October nights are full of Michelin stars at Soneva’s Maldives resorts

Soneva has announced plans to welcome a host of renowned Michelin-starred guest chefs and visiting experts from the worlds of sport and wellness at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in Maldives.

The incredible line-up for October is part of the Festival of Colour – a two-year campaign across Soneva’s resorts which celebrates the diverse array of guest experiences on offer.

An exquisite opportunity to experience the culinary prowess of some of the world’s most talented chefs, during October every dining venue across both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani will host a Michelin-starred chef for at least one evening. Guests at Soneva Fushi will also be able to delight their taste buds with a Michelin-starred food journey across the island, and watch in awe as award-winning chefs go head-to-head in a Michelin-starred cooking competition.

One of Asia’s most acclaimed chefs, Julien Royer, will be gracing Soneva Fushi’s Once Upon a Table between October 16 and 23.

The two-starred Michelin chef is co-owner of Odette at the Singapore National Gallery – named after Royer’s grandmother, it was recently crowned the Best Restaurant in Asia for its modern French cuisine focusing on seasonality, terroir and the finest artisanal produce sourced from across the globe.

With three Michelin stars to his name, Maxime Meilleur will be showcasing his craftsmanship at Soneva Fushi between October 6 and 11, followed by Soneva Jani between October 12 and 20.

The self-taught French master chef made his name through his family-run restaurant La Bouitte in the French Alps – which he has helped transform into a sophisticated gourmet destination, one of just 26 three-starred restaurants in the prestigious Michelin Guide.

The third French chef on October’s Festival of Colour line-up is Gregoire Berger. Ranked number 10 in the Best Chef in the World Awards 2017, guests will have the opportunity to experience Berger’s award-winning cuisine at Soneva Fushi between October 19 and 28.

Originally from Brittany, Berger honed his culinary skills in some of the world’s top kitchens, including France’s Le Pressoir, Le Domaine de Rochevilaine and La Grande Cascade, and today he heads the Ossiano underwater restaurant at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai.

Italian chef Giancarlo Perbellini, who is the president of the prestigious culinary competition Italian Commission of the Bocuse d’Or, will be bringing his pioneering culinary vision to Soneva Fushi between October 22 and 30.

Perbellini made his mark by blending cutting edge culinary innovation with traditions inspired by Italy’s rural heritage. The multi-garlanded chef was awarded his first Michelin star in 1996, whilst most recently his concept restaurant, Casa Perbellini, was awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide in 2016, with another star going to his other venture, the Dopolavoro Dining Room – an unprecedented double achievement in Perbellini’s Italian homeland.

From culinary masters to the world of sport, Soneva Fushi is set to host Jason Robinson, who is considered a living legend by both Rugby Union and Rugby League enthusiasts, from October 18 and November 3.

Robinson is famed for his trademark sidestep, devastating acceleration and daring manoeuvres that made him a crowd favourite during his time on the pitch. As a Rugby Union player, he won 51 international caps for England, as well as multiple titles for his club Wigan, including the World Club Challenge and Regal Trophy. In 2000, he switched codes to Rugby League to join the Sale Sharks as well as England’s national team and the British Lions, scoring 30 tries across 56 international matches, and captaining the England squad in the 2005 and 2007 Six Nations campaigns.

Former WTA tennis player Daniela Hantuchová will be at Soneva Fushi between October 18 and 27.

Now an acclaimed tennis pundit, during her career she won seven WTA tournaments, most recently the Thailand Open in 2015. Her biggest wins included victories over Serena Williams, defending champion in the third round of the 2006 Australian Open, and against world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round of the French Open in 2011.

Visiting practitioner Sandra Laznik will be hosting sessions at Soneva Jani between October 1 and 25.

The international wellness consultant is known for mixing science with the esoteric, and has a roster of private clients across the world. A professor of sport education, she is also trained in classical and sports massage, is a qualified Sun Power Yoga and Pilates teacher, and is a Universal Tao Healing Arts facilitator for Sacred Femininity Courses.

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.

For more information about the Festival of Colour, together with the calendar of visiting artists, visit www.soneva.com/festivalofcolour

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