Soneva Fushi – one unique experience after another
There are many hotels and resorts around the world that go all out to give you new experiences and to give you memories that you will not forget. There are very few however, that can provide a multiple of these experiences that make you wish that you never have to leave, that you are left with a boatload of emotions and memories that you will remember for life and tell your family and friends about and that bring tears to the eye when that dreaded moment of putting your shoes back on and stepping off the island arrives. For us this was Soneva Fushi – an eco-luxury (or “intelligent luxury” as they refer to it) and exclusive resort in the Maldives founded by in the 1990s by hospitality pioneers Sonu and Eva who turned the large island of Kunfanadhoo into o!ne of the country’s premier independent resorts.
The resort’s philosophy is based on a “slow life” focused on a commitment to guests to provide unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences while also looking out for and improving the lives of the hosts and local communities. Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of what the Soneva brand believes in and Soneva Fushi demonstrates this with clear and visible initiatives that guests are able to experience and admire include a glass bottle recycling “Waste to Wealth” initiative whereby all bottles used on the island are recycled into art and sold. The initiative is not small and so other resorts are now sending their glass waste to Soneva Fushi and thereby cleaning the Maldives of a potential environmental hazard. At Soneva slow is not just about the pace of life at the resort but it is actually an acronym for “Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness” which guests can experience through other initiatives such as the organic vegetable grade that is able to provide a good percentage of vegetables required by the Food & Beverage d!epartment.
Soneva Fushi is located in the Baa Atoll, 30 minute domestic transfer from Male International Airport and shares its location with plenty of marine life, a colorful reef and many sandbanks and desert islands. The island consists of 65 villas all secluded within the foliage of the tropical jungle – a somewhat unique feature when most of the other resorts seem to be focusing on luxurious over-water villas. Do not be mistaken however as Soneva’s villas are as comfortable and luxurious as the most well-publicized over-water villas in the Maldives with high ceilings, huge comfortable beds, open air garden bathrooms, a private swimming pool and a butler k!nown as Mr or Ms Friday thrown in for good measure to attend to your every need.
The resort has several high quality dining options including “By the Beach” a Japanese restaurant with Japanese kitchen staff and Mihiree Mithaa with its themed food nights including an excellent Asian street market with fare from Lebanon to Shanghai. One of the highlights for us was the Sri Lankan lunch at the organic vegetable garden where we were able to see the “garden to plate” process live! However where the resort really stands out is in its destination dining options including an epic sunrise breakfast on the edge of the island which was a mind- blowing experience and perhaps the highlight of our stay – a “Robinson Crusoe” picnic on Nibiligaa Island which we had all to ourselves for a day. We lay there (with plenty of food and d!rink for the day) and hoped that the boat crew would forget to pick us up!
After these experiences if you’re still looking for more dining thrills how about a cocktail evening on a sandbank or an early evening cruise accompanying dolphins across the sunset with a cocktail in hand! On a daily basis you can also visit the exquisitely delicious chocolate room for a little indulgence. Soneva Fushi also has an outdoor movie theatre known as Cinema Paradiso, an excellent spa and gym and an observatory with a certified astronomer to get up close and
personal with the rings of Jupiter and the colors of the Milky Way! The facilities for children are currently being revamped with a new “Den” that will make it one of the best resorts in the Maldives for children!
Our experience at Soneva Fushi was truly unforgettable. We fell in love with the island resort, its staff and the memorable experiences. It is an exclusive and unique resort that has something to offer everyone. You will leave refreshed and exhilarated and the boatload of memories will be more than enough to put a smile on your face for many years to come.
Check out Soneva Fushi for yourself at www.soneva.com/soneva-fushi/