Regular visitors of TheDesignAir may know that we are big fans of the Soneva Group. We’ve also been lucky enough to experience all three properties. While Soneva is the equivalent to Singapore Airlines in the hotel world, the group only has three very exclusive properties around the world (plus a private yacht for aquatic adventure lovers).
While the hotel chain partnered with Thai Airways last year offering Business Class or First Class guests a complimentary night in their Thai resort Soneva Kiri, passengers contemplating travelling to the Maldives may be interested in exploring both Soneva Jani or the original Soneva Fushi properties too.
With all offering a similar experience, scratch the surface and you’ll see three unique personalities. This simple guide to the resorts will help you pick the resort most suited to you. Wherever you may travel, you’ll be guaranteed a stay that continues to bring guests back – year after year.
The Escape Artist
For the traveller wanting to truly escape from the modern world, switch off, do nothing and relax in a tranquil, slower resort, then look no further than the original Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. The resort is barefoot luxury, and wherever you tread in the resort, expect warm coral sand between your toes.
With a trusty bicycle you can explore the small island, from its various eco-chic dining outlets to your own Robinson Crusoe villa – featuring your very own butler. There are also glass blowing studios, island gardens, conservation tours and a beautiful outdoor cinema. This isn’t all just eco and no luxury though.
Bose sound systems, hidden away flatscreen TVs and some of the finest wines in the Maldives are all on hand to ensure you are pampered within an inch of your life (should you want!) But this island is all about curling up with a good book, getting close to the marine life on the resorts own house reef, and watching the most incredible sunsets possibly in the world.
‘Back to Nature’ Culture Vultures
While Fushi may offer everything you could possibly want from a holiday, those looking for a more local touch to their escapes, should head to Soneva Kiri, now just a one hour private plane ride from Bangkok International Airport. The resort offers some of the largest private swimming pools, a private beach only accessible by a five minute long-boat ride from the resort and also the famous Khun Benz restaurant, situated in the heart of the island’s mangroves.
But it is the local culture that sets Kiri apart from its counterparts. Almost all the staff are Thai, and being located on the northern-most tip of Thailand’s fourth largest island Koh Kood, means there is also life outside of the resort. The hotel lays on fantastic ‘Discovery Trips’ that lead guests out of the resort in air-conditioned 4x4s with stop offs at the local fishing village Ao Salad or to the nearby waterfall.
The villas are much bigger, and instead of sand, washed out wooden decking leads guests around the tree tops, and who can resist a private buggy, which guests get to drive themselves.
Millenial ‘Eco Modernists’
For the younger or more tech-savvy luxury trippers, the Group’s latest resort, Soneva Jani will be right up your wooden-decked street. Also situated in the Maldives, the brand new resort brings all the learnings from the previous resorts, and combines them into one ultra-hi-tech wooden-clad paradise.
Situated over one of the largest Aqua-blue lagoons in the Maldives, featuring shallow warm waters, the resort offers over-water villas including crystal blue infinity pools, stunning views, unparalleled space and even a motorised roof that can retract to see the stars (or automatically cover back up should you fall asleep and it rains)
The ‘Gathering’ may be the largest overwater structure in the maldives, but it houses restaurants, bars, a spa and even next door a hi-tech observatory which will beam images from the telescope directly onto flatscreen cocktail tables so everyone can share in the celestial experience.
While we may have only visited while it was under construction, the feedback of the resort has already been outstanding, and we will be sure to report back on it sometime soon.
All the resorts are bookable directly at www.soneva.com