You may have headed to the Maldives recently, in a bid to escape the confines of constant lockdowns and an approaching Northern Hemisphere winter. With Maldives being one of the only destinations that has been open to tourism for many, its quickly shifted from the honeymoon destination of dreams to a must-visit for those just looking for a bit of sunshine and relative quiet and respite from the barrage of reality that news channels are sadly draining our emotional psyche.

On arrival in Male, unless you have a window seat, it’s deceptive to see how this is the gateway to paradise. Instead, it’s only on collecting your luggage and then transferring to the seaplane terminal that the excitement starts to peak, with the bright aqua blue calm waters of the waters in tantalising reach.

Many will travel to their resort by Trans Maldivian Seaplane transfer, the major Twin Otter operator from Male, but eagle eyed instagrammers might see a handful of aircraft faring slightly different colours. One is Cheval Blanc’s private seaplane, but the newest to the myriad of tails is Soneva’s silver and purple Twin Ottter.

If you’ve not heard of Soneva, it’s our favourite hotel brand, with just three (currently) resorts spread across the Maldives and Thailand. If you’ve not seen our reviews, check out our Soneva Fushi Hot Hotel review here, and our Soneva Kiri Hot Hotel resort here.

Because of the exclusivity of these resorts, the brand brought a bespoke Twin Otter to Male all the way from Canada, whereby Ikhana Group completely overhauled the aircraft and professionally painted it with Soneva’s branding in a rich purple on a metallic silver fuselage. Inside the new colour scheme continues with a bespoke and luxurious Soneva chrome and purple soft leather interior.

Because of the exclusivity of these resorts, the brand brought a bespoke Twin Otter to Male all the way from Canada, whereby Ikhana Group completely overhauled the aircraft and professionally painted it with Soneva’s branding in a rich purple on a metallic silver fuselage. Inside the new colour scheme continues with a bespoke and luxurious Soneva chrome and purple soft leather interior.

The aircraft has been customised to meet Soneva’s highest standards with the interior panels designed to provide a smoother, cleaner look from the typical commuter interior. The seats have been reupholstered using Elmosoft leather in Soneva purple with a floor covering that mimics slate.

The single aircraft has just 10 VIP seats (eight front facing and two rear facing), with two additional fold down seats plus the pilot’s seats. There are also signature Soneva touches such as handcrafted lighting on the forward bulkhead, there to give a hint of what’s ahead of them, on landing on the crystal blue waters beside each of Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani where the aircraft flies to.

“This is a very welcome addition to our operations in the Maldives, as it will help to even further elevate the guest experience,” said Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Joint Creative Director. “The plane will be exclusively reserved for Soneva guests, which means that we can be quite flexible with regards to the operating schedule and luggage limits, which we hope will be good news for our guests. We’ve been working on the design of this plane for a long time to ensure the specifications and finishes are of the highest quality, so we’re delighted to soon begin offering this transfer option to our guests.”

The aircraft is automatically part of the hotel transfer process when you book a room, which comes at an additional transfer cost (or included as part of the deal depending on what package you select). But that cost also includes access to a waiting lounge near the seaplane terminal which includes large relaxing sofas, welcome drinks and even a shoulder massage, perfect after a long-haul flight to get you in the holiday mood.

The great thing about this airline is that everything from landing to arriving in the resort is catered for, giving you zero stress and no worries, even your luggage mysteriously arrives in your villa without you having to lift a finger. Could this be the most exclusive airline in the skies, possibly, but one thing for sure, its one aircraft we’d happily fly before the start of any holiday, just thankfully it only flies to some of the most beautiful hotels in the world.

www.soneva.com

The Big Soneva Airline Picture

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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