Need to know
12 noon, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $1399.19, excluding tax at 25.44 per cent.
The hotel offers room-only, B&B, HB and FB rates. All meals are free for children under six; 7-12 year-olds get a 50 per cent discount on their meals.
With clear skies and hardly any light pollution, you’ll get spectacular views of the starry night from the resort’s telescope-equipped observatory.
At the hotel
Six Senses spa, private beach with watersports facilities, bikes to borrow, observatory, open-air cinema, floodlit tennis court, badminton, snooker table, group yoga and tai chi classes, jogging trail, board games, ice-cream parlour, library, stash of CDs and DVDs, free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, preloaded iPod and dock, binoculars, air-conditioning, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities. The resort can also organise scuba diving, motorised watersports, and local boat trips.
Our favourite rooms
Sunsets may be spectacular at Soneva Fushi, but villas on the sunrise side of the island are blessed with uninterrupted views of the ocean. All have an indoor-outdoor feel, with garden bathrooms, cosy outdoor seating areas, and rustic-chic interiors of wood and crisp cottons. There’s no communal pool on the island, so make sure you splash out on a villa with a private seawater pool. The one at Retreat Villa (61) extends into the shade of the second-floor open air dining area connecting the two bedroom suites of this sprawling hideaway. The master outdoor bathroom is equally impressive: with a pond, sunken bathtub, steam room and a small private gym, it may well tempt you away from the decadent spa.
There is no communal pool. Some villas have private seawater pools; all have their own secluded stretch of white-sand beach.
It’s more about what not to pack: for a truly blissed-out castaway experience, leave the phone charger at home. And don’t bother with shoes – no one on the island wears them.
Each villa has its very own Mr or Mrs Friday, a private butler to look after guests’ every need. Craving a refill from the ice-cream parlour? Just ask.
Welcome. Extra beds can be added for US$74 a night, cots are free. Babysitting is available for US$18 per hour.
Babies and over-5s.
The Soneva Fushi Villa suite and tree house is perfect for Robinsons travelling with their family. Older children will love the seawater pool and tree house: 2.5 metres above the ground, it has a bunk bed and single bed that sleep up to three children.
None, but the hotel is currently working on its new kids club, the Den (Soneva Kiri already has one). The Den is a dream of a kids’ club. Dutch eco-architect Olav Bruin asked a group of children to come up with their perfect play area and his creation is a combination of their visions. Shaped like a manta ray, the bamboo structure will hang in the trees. There will be different rooms – music, fashion and art – dedicated to creativity, with scheduled activities inside and out. As well as keeping children occupied, the Den gives kids a taste of Thai culture, as they can learn the Thai alphabet, create a local toy or try their hand at traditional batik. The Den is free and is open from 9am to 6pm each day for youngsters up to age 12, but children under the age of six have to be supervised by a parent or babysitter. The Den will also include a swimming pool with a slide and a toddlers' pool.
Older kids can safely explore the island: there are no dangerous animals or insects, and plenty of critters to keep them occupied (geckos, chickens and rabbits wander freely). There are smaller bicycles and tricycles for them to borrow to roam around, and they can enjoy the watersports and snorkelling, play table tennis, badminton, tennis, volleyball, or just flop down with some pizza and pop corn to watch films at the open-air cinema.
There is no communal swimming pool, and you’ll need to keep an eye on young swimmers in the villas with private pools. The lagoon is very calm and there is no need to worry about currents or tides, but little feet may need water shoes to avoid scrapes.
Children are welcome at all times. The restaurants have high chairs, as well as soft toys and drawing materials to keep little ones busy. There are children and infant menus as well as half portions available. The chefs can adapt their menus for special diets, too. The bars serve mocktails, milkshakes and smoothies, and are happy to whip something up if it’s not on the menu.
Babysitters can be organised with a day’s notice and cost US$18 per hour.
No need to pack
Nappies, baby wipes, formula milk and baby food are available at the hotel’s shop.
Don’t miss Eco Centro, the resort’s innovative recycling centre. Little Smiths can learn all about reusing and composting, and pick fresh fruit and vegetables from the organic garden.
Responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the resort’s philosophy. It has one of the largest solar power plants in the Maldives, and the resort has kept pockets of the island’s coastline untouched so turtles can continue nesting there. Food is grown and sourced locally where possible, and there’s even a purpose-built centre for waste management and recycling, as well as a marine conservation programme.