Soneva Fushi Opens New One- and Two-bedroom Over-Water Villas

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31 August, 2020

Soneva, the leading luxury eco-resort operator, are soon to be ready to open the Fushi’s first ever new Water Retreats with slide.

With yet, another facet to the original barefoot luxury resort the guests can expect innovative styles and some new changes to the iconic Water Retreat designs that can be found at Soneva Jani.

Accessed via a gently curving jetty, near Dolphin Beach on the main island at Soneva Fushi, the eight new one- and two-bedroom Water Retreats have been carefully designed to ensure the utmost privacy for guests, as well as to make the most of the picture-perfect ocean vistas.

The One Bedroom Water Retreats (584 sqm/6,286 sqft) and Two Bedroom Water Retreats (857 sqm/9,224 sqft) are the largest one- and two-bedroom overwater villas in the world. Both have a private pool, as well as a slide that leads directly into the Indian Ocean.

shi crusoe villaNew Beach Suites

The spacious interiors and exterior living spaces give guests more to love, as well as making them perfect for families.

As each of the rooms in the Water Retreats can be sealed off, the doors out onto the deck can be locked, and the children’s room is located at the back of the master bedroom, they are child-friendly and suitable for young Soneva guests of all ages.

The One and Two Bedroom Water Retreats, all with water slides, will open their doors to guests on September 25.

“We are very proud to announce this exciting new phase for Soneva Fushi,” Sonu Shivdasani, Soneva’s CEO and Founder, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“When we first launched Soneva Fushi in 1995, we redefined tourism in the Maldives with our unique vision that pioneered the concept of sustainable luxury. After 25 years at the forefront of the global luxury tourism sector and as a bucket-list destination in the Maldives, we are always striving to evolve with our guests’ ever-changing needs. While we will always remain true to the much-loved spirit and laid-back ethos of Soneva Fushi, the new Water Retreat villas will elevate our offering. Having overwater villas gives our guests the luxury of choice, to stay amongst the deep greens of the jungle with the beach just steps away, or wake up to panoramic views of the ocean.”

shi crusoe villaNew Beach Suites

Noticeably different from Soneva Jani’s iconic Water Retreats, these new overwater villas at Soneva Fushi are not whitewashed, so the browns of the natural and sustainable wood panels are visible through the interior finishing.

The Two Bedroom Water Retreats have both bedrooms on the ground floor, while the pool has been moved to the front of the pool deck, where it is now suspended over the ocean.

The pool deck has been extended for more space for sun loungers and daybeds, with extra overhangs that create more shade. Catamaran nets let guests sit above the waves, while curved steps lead from the pool deck to the water below.

When it comes to the interior, the colour palette consists of light blues, greens, and soft beiges, bringing to mind the colours of the ocean around Soneva Fushi and the verdant island jungle.

The décor is true to the rustic castaway style that Soneva Fushi is known for, similar to the resort’s newer villas (Villa 38 and 43). The lighting systems are from PLH Italia, known for their sleek and discrete design.

“I wanted to keep Soneva Fushi’s natural beauty, so it looks almost the same as the day we found it, with the villas hidden amongst the vegetation. When we had to add more villas, we didn’t want to touch the beach, as we believe it should be for our guests and the turtles that visit our shores. So, we built over the ocean. We hired all the right people to come and assess the proposed location, ensuring there would not be any live coral in the area.,” Eva Malmstrom Shivdasani, Soneva’s Creative Director and Conscience, said.

“The new Water Retreats are very spacious and have been finished in Soneva Fushi’s rustic style. Everyone involved in building these overwater villas has done a fantastic job. Everything is bespoke and the joinery craftsmanship is amazing. Our guests can now stay in an island villa or a Water Retreat without moving between resorts.”

shi crusoe villaNew Beach Suites

These Water Retreats have been raised high enough above the ocean so that the waves do not break against the underside like most overwater villas, thus reducing noise and vibrations.

The walls use recycled Styrofoam as insulation, which helps keep the interiors cooler and serves to muffle the sound of the wind and waves.

With a push of a button, the retractable roof slides back above the master bed to reveal sunny skies or starlit nights. The new mechanism is now made using aluminium, rather than steel, making its operation even smoother and quieter.

The curving jetty that links the Water Retreats to the island has been redesigned with the jetty planks laid lengthwise rather than width-wise to reduce the noise of buggies and bicycles riding along them.

With a choice of either sunrise or sunset views, the villas feature a large al fresco deck, which includes plush sun loungers, a sunken seating area and catamaran nets. Choose between swimming in the ocean or the private pool, while a curving 19-metre slide plunges into the waves from the upper floor.

Both villa types feature an expansive upper level with a dining sala, as well as Soneva’s signature outdoor bathroom with direct access to the sea.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the spacious dining and living areas with natural light, while a fully-fitted pantry with wine fridge and minibar provide gourmet snacks and drinks.

Flanked by an en-suite bathroom, dressing room and children’s sleeping area, the master bedroom suite features a king-sized bed for the ultimate in comfort.

In the two-bedroom villa, a second guest bedroom also includes a king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom and dressing room.

shi crusoe villaNew Beach Suites

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Soneva in The Maldives

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World-leading luxury resort operator Soneva runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury. If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either.

Sixty-two private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, six different restaurants and countless destination dining options. In November 2015, Soneva launched a floating villa concept, Soneva in Aqua, a treasure trove children’s Den and a multi-purpose facility encompasses a glass gallery, boutique and studio where guests can learn the art of glass blowing. READ FULL REVIEW

The perfect combination of luxury and nature, Soneva Jani offers guests an unparalleled experience in idyllic surroundings. Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives. This resort doesn't just have character, it has charisma. Soneva Jani is like someone with personal magnetism, someone who knows themself, knows the world and greets it with a big, welcoming smile.

Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa. Each of the 24 water villas is superbly designed and has a private pool that looks out onto its own lagoon site, and some villas are equipped with water slides from the sun deck down to the lagoon. Feature of the villas is a retractable roof in the main bedroom, which is retracted at the touch of a button so guests can lie in bed and count the stars. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.

Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.

The luxury resort is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Malé International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi. Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon. READ FULL REVIEW

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