Soneva Fushi in the Maldives is a resort that is like any other that we have visited, offering a unique holiday experience where the emphasis is on understated barefoot luxury. The motto here is 'no news, no shoes', so on arrival you are given a bag to put your shoes in with the reassurance that you won't need them until you leave! The island is a paradise for children, with fantastic accommodation options and an imaginative kids club making it a perfect family holiday destination.
Situated on one of the largest islands in the Maldives at more than a mile long, there are 65 amazing villas and suites at Soneva Fushi which are well spaced out around the island. All have been innovatively designed to maximise privacy and space and are built from local materials with white washed walls, thatched roofs and timber beams and galleries - but with every conceivable modern comfort, including designer furnishings. Villas cater for parties of all sizes, from just 3 adults in a one bedroom villa to 21 adults in the expansive nine bedroom Private Reserve.
Dining at Soneva Fushi is as unique as the resort, and nothing is too much trouble. The menu is a fusion of Asian and European cuisine which is served in the romantic, candlelit Sense by the Beach restaurant, in your room, on a private sandbank, on the beach or anywhere else you choose. The bar and restaurant have sand floors and chickens freely roam the island meaning you may have to swerve to miss them if you borrow one of the resort’s bikes! The resort has its own herb garden where guided tours are offered, or even a meal to sample the fresh produce.
The newest dining experience at Soneva Fushi is Out of the Blue, a two-storey structure set on stilts over the lagoon which houses five unique dining outlets. As well as offering grilled meats and seafood, teppanyaki and sushi prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, the wooden building also houses the first overwater organic greenhouse in the Maldives.
There is an excellent dive centre, a range of water sports, and a superb spa. The glass studio is a unique facility where artists create beautiful objects using recycled glass from the resort, also holding exhibitions and workshops for guests. There’s even an observatory above the forest to see the stars and galaxies away from any light pollution to inspire guests – from the youngest to the oldest. Guests can also enjoy the open-air Cinema Paradiso, complete with complimentary popcorn and a choice of over 60 flavours of icecream!
Soneva Fushi's kids club, The Den, is an imaginative playground comprising a pirate ship, a freeform pool with slide, a shallow toddlers' pool, a lego room, dress-up area, cinema, kitchen, library and music room. The whole family is welcome to spend time by the pool or in the activity rooms, with children aged 4 years and above able to play in The Den without their parents. The Den is open throughout the day, with evening activities organised on certain days including movie nights and cocktail parties. Access to The Den is free of charge, with an additional programme including a whole host of complimentary activities.
Soneva Fushi operates its own dedicated seaplanes which accommodate fewer guests for maximum comfort. Guests also benefit from flexible flight schedules and direct routes between Male and Soneva Fushi without any intermediate stops.
If you are seeking a luxury holiday with a difference in a quiet, romantic and unique environment then Soneva Fushi is highly recommended.
Soneva Fushi is luxurious and pampering, but at the same time it offers a truly barefoot Maldivian experience where once on the sand; you won’t need your shoes for the rest of the holiday! The island and villas are rustic and natural and very in-tune with the surrounding nature. There is a really peaceful atmosphere at the resort where guests can wander around and spot wild rabbits and chickens or ride their complimentary bicycle through the tropical gardens that grow on the island.
For me, one of the best things about the resort is their superb food. Breakfast is quite remarkable with a fresh fruit market where the chef prepares your smoothie or fruit salad right in front of you. You can also enjoy the omelette station, home-made conserves, breads and many cheeses – just try to save some room for lunch! Dinner which can be taken in the garden restaurant, offers organic, locally grown produce in their mouth-watering dishes – including fresh herbs grown in the Soneva Fushi garden!