The Maldives is a dream destination for many travellers. Luxurious resorts, white-sand beaches and pristine waters are just some of the drawcards, but as Travel Associates adviser Collin Hoogenraad recently discovered, there are also plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Collin stayed at the Soneva Fushi resort, and shares his insights and experiences.
Soneva Fushi is the ultimate desert island hideaway. Located on a private island in the Baa Atoll, it is an all-villa resort, with most having their own private swimming pool. It offers a laid-back island vibe in a luxury setting. The ‘no news, no shoes’ policy gives a real Robinson Crusoe feel to the resort, while the lack of TV channels allows you to unplug from today’s fast-paced life.
The layout of the resort ensures the utmost privacy for each villa. We stayed in a three-bedroom beach villa with pool and found it very spacious. The bathroom was amazing and the sunken lounge beside the pool was the perfect spot to relax under the stars. In true Robinson Crusoe style, we had a Man Friday (butler) to see to all our needs and nothing was too much effort.
As you would expect from a luxury resort, the dining at Soneva Fushi was exceptional. There is a choice of dining venues, so you can try something different most days. The real standout for me was the large overwater restaurant, Out of the Blue, which boasts a waterslide and lounge nets overhanging the water, the ideal spot for cocktails at sunset, but Fresh in the Garden also deserves a mention for its truly unique setting, a treehouse-like structure above the resort’s vegetable garden.
For those that like to be active on holiday, there are a surprising number of experiences available at Soneva Fushi.
I loved taking a stand-up paddleboard out each morning and marvelling at the clear water and plentiful fish, but also took a guided snorkelling trip, where a qualified marine biologist told us all about the ecosystem of the reef. Then, on a sunset cruise, we watched dolphins jumping in front of the boat while sipping champagne and savouring the delicious canapés served on board.
When night falls one of Soneva Fushi’s most unique experiences come into its own. The Observatory features a state-of-the-art telescope that takes stargazing to a whole new level. It was full moon while I was there so I didn’t see many stars, but I did get the best pictures of the moon I’ve ever taken.
This is just a taste of what Soneva Fushi offers guests, other experiences include desert island picnics and glassblowing classes, where you can create your own masterpiece to take home.
If you want to spend more time in or on the water, you can learn to freedive, enjoy a surfing safari, snorkel with manta rays, try scuba diving, or skim through the water on a SEABOB. Or try complimentary water sports, such as kayaking, wind surfing and sailing.
In the evening, there’s an open-air cinema, a stargazing dinner cruise and even a romantic camping experience in a Bedouin-inspired tent. And after all that activity, what better way to relax than in the Six Senses spa.
I would highly recommend arriving on the afternoon flight so that you can see the beautiful islands and atolls from the air and be sure to organise your transfers ahead of arrival. And, if you’re holding out for an overwater villa experience, try Soneva Jani.