Soneva founder and CEO Sonu Shivdasani has been at the forefront of sustainable luxury since Soneva Fushi opened in the Maldives in 1995, introducing well-heeled travellers to the castaway chic hideaway concept for the first time. Twenty-five years later, the brand is taking its next evolutionary steps with the introduction of a new ultra-all-inclusive concept, Soneva Unlimited, and a collection of spectacular new Water Reserves at Soneva Jani.
Made from woods certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council, the 27 new Water Reserves are strung out along a snaking jetty on the southern tip of the island, each positioned to make the most of sunrise or sunset views and offer complete privacy. One- and two-bedroom villas boast generous indoor-outdoor living spaces overlooking the impossibly turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, with private pools, spacious outdoor decks and a retractable roof above the master bedrooms that slides back to reveal the night skies overhead at the touch of a button. Some, including the epic Four Bedroom Water Reserve, have their own water slide for instant lagoon splash-access.
Guests staying in the new Water Reserves or the existing three- and four-bed Island Reserves are also enrolled in Soneva Unlimited: perhaps the most comprehensive all-inclusive plan in the Maldives. The price of the villa stay includes virtually everything else during the course of a visit, including return seaplane transfers from Malé, unlimited meals and beverages at each of the resort’s restaurants (including brand new venues Overseas by Mathias Dahlgren and So Wild by Diana von Cranach), in-villa dining, and limitless spa treatments and massages in Soneva Spa. A new Wellness Centre and Ayurvedic Clinic is due to open later in the year, with open air yoga pavilion and aerial yoga gear, two indoor therapy rooms and three open air pavilions.
The resort’s extensive Experiences Menu is also included, so everything from diving and snorkelling trips to dolphin-watching cruises and castaway picnics on a private island are included in the price, as are movie nights under the stars at Cinema Paradiso and special Michelin-starred chef dinners as part of the Soneva Stars programme. As always at Soneva properties, Barefoot Butlers are on hand to help arrange all of this and more, meaning visitors don’t have to lift a finger during their once-in-a-lifetime escape. From US $3,560 per night.