Best of the Maldives: Michelin Stars – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - Michellin meals

A meal by a Michelin-starred chef is a thing of beauty. A number of Michelin honorees have visited as guest chefs before, but no resort has assembled quite the Menu Gourmand of variety as Soneva Fushi’s banquet of culinary talent:

“Soneva and the Michelin Guide will be jointly promoting the following chef events, most of which feature chefs from restaurants worldwide with two or three Michelin stars:

  • August 26-31, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Kiko Moya, from two-starred Spanish restaurant L’Escaletta
  • October 7-12, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Gert de Mangeleer, from three-starred Belgium restaurant Hertog Jan
  • October 15-21, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Bruno Oger, from two-starred French restaurant La Villa Archange
  • November 5-12, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Yoann Conte, from two-starred French restaurant Bord du Lac
  • November 25-December 2, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Pere Planaguma, from two-starred Spanish restaurant Les Col
  • December 5-14, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Tim Raue, from two-starred German Restaurant Tim Raue
  • December 22, 2018-January 4, 2019 at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani: Ronan Kervarrec, from two-starred French restaurant La Table de Plaisance
  • February 14-17, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Tom Aikens, from two-starred UK restaurant Toms Kitchen
  • March 4-9, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Guillaume Bracaval, from two-starred French restaurant Michel Troisgros
  • October 6-11, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Maxime Meilleur, from three-starred French restaurant La Bouitte

Starry starry delight!

Best of the Maldives: Luxury Dolphin Cruise – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi luxury dolphin cruise

With a dolphin cruise this luxurious, you don’t mind if it takes forever to find them. Soneva Fushi provides guests with a private motor launch with long padded settees for a comfy journey while the captain sets out in search of these playful creatures. In the meantime, you are served champagne, ceviche and Maldivian roshi. Nonetheless, it wasn’t but a few minutes before we spotted the spinners cavorting at the edge of the reef.

Best of the Maldives: Elevation – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - elevation

For the high-flying Maldives clientele, you don’t get much more elevated (especially in this part of the world famous for being so low lying) than Soneva Fushi resort. Coincidentally, Soneva’s acronym “SFR” (Soneva Fushi resort) echoes the original icon of high living in castaway paradise – Swiss Family Robinson. Here is a list of the lofty luxury you can find there…

  • Treehouse – Let’s start with the fundamentals of elevated living – the Treehouse. As in “Villa Suite with Treehouse”. Especially suited as an annex for children.
    Soneva - villa treehouse
  • Kids Club – If your childhood Disney fantasies overcome you and you decide to take the treehouse for yourself, at least the kids get the multi-story labyrinth of whimsy that is the “Den” kids club with plenty of climbing places including their own outdoor play treehouse.
    Soneva Fushi kids club 1
      
  • Dining – But the whole family can enjoy a soaring supper at the “Fresh in the Garden” (or over the garden) restaurant deck.
    Soneva Fushi restaurant table 2
      
  • Walkway – Of course, to get there you need the obligatory Indian Jones rope bridge. One the first, longest and highest.
    Soneva Fushi - rope bridge
      
  • Spa – The second story treatment rooms and chill out area adds a vista to your vinyasa.
    Soneva Fushi - spa
     
  • Toilet – Loo with a view.  ‘Nuff said.
    Soneva Fushi self-composting toilet
       
  • Palm Tree Climbing – If you don’t have the climbing dexterity of some of the Maldivians.
    Soneva Fushi - palm wine harvesting
       
  • Villas – Taller villas than anywhere in the Maldives with sweeping wrap-around decks for 360 degree views.
    Soneva Fushi - residences
        
  • Mattresses – The thickest mattresses in the Maldives so even when you lie down, you get lifted up.
    Soneva Fushi - bed
      
  • Ceilings – And when you do lie down, your gaze extends quite high to some soaring ceilings that exemplify the SFR chic aesthetic.
    Soneva Fushi beams
       
  • Observatory – If none of that is high enough for you, Soneva was the pioneer of lifting their guest up to the star above with the first astronomical observatory in the Maldives. Naturally, the telescope itself is nestled in the treetops accessed by a canopy crossing walkway.
    Soneva Fushi - observatory
        

There is one exception which is Soneva’s sunken pool seating which is the lowest seating in the Maldives being literally below ground level (without being underground).

Best of the Maldives: 3D Astonomy – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - telescope

The end of February and still no new moon this month. The rare occurrence of a month with no New Moo is ominously dubbed a “Black Moon”. It’s not all glum as the absence of moon, especially a bright full one, is great for stargazing. And the pioneer in Maldives astronomy, Soneva Fushi, has added another dimension (literally) to its state-of-the-art observatory: 3D.

  • “Soneva has introduced a 3D astronomy experience, with the introduction of a brand-new Meade telescope at the Observatory at Soneva Fushi, its flagship resort in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives. Resident astronomers at Soneva Fushi will be on hand to educate guests and show them the differences in distance between stars and other celestial objects using the 3D technology. Mike Dalley, CEO of Inspiring Skies, the company responsible for installing the new telescope, explained the capability of the 3D component: ‘This new technology will help revolutionize how we offer astronomy experiences to guests, as it gives depth of field to what people see while looking through the telescope. It means that, for example, while looking at an open cluster, some stars will appear closer while others further away’.”

When it comes to star gazing, no moons is good moons.

Best of the Maldives: Electrics Cover – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi electrics cover

God is in the details.” – Anonyous

Another wall cover, though this one is at the smaller end of the size spectrum. One of the things I enjoy celebrating in the “Best of the Maldives” series is the array of little touches that make a property distinctive. A great example is Soneva Fushi’s electrics cover.

When you renovate or build a house, you quickly figure out that the biggest costs can be in the finishes. Depending on your taste for elegance and quality, simple fixtures like knobs, trim, fixtures and even light switches can get very pricey. They are like mini pieces of art with which you interact every day. And when you need bunches of them across the building, the costs really add up. I loved Soneva’s approach which was not only in keeping with its all natural design, but also put their money into local carpentry rather than importing some extravagant Swedish designs.

Best of the Maldives: Eco-Offer – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - eco offer

First rule of exploring the undersea world is “hands off”…but if you do want to get “hands on”, then Soneva Fushi there to lend you a hand. They are offering a special deal where you actively engage with their extensive eco-sustainability initiatives and get special pricing (thanks Paola)…

  • “Stay five nights with us at Soneva Fushi, and if you agree to participate in the following initiatives, your next five nights will be on us. A tailored programme will be prepared for you for a few hours per day, over five days, incorporating the following elements:
    • Land: Assist our horticulturists, mycologists, and gardeners in maintaining the vegetable gardens and learn how to grow your own vegetables. Deliver the vegetables to our restaurants and learn how to create a seed bank to ensure future sustainability of important crops. Help us to make sustainable bricks in our Eco Centro Waste to Wealth facility
    • Water: Snorkel with our marine biologists to help with turtle identification and coral rehabilitation. Spend time each morning clearing debris from the island that may have washed up, and help us to register the fish caught by the local fisherman. Participate in reef clean ups in the Baa Atoll to reduce marine debris and prevent injuries to marine life.
    • Community: Work alongside our community engagement manager on established projects with nearby communities, which may include local swimming classes, composting projects, beach clean ups, and other education initiatives.
  • To book the Stay for Good offer, contact reservations@soneva.com or call at +91 124 4511000 and quote ECOPKG17. Upon confirmation of your stay, we will begin tailoring a programme to suit your preferences.”

You have to hand it Soneva for their handy way to handle the many environmental challenges in paradise.

Best of the Maldives: Canvas Fan – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi canvas fan

I have a few pet likes – I like the natural cooling wafting of a ceiling fan, I like distinctive design details, and I like natural fabrics and materials. So there wasn’t much for me not to like about Soneva Fushi’s canvas ceiling fan. With its distinctive rough-hewn ceiling timbers, Soneva has one of the most aesthetically pleasing sights for lying flat on your back in your room.

With this post, I’ve added the topic tag “Fan” for other guest with plafond propeller propensities.

Best of the Maldives: Most Bedrooms – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi residences 2

Festival of Sleep is possibly the true and appropriate end of the holiday festivities. Established to “some shut-eye and relaxation after the holidays”, possibly the chronological and spiritual antithesis to “Black Friday” which kicks off the mayhem of the season.

The resort, in fact villa, that could open the door to its own sleep gala is Soneva Fushi’s Private Residence with 9 bedrooms (though one is described as staff quarters)…

  • “The residence is a two storey collection of villas with an expansive wraparound swimming pool spread over a large area with generous outdoor living space. The master bedroom boasts its own private swimming pool measuring 111.3 m2 and an outdoor bathroom but there are five additional guest bedrooms, a children’s bedroom, a smaller nanny’s bedroom and of course one for the Mr./Miss Friday butler.”

Rental prices will range from $11,300 – $30,000/night depending on the season.

Wishing everyone a restful recovery from the holiday season!

Best of the Maldives: Door Closer – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi door opener

You know what they say about adversity and opportunity – when one door closes, another one opens. And when this door at Soneva Fushi opens, it also closes on its own. With one of the most eco-friendly mechanisms ever devised straight from Gilligan’s Island – the coconut counterweight. No worries about closing the door behind you (that goes especially for you 2016!).