Soneva Jani named Leading Designer Resort at Maldives Travel Awards

Soneva Jani has been named the Leading Designer Resort at the annual Maldives Travel Awards.

Andrew Whiffen, the resort’s General Manager, received the trophy at the Maldives Travel Awards Gala held on November 23 at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is leading luxury resort operator 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.

The Three Bedroom Water Reserve at Soneva Jani. PHOTO/ SONEVA

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.

Soneva also runs the iconic Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives.

Initiated in 2012 by Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.

This year, MATATO has for the first time branched out the prestigious awards into three categories; the People’s Edition, which recognises successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

As the first event held under the Maldives Travel Awards brand, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi hosted the People’s Edition on July 13, where 10 individuals were recognised for their immense contributions to the development of the Maldives tourism industry.

The Guesthouse Edition, held in the island of Maafushi on October 30, expanded on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrated the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.

The Gala Edition held at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort on November 23 recognised the best products and services available in the resorts, airlines and liveaboards segments.

Main photo: Ibrahim Asad

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