We've been many times to Maldives to other similar concept (eco/natural/relax) places, and we decided to try latest Soneva resort for the first time with my family (2 boys age 6 and 13). We spent 7 nights, and we left with mixed feelings: First, to mention the good: - Villas: the villas are spacious and comfortable, the villa swimming pools are large and the water slide was a great fun for my boys - Food: the resort offers several different style restaurants, and we found the quality and choice of food to be excellent. Particularly impressive was the 'Overseas' restaurant with a Swedish chef! - Island: the resort occupies a fairly large island, and there seems to be (so far) a good attention to preserve the original wildlife and vegetation of the island. There are multiple trails, however, remaining part of the island is a jungle full of wildlife - crabs, birds, bats etc. - Child entertainment: the resort has an amazing place for children of all ages ('The den'). I was quite skeptical when this was shown to my boys, as they are very pretentious and suspicious of such 'decoys'. To my surprise, they both had a great fun there and were willing to go to the Den every day during our stay! Congrats to the personnel of the Den for all the attention and various entertainment programs made, which gave us some good quality time for relaxing! - Personnel: the team in the resort seem to be well trained, smiling and always helpful. Now the not-so-good: - the entire island is a gigantic construction project. There are multiple areas in the island with ongoing excavation works with heavy machines, as well as various repairs and smaller projects. I was shocked this was done during the active season and while tourists try to rest. Works start as early as 7:30-8 am in the morning with a fair amount of noise. - booking process does not work well - we asked for a specific villa location, and we got exactly the opposite of what we asked for, located right next to a construction project, although resort seemed to be not fully occupied (after I complained we were moved the next morning, but why should we cause ourselves this inconvenience if they read at first what we wanted?). Furthermore, during the booking process, I spend 10 min of my time filling a usual detailed preferences questionnaire, none of this seem to be taken into account - villa set-up was standard. - personnel was overattentive - constantly someone coming to ask about our stay, what we like, how we feel etc. Further training is necessary to leave guests in peace to relax. - projects to build more villas - Soneva seem to be one of the few places in Maldives offering sale (more precisely 90+ years long-term lease) of private villas, and one can buy pretty much any villa in the island, including multiple plots where new villas can be constructed. This leaves a question mark on how long would the construction works last and if the wildlife will be preserved given the fairly big amount of empty plots currently offered. - Spa: quality and versatility of therapists could be improved. At least for me, being European, I was hoping to see some Guest practitioners from Far East. - Transfer from Male to Soneva - the Soneva website promises a private transfer with the resorts own Sea plane ('a scenic Seaplane experience with Soneva plane, up to 4 people...' etc.). In Male after the welcome I was astonished to learn that the 'own Seaplane' has not been operational for 2 years now, and we were loaded on a regular commercial Seaplane line serving the resort instead (not a nice one!) - on the way forth we were 8 guests, on the way back 12 guests excluding the crew. That was disappointing given the price of 1,250 US$ for a single person transfer paid. Taken my family of 4 and the 30 min flight time - we could have chartered a plane or copter both ways for the amount paid and would have enjoyed some privacy. All in all, Soneva Jani has all the good ingredients to become an amazing resort. However, for a price tag of above 5,000 US$ per night, one would expect full tranquility and respect to guests' needs. Construction projects are a big 'NO' and shall be avoided and moved out of active season. I fully understand owners willingness to complete building private villas and maximize income, but that turns down current customers - you cannot have it all Soneva!…
I am not one to write a lot of reviews BUT I will make a very special exception this time around. I will keep it brief....THIS PLACE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD! that said I will provide a bit more details but will keep it succinct. traveled to Soneva w/ my wife on August 19th and stayed for 8 nights at Soneva Jani Chapter 2. We stayed at Water Reserve villa w/ water slide ( Villa #97). Our barefoot butler was Ashab and our Villa Attendant was Butcha. what an incredible team. they looked out after us in every sense of the word. anything and everything we needed / wanted they were there. So big KUDOS to them for such an incredible experience. Here our rankings ( from 1-10 ): locale - 10 service and accommodations - 10 culinary experience - 10 spa treatment area - 10 quality and bang for the buck - 10 ( now this place is NOT cheap BUT its worth the price if you are to book the newer Chapter 2 accommodations ) restaurants and choices - 10 weather - 7 ( august is a bit wet.. but we had 5 solid days of sun and others were mainly rainy ) sustainability focus - 10 ( the place is very focus on recycling and keeping healthy environment ) I could go on but in the end this is the BEST place we have ever stayed at and we are looking to come back in 2023... will look to stay at their first resort in Maldives which is the original Soneva Fushi. THIS IS A MUST and we FULLY recommended! Thank you to ALL of the Soneva Staff which made our stayed an incredible and unforgettable one.... cheers!…
A heavenly getaway where you are never bored! Perfectly designed and spacious villas as well as wonderful dining experiences. Great wellness concept at Soneva Soul. The kids club The Den is the most beautiful and well-equipped that I have ever seen. Soneva shows brilliantly that luxury and sustainability can go hand in hand. For me, the ultimate beach escape.
Combined with some a fushi. Would any day of the week recommend Fushi. Jani gives the real Maldives experience with everything happening “over the water”. Over the top luxurious villas. Amazing food. Super staff. 5 star on the top shelf. Also very expensive.
Truly the most magical and remarkable experience of our lives!! Beyond life changing!! I wish for everyone to be able to experience this special place on earth! The most amazing culture, views, staff, service, activities, and so much more!
You need some special experience? Then come to Soneva Jani! You can go anywhere with your barefoot guard They are able to make a good plan for you to enjoy! Needless to say, it is the paradise ever I had been.
We were lucky to visit Soneva Jani again and as always our experience was first rate. It is difficult to chose the biggest attraction among so many wonderful things that happened to us but one overall theme that connects them all is dedication of the entire Soneva team and their hospitality. Atb, Ania & Tomsk
Been to SJ in November 22 and cannot resist to go the second time in 3 months time which this never happened in the past. This time we enjoyed even more in the resort and tried out the things we did not do before e.g. visiting their spa ,snorkelling in their coral garden which is not far away from the beach, encounter with the nurses shark in our last day breakfast time,etc… We realised that the hotel has do improvements on the water slide ground which make it possible to play and enjoy more The staff has always been lovely and attentive to our preference and likings and always giving us sweet surprise ; the management has done a great job in making its guests felt most welcomed and treasured by every staff and how can one not returning to them again and again? Special thanks to our super bare foot host Adrian that makes our trip so memorable and also Mr Kapil, the engineering manager went to check on the water slide before our arrival , making sure that we can enjoyed it…
I think the resort was wonderful and enjoyable. I just wish there was more marine life around, and the material of the slide makes it difficult to slide in swim shorts, I hope that can be improved. I say this with confidence because I saw people in other villas also getting stuck on the slide. There was also a day where the room had 3 large cockroaches that were inside
Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are the benchmark for luxury in the Maldives. The Soneva touches - a true commitment to sustainability and the environment, the no news no shoes philisophy, the extraordinary powers of anticipation of the concierges (Barefoot Guardians), the excellence of the cuisine, the elegance of the design, and the beauty of the locations are - in my opinion - unmatched anywhere.
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