Soneva makes luxury Maldives getaways with whole family in mind

Soneva has reported a 30 percent increase in families booking holidays at its resort since 2016.

This is largely due to its array of family-centred experiences and child-friendly facilities which include the expansive Den at Soneva Fushi (opened in early 2016) and the freedom that Soneva’s younger guests have to explore Soneva Jani’s island. Other offerings include a constantly changing roster of activities and experiences each week to keep the children entertained.

The Den, Soneva’s children’s club, can be found at each of its resorts. They were designed as spaces where children play and learn under the care of specially trained childminders.

Central to the Den is the philosophy of ‘free play’, where daily activities can be customised. Activities include cooking classes, play time in the Lego and dress-up rooms, reading from the library, learning to play local instruments, how to make scrubs or give massages, arts and crafts, learning Dhivehi, and learning about nature, recycling and conservation. The Den organises weekly children’s movie screenings with popcorn. Soneva also provides private tutoring for primary and secondary school level exams, these must be arranged during the reservation process.

A playground for the imagination, the Den offers younger guests the freedom to explore their creativity with engaging activities such as music and cooking classes, Lego building and much more. PHOTO/ SONEVA

When it comes to activities for the whole family, Soneva has a varied selection of experiences to choose from such as a joint tasting evening where adults explore the wines of the world and children enjoy ice cream and chocolate pairings. Excursions to deserted islands with guided snorkelling and gourmet picnics can be arranged, while dolphin spotting cruises, astronomy lessons with Soneva’s resident astronomers in the Observatory and private screenings at Soneva’s al fresco Cinema Paradiso bring the entire family together.

Soneva, a world-leading luxury resort operator, runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 65 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.

The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) as well as a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives and amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and its second resort in the Maldives.

Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of 24 overwater villas and one island villa set in a 5.6 kilometre private lagoon located in the northern Noonu atoll. The resort spans five islands surrounded by pure white beaches, covered in rich tropical vegetation, offering the ultimate in privacy and luxury.

Each of the resort’s multilevel water villas has its own private pool and a retractable roof that allows guests to sleep beneath the stars. Many villas also have slides that transport guests directly from the top level into the lagoon below. Other hotel highlights include a spa, an observatory — home to the largest telescope in the Indian Ocean — and an outdoor cinema.

Since its opening, Soneva Jani has created a lot of buzz amongst luxury travellers with its exciting features such as the retractable roofs and the water slides. It has been named the Best Over-the-Top Luxury hotel of the year by Jetsetter.com, the best new resort in the world by CNN, and the Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in South Asia and Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in Maldives.

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