The brilliant turquoise waters and pure white sands of the Maldives are no stranger to luxury-seeking globetrotters. The region’s Ministry of Tourism revealed that more than 1.7 million travellers flocked to the country in 2019, the highest amount of visitors to the archipelago in one year. Although the travel industry has been dealt one of the harshest blows during the Covid-19 pandemic, world-leading luxury resort outfit Soneva is ever-optimistic for similar stats in the near future, moving ahead with its plans to open Soneva Fushi’s new over-water villas this month. Here’s a first look.
“When we first launched Soneva Fushi back in 1995, we redefined tourism in the Maldives with our unique vision that pioneered the concept of sustainable luxury,” says Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva. While the resort group pledges to remain true to the laid-back ethos of Soneva Fushi – the mantra ‘no shoes, no news’ appears frequently throughout the resort – Sonu admits this latest development is in response to guests’ ever-changing needs. “The new Water Retreats will elevate our offering, ensuring that our guests’ experience is more memorable and special than ever before.”
Decisions surrounding the location and design of the over-water villas were made in response to a comprehensive environmental assessment which ensures that the UNESCO Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve’s terrestrial and Maldives marine ecosystems remain unharmed in the construction phase of the dwellings, as well as during the ongoing use and the maintenance of the villas. As with all of Soneva’s carbon-neutral properties, construction materials for the luxury villas are promised to be derived from sustainable sources.
We redefined tourism in the Maldives with our unique vision that pioneered the concept of sustainable luxury.