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Soneva Fushi: Where Luxury Meets Nature

Imagine a place where barefoot luxury seamlessly intertwines with the pristine beauty of nature. Where sustainable practices are a way of life, and where adventure and relaxation coexist in perfect harmony. Welcome to Soneva Fushi, a Maldivian paradise that recently received a prestigious award. This captivating resort, located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, not only pampers its guests with unparalleled luxury but also allows them to immerse themselves in the wonders of Hanifaru Bay and surf in the surrounding azure waters.

A Priceless Recognition from The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023

Soneva Fushi, often hailed as one of the Maldives’ most exceptional resorts, sets itself apart through a commitment to eco-conscious luxury. This secluded sanctuary is located on the island of Kunfunadhoo, a remote paradise where overwater and beachfront villas seamlessly blend into the natural landscape. The resort’s architecture, with its thatched roofs and eco-friendly yet elegant design, perfectly complements the surrounding lush vegetation and powder-soft beaches.

What truly distinguishes Soneva Fushi, however, is its unwavering dedication to sustainable practices. The resort’s philosophy revolves around the principle of “intelligent luxury,”. Where guests can indulge in opulence while minimizing their ecological footprint. It’s a concept that resonates deeply with eco-conscious travelers.

In the realm of luxury travel, few names are as synonymous with luxury, sustainability, and natural beauty as Soneva Fushi. As a testament to its excellence, Soneva Fushi has secured its place among the elite in the prestigious “World’s 50 Best Hotels of 2023”. Claiming the enviable No. 7 spot on this coveted list.

This annual list, eagerly awaited by travelers and industry insiders alike, celebrates the crème de la crème of global hospitality. It acknowledges not just the opulence of a destination but also the commitment to responsible tourism and the ability to create lasting memories for guests. Soneva Fushi‘s No. 7 ranking is a remarkable achievement and a source of pride for all those involved in its operation. From the dedicated staff to the visionary founders, Sonu Shivdasani and Eva Malmström Shivdasani (hence Son-Eva).

In addition to the 50 best hotels, other special awards were given to six properties. Soneva Fushi was named “Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel”, the best hotel in the world within 20 meters of a beach. Sonu Shivdasani, CEO of Soneva, was the only person to be recognized individually at the ceremony, for being the person who has done more for the hotel sector than any other. Congratulations!

Guardians of Hanifaru Bay and Marine Environments

One of the crown jewels of Soneva Fushi‘s surroundings is Hanifaru Bay, a marine sanctuary renowned for its incredible biodiversity. This site is famous for hosting one of the world’s largest gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks. An awe-inspiring spectacle that attracts marine enthusiasts and eco-conscious travelers from around the globe.

Soneva Fushi takes its role of protecting and preserving Hanifaru Bay’s fragile ecosystem and biodiversity seriously. Soneva’s ongoing efforts include partnerships with NGO Save Our Seas, the Olive Ridley Project and the International Pole & Line Foundation, as well as the Soneva Foundation to propagate 150,000 corals every year. In 2022, the Soneva Foundation together with Coralive launched one of the biggest coral restoration programmes in the world, located onsite at Soneva Fushi.

Visitors to Soneva Fushi have the privilege of joining expert-led excursions to Hanifaru Bay. These guided experiences offer the chance to witness these majestic creatures up close, all while gaining a deeper understanding of the critical importance of preserving this marine sanctuary. It’s a rare opportunity to connect with nature in a profound way, and it exemplifies Soneva Fushi’s commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism.

Surfing Paradise at Your Doorstep

While Soneva Fushi is primarily known for its tranquility and sustainable initiatives, it also offers adventure seekers a thrilling surfing experience. The resort’s location in the Baa Atoll provides surfers with access to uncrowded and unknown waves. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island offer a variety of breaks suitable for all levels.

The surf in the BAA atoll is never ever crowded, with eventually only one or two locals having some fun every now and then.

Although the best time to surf the Baa Atoll is during the west monsoon season from May to September, some great spots on the west side of the Atoll pick up some nice swell from November to March! Soneva Fushi is blessed with a house reef that delivers fun longboard and beginner waves on the smaller days and epic 4-6 foot barrels when the swell is on (with no one out!)

The resort provides surfing enthusiasts with top-quality equipment, experienced instructors, and guidance to find the ideal waves. After a day of exhilarating surf, you can return to the luxurious comforts of your villa, unwind at the world-class spa, or savour delectable cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients.

The Soneva Fushi Experience

At Soneva Fushi, each day is a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the best that the Maldives has to offer. After a thrilling morning surf session, guests can retreat to their luxurious villas, where outdoor bathrooms, private pools, and stunning ocean views await. Here, the resort’s commitment to sustainability is evident, with features such as solar power and water filtration systems seamlessly integrated into the villas.

Sustainability extends to the dining experience at Soneva Fushi as well. The resort prides itself on offering delectable cuisine crafted from locally sourced, organic ingredients. Enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach, dine among the treetops, or partake in the signature “Fresh in the Garden” experience, where Chef Manu Buffara, recently named Latin America’s Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best, celebrates the ecological connection between land, sea, minerals, roots, fruits and animals, and the transformational power of food.

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Soneva Fushi‘s world-class spa Soneva Soul offers a range of ancient and modern treatments. Ancient healing practices like Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and herbal remedies complement cutting-edge treatments such as vitamin therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and ozone therapy, offering a well-rounded approach to healthcare. The spa is located in a lush jungle setting, providing a serene environment for guests to unwind and revitalize the body, mind, and spirit in perfect harmony with the tranquil and eco-conscious ethos of the resort.

Soneva Fushi‘s Kids Club is a delightful haven where young explorers can embark on their own adventures in paradise. Nestled amid the tropical surroundings of the resort, this enchanting club offers a wide range of engaging and educational activities tailored to children of all ages. From nature walks and arts and crafts sessions to marine life discovery and cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of opportunities for kids to learn, play, and make new friends in a safe and supervised environment. Soneva Fushi’s commitment to sustainability extends to its Kids Club, where children are encouraged to connect with nature and gain a deeper understanding of the environment.

The best way to end your day is at Soneva’s Observatory, which offers a celestial experience like no other. This state-of-the-art observatory is a sanctuary for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. Equipped with powerful telescopes and guided by knowledgeable astronomers, guests can embark on a captivating journey through the cosmos. The Observatory at Soneva Fushi provides a unique opportunity to explore the mysteries of the universe while surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the Maldives. It’s an unforgettable experience that invites guests to gaze upon distant stars, planets, and celestial wonders in an awe-inspiring setting.

A Hidden Gem Not to Miss

Soneva Fushi stands as a testament to the harmonious marriage of luxury, sustainability, and adventure. Its recent recognition for Environmental Stewardship underscores its unwavering commitment to preserving the natural wonders of the Maldives, including the breathtaking Hanifaru Bay. Meanwhile, the opportunity to surf in the azure waters surrounding the island adds a thrilling dimension to the Soneva Fushi experience.

Whether you’re gazing at the graceful manta rays of Hanifaru Bay, riding the waves in the Indian Ocean, or simply basking in the tranquility of this remote paradise, Soneva Fushi offers an extraordinary journey that blends opulence with environmental consciousness. It is an invitation to escape the ordinary and immerse oneself in a world where luxury and nature coexist, where sustainability is not a mere ideal but a way of life, and where every moment is an opportunity to connect with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Maldives.

Written by Delia Ruiz Malo

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Customer Reviews

AWAVE Travel

Customer Reviews

Omar AlJammaz 03/07/23

Great travel options, great customer support, simplifying planing process.
Looking forward for my next trip.

Nina Ross 03/08/23

Awesome holiday to Hudhuranfushi. Giulia was very helpful and quick to respond and overall we were very impressed with Awave Travel.
Lohi's is a private, on site, awesome left hander that just kept giving. Also had options of 2 daily surf boat trips that went to other local breaks such as Sultans, Ninja's, Cokes, Jails. The surf team are amazing and we scored great waves the whole time we were there.
Stayed in a Sunset family beach villa which was perfect for a family of 4, then upgraded for the last 3 nights to Ocean Villas, both great for different reasons!
Island staff are so helpful and welcoming, and there's a good variety of food options available. Lots of other things to do such as paddleboarding, jet ski-ing, spa treatments, yoga and amazing snorkelling - with sharks, turtles and rays! We also hired bikes to get around and do morning surf checks!
An amazing trip, thank you Awave and Hudhuranfushi!

Seb Speck 25/06/23

We had an amazing time on the Mentawai islands booked through Awave Travel.
Giulia was very helpful and available at all times during the booking process. And we had the best time on the Mentawais on the Maki Boat. The staff were amazing. Raul the surf guide was very helpful, friendly and coached us on the waves. Kaique the photographer produced top quality pictures and videos from the water, boat and drone.
Overall very happy and would highly recommend it.

Tom Ward 18/06/23

We charted Seafarer for a 10 day trip in the Maldives. We booked with AWAVE about 12 months before. James was super helpful, really responsive and just easy to deal with. We even made a very last minute change to go to the central atolls which he arranged pretty much straight away. The trip itself was unreal, great surf, amazing wildlife and scenery. If you’re thinking about a surf charter, do it and book through these guys!

Natasha Gronski 06/08/23

Awave Travel is the best surf travel agency I have ever booked! They are very professional and responsive to my inquiries and are able to match me with a surf trip appropriate to my interests and skill level. They have an outstanding relationship and reputation with the resorts that they work with, which makes a difference in the consumer experience. Above all, the Awave staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the areas they recommend, as they have actually surfed the spots and stayed at the resorts. For anyone who wants a hassle-free, no worries, relaxing and fun surf adventure, Awave Travel is the way to go!

David 05/29/23

8 of us stayed at Hudhuranfushi for my 50th birthday celebration. The resort and services were amazing. James and the team at AWAVE stayed in contact from the beginning to end to ensure we had everything we needed. Great experience. Definitely looking forward to booking our next trip with AWAVE in the near future.

Alexandra Franz 05/31/23

We spent amazing days in Morocco in Amouage. Was an amazing stay and the full surf package offered by AWAVE was great.
All the people were very nice and coaches were amazing. Booking was very smooth, answered all my questions and they took care of everything.
I took the coaching package and had a great time and learning. The teacher was great, very patient and explained everything very nice and calm. Felt safe all the time and had a lot of fun as well.
My boyfriend had the guiding package and he also had a great time. He was always taken to the spots that fitted his level and enjoyed the full when conditions were nice.

Alex Reuter 05/22/23

We stayed at Ayada in Maldives and I can't be more complimentary of AWAVE! Awesome and patient advise over whatsapp on which resort to go to with extremely details local knowledge on surf conditions, wave spots, resort quality, which atolls to go to, etc. I followed their recommendation and it was spot on. Easy booking on short notice before the trip, can't thank James enough!

Stewart Cropp 05/19/23

Our remarkable trip was 12 months in the was awkward to organize because there was so many people coming and going over our two week chartered cruise.
I can’t speak highly enough of AWAVE and more to the point ,the wonderful Giulia Manfrini. She is so caring and sweet and far above and beyond any travel consultant that I have ever worked with
Thankyou Giulia for all your prompt answers to my gazillion questions
You are “Simply the best”.
Now onto the Carpe Diem
The trip of a lifetime was had by all 20 of us
The Captain and crew worked tirelessly to pander to our every whim
They would not allow us to lift a finger
Our Barmen Shawn and Cook ( still can’t pronounce his name ) were superb, the food was first class and varied and the alcohol flowed like a river
Our Surf guide “Seppe” found waves for us every day except for two while we travelled deep into the central Attols
We were greatful for the rest
We snorkeled with the sharks and visited uninhabited Islands spent an afternoon being spoiled at a high class resort .
All in all an Awsome trip

Diane 05/11/23

James helped us organize our trip in April for my partner and I in the Mentawai.
First, lets discuss the service : James was super clear and reactive. We received a list of resorts with different price ranges and he provided all the elements for us to decide based on our needs and budget. We felt very supported for the organization and we even received so advices few days before leaving for packing.
I was a bit afraid as i'm not a good surfer so i reach out many times to understand how I could still try and learn and James always replied very quick and with all the info i need.
Then when we arrive : it was super well organized, everything went smooth and we fell in love with the place and people. We can tell they really worked on their resort selection and travel organization and we trust our next adventure will be as qualitative.
Already recommended their service ;).