We are a few weeks back from our third trip to Soneva Fushi from 14-23 February. We love this place...it is our little slice of heaven. Every time we go, it gets better and better.
First of all, children's activities have been added since our last visit when our son was five (he's now ten). I can remember the first time we visited SF when our son was 15 months old, asking was there a playground for children and being told there was a swing near the dive school. Oh how times have changed! There was a Kid's Den tucked away in the vegetation which was staffed by two lovely young ladies. The Den was sort of a base for a wide variety of children's activities from water sports and snorkelling, to games, football, yoga, massage classes, cooking, pirate boat making, cinema, stargazing...and the list goes on and on. Everyday, there were no less than four children's activities, two in the morning and two in the afternoon and sometimes an early evening activity as well. Our son was in heaven! And, The Den isn't even completed as more plans seem to be afoot to extend! We were told that the present Den was a mere shack compared to what is planned for the future. We can't wait to see what is in store for our next visit to SF. Clearly SF have worked out that the way to keep the repeaters coming again and again is to get the children to fall in love with SF too. Job well done because our ten year old is already talking about how he would like to bring his children to SF! Oh, and did I mention the children's activities are included with your stay?? How cool is that!
As was the case in our previous visits, the service was amazing. But again, I think as SF have gotten to know us and we have gotten to know SF, the service we received just keeps getting better. We don't have staff at home, so asking someone to run around for me was a bit of an alien concept. Our Mr Friday, Mujay, had the amazing ability to anticipate what we wanted even before we knew we may like it so many times, I didn't even have to ask for something! For instance, I commented how my sister in law, who was also visiting SF the same time as us (for her 13th visit I must add!) but in a different villa to us, had a lovely hammock near the pool in her villa. Mujay immediately offered a hammock for our villa and a few hours later, said hammock was installed. Likewise I commented on the charming system SF have of putting your initials on a wooden nameplate for your loaner bike. Our son noticed another family had their first names on their nameplates instead and, boom, we were presented with first name plates for our bikes. The staff are always willing to go the extra mile to make you feel welcome and almost like family.
A chocolate room has been added since our last visit. The chocolate room just seemed to be open and available for whenever a fix was needed and I don't think we were charged extra for this bit of luxury either! I am pretty sure the Soneva Ever So Cool ice cream room is on the same basis as well! I mentioned to the Head Chef that I loved the coffee chocolate drops and the peanut butter chocolates that appeared on about the third day of our stay and I hoped that maybe they could make a reappearance before we left. Not only did both items reappear daily after that, but I was also given the recipes for the chocolates AND boxes of said chocolates to take with us on our departure.
We are a diving family and now that our son is ten he was able to make his first dives in the sea. The dive school staff were amazing. Katya was the instructor who took our son on three house reef shore dives, and then onto boat diving. Again, he was in heaven and he seems now set for life to enjoy diving and the marine world. Our only worry is that now that he has been exposed to some of the best and most luxurious diving in the world (No carrying your own equipment and tanks here!), everything else anywhere else on the planet may pale in comparison!
We love a nice holiday but we also don't want to wreck the planet in pursuit of our leisure activities. So we really like that SF provides a luxury holiday while being mindful of the environment. It would probably come as a complete shock to most people how most of the rubbish from resorts is handled throughout the Maldives...its basically mass burned or dumped into the sea. I may get the statistics wrong but SF are one of only a small handful of the 100+ resorts in the Maldives that compost. Furthermore SF have established a Waste To Wealth site on the island where they recycle and try to develop income streams from waste produced on the island, all with the aim of reducing their carbon footprint and becoming environmentally sustainable. We spent a fascinating 90 minutes on a tour of the facility and feel SF should be used as a model for all other Maldives resorts to follow.
Now that I have sung the praises of SF for far longer than I intended, my only word of caution would be with regard to the building of overly large villas and private residences that have been springing up around the island since our last visit. The new villas are cleverly disguised so one could argue that they are not so in your face as to detract too much from the Robinson Crusoe feel of the island. But, for example, we were taken on a tour of Villa 11 while we were visiting and it was just too over the top for our liking. This is a 7 or 8 bedroom complex, for lack of a better word. The dressing room for the master bedroom probably had a footprint nearing the size of the bedroom in our villa! For me, this just seems crazy...who could possibly need that many clothes for a beach holiday and if someone does, do I really want to be holidaying in the same place with them?? If t-shirts, sarongs and shorts are replaced by designer labels and necks and arms dripping with jewels at the lunch buffet, I will feel very uncomfortable indeed! Part of the magic of SF is the understated balance between luxury and simplicity and it would be a shame if the development of too many private residences changed the character of the island and the experience of staying there. So far so good though...long may it last!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- When Eva and Sonu Shivdasani built Soneva Fushi as well as their home on the deserted island of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives in 1995 they had no idea that their intensely personal vision of a locally crafted villa and environmentally responsible lifestyle would form the basis of a successful collection of world-class hotels, resorts and spas. But that's exactly what happened. Soneva Fushi was the first 'castaway' resort in the Maldives, pioneering a trend for back-to-nature luxury holidays. It established a blueprint for a highly acclaimed international business, followed by spectacular Soneva Kiri on the unspoilt Thai island of Koh Kood in 2009. The success of the Soneva brand also paved the way for Six Senses Resorts and Spas with award-winning properties in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Under Eva's and Sonu's direction the Six Senses brand gained a global following before being sold in 2012. Today the Sonevas have many imitators, but no equals. Each Soneva - and a yachting experience, Soneva in Aqua - impresses on a wide range of levels. Breathtaking 'remote but accessible' natural locations, effortlessly chic accommodation, incredible food, truly memorable activities, an inspiring ethos of sustainability and service that is uncannily intuitive. The resort that set the tone and the standards for every subsequent resort. A jewel of an island - large by Maldives standards - with perfect beaches, a vibrant reef encircling the island, a colony of nesting turtles and its very own world class observatory. Located in the Baa Atoll, Maldives' only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi is blessed with extensive coral reefs and significant biodiversity including large concentrations of whale sharks, manta rays and marine turtles. The resort is perfect for romantic couple getaways, or family holidays as it provides unique experiences and activities for all, from diving and snorkelling with the marine biologist, to sandbank dinners and a children's den (playground). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Soneva Fushi By Six Senses Hotel Kunfunadhoo
- Soneva Fushi By 6 Senses
- Soneva Fushi Resort
- Soneva Fushi Hotel
- Soneva Fushi Maldives/Kunfunadhoo