Soneva Fushi The COVID situation had put our vacation plans in a state of hibernation for over two years. A trip to Canada in the last week of November of last year had shown us how difficult it was for us to wear masks in long flights. Hence, we were looking for vacation destinations closer to home. My son, who with his family had been to Soneva Fushi, twice before, was insistent that this should be our travel destination. The Maldives is about two and a half hours away by flight from Mumbai. From the moment we cleared immigration at Male, we were shepherded by the staff of Soneva Fushi. Their commitment to ecological preservation is apparent right from the welcome, when an electric vehicle is used to transport the guests from the airport to the domestic terminal. Our RT-PCR was done in a tastefully decorated lounge, helmed by Suma. The reception in the lounge was warm, though short, as we had to take a seaplane ride to the resort. The noisiness of the seaplane was somewhat mitigated by the thoughtfully provided ear plugs, but conversation is well nigh impossible in the flight. The last mile to land, where a welcoming party awaits you, is by boat. We were whisked away to our villa, without much ado, there to be quarantined, till our reports arrived. The thoughtfulness behind doing the COVID test in Male itself was immediately apparent as it shaved off a couple of hours from our quarantine period. The room (Crusoe Villa) no. 4, was embarrassingly spacious for the two of us. A storied villa, that has a bedroom on the 1st floor with a large sit out was hardly ever used by us. The ground floor, too, has a spacious sit out, a large sitting area, a good size kitchen and a spacious bedroom. We were initially a little taken aback by the concepts of an open shower area, but once we got over the initial shock, we were able to embrace the idea. Each villa is completely cloistered from its neighbour by huge walls and dense vegetation. Should privacy be desired in the shower area, that is also possible with a little forethought. The front of the villa leads to a private beach and the ocean, the waters of which are crystal clear. Standing on these shores, during the morning sunrise, it was not uncommon to see sharks, lazily swimming by close to the shore. In the villa, there are cavernous chest of drawers, and enough storage space for even a large family. The quality of the toiletries is excellent. I was particularly impressed by their use of eco-friendly shaving cream. We had both the Nespresso machine and the French Press to make coffee. The tea selection was also excellent Room service on our first night, as we waited for our results, was our mode of dining. The food was made to order, keeping in mind our vegetarian persuasion and my allergies. The quality was excellent and the quantities sumptuous. Taking a moment to digress, this was the hallmark of the resort. The chefs went out of their way to make delicious vegetarian food from various cuisines for the both of us. Special mention should be made of Chefs, Shivek Suri, who formed in us, a new found respect for Southeast Asian cuisine and Chef Ravi who wielded magic with the more traditional subcontinental cuisine, including Sri Lankan cuisine. With the results coming late in the night, we were permitted to roam freely around the island from the next day. Breakfast, hosted by Chef Ravi H., is scrumptious and sumptuous. Since we were off season, we missed their buffet lunch but there was nothing that was found wanting. The shooters that they provide before every meal is an interesting array of flavours. The resort is also a chocolate lover’s and an ice cream lover’s delight, with several arresting flavours of either of them available for consumption, gratis, through the day. With fruits also available round the clock, it was not uncommon for us to take a stroll to the Mithree Mitha area, there to load up on these delicacies and then have a leisurely walk back. We were assigned Faalih as our barefoot butler. A youthful, cheerful and energetic soul, he was assigned the task of ferrying us around the island and for arranging various activities that we were interested in. This was a task that he performed with aplomb. While he was primarily our points person, the others were equally helpful and engaging. The island is not very large, two kilometres from end to end. There is dense foliage and we used to love our walks from Out of the Blue to our villa. One can also be transported in buggies, by the assigned butler, who is always on call. There are also bicycles and once we got the appropriate size, we were delighted to relive our childhood. The cleanliness of our rooms was maintained by a committed band from house keeping led by Shirufaan. Their work was exemplary and studded with personal touches that was both imaginative and touching. For those with children, there is the Den - a spacious, well thought out area, studded with activities of various kinds and well supervised by an enthusiastic band of attendants. However, what impressed us the most, was the commitment of the management to the preservation of the ecology of the island and their translation of such theory int practice. The bottle recycling, the composting and the plastic recycling activity immediately come to mind. The recently introduce apiary might be an interesting extension to these activities. Most of the other activities on the island is water based. Unfortunately, that severely impacts those who do not know how to locomote in water. The waters were slightly choppy during the times that we were there, and so it was with a certain amount of envy, that we saw people depart for a snorkelling expedition to see manta rays. Since, I did see some glass bottomed kayaks in the resort, I was wondering if the resort could devise ways to make such expeditions more inclusive. All in all, I would have to rate this holiday of ours as one of the best and one of the most relaxing vacations that we have had. This is one place that we would like to revisit.…
Beautiful, pristine island destination with all the extras. Incredible food throughout the island. Soft white private beach and the warm crystal clear waters are out of this world. True bucket list destination. Only downside is alcohol prices.
Genuine down to Earth luxury where every member of staff is super friendly. The incredible service turned it from a good holiday to a great holiday. I didn't have to think about anything - because they already knew what I wanted before I had to ask.
Maroof was very attentive and paid unique attention to our personal preferences and personality to what we enjoyed. Maroof came to check on us if we are still happy and enjoying our experience without us even having to have to call him. Maroof was quick on his service and when replying to us. He was always smiling and friendly and truly enjoyed having him as our barefoot butler. We feel privileged that we had Maroof as our butler.
Maldives has always been a dream, and Soneva was just the place to make our wedding dream come true. This is a paradise if beautiful nature, and back to what we made of. Thank you beautiful Soneva, we leave with joy and tears of missing you already