Soneva announces summer programme with Michelin chefs, UK’s youngest director, wellness practitioner

Soneva has released its Festival of Colour’s summer programme that covers July and August.

Guests staying at Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi in the Maldives are in for a treat with highlights including the Baa Atoll Summer Festival and the three Michelin-starred chef Kenji Gyoten returning to Soneva Fushi. At Soneva Jani, the talented, up and coming director Elliott Hasler will be showing a world’s first screening of his latest film, To Hunt A Tiger.

Soneva Jani

Elliott Hasler is currently the UK’s youngest feature film director, having completed his first feature, Charlie’s Letters, aged 16 after a three-year production. Charlie’s Letters premiered in his hometown of Brighton, selling out six of the seven showings. The film was also screened at the Edinburgh Festival and was shown on the Brighton Big Screen alongside T2 Trainspotting and La La Land. His latest film, To Hunt A Tiger, is set in the British Raj and stars John Locke (Darkest Hour) and Charlotte Peters (Pound of Flesh). During his time at the resort from July 1-7, Elliott hosted the first public screening of To Hunt A Tiger, as well as a dinner and a mobile video shooting workshop.

Pawaneeuch Soisongsee, who is visiting Soneva Jani from July 3-24, has practiced different healing techniques for over 15 years. Her aim is “to set your mind free” through Reiki and sound healing. She is a yoga instructor, meditation leader, a Thai massage therapist, a practitioner of cupping techniques, and a specialist in reflexology and manual lymphatic drainage. Using the healing qualities of crystal singing bowls, her goal is to heal the body, mind and spirit, and to bring you into a deep state of awareness where you begin to remember the truth within. Each of her therapies results in the most powerful awakening and transformation.

Poland’s premium craft vodka, Vestal Vodka is changing the vodka game. CEO William Borrell creates vodkas with personalities and attitudes more akin to wines than spirits. Simon Difford, a British spirits guru, awarded an unprecedented 5+ (out of five) to Vestal’s 2010 vintage Kaszebe and 4.5 for both the 2009 and 2010 of the Podlasie. A 5+ is equivalent to a wine being awarded 100+ by Robert Parker. While at the resort from July 14-15, William will be hosting two six-course dinners by Chef Okabe at So Imaginative with vodka pairings, as well as complimentary sunset Soneva cocktails with a Vestal twist.

Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi, Dusit Thani, Amilla Fushi, Vakkarau Maldives, Finolhu, The Westin Maldives, Royal Island, Dreamland, Anantara Kihavah have come together for the Baa Atoll Festival 2019, which runs from July 8-21. The one-of-its-kind festival brings the best of what each resort has to offer in the dining scene. Guests from each resort will have the opportunity to experience the varied cuisines the Baa atoll has to offer and a chance to explore other islands during their stay. During the festival, each resort has a calendar of activities for the whole family, including water sports, children’s activities and more. To close the festival the resort teams will gather on a sandbank for the Catamaran Regatta, guests can choose to join in or spectate the event.

Jérôme Banctel will be hosting a limited number of dinners at Once Upon a Table at Out of the Blue from August 4-10. Banctel’s Le Gabriel at La Réserve Paris was awarded two Michelin stars in 2016, just a year after opening. His gastronomic career began with Michel Kerever’s team at the Duc d’Enghien, followed by a stint at the Vreugt en Rust restaurant in the Netherlands. He spent eight months at the Jules Verne with Monsieur Reix before joining the kitchen team at Les Ambassadeurs, a gourmet restaurant at the Hôtel de Crillon.

Chef Kenji Gyoten opened his restaurant, Sushi Gyoten, at the age of 26. Sushi Gyoten received three Michelin stars in three consecutive years since 2014, making him the youngest three Michelin-starred chef in Japan. The waiting list for his restaurant in Fukuoka is nearly a year long, making his return to Soneva Fushi the perfect opportunity for lovers of sushi to dine on his expertly crafted dishes. From August 13-24, Chef Kenji is to host a limited number of dinners at Out of the Blue’s sushi counter, So Hands On.

John Burton-Race is a chef, television personality and restaurateur born in Singapore. He rose through the ranks of kitchen life and worked his way through restaurants such as Quaglino’s – Hotel Meurice London, Chewton Glen, La Sorbonne Oxford (1*) ending up at one the true edifices of Michelin cuisine in 1983 under Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. When Raymond opened Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, he turned to John to head the restaurant and the kitchen, it was here that he won his first Michelin star. In 1986 he opened his own restaurant, L’Ortolan in Berkshire, where he earned two Michelin stars. In 2004, he opened The New Angel in Dartmouth*, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2005 and retained it until his departure in 2010. During his time at Soneva Fushi from August 15-23, guests can dine on his French cuisine at Once Upon a Table at Out of the Blue.

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

In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury.

Sixty-two private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, six different restaurants and countless destination dining options. In November 2015, Soneva launched a floating villa concept, Soneva in Aqua, a treasure trove children’s Den and a multi-purpose facility encompasses a glass gallery, boutique and studio where guests can learn the art of glass blowing.

If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives.

Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi.

Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa, with additional villas to be built in phase two. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.

Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.

Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon.

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