Soneva launches new ‘Conscious Experiences’ at Maldives resorts
Soneva is rolling out new experiences at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives.
These experiences centre around learning and delving deeper into Soneva’s philosophy and sustainable practices.
Guests can take part in marine conservation under the guidance of the resort Marine Biologist at Soneva Jani and learn how to track wildlife on the island at Soneva Fushi.
Similar experiences are available at Soneva Kiri in Thailand.
Embark on an ocean adventure with Soneva Fushi’s Maldivian fisherman, Rocket, and his family to learn how to fish sustainably with the Fishing is a Family Matter experience. Rocket has been supplying fish to Soneva Fushi since it was in construction, he knows what the chefs need and knows where to find the fish.
After fishing, guests can have their catch of the day prepared for them back at the resort using Rocket’s wife’s marinade recipe.
Young Sonevians and their families can learn about the flora and fauna native to the island of Kunfunadhoo with the Wildlife Explorer experience.
A guide will lead the expedition along the island trails, offering tricks to spot wildlife, how to read animal tracks, the names of each plant and animal spotted in Dhivehi. At the end of the experience younger guests will earn a Wildlife Explorer badge at The Den.
For guests who want to learn more about Soneva’s Namoona Baa programme, the Namoona Island Visit takes them to the neighbouring island Maalhos with a member of the Soneva Namoona team.
The experience covers the history of Maalhos, as well as the recent Soneva Namoona activities on the island.
The visit begins with a tour of the sustainability initiatives and the island’s efforts to Reduce, Recycle and Inspire local communities, Maalhos’ Eco Centro, the former waste burning area and water bottling plant (Soneva Water). Finally, guests can enjoy refreshments at the home of a Soneva Host’s family, where they will also learn to weave with screw pine leaves, a tradition unique to Maalhos.
The Slow Life Journey gives guests a deep look into Soneva’s philosophy that places sustainability at its core with a tour of the Eco Centro and organic gardens.
See how Soneva Fushi makes the most out of the island’s coconuts, from composting to the making of coconut oil. Next, head to the gardens around Fresh in the Garden to learn about permaculture methods before picking ingredients to be used in a three-course lunch.
Guests who have a passion for turtles can add their names on the Turtle On Call register to receive notifications about sea turtle activity happening at Soneva Jani during their stay.
They can watch as mother turtles lay their eggs, experience the natural wonder of tiny hatchlings making their way to the ocean, or help usher turtles who have gotten stuck in the trees in the middle of the island back to the open waves.
The marine biologists at Soneva play an active role in marine conservation efforts, part of this work involves conducting surveys on the reef. With the Marine Conservation Expedition guests can join the resort’s marine biologist on a beach cleanup and help gather vital data by taking part in micro-plastic and coral bleaching surveys.
Ocean stewards can help rehabilitate coral reefs and coral nurseries at Soneva Jani with the Coral Planting experience.
After a short presentation guests will be taken out to a floating platform in the lagoon where they will tie the readily prepared coral fragments to the frames which are then lowered to the sandy bottom.
Every six months photos will be sent back to the guest to update them on the progress of their coral pieces that will be used as donor colonies for reef rehabilitation.
The Local Fishing with Jawa introduces guests to the two techniques used by Maldivian fishermen to catch their livelihoods.
Set sail for the spot of the day in a traditional wooden dhoni and choose to learn either bottom line fishing or trawling. At the end of the experience, the chefs at Soneva Jani will prepare the catch of the day for dinner.
On the Garden to Table experience guests will be taken through the organic gardens, picking, tasting and learning along the way under the guidance of the gardener or Horticulturist. Learn the secrets of having a green thumb and how to harvest different ingredients, as well as the option to plant a tree sapling or vegetable in the garden.
The chef will then prepare a three-course lunch using the freshly picked ingredients.
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.