Need to know
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $5222.00, excluding tax at 25.44 per cent.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (from $65 a person, daily).
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!
Each villa has its own full-size private pool and direct access to the glittering lagoon (the stuff of dreams).
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.
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...
Communal areas and guestrooms are wheelchair-accessible; the villas (and bathrooms) are extra spacious, too.
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.
All ages; water-babies will be in seventh heaven.
Any – the villas are huge and come fully kitted out.
None, but a dedicated kids’ club is in the works.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.