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and are composed of exquisite ribbons of powdery-soft white sand lapped by turquoise waters against a background of lush tropical vegetation. Last week, I published a top 10 list with the most amazing luxury hotels in the Maldives. Today, I focus on the number one hotel in my list, Soneva Jani, the newest and revolutionary resort of genius Maldivian-based hotelier Sonu Shivdasani, the CEO of Soneva, which is my favorite luxury hotel brand in the world.
Perhaps the most luxurious (and awaited) resort opening of the last decade, Soneva Jani has finally opened its fabulous doors (although the official opening is only next month) and it does not fail to impress. It follows Soneva Fushi, which set the standard for Maldivian hideaway luxury 20 years ago, and joins the stable with Thailand’s Soneva Kiri – still my most beloved resort in the world – as well as a luxury yacht also in the Maldives. I hereby share with you 10 reasons why you should put Soneva Jani on top of your bucket list.
- Official hotel website: Soneva Jani
- Rates: Contact me for the best rates & a free upgrade. Soneva Jani has an opening special that represents savings of 50%, with rates starting at $1939 USD a night, for travel until December 19, including daily breakfast and dinner.
In constructing the resort, Soneva kept its environmental impact as low as possible. The pools use seawater with UV filtration and the villas have been built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef. Furthermore, solar PV is e a significant source of power generation at the resort, all waste-water is collected and treated on-site, and water is also produced on-site, including drinking water. Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre ensures that waste is recycled, while the extensive vegetable garden gives local produce for the restaurants based on organic principles.
Medhufaru island, the largest island of Soneva Jani, was home to a farm for 10 years before Soneva Jani was conceptualized. The extensive gardens on the isle are still supplying the fruits, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms to the resort’s kitchens, as well as to Soneva Jani’s sister resort, Soneva Fushi. Guests can wander through the Labyrinth, a meditative maze created out of ficus hedge that follows an ancient circular pattern.
Soneva Jani’s guests can gaze into the night sky at the twinkling jewel-like stars at the first overwater observatory in the Maldives. This popular experience has awed and amazed guests of all ages at Soneva Jani’s sister resorts, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Kiri, and the resort designers have made the observatory at Soneva Jani even better. A sophisticated telescope rises up through the floor of the observatory deck, offering enchanted views of the starry sky. The deck is surrounded by four dining tables, at which you can dine if you wish. The tables are equipped with screens linked to the view from the telescope, allowing you to dine with the stars.
Cinema Paradiso is the first overwater silent cinema in the Maldives! Guests are provided with Bluetooth headphones, leaving the surrounding nesting wildlife at peace. The resort has a twice weekly movie selection for both children and adults, with a focus on classic and inspirational movies. You can relax on the comfortable loungers under the stars, and snack on fresh popcorn. Private screenings and dining experiences can be arranged at extra charge.
As some of you know, for the past year, I was able to offer the readers of my blog a complimentary upgrade at Soneva Fushi or Soneva Kiri at the time of booking (regardless of whether the booking was made via Soneva directly or via a travel agent). Today, I am very excited to announce that I am able to extend this free upgrade offer to Soneva Jani for the coming two years. This is how it works:
- Step 1: contact me before making a booking, so I can introduce you to my Soneva contact.
- Step 2: after the introduction, you can make the booking yourself via Soneva or via your preferred travel agent and the complimentary villa upgrade will be added to your booking. If the upgrade is not available at the time of inquiry, you will be offered a personalized complimentary experience.
Surrounded by astonishingly turquoise waters, the over-water spa will be closer to a lifestyle centre, than a traditional, standardised spa. Inspired by the resort’s name (Jani means wisdom in Sanskrit), guests are encouraged to learn new skills, to rethink their lifestyles with a focus on wellness, and to work towards a healthier, purer, and happier self. In-house experts will be on hand to offer advice to assist guests to heal, move, and ‘be’. Spa treatments are complemented by a fully equipped gym and yoga pavilion as well as sauna and steam rooms.
The menus at Soneva Jani are as extravagant as the resort itself. There are five dining outlets, offering various destinations cuisines and private dining experiences, where the resort’s chefs trick your taste buds and mind with elaborate disguises. Soneva has gained a worldwide reputation for its wine collection and Sommeliers, and at Soneva Jani, the wine is housed in a six-metre high glass tower and the list contains around 50% organic and biodynamic wine. Soneva is also famous for its Ice Cream and Chocolat room, where you can choose from over 50 flavours of ice creams and handmade chocolates throughout the day and evening.
Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The highlight of the resort is its location within a 5.6 km (3,5 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. The main island is fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery. With just 25 villas in an area that stretches more than 5 km (3 mi), Soneva Jani is one of the lowest density resorts in the world.
Every water villa has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. Like all other Soneva properties, the spacious villas feature beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani, one of Soneva’s co-founders, and are made from the highest quality sustainable materials. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze (watch the clip below for a demonstration).
Toes in the sand, salt on the skin, the arc of the sun your only sense of time – the freedom of nature inspires Soneva’s three-part adventure that promises a journey of discovery across land and sea. The adventure begins at Soneva Fushi, the Maldives’ original desert island hideaway, where vast luxury villas nestle amongst rich greenery in touching distance of a Biosphere UNESCO protected coral reef. The call of the seas will then be answered from the comfort of Soneva in Aqua, our 19.25m by 6.40m yacht charter that combines the charm of Soneva with the freedom to explore the untouched Maldivian atolls. Stepping back onto dry land, Soneva Jani is the final port of call, offering a unique ‘castaway’ experience in the best resort the world has to offer.
- Contact me to book this ultimate Maldivian discovery package.
- Read here my review of Soneva Sushi.
- Read here my review of Soneva In Aqua.