• Monday, May 20, 2019

Luxury Family Vacation in The Maldives

Soneva Fushi: A Modern-Day Castaway Experience for the Mind and Soul
February 16, 2019
By , Contributor

If one were to describe paradise, Soneva Fushi would come pretty close. Filmmaker Guy Ritchie described it as an “unrefined, authentic place with love and respect for nature. A place where the nervous system connects with mother earth.” This is not your typical five-star luxury resort with the latest designs and technology: this is a place that speaks directly to your senses. Once you have been there, you will understand why stars like Guy Ritchie and Gwyneth Paltrow have been long-time loyal devotees of Soneva Fushi.

The island of Soneva Fushi is located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and is one of the thousands of islands in the lush Maldivian archipelago. When you step off the seaplane, they literally take your shoes away from you: you store them in a bag, and retrieve them when you depart. Each guest gets a bike with small cushions for the feet, and a wooden license plate with their initials (if they are returning guests). The bike becomes your main form of transportation, and biking through the lush green forest is one of many highlights of your stay. Soneva Fushi offers fifty-seven unique villas, most of which have private pools, either a sunrise or sunset view, and each one is located directly on the beach.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mr. & Ms. Friday – each villa comes with a private butler to make your dreams come true.
  • No shoes, no news, no newspapers, and no Wi-Fi in any public area. “Disconnect to connect” with yourself, family and friends.
  • The famous Ice Cream Room and Chocolate Room are open for guests to enjoy at any hour of the day or night. The Ice Cream Room is filled with over thirty homemade ice creams and sorbets, and the Chocolate Room is equipped with every imaginable praline, made of the best organic chocolate – and it’s all dangerously good (and complimentary).
  • Yoga and meditation classes with expert guest teachers from all over the world.
  • An inspiring collection of water-sports, and a professionally-staffed surf school.
  • The spa: a world-class Six Senses Spa with visiting holistic healers and therapists. The spa alone is worth the trip.
  • The Observatory. Enjoy star-gazing, and learn about the planets and stars, as the astronomer guides you through a tour of the sky through the telescope.
  • The Glass Studio. Watch some of the world’s most famous glass-blowing artists in action, while creating art with recycled jars and bottles. Soneva is all about recycling and sustainability, and instead of shipping the wine bottles and jars out of the Maldives on boats, they melt them at Soneva Fushi, and turn them into world-class glass art.
  • Open-air Cinema Paradiso: an outdoor movie theater that shows a multitude of new and old classic movies under the stars, to the sound of the ocean in the background.

     

THE FOOD

Where to begin? It’s healthy, it’s so tasty, it’s colorful, and it’s mainly locally-sourced. Soneva Fushi has several organic gardens, where guests can actually see the chefs pick their veggies for the meals.

The breakfast buffet is a feast for the eyes. There are several stations that offer the best of fresh fruit, bread, warm and hot dishes, and the most incredible freshly-squeezed juices.

In 2018, Soneva Fushi added the new restaurant, Out of the Blue, which is a two-story building, connected to the island with a long wooden deck. The restaurant sits on stilts, right on top of the ocean, with sun beds, a library, and a slide that takes you directly into the turquoise water. It is, hands down, the best place to watch sunset – and the cocktails are simply delicious.

There is also a private dining room, where you can enjoy Once Upon a Table – a unique dining experiencefor guests of Soneva Fushi, where some of the world's most acclaimed three-Michelin star chefs will cook you a once-in-a-lifetime meal. See Soneva´s website for a list of celebrity chefs visiting Soneva Fushi.

Another dinner favorite is Fresh in the Garden – an open-air restaurant, built high above the organic vegetable garden. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine at the bar, while the kids learn about the stars and planets at the observatory right next door.

                

THE KIDS CLUB

There is no place like Soneva Fushi when it comes to traveling with kids. It is one big playground for kids of all ages to explore. This is where my oldest son learned how to bike, and my youngest son got his biggest birthday wish fulfilled when he got to see dolphins. The “No News, No Shoes” concept that has been Soneva Fushi’s motto ever since they opened over twenty years ago, is now more relevant than ever. We all need to detox and disconnect – and this includes the kids.

Soneva´s kids club, The Den, is a resort-within-the-resort, with every imaginable art and craft, toy, and class for children. There is a new program for every week of the year, which includes yoga, meditation, cooking, recycling, art and crafts, and even marine biology classes. There is also a kiddie pool for babies, and a larger one (with a fun slide) for the older kids. Once a week, the kids bike to the recycling station to learn about recycling with the waste-to-wealth manager. They also go to the beach with the resident marine biologist, to the observatory with the astronomer, on dolphin cruises, and to movie nights. For the older kids, they also do sleep-over camps on nearby islands. The combination of art, science, and nature is truly unique, and Soneva accomplishes it all in a safe and stylish environment.

Ms. Kash Izydorczyk, who runs the kids club at Soneva Fushi says, “The best part of the kids club is that it’s a Wi-Fi-free zone, which means children can reconnect with each other, and connect with nature.”

SECRET TIP

The Soneva group also owns a beautiful yacht called Soneva in Aqua, which you can take directly from Soneva Fushi for your own private yacht experience. The yacht comes equipped with a captain, a private butler, a chef, and a massage therapist. You can take the boat out for a night (or for longer), and sail to the newly-opened sister resort of Soneva Fushi, called Soneva Jani – and Soneva Jani offers both on-land and over-water villas.