What We Love
- One of the original luxury resorts in the Maldives — the place practically invented “castaway chic”
- Seriously eco-friendly
- Villas have direct access to the white sand beach
- Spectacular spa staffed by visiting therapists
- Free bikes parked in front of villas
What To Know
- A 10 percent per night hotel service charge and a two percent per night carbon tax will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- About a 35-minute seaplane ride from Malé (where international flights arrive); transfers are approximately $510 per person, round-trip
- Dress code is casual and low-key
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
With its impeccable white sand beaches, palatial thatch-roofed villas and stellar spa, Soneva Fushi sets the benchmark for rustic chic in the Maldives. When husband-and-wife team Sonu and Eva Shivdasani built this rustic retreat on the uninhabited island of Kunfunadhoo, the area was known only to savvy backpackers. These days the Soneva Fushi’s look and vibe are widely imitated, and the resort’s pool has grown considerably more crowded. But the Soneva Fushi continues to define the kind of barefoot luxury that the Maldives are known for, right down to the resort’s “no news, no shoes” policy, in which guests surrender their footwear at check-in.
Bed and Bath
The 65 villas share space on the densely forested 100-acre island, hidden behind swaths of plumeria trees that line the beach. The Shivdasanis are visionary eco-hoteliers, so the resort’s roofs are made from woven coconut leaves, and there are aggressive eco programs on-site, such as a recycling plant, a carbon offset initiative and a seawater cooling system. But luxury abounds: Villas have cozy canopy beds and elaborate garden bathrooms that open onto a rambling stone walkway and outdoor shower.
When hunger strikes, guests can traverse a tree canopy bridge for an organic dinner at the elevated Fresh in the Garden, or have a private beachfront picnic on a nearby desert island arranged by a thakaru (butler). The spa’s extensive menu is supplemented by visiting therapists, including acupuncturists, reiki specialists and naturopathic doctors from around the globe, making Soneva Fushi one of the best wellness retreats in the Maldives. Romance comes naturally at a classic Maldivian resort like this one. But nothing quite matches the experience of snorkeling among the tropical fish just steps from your room or seeing the stars from the observatory in the organic garden — both must-dos at this tropical escape.
How to Get There
Imagine an island resort with 80% of its garbage recycled as keychains, wall hooks, charcoals and even a piece of art. Welcome to Soneva Fushi, your green earth dream comes true.
Madonna and Paul McCartney are just some of the celebrities who stayed here. Each villa overlooks lush forest and beautiful sandy beaches. My bathtub was in the open air under tropical trees, while just a few steps away from my personal pool, the nature beach is awaiting. Even turtles come laying eggs here every year, how isolated and unspoilt this island is !!!
Fresh in the garden offers organic ingredients with a touch of Asian flair, while Out of the blue specializes in Japanese and thai cuisine. Any where you look, you are bound to see turquoise ocean and green forest.
At night, after a sumptuous dinner, we are led to an observatory to see stars and milky ways, Soneva Fushi has one of the most sophisticated stargazing equipment in the world. There is also a “soundless” outdoor cinema with blue tooth functioned earphone. The reason: not to disturb the abundant wildlife in the water or on the beach.
I also stayed for a night at its sister resort, Soneva Jani, which becomes a sensational hit among the tourists since its launch. My villa No 1 is equipped with 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 lounge room and a huge pool. The most talked-about feature of the villa is its water slide, where guests can swing right into the crystal ocean from their upper floor room.
At my master bedroom, the roof is retractable at the touch of a button, you can invite the star or the sun into your room whenever you feel like it. The Apple TV is hidden in a handsome replica of LV suitcase, the bathtub is so near to the ocean that you might as well jump into the ocean for a silky salty bath.
All in all, it is a luxury resort that lets you enjoy the ultimate without feeling guilty or leaving any trail on the carbon side.
Everything about Soneva Fushi is amazing. Super luxurious yet grounded with the friendliest staff I have ever come across.
Fantastic food and activities that made our jaws drop. Dolphin watching, picnic in a desert island beach, a cocktail on a sandbank, and finding Andromeda millions of light years away through a massive high tech telescope.
There’s something here for everyone. And everyone should visit Soneva Fushi at least once in their lifetime.
My experience at Soneva Fushi was just perfect. I visited this paradise in the beginning of this year and now I returned in December.
The hotel is located in Baa Atoll, a place considered as a Biosphere reserve with large groups of coral reefs and rich marine life.
When you arrive in the hotel, there’s a person responsible for making your experience unforgettable, they try and do the best to reach it. They call this person “Mr. Friday”. My Mr. Friday was Shan and he made everything for us to have a pleasant stay.
The breakfast is perfect: you can find all types of fruits you can imagine. They have special rooms (open 24 hours in a day), like a chocolate room and an ice cream room (believe me, it’s impossible not to enter in these rooms).
I loved the new restaurant called Out of the Blue: there I had a japonese dinner in an open area where you can watch a beautiful sky full of stars (it was an unique experience!). There’s another restaurant called Fresh in the Garden with an organic garden from where they create delicious dishes. Here you can find a telescope and an astronomer too.
One amazing experience they provide is the Asian Market, a buffet with diferent kinds of regional food like Indian, Maldivian, from Sri Lanka and other countries.
There are so many activities you can have in the hotel like the sunset dolphin cruise (I was not lucky to catch dolphins but the experience was really cool) or the cocktail sunset party, where you can enjoy the sunset from a sand bank (I recommend to go to the sand bank during the morning too: the water here is unbelievable! All shades of blue you can find). They have a cinema too- where you can watch films and even have a barbecue.
No words are necessary to describe the villas: you can have your private pool and it was one of the most comfortable rooms I have ever stayed in my life. It’s a calm island with a beautiful vegetation and animals like birds and even cute bunnies.
To sum up, I recommend this hotel to celebrate special dates and I’m sure you will have an unique experience in your life staying here.
Wow. What to say. This property is out of this world!
The surroundings are to die for. Waking up in the jungle, but yet in the middle of the ocean is like nowhere I've ever been. We stayed in a 6 bedroom villa on the sunset side. The villa looked like a resort itself! The villas are almost hidden in the jungle, but steps away from the beach, giving you privacy with full access. The rooms are beautifully done and the beds super comfy.
I loved the no shoes, barefoot luxury concept. Riding our bikes down to breakfast each morning was like waking up in heaven. The canopy of trees gives you the feeling of being in your own world. I like that there is not really a 'resort area' to hang around during the day. It gives you the feeling sometimes, like you're the only people on the island! During meal times was when you'd predominately see other guests. We ate at most of the dining venues and the food was fantastic. The fresh seafood, sashimi and fruit were always on hand. The cheese room, the chocolate room, the ice cream bar.....yummo!
The snorkeling straight off the island is beautiful. A plethora of fish life. The sunset side is probably a bit better for this. We also tried paddle boarding and there are many other sports/water activities to utilise.
The sunset dolphin cruise was great, and you also can go out with their marine biologist for snorkeling as well. I also took the opportunity to have a dive whilst there. The dive team were great and made it a nice and easy process. The water is so warm, that even over 20 metres down, the fact that I wasn't wearing a wetsuit wasn't a problem.
The staff are truly wonderful. We had Sayeed & Sharn (apologies for any spelling mistakes!) look after us, and they were always wearing a smile. Beautiful hosts, and them, as well as the other staff were the icing on the cake to this incredible resort. Thank you!
If you have the opportunity to stay here, you will not be disappointed. I hope I can make it back one day, to this heavenly place.
It is hard to find a Maldives resort that is not at least pretty nice but there is just no comparison what Soneva offers. From the impeccable service of your Mr. Friday to the interesting projects like the glass blowing studio and the astronomy tower there are just so many things to love here.
What stood out was the email you receive before arrival to choose the amenities for your room like pillows and bathroom fragrances, the unlimited icecream bar and the great food. Even as a FB guest you never have the feeling they skip on the really great stuff - it is all available at no extra cost. I especially appreciated the little details i.e. when you order an iced coffee it comes with coffee ice cubes to not dilute your coffee.
And of course, a big one - this must be the most eco friendly resort in the Maldives. They recycle not only 90% of their waste and are completely plastic free but support and empower local communities to minimize waste and turn existing trash into something new.