Best of the Maldives: In Water Table Tennis – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - in water table tennis

The Maldives exists at that sweet spot right on the edge of land and ocean. The lagoon shallows make it one of the best places in the world for wading in mill pond calm water with refreshing ocean cooling your feet. Soneva Jani brings that vibe into its Den kids club with its in-water table tennis set-up. Cool!

Best of the Maldives: Kids Zip Line – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - zip line
Photo credit – Haneen @haneensiddiq

Another “Finally Seen”, in fact one of my earliest. Coincidentally, Lori gave me a 60th birthday gift of a trip to Belize partly motivated by its similarity to the Maldives. One of the activities on the agenda was a zipline through the rain forest. Soneva Jani’s now offers that high flying thrill for kids at its “The Den” facility.

Zipitty doodah day!

Best of the Maldives: Yoga Pavilion – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - yoga pavillion

Soneva Jani doesn’t do anything by halves and that includes its spa yoga pavilion which is not only the highest in the Maldives, but also the largest we have seen. You can escape from the escape perched high above resort life below while still immersed in the beauty of paradise surrounding you with a 360 degree panoramic view.

Soneva Jani - yoga pavillion 2

Best of the Maldives: Speedboat Buggy – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - speedboat buggy

An electric buggy to take you from the arrival jetty to your villa as well as to and from your villa to various parts of the island is standard fare in all but the smallest of islands. But Soneva Jani uses a speedboat “buggy” to take you to your water villa, and it can be summoned to take you from the villa to the central part of the island (with the main restaurant, shops, dive centre, etc.). the transfer is 2 minutes in choppy water and 90 seconds on smooth (we timed it), versus the alternative of a 15 minute buggy transfer over land.

Soneva Jani - speedboat buggy 2


Best of the Maldives: Honey – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - honey

Honey, I didn’t shrink the selection of…

Soneva Jani has seen Gili Lankanfushi’s range of mellifluous spreads number a dozen (back in 2013) by doubling the ante to TWO dozen honeys including…

  • Bio Waldhonig
  • Bio Ulmohonig
  • Rapshonig
  • Bio Marmeleirohonig
  • Baumheidehonig
  • Lavendelhonig
  • Leatherwood Honig
  • Erdbeerbatch Honig
  • Kirschbluten Honig
  • Bushhonig mit Manuka
  • Manukahonig
  • Bio-Eukalyptus Honig
  • Kornblumen-Honig
  • Yukatanhonig

And honey comb on offer to boot…

Soneva Jani - honey 2

Best of the Maldives: Slides – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - slide

If you want to frolic in the octopus’ garden, then Soneva Jani has taken water villa slides to the next level. Not only are they higher and longer than previous water villas slides, they are installed most water villas as well as a public area on at “The Gathering” hub. About time I added a Slide” tag. Below is Lori enjoying a thrilling ride during our stay at Soneva Jani.

Best of the Maldives: Mangosteen – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - mangosteen

Part of the adventure in an exotic destination like the Maldives is sampling some of the unfamiliar fare. Not just different recipes, but also different, often home grown, ingredients. Our visit to Soneva Jani featured many less familiar (but not unknown) fruits on their breakfast buffet (like dragon fruit, jackfruit, fresh figs), but it was the first time we came upon a mangosteen (see photo). It is a bit like a lychee and very tasty on some yogurt.

Best of the Maldives: Mud Crab – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - mud crab dish

Sri Lanka Day! One of our favourite treats from the Indian Ocean neighbour was Sri Lankan Mud Crab at Soneva Jani’s Crab Shack. The ‘Chili Crab’ is spicy mud crab wok-fried with garlic and onion in olive oil and black pepper. As it happens, Chef Priyantha himself grew up on a diet of lagoon crabs in Sri Lanka and recreates his fond memories with a range of recipes from the Soneva family. And if you want to se these creatures in their natural habitat, they are quite plentiful around the Soneva Jani lake (but the ones served are brought in from Sri Lanka).

Soneva Jani - wild mud crab

Best of the Maldives: Wading Islands – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - islands

The first story of the Maldives which first captivated my interest in this aquatic paradise was a work colleague describing to me how they spotted an island neighbouring their resort and just *waded* over to it. They were staying at Rihiveli which has two islands you can wade to. Now Soneva Jani extends this ambulatory island hopping to three plot-of-sand destinations to Kudafushi, Budafushi and a further tiny one in the lagoon off its Crab Shack. The easiest way to stroll to that Robinson Caruso experience.

Soneva Jani - islands 2