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The creation story of Soneva is equal parts romance and fairy tale. 

It’s about a British-born, self-proclaimed ‘accidental hotelier’, Sonu Shivdasani and his wife Eva, a Swedish model with impeccable taste, who created their very own idea of utopia. A world where their mutual passion for wellness, architecture, wine, travel, literature, art, and above all else, the environment, combine.

Five years later, they opened their first resort on the island and named it Soneva (after Sonu and Eva) Fushi (which means ‘island’ in Dhivehi).

Sonu and Eva are the founders of Soneva and their philosophy is imbued across every touchpoint of the business, however, theirs is not the only tale worth telling. Behind the success, sustainability and magnetism of the brand is a whole universe of dedicated, innovative individuals known as the ‘Soneva hosts’.

Soneva is well aware that it’s the company’s hosts who have set up water bottling plants on their local islands, who run waste management training with their own communities, who teach local children to swim and introduce them to the wonder and the fragility of the ocean. It is through their hard work that the global blueprint for sustainable resort operations exists. 

Since its inception, Soneva has supported the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. These principles are measured and refined year on year, and in essence, highlight the company’s constant efforts to respect the protection of human rights; create gender equality in the workforce; emphasise local employment; and offer competitive salaries and desirable living arrangements for hosts. 

In 2018, Soneva unveiled an aspirational female employment target for its Maldivian properties, where the unemployment rate for female adults is three times that of males and where Maldivian women make up only four per cent of the workforce in resorts, compared to women constituting 45% in industries such as education, healthcare and the civil service. 

Fathimath Shaazleen, or Shaaz as she is affectionately known, represents just one of the many success stories to come out of Soneva in the past two decades. Hailing from a local island in the Maldives, Shaaz began her career as a telephone operator after she passed her diploma in hospitality with distinction. In 2000 she joined Soneva Fushi in guest relations and two years later was promoted to Friday Supervisor. She left Soneva in 2004 but found her way back and re-joined in 2009 at Soneva Kiri in Thailand as Rooms Division Manager. 

After moving back to the Maldives, Shaaz was offered the position of Resort Manager at Soneva Jani and then became the first Maldivian female to become Resort General Manager. Today she continues to be a source of inspiration for women – both local and foreign. 

Globally, there are thousands of Soneva employees; all of whom play an equally important role in creating the iconic, inimitable Soneva experience. From resident astronomers, to marine biologists, environment officers, resident glass blowers, waste-to-wealth managers, wellness instructors, an enormous team of chefs and sommeliers, and the smiling, Robinson Crusoe-inspired team of Mr and Ms Friday private butlers, the humans of Soneva represent possibly the company’s most thriving habitat. 

Addicted to Maldives have some very exclusive offers for Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Contact our team to make your way to your favourite Soneva Maldives Luxury Resort.

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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Inspired by a deep-seated conviction that luxury isn’t always synonymous with gold and marble, the iconic Soneva brand instead proves that opulence can be au naturel. The dynamic husband-and-wife duo behind Soneva, Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, believe that to live with sand underfoot, to bathe outdoors beneath a canopy of lush vegetation, and to dine under starry skies is what true luxury is all about. 

During the construction of their flagship resort, Soneva Fushi, they refused to use any rainforest or unsustainable wood, and instead constructed the world’s first castaway chic resort from environmentally-friendly materials like bamboo, coconut and recycled wood instead. In doing so, they birthed the back-to-nature, barefoot luxury trend that has gained popularity globally over the last two decades. 

In addition to their annual sustainability reports, this innovative tool allows the company to review the direct effect their resorts are having on the environment, as well as the indirect impact of their supply chain and air travel for guests; in turn positioning them to make better decisions, efficiently allocate resources and influence the business decisions of suppliers. 

Nature-infused experiences that will make you believe in magic

From the smiling team of Mr. and Ms. Friday butlers, to the resorts’ sommeliers, gardeners and chefs, the committed and passionate hosts that make up Soneva are the real heroes of the company’s sustainability initiatives. These hard-working individuals are known affectionally as the Soneva Changemakers. 

Speak to any of the Soneva Changemakers and they’ll tell you that they live and breathe by the brand’s SLOW LIFE acronym, which encapsulates the ideologies of Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences.

Guests can choose from a mind-blowing list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are designed to immerse them in the extravagance of nature, including a sunset dolphin cruise, snorkelling with mantas, stargazing at Soneva Jani’s overwater Observatory, embarking on a guided aquatic adventure, or catching an exclusive wave with the world’s first eco-surfing program. 

‘Soneva Surf’ is an eco-friendly surfing experience that aims to be a model for sustainable surfing around the world where surfing gusts can select the experience that suits them, according to their level of expertise, time and budget. 

Everything required for a day in the ocean, from rash guards to sunscreen and wax, is provided and is (of course) entirely eco-friendly. Soneva’s eco boards are made from poxy resin, bamboo woven mats, and bio-foam, which comprises materials converted from natural plant materials (soy, sugar, algae). Manufactured by an approved ECOBOARD builder, the production of these boards produces 40% less carbon dioxide emissions than regular surfboards.

All glass is crushed and re-blown onsite (in a professional, dedicated glass-blowing studio at Soneva Fushi) into decorations for the resorts or household items that are donated to charity. Both resorts create their own cooking charcoal and coconut oil, grow their own produce (fed by compost from resort waste and nutrient-rich water from water treatment ponds) in extensive organic vegetable gardens, house solar panels to save fossil fuels, and are absolute visionaries when it comes to plastic.

In 2008, they banned imported water, saving approximately 1.5 million plastic bottles since then. As part of their ‘Soneva Maker Programme’ and in partnership with global grass-roots initiative, ‘Precious Plastic’, Soneva recycles plastic that washes onto the resorts’ pristine shores, making a range of useful products like flower pots and building blocks.

Guests and resort hosts are invited to get creative with plastic waste and some of the innovative creations they’ve come up with include surfboards made from recycled polystyrene and Easter eggs for children made from plastic bottle caps.

Both properties also apply a small carbon levy to all guests to offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions across all Soneva operations. The funds collected from this levy go into various projects – from building wind turbines in India, planting trees in Northern Thailand, funding fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Myanmar, and supplying safe drinking water to thousands around the world. 

Through the Soneva Foundation, the company has funded hundreds of environmentally-focused projects. Whether they’re overseeing the Soneva forest reforestation project; conducting biodiversity research with a team of in-house biologists; holding a SLOW LIFE symposia to promote environmental and social collaboration in local communities, or organising a larger annual symposium, which brings together the greatest academic, political and business minds for a partnership on the most pressing issues in the world, the team at Soneva are forever conscious of their footstep. 

The Soneva quest isn’t about resting on the company’s laurels; it’s about striving for the only breed of hospitality befitting of our precious planet – perfection.

Addicted to Maldives have some very exclusive offers for Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Contact our team to make your way to your favourite Soneva Maldives Luxury Resort.

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are synonymous with the Maldives, embodying all the reasons people travel to the destination in the first place – luxury, relaxation and jaw-dropping scenery.  

Where they transcend the destination’s median offering is in their unique and exceptional castaway-chic aesthetic. Thanks largely to the creative genius of Eva (one half of the famous husband-and-wife duo behind Soneva), the resorts are designed to both complement and protect their natural surroundings.

Constructed using native materials and paying homage to local ecosystems, these properties have become the zeitgeist of sustainable luxury, without compromising on comfort or attention to detail, and have been much celebrated and lauded for their design.

They are regularly featured in the annual Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards and Gold List, along with each resort receiving a number of other prestigious accolades such as the ‘World’s Sexiest Bedroom’ title. Clearly, the brand has captured hearts around the world with its unique aesthetic. 

Boasting private beach access and blending seamlessly with the island’s swaying palms, all 59 villas ooze idyllic deserted island vibes and promise privacy and seclusion. Externally, they’re a study in voluptuous curves hand-crafted from whitewashed wood, with shingled roofs and understated architecture that allows the natural environment to shine. 

Internally, they’re sophisticated, spacious, soothing and replete with cosy corners and hammocks to curl up in with a good book. An interior palette of greens and purples channels the surrounding Indian Ocean seascape, while furnishings made from all-natural materials such as wood, cotton and wicker are a constant reminder of the Soneva brand ethos.  

With private pools, stunning outdoor bathrooms featuring sunken bathtubs and rainforest-shrouded showers set in an enclosed garden area, the villas at Soneva Fushi are as aesthetically pleasing today as when the resort first opened.

Wall-to-wall windows, whitewashed wood, sandblasted pine floors, white rattan furniture, decorations fashioned from driftwood or rough marble slabs, and sunken sofas with hand-dyed cotton cushions from Sri Lanka, culminate in a picturesque setting. 

Some villas feature sundrenched lounge areas, walk-in mini-bars with espresso machines and personal wine cellars, lavish dressing rooms and sprawling roof decks, and many of the overwater villas also boast curved slides that transport guests directly into the lagoon below.   

Thoughtful details such private plunge pools adorned with catamaran nets and open-air bathrooms create an ambiance that matches the resort’s tranquil setting. The standout feature of the water villas, however, is the retractable roof over the master bedroom, which can be drawn back in the evening for a truly one-of-a-kind stargazing experience from the comfort of bed. 

Addicted to Maldives have some very exclusive offers for Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. Contact our team to make your way to your favourite Soneva Maldives Luxury Resort.

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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In 1995, Indian British hotelier Sonu Shivdasani and his wife Eva reinvented the notion of island luxury with the creation of Soneva Fushi, the first ‘castaway’ resort to grace the crystalline shores of the Maldives. 

Hidden among dense foliage within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the deserted island of Kunfunadhoo, the 59-villa resort pioneered the back-to-nature, barefoot luxury trend. Fusing the Robinson Crusoe fantasy with an intelligent approach to service, aesthetic and experience, it set the standard for island resorts worldwide. 

Ahead of the curve since inception, the Soneva brand today comprises three resorts – two in the Maldives and one in Thailand – and is still an innovator and leader in the world of hospitality. 

While there are many imitators, there will only ever be one Soneva. 

Soneva’s famed ‘intelligent luxury’ philosophy is about knowing what luxury means for guests; many of whom spend most of their time in urban environments. It’s about understanding the minutiae of their daily lives and travel needs, and catering to them in a thoughtful, personalised manner. 

It’s a unique concept that was borne out of Sonu and Eva’s desire to create dream destinations for those who like to travel in luxury, integrated seamlessly with their desire to protect the environment and local communities. 

The truly memorable thing about Soneva’s two resorts in the Maldives – Soneva Fushi and its younger sister, Soneva Jani – is that in a region famed for its high concentration of ‘luxurious’ resorts; their approach to luxury is more than just a label or marketing term, it’s part of their DNA. 

Each guest is made to feel like the most important person to have ever graced the resort (which was, of course, designed specifically to accommodate their every whim) and it’s this paradigm, as much as the lavish setting, that cultivates a sense of luxury. 

The chic and discreet décor of Soneva Jani channels Scandinavian restraint. Occupying five islets in the Noonu Atoll, this floating 26-villa paradise invites the outside in. Windows fold away, portholes in the floor reveal the marine life below and retractable ceilings unveil the starry skies above. The design is all about bright, open spaces and open-plan living.

Soneva Fushi’s down-to-earth personality is reflected in its nature-inspired architecture. The spacious, laid-back villas are adorned with thatched roofs made from palm tree leaves and feature generous, open-air bathrooms. Tucked among the island’s banyan and palm trees, they all feature private paths leading directly to the soft, white sand and unfathomably blue ocean..

There are too many ‘must-do’ activities and adventures to list but for the sake of highlighting the magical opportunities available to guests, one of the most otherworldly choices is an astronomical dinner cruise. This incredible experience begins at sunset and features a four-course meal with wine pairings, while Soneva’s resident astronomer guides guests through the wonders spread above them across the night sky, sharing secrets of the cosmos.  

For guests seeking unparalleled romance, the private sandbank overnight experience allows them to spend a night camping under the Maldivian skies on their own private sandbank in a luxurious Bedouin-style tent, which even comes with its own toilet. 

To truly embody the Robinson Crusoe mentality, the castaway picnic whisks guests away to a lush, uninhabited island with a picnic basket and snorkel gear, where they’re left to enjoy their day in the sun in total privacy. 

There are few resorts in the world that can match the memories guests of Soneva walk away with; and that alone is a luxury. 

Addicted to Maldives have some very exclusive offers for Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. Contact our team to make your way to your favourite Soneva Maldives Luxury Resort.

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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At Addicted to Maldives, we know there’s no place quite like the Maldives. With it’s white-sand beaches, towering palm trees, and crystal-clear waters, it is truly a place that exceeds your wildest dreams of island paradise. Beyond its jaw-dropping beauty, it is also home to some of the world’s most renowned resorts, which offer award-wining dining, world-class facilities and next-level luxury experiences, making the Maldives a destination that delivers on all its promises.

There’s a certain kind of magic you feel when you visit the Maldives, that’s very hard to put into words. It’s the type of magic that you need to experience first-hand, and once you’ve fallen under its spell, you just might find yourself planning your return holiday before you’ve even boarded your flight home…. which is a sure sign that you’re officially ‘Addicted’ to Maldives!

If you’re yet to discover the wonder of this unique part of the world, here are seven reasons why we believe the Maldives should be at the very top of everyone’s bucket list….

The colour of the water is truly #nofilter worthy – we like to describe it as ‘fifty shades of blue’ because the aquamarine, turquoise and aqua tones literally shimmer and glow in front of you when the sun hits the lagoon. You’ll be pinching yourself in disbelief the first time you see this effect for real! 

The sophisticated and exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah, Joali, St Regis Vommuli and Velaa Private Island redefine the meaning of ‘indulgence,’ offering state-of-the-art luxury, elegant, expansive abodes, and intuitive staff that cater to every whim. 

The Maldives is a place where every traveller is treated like royalty – there you’ll find Executive Chefs who create personalised menus, private butlers who are available to assist with any request twenty-four hours a day, and teams of dedicated staff who all work seamlessly to tailor your stay down to the finest of details. Once you’ve experienced the level of luxury offered by Maldivian resorts, all other holiday experiences fall short.

In an island paradise, there’s so many opportunities to create unforgettable memories as a family – whether that’s exploring the island via bike, chasing hermit crabs, heading off on snorkel sessions to find Nemo and friends, or enjoying ice-creams poolside at sunset - your family will find its new happy place in the Maldives.

During your stay, you might find yourself sitting at an exclusive six-seat chef’s table on a Monday, enjoying a matched-wine dinner in a subterraneancellar on the Tuesday, experiencing the romance of a sandbank picnic on a Wednesday, and dining on fresh lobster and champagne in an underwater restaurant on a Thursday! 

A snorkelling session on the house reef will dazzle you, as you discover a kaleidoscopic underwater world of brightly coloured fish, (harmless!) sharks, gliding rays and curious turtles. Join a sunset dolphin cruise and watch as beautiful Spinner Dolphins come to surf the wake of the boat and show off their spinning skills, or take a trip to Hanifaru Bay, a unique biosphere zone that attracts large groups of majestic Manta Rays. 

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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One&Only Reethi Rah, the ultra-luxury, all-villa resort set on one of the Maldives’ largest private islands, has introduced a range of innovative wellness activities and energising experiences focused on living well. 

Whether you wish to improve your fitness levels, achieve a youthful glowing complexion, nourish the soul through yoga and meditation, or follow a personalised healthy diet plan, One&Only Reethi Rah offers access to unparalleled expertise and state-of-the-art luxury facilities. With unprecedented privacy and expansive crystal waters, One&Only Reethi Rah is a blissful sanctuary for guests to prioritise their wellbeing during their vacation and beyond. 

Addicted to Maldives has some very exclusive offers to help get you there.

Why not start the morning at One&Only Reethi Rah with an invigorating yoga session on the fitness beach or at the peaceful Chi Pavilion, followed by a jog around the picturesque island route. For a morning boost, a selection of freshly squeezed juices and healthy dishes packed with vital vitamins and antioxidants await at the One&Only Reethi Rah Superfoods breakfast counter.

At the One&Only Spa you can discover an array of holistic recipes and natural products from different cultures around the world, including a traditional Balinese body scrub, natural Chinese face mask made from fresh red beans and a cleansing natural red chili detox drink from Bhutan.

Take some "me time" and step away from the cares of everyday life and reconnect with you inner energy with Watsu therapy (water shiatsu) in the first Watsu Pool in the Maldives exclusive to One&Only Spa. The deeply restorative and calming treatment with flowing All Taxes and services chargesmovements and aquatic techniques activating pressure points, mobilising joints and gently stretching the muscles, this experience is performed in a warm, mineralised pool with a backdrop of endless views of the Indian Ocean.

One&Only Reethi Rah Watsu Pool

Contact the team at Addicted to Maldives to start your Rejuvenating Wellness Journey at One&Only Reethi Rah

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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One&Only Reethi Rah, the ultra-luxury, all-villa resort set on one of the Maldives’ largest private islands, has introduced a range of innovative wellness activities and energising experiences focused on living well. 

Whether you wish to improve your fitness levels, achieve a youthful glowing complexion, nourish the soul through yoga and meditation, or follow a personalised healthy diet plan, One&Only Reethi Rah offers access to unparalleled expertise and state-of-the-art luxury facilities. With unprecedented privacy and expansive crystal waters, One&Only Reethi Rah is a blissful sanctuary for guests to prioritise their wellbeing during their vacation and beyond. 

Addicted to Maldives has some very exclusive offers to help get you there.

Why not start the morning at One&Only Reethi Rah with an invigorating yoga session on the fitness beach or at the peaceful Chi Pavilion, followed by a jog around the picturesque island route. For a morning boost, a selection of freshly squeezed juices and healthy dishes packed with vital vitamins and antioxidants await at the One&Only Reethi Rah Superfoods breakfast counter.

At the One&Only Spa you can discover an array of holistic recipes and natural products from different cultures around the world, including a traditional Balinese body scrub, natural Chinese face mask made from fresh red beans and a cleansing natural red chili detox drink from Bhutan.

Take some "me time" and step away from the cares of everyday life and reconnect with you inner energy with Watsu therapy (water shiatsu) in the first Watsu Pool in the Maldives exclusive to One&Only Spa. The deeply restorative and calming treatment with flowing All Taxes and services chargesmovements and aquatic techniques activating pressure points, mobilising joints and gently stretching the muscles, this experience is performed in a warm, mineralised pool with a backdrop of endless views of the Indian Ocean.

One&Only Reethi Rah Watsu Pool

Contact the team at Addicted to Maldives to start your Rejuvenating Wellness Journey at One&Only Reethi Rah

CONTACT THE ADDICTED TO MALDIVES TEAM
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