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Soneva Fushi Resort

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How about spending a tropical holiday on a Maldivian island? You’ll recline in eco-luxe thatched villas, hypnotized by sea views and cocooned by the dense jungle. Welcome to Soneva Fushi Resort, a 35-minute flight by seaplane from Male, the Maldivian capital. Soneva Fushi – the very first five-star hotel in the Maldives – is set on a 45-hectare (100-acre) island within the Baa Atoll.

This heavenly hideaway has been popular for decades and gets vast numbers of repeat guests, sequestered in privacy beneath the banyans. But why do they love it? It is super private, extremely laidback and seriously eco-minded. Soneva Fushi in the Maldives has a dazzling list of environmental practices, from water recycling systems to sourcing local food and materials. With its ‘no shoes, no news’ ambience, Soneva Fushi Resort is best for those in search of the peak of barefoot luxury.

This beautiful beach escape isn’t a place to bling or party. In fact, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the authentic beauty of the Maldives. It captures the very essence of a castaway fantasy. Here, luxury means an outdoor shower, a back to nature setting, crystal clear waters, and walking barefoot on the sand. Staying at Soneva Fushi Resort feels like stepping back in time, and it’s so rare to experience that nowadays.

After discovering the Maldives in the 1980s, when the area was known only to savvy backpackers, husband-and-wife team Sonu and Eva Shivdasani decided to build this rustic retreat on the uninhabited island of Kunfunadhoo. Eva is an ex-Vogue model from Sweden who oversees the design of all their Soneva properties, like sister hotel Soneva Kiri Resort in Thailand. Soneva Fushi excels at the clever mix of sustainability, simplicity and style.

At your tropical beach villa or jungle treehouse (there are no overwater villas) you can eat, sleep and skinny-dip in total seclusion. Isn’t it chill? In the Crusoe-chic villas, where rustic elegance meets modern luxury, you can find big TV’s, IPods, Bose music systems and Wi-Fi. Soneva Fushi’s 55 exclusive villas, with 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine, Biosphere UNESCO protected coral reef. We think some villas look a little bit too old & simple and really need an upgrade. At this Indian Ocean jewel every villa receives special attention from a Mr. or Ms. Friday personal butler. Villa-tip: ask for a villa facing onto the lagoon, as some on the northern shores gaze at the not-so-pretty transmitter towers on a neighboring isle. Furthermore, there’s no communal pool on the island, so if you need a pool for a post-beach cool off, make sure you book a pool villa. Do you want to splash some cash? The good-looking 5,540 sqm Private Reserve featuring 9 bedrooms, a spa with sauna & steam room, personal fitness room and a giant pool is the pinnacle of luxury.

This exclusive paradise in the Maldives is also famous for its top-class food and massive wine selection. Just imagine separate cooled room-size pantries for cheeses, chocolate and ice cream. Plus, as if that weren’t enough, a fantastic chef serves quality dishes to beachside tables by moonlight, while in the tropical garden restaurant you can enjoy fresh picked delights. Dine at one of Soneva’s restaurants, order in-villa dining or pick your own perfect spot. We love the fact that Soneva Fushi grows much of its own produce in vegetable & fruit gardens.

The sea is a sensation for swimming, snorkeling or soaking off jet lag, while the empty beaches are ideal for sun-salutations, selfies, siestas and sunsets. Moreover, there’s a tennis court, fantastic kids club, gym with great fitness equipment, Six Senses Spa (unfortunately not as impressive as some other Six Senses Spas) and a PADI dive centre. Still not enough? You can cycle around the island, go on a dolphin safari, watch movies in Cinema Paradiso and count Saturn’s rings in the Observatory.

Soneva Fushi Resort, an idyllic place to celebrate life, love and the wonder of nature.

NAME
Soneva Fushi Resort, Maldives
PRICERANGE
LOCATION
RATING
8.8
LOCATION
8.9
SERVICE
9
VIBE
9
STYLE
8
ROOMS
8.7
FOOD & DRINK
9
FACILITIES
8.7