Soneva Fushi

Baa Atoll, The Atolls, Maldives Book from Book from £1043 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 a large idyllic island in the beautiful Baa Atoll, this barefoot eco-luxury resort is the original ‘no news, no shoes’ Robinson Crusoe-style hideaway. Created by game-changing hoteliers Sonu and Eva Shivdasani - their vision of 'intelligent luxury' has since been adopted worldwide - their wondrous Soneva Fushi is designed for affluence while having minimal impact on the environment.

The island's natural beauty has certainly been retained. From the shoreline, the entire resort is hidden among its jungle trees; thatched rooms and villas are well spaced and screened, even bathrooms have a garden. A zero-plastic policy means 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.

Soneva is a place to step ashore, kick off your shoes (you won’t need them again until you leave), let go of the real world, and get grounded with nature. 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 last word in barefoot luxury – guests drop their shoes in a cotton bag on arrival (the entire staff go barefoot), allowing you to get grounded with nature
  • The personal service and attention to detail is faultless
  • A wealth of 'world-first' facilities – a huge stargazing observatory, a glassblowing studio – plus epic diving and watersports
  • The amazing environmental policies which subtly surround you, but never overwhelm
  • Undoubtedly the most impressive child-friendly resort in the Maldives

Lows

  • No overwater villas – for some, a 'must have' in the Maldives; for Soneva, the focus is on protecting its lagoon, not building over it
  • Expensive. This level of luxury doesn't come cheap
  • Putting on your shoes, and then leaving!

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

If you wander the jungle paths you'll soon see bunnies - a rarity in the Maldives. Legend has it the island's original caretaker had a pregnant pet rabbit that escaped, and nature took its course

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
  • 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.

Serving an astounding buffet breakfast, the beachside Mihiree Mithaa offers freshly cut fruits, cooking stations (international and Asian), bespoke coffees, a salad room, a cheese and ham room, wood-fired pizzas, and Soneva’s ubiquitous ice cream and chocolate rooms.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, the extraordinary new Japanese restaurant Out Of The Blue serves up international-level cuisine in plush oceanfront surroundings, as well as pizzas, salads, grilled meats and seafood. The restaurant boasts a tandoor oven, robata grill, josper grill, chocolate and ice cream parlours, a cheese room, and the Maldives’ first overwater organic greenhouse.

For dinner, Down To Earth By Ravi offers exquisite international and South Asian cuisine with dishes made for sharing (and bonding). Another dinner option is the atmospheric Fresh In The Garden restaurant where you can dine above Soneva’s impressive organic gardens (herbal aromas waft up from below). The central open kitchen provides front row seating to watch the chef action.

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 of over 200 wines.

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

  • A state-of-the-art observatory for stargazing some of the clearest night skies in the world

  • The Soleni Dive Centre’s multi-lingual PADI instructors and small group sizes ensure world-class diving experiences.

  • Snorkel Hanifaru Bay, home to one of the world’s largest populations of manta rays

  • Spend a romantic night camping under the Maldivian skies on your own private sandbank in a luxurious Bedouin-inspired tent

  • Windsurfing, eco-surfing, Seabobs, kayaking, paddleboarding, catamaran sailing, canoes, water-skiing and wake-boarding

  • Supervised snorkelling on the house reef

  • 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

  • Take a glassblowing class with specialists at the Glass Studio, and create your own masterpiece from recycled glass bottles to take home.

  • Bicycles are provided for getting around more quickly

    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 the vast array of facilities, amenities and unique experiences do not disappoint. The fabulous Den is the largest kid’s club in the Maldives. It’s complimentary for all family guests, and you’ll be given a weekly programme of events in your villa. Children can explore a pirate ship, 2 swimming pools, a Lego room, dress-up area, cinema, library, learning area and music room filled with instruments.

Beyond the Den, kids can go stargazing at the resort's large observatory (the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean), enjoy cartoon classics at the outdoor cinema (plus shadow puppetry), try the art of glassblowing at the glass studio (another resort first), go on dolphin excursions, family picnics on the island’s sandbank, and explore the rich organic gardens of the island interior. Indeed, the long and winding jungle paths are perfect for spotting water hens, flying foxes, curious lizards, and even bunnies! (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, a 3-course kids menu includes soup, fish fingers, spaghetti carbonara, chicken breast, fried rice, prawn kebabs, chocolate cake or raspberry macaroon
  • Mihiree Mithaa restaurant has a fabulous children's menu, plus 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
  • Stargazing at the observatory
  • Glassblowing classes at the glass studio
  • 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

Rates for Soneva Fushi

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