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
The staff at Soneva Jani is great. Staff Hussain Yasir had done an execellent job taking care of me and my family during our stay. My daughter had fever and Yasir had promptly made arrangement for us, and he and the medical staff had attended us many times a day during that period. We had inadvertently left certain items at the beach during the day and we only realised that at night but Yasir still managed to find the lost items for us the same night. On the day when we left Soneva Jani, my daugther could not find her favourite toy dog, and Yasir immediately tried to find that with the other staff but to no avail. Yasir subsequently found the toy dog at the resort but we were already at the airport and flight was about to depart. Yasir subsequently brought the toy dog personnally from Soneva Jani to Mali to arrange courier of the toy dog from Maldives to Beijing. The toy dog is something special to my daughter and we really appreciate all the effort made by Yasir to help us!
So happy I took a few days to rest and recharge at Soneva Jani in mid-June.
The whole experience, from being greeted at the airport and taken to the Tesla, to the tranquil Soneva lounge while waiting for the seaplane, to the warm welcome of my Mr. Friday (shoutout to Shimmie!), to the huge/chill/luxe villa...wow I could just go on and on.
If you are looking for a beautiful experience with calm and privacy this is it.
Good distance between the villas.
Enormous sun-deck with large <3 saltwater <3 pool. Love the 'intelligent luxury' vibe/idea. They filter and mineralize their water. Feels amazing to live in harmony with surroundings, in a more sustainable way than available at other resorts. They have books in the villas explaining their sustainable philosophy which I enjoyed reading. One of my favorite experiences was walking to the pesticide free herb/salad garden, and getting an impromptu tour from gardener Naimina (please give him my many thanks!). He gave me samples straight from the garden that tasted amazing, -it was just a beautiful experience that will be a nice memory forever. I did in-villa dining all days and loved it. Fresh sashimi, best papaya ever, fresh salad straight from the garden, great custom green juice. Great gym. If you like the relaxed vibe of places like Tulum, but still want to go all out with a huge luxe villa that has Hamptons-like decor this place is for you. I made a video of my stay which is on youtube (I'm not allowed to link it here). Selina S
We have been to the Maldives 3 times and we wanted the best, so chose to stay at Soneva Jani after seeing this beautiful resort on social media outlets.
My ‘detailed’ review:
My wife and I had very high expectations for Soneva Jani, especially after experiencing 5/5 hospitality from other resorts.
My kids (aged 5 & 3) absolutely loved the trip and have already been asking to go back.
We were notified to head over to counter#8 at the airport to meet the Soneva representative. She was lovely to deal with and our excitement of getting closer to the actual resort was starting to set in. The moment she put the tags on our bags, we knew this was actually happening. Villa 16 it says.
We checked in to the seaplane and was picked up by a Tesla and driven to the Soneva Jani seaplane lounge. (To my understanding, There’s only 2 Tesla’s in Maldives and Soneva own both!!)
The seaplane lounge was a good place to relax while waiting to board the flight. The representative at the lounge was very respectful and polite. LEGO was available to keep the kids entertained while we waited. The chef offered to cook us a meal while in the lounge though we declined as we had already had breakfast.
On boarding the seaplane, as we walk along the jetty all we could see were plenty of TransMaldivian labelled seaplanes and there’s an odd one out labelled - Soneva!! You guys even have your own seaplane! The seaplane is equipped with BOSE noise cancelling headphones and iPads for every passenger. Whereas the ordinary TransMaldivian planes have generic earplugs only.
After landing and being picked up by the speedboat, we were greeted by our Mr Friday - Aslam. Seeing the overwater villas as we approach the resort in the turquoise water meant we had arrived in paradise!
Aslam gave us a tour of the entire resort. It took about 20-30min. The island is massive!
The villas is one of the reasons why we chose to stay here. They are massive! Even the 1 bedroom villa was large enough for our whole family. Biggest villas we’ve come across in the Maldives. So massive that you can spend the entire holiday inside without having to walk outside. Appreciated the Complimentary minibar and snacks in the kitchen which was restocked every day.
The room was cleaned twice a day. Ibrahim did a great job! Thank you.
You can tell everything in the villa is well thought-out before being constructed. All the gadgets and practicality amazes you.
A good feature was that you could link your phone to the Sound system and there are speakers in literally every room of the villa (even the upstairs chill-out area). Soneva even provided an iPod to play the music from but we decided to use our own device.
Netflix was available on the TV in the bedroom also. .
The Slide was great fun and we had great photos with the hammock out in the middle of the ocean.
The bed type lounge in the bathroom was the most comfortable thing ever! You could easily fall asleep on it. Whoever’s idea it was to include these in the villas deserves recognition.
So Fresh (The main restaurant at The Gathering) :
Variety of foods during Breakfast lunch and dinner. Great chefs and great hospitality.
Special mention to Joy - our waitress for the entire stay. She is a lovely person and does an amazing job. (Could you please pass on our well wishes to her? We didn’t get to say goodbye to her as she was attending to another family while we were leaving during our last meal at So Fresh)
We had a good Japanese dinner at the Overwater cinema/restaurant.
The Crab dishes made by the chefs at Crabshack for lunch was delicious.
24hour chocolate AND ice cream room was a great feature to have in this luxurious resort. Kids enjoyed it about 2-3 times/day.
We chose the all inclusive package and a good benefit of this was we were able to have in room dining at no further costs.
The gym was basic though had enough equipment to get a workout in. Equipment was very clean and the treadmill was very high tech. Complete with Touch screen showing YouTube and videos. Definitely not the type of treadmill you would see in every local gym.
It amazes me how they managed to build 20+ massive overwater structures in a remote location.
Overall, in my opinion, the resorts location and villa size is what sets it apart from others. Surrounded by clear waters - It’s hard to take a bad photo here.
The resort is private enough to make you feel like you’re the only family around (except during meal times).
Im not sure if it’s worth the amount of money we paid though you can absolutely respect and can’t argue with why it’s priced the way it is.
The food is excellent. The people are lovely and I can’t wait to until more villas are completed on north side of the island.
Thank you Soneva team for great hospitality. Special mention to Aslam, Joy, Ibrahim. We did come across other representatives though I don’t remember their names.