What We Love
- Around-the-clock butler service
- Retractable roofs on all the villas
- An overwater silent cinema, the first of its kind in the Maldives
- Complimentary scoops (more than 50 flavors to choose from) at the onsite ice-cream parlor
What To Know
- Visit between December and April to skip the Maldives’s rainy season
- Each residence here contains a private pool
- Almost all the produce used in the resort’s five restaurants comes from an onsite vegetable and herb garden
- A resident marine biologist is available to accompany guests on guided snorkeling tours
From the moment you step off your private seaplane onto this jetty, floating atop a three-mile lagoon just forty minutes north of the Maldivian capital of Male, you’ll be gob-smacked by the sheer solitude of your surroundings. For starters, your shoes will be whisked away for the remainder of your stay, giving a literal spin to the phrase “barefoot luxury.” The villas, a winding sequence of pitched roofs and turrets, took cues from Indian Ocean sunsets with their magical palette of periwinkles and silvers. Whether you’re absorbing the many extravagances in your impeccably designed overwater villa, dressed with bamboo floors and rattan furniture (and include water slides and catamaran nets on your private deck), or paying a visit to the resort’s lavish cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie lounge, the sense of castaway cool that infuses every nook of this secluded island paradise will floor you.
In the Area
Made up of five palm-fringed islets, the Noonu Atoll, an especially remote slice of the Maldives, is best explored by speedboat, which the resort provides (the main island, however, is accessible by bicycles or golf buggies). The visual highlight is undoubtedly the azure lagoon that surrounds Soneva, and the extracurricular indulgences here are an inspiring mix of over and underwater activities: hop aboard a dhoni, a traditional Maldivian fishing boat, and spy on frolicking dolphins; snorkel around the reefs of the lively Medhufaru Lagoon, or arrange for a chef-made picnic lunch (he only uses what he can catch or forage) on nearby Zuhair’s Island.
How to Get There
We stayed for a few nights at Soneva Jani with my wife and a big group of friends. We had a one room villa with our own slide from the roof going down into the sea. The hotel is amazing, villas really large and beautifully decorated, a small push button in the bedroom opens the bedroom roof which at night allows you to watch the stars (as all villas do not have this feature make sure to ask first). Our personnal butler was at our disposal and extremely helpful including late when needed.
All villas except one are in the lagoon and a bycicle allows you to easily go around and visit the attached island.
Diving instructors were helpful and friendly although one should not expect too much as corals are mostly colorless now and aquatic life limited, but it is nice diving anyway.
If you were asked to sit and design the perfect island experience in the Maldives I defy you to achieve what Soneva Jani have.
Everything just works but it works so beautifully well. It encompasses pure luxury and opulence yet it is not ostentatious or vulgar. To say that the staff are relaxed perhaps gives the wrong impression as they are all a huge asset to the company but to explain further the whole island is bare footed and nothing is a problem.
Between my husband and I we have a few food allergies and they were discretely considered at every meal. We didn’t have to remind anyone at anytime and what is even more remarkable is that neither of us missed out on any of the stunning food on offer as they always adapted the menu for us. On the one day of bad weather we had the sommelier came to our table at lunch to open a bottle of champagne and offer us a glass each because “we can’t make the sun come out for you but we can make your day a little brighter whilst you wait for it”.
They have thought of everything, bikes to ride to get to and from your villa, with cushioned seats and cotton covers for the pedals. Snorkelling kit for adults and children. Life jackets for the smaller ones on the slide. Wet packs to carry your wet clothes home after your final swim. Water to cool your hot feet on the jetty. Waterproof jackets for the rain. They second guess your every move but they are not at all intrusive.
The Den (kids club) was mind blowing for the kids with snorkelling, sailing, painting, treasure hunts and the most awesome staff Nazra and Eve to name a few. Our three young children were totally in love with them and begged to spend time with them.
Our Mr Friday Yasir was seriously impressive. He just made everything happen for us. We celebrated my husband’s 40th and he took charge to make sure we ticked all the boxes and more. His smiling face was always a wonderful way start to our day.
We cannot fault anything at all. This was a once in a lifetime trip for us and there is nowhere else I would have rather been. Thank you everyone. 🙏
Soneva Jani's rooms are beautiful. This summer I was fortunate enough to experience their on-land villa and their over-water villa. Both were amazing, if anyone is interested in watching a video tour and travel vlog of my time at Soneva Jani, my Youtube profile is Kayla Limage, please check it out and subscribe. They also have nightly movie screenings, something they offer that is different than other resorts in the Maldives. I also like that they offer dive trips as well as a boat ride out to the nearest reef for snorkeling. I've stayed at many resorts that just decided that since they don't have an island reef they can't do anything about it, this is yet again something that makes Soneva Jani stand out. Finally, I loved the food, slide, and service.
This place is incredible. Lost for words... The incredible scenery, the villas but most of all the incredible people who makes this place so unique. Especially a huge thank you to Nasra, Shimmi, Ansari, Kitty, Aswad, Francis, Adil and many more-you are all amazing!
There are holiday resorts where reality exceeds expectations and no photo could truly capture their splendour; Soneva Jani is one of the coveted few.
Everything was impeccable right from the moment we landed at the atoll where our private butler greeted us. It also has one of the most extraordinarily lavish breakfast for such a private and exclusive resort.
We were not merely guests in Soneva Jani instead, we integrated with the hosts and experienced their way of life. It has been nothing short of magical.