I recently enjoyed a terrific holiday in the Maldives, one of my favorite beach destinations in the world. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Air France B787 Dreamliner Business Class from Paris to the Maldives
- Review: Transfer to Soneva Fushi with Soneva’s private seaplane
- Review: Soneva Fushi, the Maldives’ original island hideaway
- Review: Soneva In Aqua, the Maldives’ most exclusive yacht (today)
- Review: Air France B787 Dreamliner Business Class from the Maldives to Paris
Today (July 31, 2019): Review of Soneva in Aqua (Maldives).
Soneva in Aqua is the first floating villa in the Maldives. The ultra-luxurious and highly refined yacht sails from Soneva’s flagship resort, Soneva Fushi, in the Maldives (you can read my review of Soneva Fushi here). The pioneering concept elevates the guest experience by offering a boat villa which combines all the benefits of the iconic resort’s services and amenities with the freedom and exclusivity associated with a private boat charter. I did not stay overnight on the boat, so this review is not written according to my ‘pros and cons’ concept. Instead, I enjoyed a sunset dolphin cruise onboard Soneva In Aqua, which swept me off my feet and left me speechless.
Soneva In Aqua features in my list of the 40 hottest luxury hotel openings of 2015.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip and slideshow):
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Reviews of other hotels in the Maldives
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
- The two-cabin yacht has a maximum occupancy of four adults and two children. As such, it provides the ultimate sense of exclusivity and privacy.
- The boat was built in 2014 in Taiwan. It measures 19.25 meters (63 feet) in length and 6.40 meters (21 feet) wide and has a cruising speed of 8 knots.
- Whilst supported by engine power, the yacht relies on nature (wind) to provide the majority of its energy. The engines have been built to the highest specification with regards to fuel saving efficiency.
- The boat’s interior features Soneva’s signature, rustic, eco-chic design, with use of natural materials such as rich brown leathers, woods and organic cottons, in addition to bright-colored cushions.
- The yacht has three spacious outdoor decks: a lower level sun deck which has a jacuzzi; a raised and shaded deck with bar and comfortable lounge seating; and a small sun deck above the Captain’s cabin.
- The main deck is located below the Captain’s cabin and features a dining area, plush daybeds, a library, a computer corner (WiFi on the boat is complimentary), and a large tv screen (with a view from the camera installed in the yacht’s mast).
- At the rear of the main cabin is the ‘smaller’ one of the two bedrooms, located in its own spacious cabin, with king-sized bed, day bed, and en-suite facilities.
- From the main deck, a stair leads down to the yacht’s main cabin, a spectacular bedroom, still located above the water level. This bedroom features a king-sized bed, his and her sinks, a shower, and a restroom.
- One of the most amazing features of the boat is the Jacuzzi in the main cabin (located in front of the king-sized bed) which has a glass bottom so you can take a bath while watching the fish swim beneath you. How cool is that!
- The yacht is anchored in front of the shore of Soneva Fushi, my favorite luxury hotel in the Maldives (you can read my review of Soneva Fushi here). The Captain sets the destination and itinerary according to the guests’ daily desires, allowing freedom and flexibility.
- Most of the times, the yacht will cruise within the vicinity of the remote Baa Atoll, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve because it supports one of the largest groups of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. As such, Soneva In Aqua offers its guests the freedom to explore the Maldives’ most exceptional reefs, providing unforgettable and unique experiences to both divers and non-divers.
- An overnight stay on Soneva In Aqua is inclusive of all meals (afternoon tea, a bespoke dinner menu paired with the best wines, and a sumptuous breakfast), a one hour massage, guided snorkeling, and a star-gazing session.
- When you set sail on Soneva In Aqua, you will be in trusted hands: besides the Captain and his crew, there is also an onboard chef, an onboard therapist, and a personal butler (designated Mrs or Mr Friday) who will make sure that your stay on Soneva In Aqua will be an unforgettable one.
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: contact me to get complimentary VIP perks (resort credit & two experiences) at Soneva In Aquua.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
REVIEWS OF OTHER HOTELS IN THE MALDIVES
- Review: Soneva Jani Chapter Two (Maldives)
- Review: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
- Review: Soneva Fushi Maldives
- Review: Velaa Private Island (Maldives)
- Review: Soneva Jani, the Maldives’ most famous resort
- Review: Soneva In Aqua, the Maldives’ most exclusive yacht
- Review: Soneva Fushi (Maldives), my best holiday ever!
- Review of Soneva Jani, the Maldives’ most fabulous resort
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- Review of the largest overwater villa in the Maldives
- Review: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- Review: Dhevanafushi Maldives Luxury resort
- Hotel review: Maalifushi by COMO (Maldives)
- Hotel review: Naladhu, South Male Atoll (Maldives)
- Hotel review: One&Only Reethi Rah (Maldives)
- Hotel review: Gili Lankanfushi (Maldives)
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best weather in the Maldives is between January and April, which also means high season (and high hotel rates). The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking in June. It is worth paying higher prices and sticking to the dry season as there is nothing to do on a rainy day except drink, eat, work out or scuba dive. Especially November and December, which are often labelled as dry season months, have been very unsettled in recent years.
HOW TO GET THERE
Soneva Fushi is located a 30-minute waterplane trip from Male International Airport (MLE). Check the Wikipedia page of Male International Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer flights to Male International Airport:
- From/via Asia: Bangkok Airways (via Bangkok), Tigerair (via Singapore), Singapore Airlines (via Singapore), Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong), Air India (via Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvanathapuram), China Eastern Airlines (via Colombo, Kunmnig), Cina Southern Airlines (via Guanghzou), Hainan Airlines (via Bejing), Korean Air (via Colombo and Seoul), Shanghai Airlines (via Shanghai), Srilankan Airlines (via Colombo), Maldivian (Chennai, Chongqing, Colombo, Dhaka, Thiruvanathapuram), Mega Maldives (via Bejing, Hong Kong, Shanghai).
- From/via Middle East: Emirates (via Dubai), Flybudai (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi), Oman Air (via Muscat), Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul).
- From/via Europe: Austrian Airlines (via Vienna), British Airways (via London), Thompson Airways (via London), Monarch Airlines (via London), Condor (via Frankfurt), Edelweiss Air (via Zurich), Meridiana (via Rome or Milan), Neos (via Rome or Milan), Transaero Airlines (via Moscow).