Soneva Fushi

Baa Atoll, The Atolls, Maldives Book from Book from £1010 per night

An escapist’s dream resort: eco-luxury, unquestionable service and rare privacy on one of the largest islands in the Maldives
Set on the idyllic and otherwise uninhabited island of Kunfunadhoo, Soneva Fushi was the first Robinson Crusoe style hideaway in the Maldives. Created by Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, whose vision was 'intelligent luxury', it has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The island's natural beauty has certainly been retained. From above, Soneva Fushi is hidden among the trees; thatched rooms and villas are well spaced and screened, even bathrooms have a garden. Natural indigenous materials are used throughout, giving a simple, rustic-chic look (the TV and other accessories are disguised behind coconut wood and water hyacinth). Some suites have a sunken bathtub set within the water pond; a few larger villas have a water chute from the upper level straight into the pool - kids' heaven. Add to the equation thoughtful personal touches and a dreamy Six Senses spa for total rejuvenation, and this is eco-friendly luxury at its most memorable.

This is a place to step ashore, kick off your shoes (you won’t need them again until you leave) and leave the real world behind. Even by Maldives' standards, this place is special. It has collected almost every award going - and it's not hard to see why.

Highs

  • The approach by seaplane: spectacular views of sand-fringed atolls in a turquoise sea
  • The friendly personal service and attention to detail
  • The world-class diving at the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll and, for us, being able to snorkel a 'drop-off' just metres from our door
  • The back-to-nature feel combined with subtle luxury, perfect for families and romantics alike
  • The layout of the resort - all rooms and villas are discreetly tucked into verdant jungle and most have their own stretch of white-sand beach. At times you can imagine it’s your own island!

Lows

  • Having personal preferences pre-empted is slightly disconcerting (at first!) - a personal 'guest officer' is at your beck and call 24 hours a day
  • Beyond diving, watersports and excursions to other islands, there is little to do other than relax and be pampered
  • Being the Maldives, it really isn't cheap
  • Some feedback suggests the furnishings need updating

Best time to go

Depends on priorities. October to April are the months when any rain is least likely, with Feb-April being the hottest and driest period of all. This naturally means more visitors and higher prices during these months. June to October are the monsoon months, when rain is more likely, although the islands are still warm and weeks can often go by with no sign of it. The European holiday in August can send prices up even during this time. The Christmas/New Year period of course sees them rocket. Divers should refer to the general Maldives section for general guidance - or dive books for more detailed information.

Our top tips

Make time to take an early morning walk or jog along the island’s deserted beaches (stopping off in well-positioned hammocks en route) - the colours and peacefulness are unrivaled.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Eco
Honeymoon
Foodie
  • Beach Resort
  • 65
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Observatory
Room: Villa 42

Rooms

One of Soneva Fushi's most attractive features is its rooms and villas, tucked away in the trees like lavish castaway homes. There's a huge range, from affordable 1-bedroom suites to top-dollar 9-bedroom party pads, all of them steps from the beach. Most are spread over 2 storeys, some with elevated wooden walkways, and almost all have a pool. The original Crusoe hideaways have white walls and cheerful colours, while the newer villas ooze an airy, tropical chic, with lofty ceilings and big French windows. Some face the sunrise, others the sunset. Expect kingsize beds draped in soft muslin to keep (non-existent) mozzies at bay, open-air garden bathrooms and plenty of wood, bamboo and rattan.

Champagne greets every guest, there's an extremely tempting minibar, and the telephone has direct dial to the Head Chef (very important!), Dive School and Spa. In the bathroom, complete with big fluffy towels, bio-degradable lotions and stepping stones into the garden, we had a powerful ‘open’ shower, plus a bath under overhanging thatch.

Other nice touches include coconut pots; mats made from logs; a bristly hedgehog at the door, and a small urn to wash sand off (all available in the shop). All rooms have a private outdoor seating area leading directly to the beach.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • CD player
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

The cuisine at Soneva Fushi wouldn't be out of place in a gourmet restaurant in a cosmopolitan city. And the fact that it's being served on a remote island only adds to the experience.

High quality ingredients, flown in regularly, are supplemented by the organic garden and a wide selection of fresh fish. The central Kana restaurant serves Western and Asian favourites, with regular buffets. The Me Dhuniye (sunset) restaurant’s fusion cuisine, served in a cosy beach setting, includes a weekly 6-course meal with specially selected wines. There is also the Mihiree Mitha lunch, an international deli experience.

For private dining, room service includes many favourites and you can eat out on your private terrace. More notably, the chef will do his utmost to provide any personal requests (including any special diets). One of the highlights of our trip was having our ideal meal cooked for us in the Sunset Restaurant - it was amazing.

There are also sandbank BBQs, desert island picnics, sunrise breakfasts on Turtle Beach… something for every day of the week.

For drinks, the main bar is open until the last guest leaves. Sunset sees champagne on the sandbank, and even private cocktail parties. And the impressive wine cellar boasts a truly international selection, tapped into upon request; with a weekly wine tasting on Sunday.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Windsurfers, hobie-cats, canoes, water-skiing and wake-boarding

  • Supervised snorkelling to the house reef. Alternatively, Soleni Dive School offers top-level tuition (PADI), with small dive groups

  • The Six Senses Spa is a true retreat, with an endless array of relaxation and pampering treatments including massage, acupuncture, reflexology, holistic, thalasso, affinoderm and Bach remedies, plus an air-conditioned fitness centre

  • You can also have massage lessons, with two 90-minute sessions

  • Weekly cooking classes (subject to a minimum of 4 guests), led by the resort's chef, demonstrate simple recipes utilising local and organic ingredients

  • Regular cultural excursions to nearby islands; you'll see around local villages and perhaps schools too

  • Chill out in your room- there's a library of CDs, videos and board games to borrow

  • Ball games, including tennis on the clay court, volleyball, table tennis and boules – plus badminton

  • Bicycles are provided for getting around more quickly

  • Take a Dhoani sunrise and sunset cruise

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome and there is a huge range of activities for the little ones to try out in the fabulous Den (kids club, which is open 12 hours/day and is free to use), and the castaway style villas are the stuff of fantasy with private butler service, open-air private garden bathrooms, and private outside sitting areas - many have a private pool. Arriving by sea plane and staying here would be a magical and memorable holiday for families! Bicycles are provided for all villas.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The villas have space for at least one extra person and many can interconnect. The Soneva Fushi Villa Suite with pool and Tree House, and 2-Bed Crusoe Villa with pool have more space. There are also beautiful beach front villas available, from 3 to 9 bedrooms.

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots available on request
  • Bicycle with training wheels
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

The Den has two pools (the toddler wading pool comes in the shape of a clown fish, the other has a water slide), zip wire, ping pong hut, pirate ship, lego room, dress up room, DJ corner, kitchen for cooking classes and dining, mocktail bar, indoor cinema, music room, a light and temperature controlled baby sleeping area. Marine biologists and waste-to-wealth specialists run occasional activities. The Den is open 12 hours a day and is free of charge

Children's meals:

  • In Nine restaurant, three course kids menu to choose from that includes soup, fish fingers, spaghetti carbonara, chicken breast, fried rice, prawn kebabs, chocolate cake or raspberry macaroon see Rates
  • By the beach has children's collection more Asian-style snack menus of Shio salmon, stir-fried noodles, tempura, tropical fruit

Kids Activities on site:

  • Quiz time
  • Sand Bank Cocktail - join friends and family to watch the sunset and build a sandcastle
  • Play Frisbee
  • Treasure Hunts
  • Scarecrow workshop at the jungle club
  • Dancing and gymnastics classes
  • Trampolines
  • Children’s corner - decorate a box for holiday treasures
  • Cooking classes
  • Movie night - popcorn and drinks supplied
  • Reduce Reuse Recycle – Create and make something out of recycled material
  • Face painting
  • Make postcards for family and friends
  • Find your own coconut, drink it and turn it into an ice cream bowl
  • Mini Olympics on the beach
  • Spa Session for kids: paint nails, shoulder massage, temporary body art
  • Watersports - snorkelling gear supplied (there's an on-site reef)
  • Kids' yoga
  • Swimming

Distances:

  • Airport: 35 minutes
  • Hospital: 7 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Soneva Fushi Resort is set on a private island in the Maldives. It's a 25-minute sea plane flight from the capital, Malé.

By Air
Malé airport (60km). Click on the links below for details of airlines serving this airport.

From the Airport
From Malé, transfers are made by seaplane (approx 25-minute flight), which is arranged by the resort - see Rates. Please note that seaplane transfers are possible only between sunrise and sunset for safety, so guests arriving at night into Malé must overnight and transfer the next morning to Soneva Fushi. Please advise of Malé arrival/departure flight information at time of booking.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Maldives and getting around

Airports:

  • Malé 60.0 km MLE

Other:

  • Beach 0.0 km
  • Shops 0.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.0 km

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