Maldives

Soneva Fushi

Rates from (ex tax)$1,784.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD2,237.85), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Barefoot bliss

Setting

Private-island paradise

RUNNER-UP: BEST SMITH HOTEL – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2015
RUNNER-UP: THE ECO AWARD – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2015

Nestled under verdant jungle on the beaches of a secluded island in the Maldives, boutique hotel Soneva Fushi’s luxe villas circle a romantic tropical playground, with a gorgeous spa, a stunning house reef and ask-for-anything service. Escape here for a carefree Robinson Crusoe getaway.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One dinner (at Nine or By the Beach) and a cookie-making class for children

Need flights?

For exclusive packages, call

1 800 464 2040

Facilities

Photos Soneva Fushi facilities

Need to know

Rooms

55

Check–Out

12 noon, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $1784.00, excluding tax at 25.44 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD2,237.85), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

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.

Also

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.

Poolside

There is no communal pool. Some villas have private seawater pools; all have their own secluded stretch of white-sand beach.

Packing tips

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.

Also

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.

Children

Welcome. Extra beds can be added for US$74 a night, cots are free. Babysitting is available for US$18 per hour.

Best for

Babies and over-5s.

Recommended rooms

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.

Crèche

There’s a chance you won’t see much of your little Smiths when they discover the Den: probably the best kids' club ever built. There are secret passageways, a clownfish-shaped wading pool for toddlers and a large pool with a slide from the main building, a pirate ship, ping-pong hut, trampolines, a children’s mocktail bar, lego room, dress-up area, cinema, library, learning area, music room filled with instruments, a zip line, and swings hanging from the trees in the botanic garden. Older children will love the beanbags to sink into, cinema room and music room with DJ corner, as well as the art, craft and cooking classes. Open from 10am to 5pm, the Den is free and supervised, and welcomes children aged 4-12; younger children need to be accompanied by an adult.

Activities

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.

Swimming pool

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.

Meals

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.

Babysitting

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.

Also

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.

Eco‐friendly

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.

Food and Drink

Photos Soneva Fushi food and drink

Top Table

If dining under a star-speckled sky isn’t quite romantic enough, the hotel can also set up your very own dining nook on the island’s sandbank.

Dress Code

Bare feet and a dab of Nuxe oil on the collarbone – the resort’s casual-chic vibe extends to its restaurants.

Hotel restaurant

Six. With chunky wooden furniture set right on the beach, Mihiree Mitha (meaning “Here it is”) is the laid-back setting for a leisurely breakfast or lunch with your toes in the sand. The breakfast buffet is a generous affair of just-baked pastries, home-made jams, and egg-cooking stations; at lunch it transforms into a grazing feast with barbecue, stir fry, and salad stations, as well as wood-fired pizzas and a fresh pasta bar. Nearby, restaurant Nine serves dinner, with lavish buffets on Tuesdays and Fridays. High over the jungle canopy and open to the sea breeze, Fresh in the Garden’s daily-changing dinner menu uses only local produce and the fresh fish, prepared with Maldivian sambals and garden herbs. For straight-from-the-net Japanese and Korean inspired tapas, head to one of By The Beach’s candle-lit tables on the sand, where the catch of the day is turned into sharing plates of ceviche and soft-shell crab. So Hot and So Cool’s 60 flavours of ice-creams are available between 12.30 and 3pm, or can be ordered throughout the day from the main bar. So Delicate’s cold rooms are open from 7.30am to 9pm and are stocked with hams, cheeses, cold cuts and preserves for the peckish.

Hotel bar

While the night away at By the Bar, with its large cushions right on the sand and deep comfy wooden seats and tables with backgammon or chess boards built into the wood. The barman conjures heady concoctions using home-made spirits such as damson gin and passion fruit vodka. With its cushioned hammocks strung right over the water, Bar(a)bara is the perfect place for a sundowner: grab an organic cocktail and watch the dolphins’ frolics silhouetted against the setting sun.

Last orders

10.30pm. Fresh in the Garden and By the Sea are closed during the buffet nights on Tuesdays and Fridays. The bars close when the last guest leaves.

Room service

In-villa dining can be ordered round the clock from any of the restaurant menus. Breakfast can also be served in your villa at any time of day.

Location

Photos Soneva Fushi location
Address
Soneva Fushi
Kunfunadhoo Island
2233
Baa Atoll
Maldives
This booking requires a seaplane transfer

You need a transfer to reach this hotel. For approximate costs, see location information

Planes

International flights land at Male’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. From there it’s a 30-minute seaplane ride (US$738 a person for return flights, and free for children under 2) to Soneva Fushi International Airport (a few square metres of floating platform just off the island’s shores).

Automobiles

It may be one of the largest islands in the Maldives, but at just under 1.5km long you won’t need a car at the resort.

Worth getting out of bed for

The near-castaway seclusion of Kunfunadhoo Island is much of its appeal, so there’s little to do here but to savour Soneva Fushi’s natural charms and holistic body-pampering activities.

The island has four snorkelling access points; with manta rays and turtles regularly sighted on the house reef, entire days can easily be filled drifting gently above the marine spectacle. The hotel has masks and fins for guests, and a resident marine biologist who can organise private snorkelling trips and night swims to see octopus, sleeping parrot fish, lobster and bioluminescent plankton. There’s also a diving school for beginners and confirmed PADI divers alike.

Set around a pond and waterfall nestled in the jungle, the indulgent Six Senses spa is as much about soothing the soul as the body. Local coconut is used in body scrub and massages treatments, and there are massage workshops, meditation training and yoga classes too.

Little Smiths will be able to run riot when the new children’s den opens in October 2014. After a day spent splashing in their own swimming pools, scrambling through secret passageways and a pirate ship, or zipping down the water slides, they’ll have the best night’s sleep parents can dream of.
 

Local restaurants

The only restaurants and bars on the island are the hotel's own. Budding chefs can try their hands at Maldivian cooking classes using the hotel’s garden’s own produce.

Reviews

Photos Soneva Fushi reviews

Anonymous review

To get to Maldivian island resort Soneva Fushi, you need to take a short hop on a seaplane from Malé airport. But first, you head to the airport lounge to be plied with amuse bouches, foreshadowing the level of attention lavished on you when you land. We're served drinks and snacks, then asked – in a seemingly random fashion – to choose our favourite smell from two oil samples, one minty and one lemony. We pick lemon.

Landing on water is pretty cool for a five and seven year old; it’s also quite thrilling for us slightly older kids. Our eldest, Tom, pipes up: ‘its very jungly, isnt it Mummy?’, which my wife and I think is a succinct summary of our first impressions. The island we were on before was more picture-postcard Maldives, whereas Soneva feels a bit more natural. If I'm totally honest, I’m not sure if I like it.

We’re greeted by beaming staff (in a genuine, not forced way), then our ‘man Friday’ Shamin takes us to our villa via a meandering, sandy path carved through the lush vegetation. Rather than our attendant or butler, Shamin is positioned more as a helpful friend, whom we all like. He explains that here we must relax, let him take care of everything and live by the hotel’s saying: ‘no news, no shoes’, which we do – we’re barefoot for almost the entire stay. When passing the Host Village; Shamin explains that staff are called hosts here, as they are hosting us, their guests, on the island. They live in the middle of the 1.5-kilometre-long and 0.5-kilometre-wide island – quite big by Maldives’ standards.

It’s definitely big enough to feel like an adventure for a couple of under-8s and there’s more than enough for this couple of 40-somethings, too. Our orientation tour passes by the Six Senses spa, the kitchen garden, the dive centre, the Barra Barra bar and the eco centre, which friends back home say we must visit.

We arrive at our private corner of the island and are shown around our indoor-outdoor living space. A lounge with giant orange-and-red day-beds works as the hub, with the master bedroom, kids’ room and a small kitchen just off it. Nothing from designer shops here; it’s more rustic, with an upcycled feel. It’s very comfortable and luxurious, just not in a shouty way. In fact, we learn that all furnishings are made on the island – impressive indeed. However, the real treats are at the front and back of our villa.

The rear of the property has an outdoor bathroom with stepping stones to my (current) favourite shower in the world. Open-air and easily toddled to at the bottom of our small garden, it makes you feel like a naturist. A giant bath tub and a chaise longue add a little more opulence to our retreat, and there are refillable bath products – all smelling of… ahh, lemon! With every minute spent here, Soneva makes more sense.

The kids are already in the small, shallow plunge pool at the front, where there tables and chairs sit in a sand-dusted garden, which leads onto our slice of beach with flour-soft sand. By this point, I don’t care about the other islands slightly spoiling our perfect view as the sun starts to set. Shamin rings to suggest we eat at the main island restaurant tonight where there’ll be street food-style stalls – a cool buffet, if you will. We’ve all had bikes delivered to our villa as that’s the only real mode of transport here. Mine is knackered and the chain keeps slipping, which annoys me at first, but as I start to get into the rhythm of the island, I learn to manage my bike. Its slowing me down (which Mrs Smith says is a good thing), but this lets me take everything in rather than rush to the 'next event' – of which there are as many or as few as you wish. All the family cycling around the sometimes tricky sandy lanes, getting lost as we havent got our bearings yet: its wonderful, very liberating. I forgot to mention: pedals are covered in fabric so your feet are comfortable – it’s an incredibly thoughtful touch.

When we get to the restaurant, Shamin is there; we're seated, then the kids shoot off to explore. They arrive back to drag us both from our seats, yelling: ‘Mummy, Daddy, you have to come and see this.’ We’re forcibly pulled to a room full of chocolate. I'm not talking bars of Cadbury’s, I'm talking a room full of treats made by the on-island chocolatier another unexpected surprise. There’s also an ice-cream and pastries room; a cheese-and-ham room; and a room full of freshly-grown salad. It’s mind-boggling, given that we’re on a tropical Island.

Shamin tells us that Soneva Fushi is owned by a couple, Sono and Eva (a businessman and a former model respectively); the resort has been their lives’ work for the past 20 years. They’re clearly a little bit crazy, but in oh-such-a-good way. Shamin explains the SLOW philosophy they live by: everything must be Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness-focused. Well, we've certainly been slowed down – we adopt their mantra during our stay.

The resident Waste-to-Wealth manager escorts us around the Eco Centro. The idea is to make recycling profitable so everyone in the Maldives will do it. They invite other island owners to learn from their pioneering work, in the hope they’ll preserve this very special piece of earth. Polystyrene from daily fish deliveries is kept and used as insulation for new-build villas. Plastic is banned (even the cocktail straws are made from paper) and glass bottles are put into a 'chipping machine’ to then be used in cement.

Another highlight is a day’s snorkelling over a reef, led by a resident marine biologist. The reefs are the most incredible colours and shapes, as are the fish, but the best part is seeing a sleeping turtle take a midday nap. We round the trip off with a three-hour, Robinson Crusoe-style lunch on a neighbouring island; we’re left alone with a picnic that could have come from Harrods Food Hall.

This review could go on and on: I could mention the treetop restaurant, outdoor cinema, life-changing spa treatments and the joy of sipping a cocktail while suspended over thousands of fish at the Barra Barra bar. Or the time spotted Jupiter in the night sky, and the 100-rabbits-running-around-on-the-island story for another time…

Soneva Fushi has been created with passion. We’ll come back as often as we can afford to. I leave with a slightly bigger smile than most of our holidays have left me with, and when I’m home, I'll loosen-up my bike chain.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Soneva Fushi’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The staff - the best I have ever had to pleasure to be on holiday with. Local recommendations: just dive in - the fish are amazing here. 10/10

Don’t expect

Late night dancing

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jun 2016