The original barefoot Maldives retreat. Soneva Fushi is a “no news, no shoes” eco-chic jungle hideaway with Robinson Crusoe-style villas dotted along the blindingly white shore, a stellar spa, open-air cinema, world-class kids’ club and your-wish-is-their-command butler service.
In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives.
With a scenic 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé. Soneva Fushi is located on its own private island, locally known as Kunfunadhoo, about 115 kilometers northwest of Male in Baa Atoll. At 1,400 meters long by 400 meters wide, Kunfunadhoo is one of the larger resort islands in the Maldives. It takes about 10 minutes to ride a bicycle across the island, from tip to tip. Recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Baa Atoll has some of the richest marine life in the Maldives. The resort is surrounded by a magnificent house reef. This boutique property is designed with natural materials to blend seamlessly into its surroundings, has its own vegetable garden (with free-roaming rabbits), a recycling centre, solar power plant and a glass-blowing studio to turn waste into works of art. The interior is dense with vegetation offering shade from the blazing sun and the resort has its own sandbank a few minutes' boat ride away with a fabulous sunset cocktail reception each week.
Service is extraordenary . Each villa is assigned a so called ''Barefoot Butler'' who caters to every whim and fancy and this is the kind of resort where everybody knows your name. There’s never a dull moment with diving, stand-up paddle boarding, tennis, kayaking, fishing, treetop yoga, stargazing at the fancy observatory and indulgent treatments from hot stone to scrub massages at the award-winning Six Senses spa.
The 71 private villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms: 63 island villas and eight Water Retreats. Each of the island villas comes with its own stretch of beach, outdoor garden and water garden bathrooms, the majority have their own pools, and are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. All villas bathrooms are bigger than most London flats, terraces come complete with hammocks, daybeds and most with a private pool, and each is surrounded by verdant jungle (complete with visiting geckos and flying foxes) just steps from the beach.
Highlights include the outdoor Cinema Paradiso, exploring the cosmos at the high-tech Observatory, the homemade chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, eight restaurants and three bars, as well as countless destination dining options. All restaurants are serving top-notch cuisine. Fresh in the Garden is located in the treetops above the resort’s vegetable garden and serves Mediterranean, organic cuisine for dinner. Housed in a large overwater structure, Out of the Blue is a stunning Asian restaurant complete with a slide to the ocean. A free gourmet breakfast buffet featuring cooked-to-order omelets, pancakes, and fresh fruit is served outside at Mihiree Mithaa restaurant. Down to Earth by Ravi is only open for dinner and offers South Asian cuisine in portions to share.
For something even more unique, Shades of Green offers a five-course Maldivian menu for dinner several times per week, while So Bespoke is an eight-person teppanyaki table offering panoramic views of the atoll. There is also a sushi counter created in partnership with a three-starred Michelin Japanese chef. The chef at Once Upon a Table creates a different menu every day for a maximum of eight people.
Soneva Fushi is hand’s down one of the best resorts in the Maldives, and one of our absolute favorite ones in this island nation. There’s a lot to do and plenty to admire!