Maldives

Soneva Jani

Rates from (ex tax)$1,850.00

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 (USD2,320.64), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Overwater world

Setting

Island quintet

There’s only one rule at Soneva Jani in the Maldives: ‘no news, no shoes’. You could add ‘no blues’ (of the emotional kind) to the mix, too. Actual blues abound, from sea to sky, in every conceivable shade and semi-shade of tantalising turquoise. Soneva Fushi’s sibling does the family proud, thanks to its overwater cinema, star-gazing observatory, meditative labyrinth (uh huh), va-va-voom villas, brilliant staff and all the signature Soneva crowd-pleasers, including a lush, hushed spa and So Cool ice-cream, cheese and chocolate rooms. This is the Maldives at its most memorable.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A half-hour massage each at the spa

Facilities

Photos Soneva Jani facilities

Need to know

Rooms

24 suites.

Check–Out

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

Rates

Double rooms from $1850.00, 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 (USD2,320.64), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast (from $65 a person, daily).

Also

The heart of the hotel is the Gathering: an open-air, two-storey building on Medhufaru that’s home to the restaurant, bar, spa, gym, library and ice-cream, cheese and chocolate rooms. Naturally, it also has a water slide into the lagoon...

At the hotel

Five islands; private lagoon; private beaches; overwater observatory and resident astronomer; overwater silent cinema; gardens with a labyrinth; water slides; watersports and dive centre; ice-cream, chocolate and cheese rooms; boutique; gym; library; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: desk, TV, DVD player, iPod dock, Soneva bath products, minibar and a kitchenette with a sink, kettle and tea- and coffee-making facilities.

Our favourite rooms

There are simply no duds in this bunch: every single one of these palatial overwater villas is fit for Neptune and his gang. Follow this simple rule: opt for a room with a water slide or add one on. We promise you, flipper on heart, that it’s more than worth the additional US$200 daily supplement. Bombs away!

Poolside

Each villa has its own full-size private pool and direct access to the glittering lagoon (the stuff of dreams).

Spa

Have a rub or scrub at Soneva Jani’s overwater, lagoon-spying spa. Try a Sodashi marine body wrap, energising jet-lag recovery treatment or a nourishing coconut scrub, which includes a liberal application of coconut oil – your skin will feel softer than a buttered prawn’s.

Packing tips

Bring swimwear that can withstand the gravitational pull of a pool slide. Don’t weigh your case down with sandals and stilettos: Soneva’s signature ‘no news, no shoes’ policy applies...

Also

Communal areas and guestrooms are wheelchair-accessible; the villas (and bathrooms) are extra spacious, too.

Children

Little Smiths of all ages are very welcome. Cots for under-twos are free; extra beds for kids from two to 11 are US$60 a night; it's US$120 a night for over-11s. Babysitting is available for US$25 per hour.

Best for

All ages; water-babies will be in seventh heaven.

Recommended rooms

Any – the villas are huge and come fully kitted out.

Crèche

None, but a dedicated kids’ club is in the works.

Activities

Little Smiths can try a wide range of activities, including catamaran trips, nature trails, beach expeditions (including sand-castle construction). Older kids can safely explore the island; there are smaller bicycles and tricycles for them to borrow, and they can enjoy the watersports and snorkelling, or just flop down with some popcorn to watch films at the open-air cinema.

Swimming pool

Each villa has its own pool, plus direct access to the eye-popping lagoon. The lagoon is very calm and there is no need to worry about currents or tides, but little feet may need jelly 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 bar serves mocktails, milkshakes and smoothies; staff are happy to whip something up if it’s not on the menu.

Babysitting

Babysitters can be organised with a day’s notice (US$25 an hour).

No need to pack

Nappies, baby wipes, formula milk and baby food are available at the hotel’s shop.

Eco‐friendly

Earth-kind products and light bulbs are used; Soneva Jani also recycles and composts. The restaurants rely on seasonal, organic produce; either grown on the islands or sourced from local suppliers. There’s even an on-site glass factory, which recycles glass for Soneva’s rooms and restaurants.

Food and Drink

Photos Soneva Jani food and drink

Top Table

Opt for So Engaging, the chef’s table: a mystery menu for up to five guests. You can also have a private lunch or dinner on Zuhairs Island, on the secluded North Island.

Dress Code

Island dreaming: pearl-white layers; splashes of blue/Chanel Bleu; a shell or two...

Hotel restaurant

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the Gathering, an easy, breezy open-air space housed within the main building on Medhufaru Island. (Naturally, the restaurant comes with the requisite Maldivian views.) Get your five dailies at So Fresh, which dabbles in juices, salads and healthy, organic mains; opt for experimental wine tastings and wine dinners at So Imaginative. Have an out-of-this-world meal at the observatory, where up to four tables can be set up, each one linked to screens connected to the telescope. Temperature rising? Head to So Cool for free helpings of ice-cream, chocolate and cheese; you can also stock up on sushi, sashimi and wine to take back to your splendid sleeping quarters.

Hotel bar

The relaxed Gathering Bar will keep you hydrated, whether you’re thirsty for a knee-wobblingly boozy cocktail, a zingy fresh fruit juice (tropical mango and mint or banana and passionfruit, perhaps) or a flute of ice-cold fizz.

Last orders

Dinner is served until 10.30pm; drinks are mixed at the Gathering Bar until midnight.

Room service

Breakfast can be brought to your villa at any time of day.

Location

Photos Soneva Jani location
Address
Soneva Jani
Medhufaru Island
Noonu Atoll
Noonu Atoll
Maldives
This booking requires a seaplane transfer

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

Planes

Medhufaru is only 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé International Airport. When you arrive at Malé, you’ll be greeted by Soneva’s airport representative and escorted to the hotel’s private seaplane lounge, an eight-minute drive away. After light refreshments in the lounge, you’ll be taken to the waiting seaplane. Return hotel transfers start from $625 a person (from $325 for children aged two to 12). Give Smith24 a ring if you’d like them to sort your flights to Malé.

Other

You can cruise from sister property Soneva Fushi onboard the hotel's boat, Soneva in Aqua; the leisurely trip will take half a day. Alternatively, nip between the two hotels in a speedboat (you’ll be there in an hour).

Worth getting out of bed for

Maximise the private lagoon: spy on the reef’s extensive ocean life with help from the resident marine biologist. Look for sea turtles and rays in the waters of the Noonu Atoll; let the Soleni Dive Centre’s multilingual PADI instructors show you the secrets of the local dive sites. Try non-motorised watersports, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing. Join a catamaran expedition to spot gambolling dolphins. If you like stargazing, you’ve come to the right lagoon: while away an hour or two at the Maldives’ first overwater observatory, join an astronomical dinner cruise, have a midnight astronomy picnic, or get up early for sunrise astronomy. Admire stars of a different kind at Cinema Paradiso, the first overwater silent cinema in the Maldives. Guests get Bluetooth headphones, so that the surrounding nesting wildlife is left in peace during the screening. (Add popcorn and prosecco, to up the ante.)
Pick a holiday tome or two at the library. Browse the on-site boutique for mermaid- or merman-worthy swimwear and accessories; unwind in the spa with a signature Soneva treatment and join one of the daytrips to nearby beaches. Before you go home, head to the gardens and wander through the labyrinth, a meditative maze fashioned from a ficus hedge, designed in accordance with an ancient circular pattern. The hotel can also arrange Robinson Crusoe castaway picnics, private sunrise breakfasts at North Beach, cookery classes, private-chef-prepped picnics, moonlit dinners and more.

Local restaurants

None – you’re in the middle of an off-the-map Maldivian lagoon, after all.

Reviews

Photos Soneva Jani reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this lagoonside hotel in the Noonu Atoll and unpacked their pearls and pool slides, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Soneva Jani in the Maldives…

Some places change you: Soneva Jani, for example. After our trip there, we don’t want to ever use stairs, escalators or lifts again; from now on, we only want to get from A to B by water slide. Preferably directly into a glittering 5.6 kilometre lagoon. We’ve also been left a bit spoiled when it comes to entertainment options – if it doesn’t have five private islands, an observatory, an overwater cinema, a garden with a meditative labyrinth and an ice-cream, chocolate and cheese room, we’re just not interested...

Soneva Jani isn’t just a bonkers-beautiful aquatic playground for the very, very lucky (though it sure is that). The island resort has a heart, too, as evidenced by the Maldives’ first overwater ‘silent’ cinema: guests get Bluetooth headphones at the screening, so that they can enjoy whatever’s showing, without disturbing the finned and feathered locals. There’s an on-site glass factory that turns out ravishing recycled glass items for the rooms and restaurants; natural materials star throughout; the hotel has herb and vegetable gardens, so as much produce as possible can be home-grown. Guilt-free holidays: guaranteed.

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 Jani’s Guestbook below.
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