Soneva Jani, Maldives Hotel Review

Why book Soneva Jani?

Because visionary brand Soneva’s second Maldives island outpost is the Maldives of your dreams. Life unfolds in a blissful haze of hammock lounging, water sports, scuba diving on coral reefs, spa days, yoga retreats and dolphin cruises. Beautiful dining venues around the lagoon, castaway picnics, lunch in the garden and cooking classes are part of the magic.

set the scene

Soneva Jani is a surreal world where children and adults tour jungle interiors on push bikes, hang out in swings on Robinson Crusoe beaches, throw themselves down slides, splash on technicolor rocks and watch dolphins frolic. See running through water.

The drama and fun of the overwater villas, with their glass-bottomed floors and tumbling slides into the baby-blue lagoon, brings the kids out into the adults, as does the restaurant which offers its own outdoor cinema, Director’s Cut. Comes with. But it’s not just about embracing your inner child. There are plenty of adult cuisine, from a cross-island smorgasbord of restaurant options to an incredible island spa.

back story

In 1995, Soneva Fushi, created by Sonu Shivdasani and Eva Malmström Shivdasani, opened with 42 villas on Kunfunadhoo Island in Baa Atoll, Maldives, offering the first spa in the island nation. It began under the resort brand Six Senses, but the Shivdasanis sold it and in 2012 separated from Six Senses to establish owner-operated Soneva, which houses Soneva Fushi; Soneva Jani; One boat, Soneva in Aqua, all in the Maldives; and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. Everything at Soneva has been thoughtfully created by owners Sonu and Eva Shivdasani. They live on Soneva Fushi, which explains why their investment is complete, and why their sense of family intimacy and their conscientious values ​​are so widespread.


Fifty-one overwater villas with one to four bedrooms and private deck pools, some of which have waterslides into the lagoon, have retractable roofs for stargazing, just because. (The newest over-water villas on the north side are the best.) Open-plan living spaces in wood and white with purple-coral and sea-blue accents, small portholes for viewing tropical fish in the tropical lagoon, and Have glass bottoms. Seven new beach island villas offer private pools and spacious indoor-outdoor living spaces and range from one to four bedrooms.


A 150-acre island at the edge of Medhufaru Lagoon in Nunu Atoll, covered in lush foliage and surrounded by a neon-white beach. The surreal vistas of cornflower skies, lush green forests and baby blue waters, marshmallowy white sand, and technicolor reefs, plus the calming scent of sun-warmed pandan leaves, is wellness in essence. It’s a place where nature calls you to return to yourself, and on arrival your shoes disappear into a canvas bag, not to be seen until you leave. Take a 40-minute seaplane flight from Malé, a 60-minute speedboat ride from Soneva Fushi, or take a half-day trip on a Soneva ship from Soneva Fushi in Aqua.


Warmly welcoming and friendly while remaining efficient and attentive. Butlers are split between villas and zoom around on buggies, ferrying guests between activities, restaurants and spa appointments, and communicating with you via WhatsApp.

Food & Beverage

The barn-like The Gathering, to the north, is an over-water barn housing several restaurants, a library, and a wine cellar. A cross-island restaurant smorgasbord includes Overseas by Matthias Dahlgren, an organic garden-set idyll So Organic, and a rotation of diverse visiting chefs (this year including Tom Aikens to Jan Alty, of Peckham Thai street food hero The Begging Bowl). Co-owners are included). The extensive gardens provided large quantities of fruits, vegetables and herbs to various restaurants.

spa and wellness

On the eastern shore of Soneva Jani, where green turtles return to lay eggs amid the mangroves and gentle surf, the three-level Island Spa looms above the tree line like a giant tall tree house. Thick-walled egg-shaped treatment rooms connected by walkways float toward a yoga shala topped with a meditation platform, their facades coated with wood tiles curved like the scales of lizards.

Soneva Soul (also launched at Soneva Fushi and in process at Soneva Kiri in Thailand) is their new approach to wellness, representing a shift from holistic-inspired body treatments and activities to something deeper and more ambitious. Sonu Shivdasani has recovered from stage four lymphoma and his recovery journey includes complementary therapies. For Soneva, this pivot expresses this as well.

The Soneva Soul team – complemented by visiting physicians – includes an Ayurvedic doctor (full Panchakarma detox is possible), a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and an Integrative Medicine doctor. Treatments vary in clinical and complementary: from electrocardiograms to sound therapy, from platelet-rich plasma therapy to the Tok Sen massage of northern Thailand (which uses wooden hammers and pegs to knock down muscle knots). . This includes nutrient IV therapy, sleep programs for insomnia patients, cryotherapy, ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Micro-needling facials, red-light therapy (for joint inflammation), Vietnamese pressure-point facials and medicinal mushrooms are all available.

This year, they launched three, seven and 14-day wellness journeys based around basic health, sleep, detoxification and anti-aging using this magical blend of naturopathy, Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine along with high-tech Western treatments. Are of. The sleep program includes Ayurvedic Nidrasana sleep ritual, IV Vitamin Therapy and BEMER electromagnetic sessions. The detox program provides guidance on eliminating dairy, gluten, refined carbohydrates, hydrotherapy, lymphatic drainage, acupuncture, herbal baths, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The Time Rewind Program uses naturopathic treatments for healthy aging and rejuvenating meditation and movement practices, including expert facials, massage, vitamin IV therapy and microneedling.

At the heart of the spa, there is a juice bar, shop and an ideal gym with sea view for classes including barre, functional fitness and free movement techniques. Guest teachers include people like ray of sunshine Joe Wicks. Consulting suites, therapeutic biomodulation rooms, a reformer Pilates room and a hyperbaric room are downstairs. Some treatments, such as IV therapy, take place at The Gathering’s over-water spa on the north side of the island.

for families

Soneva Jani is a Never Never Land for children, who are treated like gods and can have free ice cream and chocolate parlor on demand. In 2022, Soneva raised the bar even higher for pint-sized gods by creating Fantastical Den, a dreamy kids club that is the largest in South Asia and took two years to build. Screens and tablets are banned – it’s about real play in a natural setting. Two waterfalls fall into a pool with a swim-up bar and catamaran nets for relaxing – a zip line cuts between them. The garden features a pirate ship, a skateboard ramp, and a climbing wall. Inside, there is an entire room for Lego, a bowling alley, a craft area, a dressing-up room, a library and cinema, a toddler sensory play area and a children’s kitchen. On the rooftop, teens and tweens mingle on pool-set ping-pong, a music room, a telescopic deck, pool and table football, pinball machines, and a slide to go down. All presided over by attentive, fun-loving staff members at the height of their youth. Older children and teens can also join the Soneva Academy, which offers young learners intensive courses in astronomy, birdwatching, sustainability, mosquitoes and marine life outside the classroom. Soneva Jani promises freedom and security to children and parents alike.

simple use

The 772-square-metre two-bedroom Water Reserve is adapted for wheelchairs and mobility aids, with a ramp and a specially adapted bathroom.

eco effort

Soneva is (and always has been) a leader in clean energy and sustainability in the industry. Its resorts have been carbon neutral since 2012, and a 2 percent environmental levy is added to each Soneva stay. Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani aim to generate more than 50 percent of their electricity with solar power expansion.

In 2021, Soneva launched an ambitious program to restore coral reef systems and create a coral hub for the Maldives at Soneva Fushi. A partnership between the Soneva Foundation, Swiss environmental organization Coralive and global ecosystem restoration organization Arc2030, the project aims to return the reef to the condition it existed in 25 years ago. It also aims to make Soneva Fushi a global coral restoration and knowledge centre. After two years of studies to define the technologies, it will become the world’s largest Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT) coral nursery, covering one hectare of ocean and propagating 50,000 coral fragments annually. MAT creates the ideal environment for corals by passing low-voltage electricity through underwater metal structures. The nurseries will cultivate corals broken or damaged due to storms, waves or human activity. At later stages, guests will be invited to join in the entertainment.

Anything else to mention?

One night after dinner head to the Observatory Deck for a breathtaking glimpse of the starry sky.


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