Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel contests, tips, series, or news.
Today (April 13, 2018): Soneva launches a ‘Festival of Colour’ campaign to celebrate rare experiences across its resorts.
As most of you know, I am a huge fan of luxury hotels (and I assume most of you are as well since you are following my blog). Aman, Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood and Four Seasons rank among my favorite hotel brands. But none comes close to my absolute favorite hotel group in the world: Soneva. What I like so much about the Soneva – and how they discriminate themselves from their high-end competitors – is their pursuit for excellence, the unique design of their resorts, their commitment to inspired living, their very smart take on barefoot luxury, their breathtaking ‘remote but accessible’ natural locations, and their creation of authentic experiences (unlike any other). Soneva has four spectacular resorts so far (with more properties planned to open in the near future):
- Soneva Jani, the Maldives’ most exclusive resort
- Soneva Fushi, the Maldives’ original hideaway
- Soneva in Aqua, the Maldives’ first floating villa
- Soneva Kiri, the most exclusive resort in Thailand
Over the coming weeks, I will publish a Soneva special, including new reviews and clips (including 4K aerial drone clips and full tours) of Soneva Kiri, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. I have already published my first 4K aerial drone clip of Soneva Kiri, which you can watch below, and I will publish an extra-long 90 min clip with a full tour of Soneva Kiri tomorrow on my Youtube channel.
For the past couple of years, I was able to offer the readers of my blog a complimentary upgrade at any Soneva resort (regardless of whether the booking was made via Soneva directly or via a travel agent). The offer is still valid. And now may the best time ever to book a stay at one of the Soneva resorts since Soneva has launched its first ever year-long campaign known as a ‘Festival of Colour’ to celebrate the diverse array of guest activities and experiences on offer this year, ranging from visiting Michelin-starred chefs and astronomers, through to authors, champion free-divers, artists and more. Each month of the year is associated with a different colour and theme, which will be brought to life at Soneva’s resorts in the Maldives and Thailand through special on-site events and collaborations.
Underscoring the Festival of Colour is a series of short “colour” films created by the renowned French film director Bruno Aveillan. Bruno visited Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in early 2017 to shoot the films, which were inspired by the different colours he found at the resorts. Soneva releases one colour film each month during the campaign on its website and on social media. For example, below is the clip released by Soneva the celebrate the color Blue:
As part of the Festival of Colour, Soneva has confirmed a huge line-up of visiting experts, including chefs, authors, wine producers, world-champion free-divers, astronomers, artists, wellness practitioners, tennis coaches and more at all resorts. To give you an idea, this month (April 2018) sees the grand opening of a new dining outlet at Soneva Fushi where you’ll be able to enjoy the culinary skills of the 3-starred Michelin Chef Gyoten, of Sushi Gyoten fame in Japan; Chef Claus Meyer, the cofounder of the two Michelin-starred restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, of Bolivia’s best restaurant GUSTU and of 1-starred Michelin Agern and Great Northern Food Hall in New York City; as well as visiting chefs from Italy and China who will also grace the kitchens. Wine tastings, the enigmatic French band Phly Boyz, the award-winning astronomer Lars Lindberg Christensen, American glass artists, and practitioners specialised in Ayurvedic medicine, massage and physiotherapy are also all on-site this month in Soneva Fusjo.
Fine dining experiences are a pivotal part of Soneva’s Festival of Colour, and the company has so-far confirmed 28 of the world’s top chefs (many of which have at least two Michelin stars and above or are included within The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list) for exclusive dinner events. Confirmed chefs include (in alphabetical order):
- Chef Tom Aikens, the youngest British chef to win two Michelin stars
- Chef Andre Van Alten, from the one-starred Restaurant La Provence in Driebergen- Rijsenburg, Netherlands
- Chef Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex, a two-Michelin starred chef from Auberge de l’Ile Barbe, France
- Chef Wilco Berends, of the two Michelin starred Restaurant De Nederlanden, Netherlands
- Chef Tim Butler of Eat Me, Bangkok
- Chef Benoit Dewitte, the head chef and owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant Benoit Dewitte in Belgium
- Chef Andre Van Doorn, from the one-starred Restaurant Kasteel Heemstede, Netherlands
- Chef Jarno Eggen from the one Micheline-starred Restaurant De Groene Lantaarn, in Zuidwolde, Netherlands
- Chef Jos Grootscholten from the one-starred Old Town Hall of Capelle aan den Ijssel, Netherlands
- Chef Kenji Gyoten the youngest Japanese chef with three Michelin stars
- Chef Michael Husken, who heads up the kitchen team at Sophia’s restaurant at Rocco Forte’s “The Charles Hotel”, Munich
- Chef Mark Lundgaard a one-Michelin starred chef of Restaurant Kong Hans Kaelder in Denmark
- Chef Gert De Mangeleer, a three-Michelin starred chef who co-runs Restaurant Hertog Jan in Belgium
- Chef Max Mascia of the two-Michelin-starred San Domenico Imola (Italy)
- Chef Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, of Bolivia’s best restaurant GUSTU and of the one-Michelin-starred Agern and Great Northern Food Hall in New York City
- Chef Kiko Moya, a two Michelin-starred chef from L’Escaletta, Spain
- Jean Baptiste Natali, a one-Michelin starred chef from At the General’s table, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France
- Chef Bruno Oger, a renowned two-Michelin-starred chef from Le Cannet, France
- Chef Pere Planaguma, 2 Michelin Stars. He is the head chef of Les Cols of Olot from Girona, spain
- Chef Tim Raue, from the two-Michelin starred restaurant TIM RAUE in Berlin, Germany
- Chef Prateek Sadhu of Masque, one of Mumbai’s most acclaimed restaurants
- Chef Dmitry Shurashov, a Russian celebrity chef
- Christian Le Squer, a three-Michelin-starred chef from France
- Chef Ton Tassanakajohn of Le Du in Bangkok; one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
- Chef Edwin Vinke from the two Michelin-starred Restaurant De Kromme Watergang in Hoofdplaat, Netherlands
- Chef Michael Wignall, formerly at Gidleigh Park, UK, with two Michelin stars and five AA rosettes
- Chef Lu Yao, the head chef at the Relais & Chateaux property Yihe Mansions in China
“We’re really focused on crafting these beautiful, beyond bespoke experiences where discovery is a way of life. With our expert hosts as personal guides, we invite our guests to explore and delight in experiences that will last a lifetime. Soneva has never been so full of LIFE,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Founder, CEO and Joint Creative Director of Soneva. LIFE stands for Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences.
In addition to chefs, other experts include the renowned British historian Andrew Roberts, the world-champion free-diver Umberto Pelizzari, the astronomer Massimo Terenghi, plus glass artists James Devereux and Louis Thompson, among many others.
Guests who visit any Soneva property during the Festival of Colour will be treated to special colour-themed movie screenings, cocktails, canapes and more. There will also be announcements by Soneva over the next few months linked to new restaurant openings and new guest experiences, all linked to different colour themes.
Contact me if you want to book a stay at one of the Soneva resorts.
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