Soneva Fushi – A vacation of a lifetime

After 9 months of the lockdown, Aditya and I were restless and ready to set off on an adventure. Luckily travel to the Maldives from India was possible during this time, a 3-hour direct Indigo flight from Mumbai to Male. Followed by a 20-minute seaplane ride to the white beaches and clear blue waters of Soneva Fushi…Paradise! We timed the trip to bring in my birthday.  

We were required to take a series of Covid-19 CPR tests, one 48 hours before our departure, one on arrival at the hotel and another 48 hours before our departure back to India.

The barefoot Maldives retreat, Soneva Fushi is a “no news, no shoes” eco-chic haven with Robinson Crusoe-style villas scattered along the oceanfront.  The hotel is designed with natural materials to blend into its surroundings. It has an open-air cinema, 6 different restaurants, a state of the art gym, all day ice cream, chocolate, cheese, charcuterie and wine rooms, an enormous kids’ club, butler service, yoga and the fabulous Six Senses Spa.

One of my happiest memories from our getaway was from the morning of my birthday. We took a speedboat out to a coral reef with the hotel’s marine biologist and went snorkeling. We swam out together and came across a couple of sea turtles, a baby shark and schools of fish of bight blue, yellow and orange. I just remember climbing back into our boat, speeding back towards the hotel, my hair blowing in the wind, with the biggest smile on my face. 

You don’t just fall in love with a place; you fall in love with the people too. The team at Soneva Fushi is incredible.  Each villa is assigned a Mr. or Ms. Friday butler. Our barefoot butler Lillian was incredible, always going above and beyond, planning each day to the T and tending to our every whim and fancy!

We stayed at one of the newly opened water villas for the first couple of nights, which was an incredible experience in itself and left us speechless. An extravagant villa with; a roof that opens up with the click of a button, a magnificent private deck with an infinity swimming pool and water slide that leads you to the ocean, along with an outdoor jacuzzi and bathroom.

We later moved to one of the beach facing villas; a romantic, single story enclave with an outdoor bathroom, private pool, in-villa wine fridge (and Nespresso machine), leading straight onto the white sandy beach

Commuting around the island is made easy with cycles. You can cycle through the green and shady interiors of the island during the day, to avoid the blazing sun or walk across the beach in the late evenings.

Soneva Fushi practices sustainable luxury. Waste-to-wealth is central to Soneva’s sustainability drive. 90% of their solid waste is recycled at their Eco Center, but they are doing more than just recycling. They are changing the perception of waste by showing that it is a resource that can be used to create useful items for their operations and well as art. They upcycle the waste bottles from beer, wine and liquor at their in house glass factory!

This was an experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. After being cooped up at home for most of the year in these worrying times, it was an absolute dream to spend a few days in such a beautiful setting and reconnect with nature.

Recommended for; families, couples or even a group of friends wanting to travel somewhere special together, Soneva even offers bigger villas with up to 9 bedrooms.

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