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
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
Our family had been looking to come to Soneva Fushi for a few years now, however scheduling vagaries always prevented us from booking. It was therefore with high expectations that we arrived in Malé on a sunny October morning.
We were greeted by Soneva's Tesla and immediately taken to their lounge at the seaplane terminal. Our flights on TMA were booked by Soneva Fushi, and apart from a quick luggage weighing break, we didn't have anything to do for check-in. A quick 45 minute seaplane ride and we were at the Soneva "airport" [a little platform some distance away from the resort] where we were met by a boat, and happily surrendered our footwear.
The subsequent 4 days in a sunset pool room were among the most relaxing we have ever had. We don't have much to say that has not been laid out in copious detail by other reviewers, but what stood out most was the kindness and smiles that greeted us everywhere.
Our Ms. Friday Chery did an outstanding job of coordinating all our activities so that we wouldn't miss anything in case of a rainy day. We are vegetarians and had informed the property about this before we arrived. Chef Kevin Fawkes, Chef Sira and Chef Russell took wonderful care of us during breakfast, lunch and dinner at Mihiree Mitha. We still miss the salads that Chef Kevin used to prepare for us personally every day! Chef Derrick at Fresh in the Garden coordinated an excellent vegetarian tasting dinner for us, and didn't forget our kids - the pasta bowls he prepared for them were so tasty that we ended up stealing quite a bit.
We also enjoyed the interactions with Sommeliers Charles and Noriko who did a great job of understanding our wine preferences, and recommending wines that they thought we would enjoy. We were pleasantly surprised to see some relatively hard to find [Gut Oggau, Els Jellipins] low-intervention wines on the list. This is the Maldives so prices are of course on the higher side, but the wine selection is quite interesting and warrants another visit!
The only issue I would point out is that the rooms are extremely dimly lit. I fully understand that this is probably meant to minimise light pollution, but in some areas, it is really difficult to see very well. I believe our villa  was one of the older ones on the property and I trust this issue has been fixed in the newly renovated ones. This side of the island does face Eydhafushi island, and the reports are true, it is an eyesore, especially its bright lights at night if you want to sit outside and gaze at the stars. However, for us it was by no means a deal breaker.
The General Manager Mr. Abhishek is to be complimented for his management of this property. Soneva Fushi is not just a luxury resort, it's a one of a kind experience, and we are already planning our next visit.
We had the most amazing time in Soneva ☺️ First time in the Maldives celebrating our 4th Anniversary couldn’t be any better!! The whole experience is indescribable. Villa 68 will be always in our hearts thank you ❤️
We visited Maldives for the first time and though we had many hotel options to choose from we decided on Soneva fushi. And I am so glad that we did. Though getting there is a little cumbersome because you have to take a domestic flight to the island from the main airport of Maldives and then a 10-14 mts speedboat ride but the journey was well worth it.
Landing at the getty we were greeted by our butler Mahmood , Dehlia , my go to person for whatever I needed and the GM of the hotel Abhishek. Everything about the island and the staff which cater to you is beyond expectations. Our soft spoken butler was only a call away at every time of day and night and in case he was tied up the GM abhishek would step in instantly making sure we were well looked after.
Abhishek organised a special day for us “Soneva in agua” as we were celebrating my sons birthday the gorgeous yatch in which we spent the entire day snorkeling, dinning and we even had our own personal masseuse! The captain of our yatch Grant was a South American with 19 years of sea experience, the snorkeling experience under his guided tour was amazing. Every restaurant in the hotel was an experience in itself Esp Fresh in the garden , amongst the tree tops. The cinema Paradiso is something not to be missed , Julia their in house Photogragher captured some very precious moments for us making our holiday even more memorable.
Every member of the staff on the island is amazingly helpful , courteous and nothing that we asked for or that our heart desired was too much for them.
The 24*7 complimentary ice cream and chocolate parlor were my favourites, visiting them with my 14 year old son at all odd hours of the day and night !
The barbecue night at Down to earth is something not to be missed , the food is delectable.
My favourite part of the holiday was the No shoes policy ! My husband my son and I went three whole days with no shoes on the island running and cycling barefoot and enjoying every bit of it!
I would highly recommend Soneva and can’t wait to go back again .
Thank you everyone for making our stay special and memorable.