One a Swedish fashion model and the other a British-Indian businessman, Sonu and Eva Shivdasani founded the Soneva brand with a vision of true luxury in mind. After initially creating Soneva Fushi – a stripped-back, barefoot idyll – on the deserted Maldivian island of Kunfunadhoo back in 1995, they formed the base for a global brand comprising of world-class, luxury hotels, resorts and spas.
Along with their acronym, SLOWLIFE, Soneva’s collection of paradisiacal properties aims to bring the best experiences to their guests, while ensuring an eco-friendly stay. Highlighting the importance of sustainability within the industry, Soneva has worked to create environmentally responsible resorts, championing and paving the way for exceptional back-to-nature getaways…
When it comes to luxury eco-resorts, Soneva are at the forefront of the movement. Having banned plastic straws at their resorts over two decades ago, the brand is constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to protect their surrounding environments. One of the first resorts in the world to do so, Soneva eradicated the importing of branded bottled water in 2008, choosing to instead filter and mineralise its own drinking water which is served in a reusable glass bottle.
Based on the mantra ‘No news, no shoes’, nature is at the core of Soneva’s philosophy. Upon arrival at Soneva Fushi, guests are given the option to remove their footwear, and resorts have restricted access to televisions, news and mobile phones – allowing visitors to truly detach and reconnect with the world around them.
Each Soneva resort is home to its own organic garden – a luscious herb, fruit and vegetable filled patch that aids sustainability by creating delicious produce for chefs to utilise within their dishes. At Soneva Fushi, 90% of waste is recycled and eco-friendly activities include composting, building block making and glass making.
Soneva are firm believers that wellness and healing help to foster a better state of mind. Each resort houses its own spa, with Soneva Kiri and Fushi offering treatments courtesy of Six Senses, while Soneva Jani features holistic, physical and spiritual healing remedies at the hands of the resort’s own brand.
Each Soneva location offers its visitors the chance to attempt different tools, techniques and traditions that are native to the resort’s area. With experts ready to part their wisdom, guests can try their hand at blowing glass, free diving and Thai cooking. For night owls, Soneva offers the chance to explore the night skies via their in-house observatories – the first hotel brand in the world to offer the unique experience with resident astronomers helping visitors to see space in all of its glory.
This year, Soneva’s Festival of Colours takes place – a year-long itinerary of exceptional events to which each resort plays host. Each month of the year will adopt a colour-inspired theme, from the rose-tinted blush of February 2018 to the twinkling teals of January 2019, in celebration of their diverse spectrum of unmissable experiences.
When it comes to fun with the family, Soneva’s resorts provide the perfect getaway. From a dedicated Den in Soneva Kiri – a giant moulded bamboo playground shaped like a manta ray – to cooking and mocktail making classes at Soneva Fushi, resorts ensure that children are just as pampered as you.
Exceptional, once in a lifetime experiences aren’t unusual at Soneva. Going out of their way to ensure that your trip is filled with unforgettable moments, guests can embark on an astronomical dinner cruise, be wined and dined in a Mushroom Cave, or visit an ice cream parlour with over 60 mouth-watering flavours.
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