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“Gets better and better”
Review of Soneva Fushi

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Soneva Fushi
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kunfunadhoo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 24, 2014

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!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Waitingfornoah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your incredibly detailed review on all of the amazing services and activities at Soneva Fushi.

As Soneva Ambassadors visiting 3 and 13 times, to be mentioned as ‘getting better and better’ every time is a clear stimulating award for us. My Team and I are absolutely thrilled that you enjoyed all of the new activities that are currently on offer including the children’s activities as they prepare themselves for the new Children’s Den which opens up later this year.

We have had such great feedback on our Food and Beverage experiences and I am delighted that you had the opportunity to try them all including our new complimentary chocolate room.

I have also shared your comments with the Diving School, and Katya was thrilled to know she made such a difference with your son and his new passion for scuba diving.

It is true that Soneva Fushi is building private residences. However these have been carefully positioned on the island so that they do not infringe on other guests’ luxury accommodation or natural surroundings that all guests enjoy.

We hope to see you again, soon.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 22, 2014

We just returned from a magical 10 day stay at Soneva Fushi with a party of four including our 1 year old son. We stayed in Soneva Fushi villa #38 on the sunrise side, which location and unspoiled views we loved. At this time of year there is more wind on this side of the island which we liked as it provides a nice breeze whereas on the other side (sunset) you have calmer seas which is better for snorkeling (only a bike ride of 1 minute though from our villa...). This villa has two bedrooms both with outdoor bathrooms and has all the amenities you could think of and more, including 6 (!) showers, both indoor and outdoor. We loved the fact that there was powdery white sand everywhere and cycling through the lush rainforest with our baby boy in a little back seat box was utterly relaxing. The island is beautiful, very lush and thereby very different from the typical Maldivian sandbank with just a few palmtrees. What sets Soneva apart from other top range hotels, is the truly relaxed atmosphere (no posh glitz and glam, although celebs visit the island too, looking for privacy) whilst at the same time you receive 6 star service from the 'ever so' smiling and helpful staff, great food and experiences. The quality and variety of the food really stands out. Every day, no matter where or what you eat, everything is fresh and just tastes superb. People with a chocolate addiction are advised not to enter the chocolate room. Soneva Fushi offers many experiences/activities, of which we enjoyed the sandbank private sunrise breakfast, private snorkeling in an amazing reef at a short boat ride from the hotel, a full moon dinner on the beach with live local music, sofas crafted from sand, a five course dinner with wine pairing created by a visiting Italian Michelin star chef, to name just a few. I am a regular spa visitor and the treatments at the Soneva Fushi six senses spa rank at the highest level. Special thanks to our Mr. Friday Muhaimin, who took care of us and our baby boy so well. Although the occupancy is generally high probably due to the popularity of the place, it never feels busy and guests seem to be respecting others' peace and quiet while at the same in for a chat if you feel like it. We never returned to a hotel before (the world is too big) but before we left Soneva Fushi we secured an option for two weeks next year. I guess that says it all.

We have also stayed at Soneva Kiri two years ago and thought that was phenomenal as well. Although the service, food and whole atmosphere compare well, Kiri and Fushi feel very different at the same time. Maybe because of the sand I would recommend Soneva Fushi for people with young children, as Kiri has more wooden decks in the main areas and villas. Kiri provides for a bigger Den (a new one is under construction at Fushi and scheduled to open soon). Soneva Kiri is a much newer place and the villas feel somewhat more luxurious and 'grand' than the ones at Soneva Fushi whereas I think that Soneva Fushi benefits from its longer existence in terms of overall quality and uber relaxed vibes.

We like the Aman resorts, we love the Alila resorts, but Soneva has provided the best experiences thusfar.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank AmsTravelAddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2014

Dear Guest,

Such a great review – thank you so much.

A stay at Soneva Fushi is an experience you will not soon forget. Eco friendly and relaxed environment, great villas with all the privacy you need, fresh food, chocolate room, sunrise breakfasts, snorkeling trips in our amazing reef, great wines, the spa….. we are so happy that you and your family enjoyed it all.

I have shared your positive feedback with my Team and Muhaimin your Mr. Friday whom you specifically mentioned. Our Food & Beverage Team was thrilled with your compliments on the food and service. We are all so proud to know that you were treated to a 6* holiday experience.

We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you next year and we hope that you will enjoy all the new experiences of our ‘Intelligent Luxury'

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

This was our first visit to the Soneva Fushi. The luxury experience starts from the moment you arrive at Male Airport, you are escorted to the private lounge to wait for the seaplane transfer and your every need is met. Upon arrival at the island we were greeted by our Man Friday Xain and the management team, and were taken straight to our villa. The whole island and facilities are breath taking, everything you could wish for is provided and nothing is too much trouble. The villas are beautiful and secluded and it is evident all over the island that privacy for the guests is of utmost importance. The food in the restaurants is of outstanding quality and the chefs are always willing to change any of the dishes to suit your needs. We commented to the Manager of the Nine Restaurant that we would like to try some traditional Maldivian food and the next evening when we arrived he informed us that they had put together a three course Maldivian meal for us which was fantastic. Twice a week there is a buffet, Mediterranean and Asian and you will be spoilt for choice. Breakfast is an experience like no other, the choices are incredible from the fresh fruit, pastry room, breads, cheeses and eggs any way you like. The staff cannot do enough for you; they are so friendly and accommodating. Our villa attendant Hamdhoon provided truly amazing customer service, he anticipated all our requirements, he even put bookmarks in our books for us we couldn’t have asked for better service. All the staff are polite and informative and go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

There are many things to see on the island, we saw Turtles swimming around the turtle beach area and if you visit the Bar-a-bara late afternoon you can often see a pod of Dolphins swimming past, while waiting I can fully recommend a Pomegranate Mojito. This is also a great place to snorkel so don’t forget to visit the dive centre to pick up your free equipment. The bikes provided at your villa are great fun and made it easy to get around.

This was an amazing relaxing holiday and 11 nights there was just not enough so we are going to have to go back.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Robbo1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2014

Dear Guest,

My team and I thank you for writing such a pleasant and wonderful review of your stay at Soneva Fushi.

We are proud of our concept ‘Intelligent Luxury’ which is all about creating unforgettable, enlightening, fun, experiences for our guests - your compliments are an inspiration to us, to continue our good work.

Apart from the physical beauty of the island, it is also the hosts that make the place so special and I am happy to know that you felt that during your stay. Our hosts go out of their way to ensure that guest’s needs are taken care of; they take great pride in creating serendipitous moments for guests.

11 nights with us and coming back for more! we eagerly look forward to your return.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

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Reviewed March 20, 2014

We visited Sonevafushi about six years ago and again a year later but then decided to try other resorts in the Maldives but none, apart from Dusit Thani and Coco Palm come close to delivering the impeccable quality, service and beauty of this amazing island. I could wax lyrical about the food, customer focussed staff, accommodation, house reef and amenities but I don't have the time that it would take to complete. Although it is hard to describe, the most appealing aspect of Sonevafushi is the atmosphere and feel/vibe of the island. It is a place to go and shut out the hassle of daily life and re-charge your batteries for a week or two. However, like all 5 star resorts in the Maldives it is not cheap but if you can afford it Sonevafushi is the best there is and I can't wait to go back there next year.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alan n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for having taken the time to share your holiday experience at Soneva Fushi. We are so very happy that you came back to stay with us again after your last visit almost five years ago.

It was a pleasure to read that you enjoyed our beautiful island with its calm, clean, eco friendly atmosphere and also the accommodation, food and services.

We are glad that you plan to come back next year – we look forward to welcoming you back.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

I like the concept very much: No shoes - no news! And I adore such a details as organic food, eco style villa and really green island not just a few palms as I saw on other islands. You will not be bored as on this island everybody will find what to do, as there are a lot of different kind of activities.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank YuliaYYY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Dear Guest,

We are happy to note that you enjoyed your stay when you visited us in April last year. You have highlighted all that Soneva Fushi is proud of and stands for – our eco friendly concept, organic food, and fun activities to keep you entertained the whole day.

Thank you for writing on TripAdvisor and we hope to see you again soon.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2014

This was our second visit to the island and we enjoyed it just as much this time. It was nice to see some familiar faces and, as noted previously, returning guests are treated very well. We appreciated the personalized licence plates for the bicycles and the complementary cooking class at By the Beach was incredible (so was the quantity! – we didn’t go to a restaurant for dinner that evening). Our Mr. Friday, Aravind, was excellent; looking after our every need and always ready for a pleasant chat when we met. We visited the open house at villa #1 but we were not impressed with the “new” style of massive open interior spaces and gratuitous amenities. We love the island for its rustic luxury and the secluded villas tucked in the trees along the beach – we hope that the ambiance that we have enjoyed will not be impacted by these new mansions on the beach.

Room Tip: We prefer the sunrise side but all of the villas are excellent.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DandNEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Dear Guest,

It was great reading your feedback – thank you for taking the time to post a review.

We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay as much as you did the first time you visited us; we enjoyed your company too. Most of our guests come back year after year to enjoy Soneva hospitality and personalized service.

The private residences are limited to selected parts of the island, which are carefully chosen by the Owners to make sure that they do not infringe on Soneva’s peaceful, barefoot luxury island life.

We hope you will visit us again and assure you that the rustic luxury charm of the island and the clean, healthy and eco friendly ambience will be yours to enjoy.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2014

We stayed as a family, with my sister who was working in the Maldives. Having stayed at three other hotels in this beautiful country we were still taken aback at the quality and luxury of Soneva Fushi.

The whole feel of the island was one that we enjoyed, from the rotation of the restaurants to the bicycles (although cycling on sand takes a while to get used to!) The food was exceptional, fresh, varied and well presented. The cheese room, the chocolate and the deserts, wow is all I can really say.

Yes the no shoes bit and the overtly 'green' construction of parts of the hotel are perhaps trying just a little too hard, but all these things can be forgiven. The beeches are beautiful the snorkelling fantastic and the drinks party on the sand bar a great way to meet other guests, or just take in the utterly stunning location.

A dreamy week and we hope very much to be back in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank SomewhereHotPlease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLESAManager, General Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for writing a review on your stay in April last year. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed a great experience at Soneva Fushi - I have shared your feedback with my team.

We look forward to welcoming you back, we hope soon.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soneva Fushi

Address: Baa Atoll, 2233 (Formerly Soneva Fushi Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Baa Atoll > Kunfunadhoo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kunfunadhoo
Price Range: $1,232 - $4,011 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Soneva Fushi 5*
Number of rooms: 57
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

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