Soneva Stars brings world’s most sparkling talent to Soneva resorts

Every year is filled with exceptional experiences and the wonder of discovery at Soneva.

Spanning all of Soneva’s world-leading resorts in the Maldives and Thailand, Soneva Stars is a new, year-round calendar of acclaimed visiting experts and one-of-a-kind activities, ensuring that Soneva’s guests will always be inspired and enthralled, no matter when they visit.

Soneva Stars will focus on five key periods during the year, including February half term, the Easter break, August holidays, October half term and the end of year Festive holidays.

The new, annual programme promises an eclectic line-up of thought-provoking experts and rare experiences from across a thrilling spectrum of interests and disciplines – from best-selling authors, daring explorers, and sporting heroes to leading wellness practitioners, motivational speakers and Michelin-starred chefs.

Throughout the year, guests are guaranteed to encounter bespoke experiences with Soneva Stars’ fascinating array of talent, whether those are hosted dinners, engaging talks or enriching one-on-one sessions.

“By curating an annual calendar of acclaimed visiting experts and bespoke experiences, the new Soneva Stars programme is a natural extension of our ethos of ‘intelligent luxury’,” Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“With a focus on the busiest periods across our three Soneva resorts in the Maldives and Thailand, our guests can be assured that they will find the most engaging, diverse and memorable experiences from the moment they arrive.”

Past Soneva residencies have been hand-picked from the world’s most eminent experts in their chosen fields.

Celebrated chefs have included the two Michelin-starred Tom Aikens, Spain’s one Michelin-starred Kiko Moya, and three Michelin-starred Julien Royer, co-founder of Asia’s best restaurant, Odette.

From the world of sport and fitness, Soneva has welcomed champion freediver Umberto Pelizzari, rugby legend Jason Robinson, and football stars Mikael Silvestre and Karina LeBlanc.

From art, culture and science, visiting experts have included celebrated Italian glass artist Lino Tagliapietra, acclaimed astronomer Massimo Terenghi and best-selling author and historian Peter Frankopan.

From the realm of wellness and healing, leading practitioners Sandra Laznik and ayurvedic expert Dr GN Lakshman have enjoyed residences at Soneva’s resorts.

In 2020, Soneva Stars is set to welcome a bigger and brighter line up than ever before.

Pioneering Danish chef Jonas Astrup will bring the best of Nordic cuisine to Soneva Fushi in March, whilst two-starred Cédric Vongerichten will combine modern French and Indonesian flavours at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in April.

Acclaimed wine expert Jancis Robinson will be sharing her extensive knowledge with guests at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in March and April. Considered the world’s most influential wine critic, she will be guiding guests through the essentials of oenology via the array of vintages in Soneva’s extensive wine cellars.

Throughout the year, celebrated yoga practitioner Pawan Kumar will be in residence at Soneva Jani – having honed his craft in India’s ashrams and with yoga masters in the Himalayas, he views yoga as a science, and the key to unlocking a life of peace, bliss and miracles.

Soneva currently runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, and luxury yacht, Soneva in Aqua. The world-leading luxury resort operator also operates Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand.

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 amongst dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Eight new one- and two-bedroom Water Retreats, perched above the turquoise depths of the Indian Ocean, are scheduled to open to guests by May. 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.

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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