Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today (July 29, 2018): Top 10 reasons why you should book a stay at Soneva Fushi (Maldives).
In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury. Sixty-one private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers. Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, nine fine dining venues, a treasure trove children’s Den, a Six Senses spa, and a multi-purpose facility encompassing a glass gallery, boutique and studio. I hereby give you ten reasons why I love Soneva Fushi so much, and why I think that you should consider a stay here for your next Maldivian holiday. Read my review of Soneva Fushi here.
Soneva Fushi features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the best family hotels in the world, the world’s most insanely beautiful hotel beaches, and the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling.
Have you ever stayed at Soneva Fushi, and if so, what was your experience? Leave a comment below.
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10. PRIVATE SEAPLANE TRANSFER
Some resorts are so exclusive that they can only be reached by private plane. And so is Soneva Fushi, which uses a fleet of private Twin Otter seaplanes, exclusively designed for Soneva to fly its guests from the Maldives’ main airport (Male) to the resort. Prior to take off at Male airport, a private Soneva lounge – styled in Soneva’s signature rustic eco-chic design – awaits guests to relax and freshen up. Aboard the seaplane, 10 VIP seats upholstered in Soneva-purple Elmosoft leather and high technology equipment welcome passengers for a 30-minute panoramic voyage that will undoubtedly make a mark. Each guests receives an amenity kit, which includes towels, amenities, a bottle of fresh fruit juice, noise-cancelling headphones, and a tablet.
9. BEST RESORT IN THE MALDIVES FOR FAMILIES
Soneva Fushi is an adventure playground for children and teenagers alike. The island’s natural surrounds provide incredible opportunities for fun, educational and inspirational activities and experiences. Soneva Fushi has the largest kids’ club of the Indian Ocean, called the Den, which is a playground for the imagination. Children can explore a pirate ship, two swimming pools, a Lego and Duplo room, dress-up and makeup area, cinema, library, learning area, music room filled with instruments, and more. Child caretakers are always on hand to watch over their every move, while parents can enjoy some quiet time. Kids can also discover the marine world with Soneva’s Marine Biologist and will love the unending chocolates and ice creams, offered on a complimentary basis to all guests.
8. OUT OF THE BLUE
Soneva Fushi focuses on an authentic Maldivian island experience, but does not feature overwater villas to protect the fragile reefs. However, it does offer an overwater experience at Out of the Blue, a fairytale-like two-storey structure built over its fabulous lagoon which houses five brand new dining experiences, from intimate settings of just five diners presided over by world-famous chefs to large alfresco shared dining areas. Besides these terrific dining outlets, Out of the Blue also features a large sundeck with very comfortable loungers, overwater netting, and a fun water slide, going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below, guaranteeing some great photo opportunities. Out of the Blue faces the west and offers terrific views of the amazing Maldivian sunsets.
7. BEST SNORKELING & DIVING IN THE MALDIVES
Soneva Fushi is located in the heart of the Maldives’ remote Baa Atoll. The latter has been declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, because it supports one of the largest groups of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. As such, it should come as no surprise that Soneva Fushi is a diver’s dream, offering easy access to the world’s most breathtaking scuba diving sites. The resort has its own PADI-certified dive center, and the professional scuba diving instructors guide excursions to more than 30 sites, such as Hanifaru Bay, home to one of the world’s largest populations of manta rays If you are not comfortable with or don’t feel like diving, you’ll be happy to know that snorkeling at Soneva Fushi’s house reef is superb. Turtles and dolphins frequently pass by the island. The dive center provides diving masks with optical lenses for those guests wearing glasses.
6. PRISTINE WHITE SAND BEACHES
Soneva Fushi is a tropical paradise unrivaled in the world. The entire island – one of the largest in the Maldives – is covered by a magnificent verdant, dense jungle and is completely surrounded by blinding-white, palm-fringed beach and a ridiculously clear, sparkling turquoise lagoon. From a scenic perspective, this is the most idyllic island that I have visited in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives, and its fabulous, soft-sand beach easily rank amongst the best hotel beaches in the world. Since the resort occupies its own private island, the beach is quite deserted since it is only accessible to resort guests. An added bonus for beach aficionados it Soneva Fushi’s private sandbank, just about 5 minutes away by speedboat from the main island, where you can spend a romantic night under the vast Maldivian skies in a luxurious Bedouin tent.
5. STELLAR DINING EXPERIENCES
Soneva Fushi features nine world-class restaurants, with over-the-top settings, impeccable service, and divine food. This includes Fresh In The Garden (a dining venue suspended above the jungle canopy), Shades of Green (the Maldives’ first vegan restaurant), and Out of the Blue (an overwater structure housing five fine dining outlets, including a terrific Teppanyaki table and world-class sushi counter). A stand out among the resort’s fine dining venues is the exquisite Sobah’s restaurant, built on the uninhabited island, just 30 minutes by boat from Soneva Fushi, serving traditional Maldivian cuisine with modern twists using traditional cooking methods. Appealing to the international foodie scene and cementing Soneva Fushi’s reputation as an epicurean destination, the resort also regularly hosts some of the world’s most celebrated and Michelin-starred chefs.
4. THE WORLD’S BEST BREAKFAST
Soneva Fushi offers by far the most lavish breakfast buffet that I have ever encountered in any hotel in the world. It features a dedicated ham and cheese room, with sumptuous homemade cheeses, charcuterie and own-smoked salmon, in addition to an extensive menu with delicious Western and Asian dishes. You can also take your pick of more luscious delicacies straight from the wood-fired rock oven, hot and cold smoke oven and the earthen tandoor. There’s also another cold room offering an incredible variety of salads and vegetables, next to an outdoor fruit counter which offers the most amazing range of fresh fruits you’ll ever see at a hotel. And after breakfast, you can always retreat to the chocolate room, where the cocoa goodness is presented in blends of up to 95%, be it in the form of mousses, cookies, drinks, bon-bons or truffles.
3. THE MALDIVES’ MOST EXCLUSIVE YACHT
Soneva in Aqua is the first floating villa in the Maldives and every discerning traveler’s dream. The pioneering boat villa concept of the ultra-luxe Soneva hotel group combines all the benefits of the group’s iconic resort’s services and amenities with the freedom and exclusivity associated with a private boat charter. The two-cabin boat is anchored at Soneva Fushi and has a maximum occupancy of 6 guests, guaranteeing complete privacy and exclusivity. The ultraluxe yacht features a spacious main cabin with a glass bottom spa and shower facilities, as well as a second room with a king-sized bed and en-suite facilities. Other features include an external raised sun and dining deck, a lower level bar and dining area plus daybeds, lounge seating and a Jacuzzi. The yacht can be booked for sunset and dolphin cruises, as well as for multi-days itineraries in the Baa Atoll.
2. COMBINATION STAY WITH SONEVA JANI
Soneva Fushi is the sister resort of Soneva Jani, the most famous luxury resort in the Maldives. Soneva Jani comprises 24 water villas and two island villas, with additional island villas planned at a later stage. Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located in lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° ocean views and built around an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. 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. 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. Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are a one hour boat ride apart and can be easily combined in one and the same itinerary. Read my review of Soneva Jani here.
1. FABULOUS ROBINSON CRUSOE-STYLE BEACH VILLAS
Soneva Fushi features 61 massive, Robinson Crusoe-style, multi-bedroom luxury villas and private residences, that are hidden among dense tropical foliage. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools, some of them even featuring their own slides. The most stunning villas are located on Soneva Fushi’s sunrise side, which enjoys virtually unimpeded views out to sea, with Maalhos, the closest neighboring island on this side, just being a speck on the horizon. The property’s most amazing accommodation is villa 37, a five bedroom mansions with a moonlight table that rises above the roof and is the highest point on the island, where guests can take their dining experience to new, panoramic heights. I have published on my Youtube channel full tours of Soneva Fushi’s one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom villas.
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