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“once Soneva Fushi…always Soneva Fushi…!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Soneva Fushi Resort

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Soneva Fushi Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kunfunadhoo
Certificate of Excellence
Gstaad, Switzerland
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“once Soneva Fushi…always Soneva Fushi…!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2014

…snorkeling…eating…drinking…chilling…why don't you take the bike, they even have a trike old style, so you can pack your towel, your book and some drinks…then you take a chilling bike tour around the lovely paths of the island throu the rainforest of Soneva Fushi…you look at these amazing natural beauty around you…the thousand years old trees, the millions of different green colors, the animals rushing by…the rabbits stopping by to look at you…they seem like sharing some time with you by playing around you or even lying next on the beach to relax (they always have fun story to tell, cause when you look at them, you start automatically smiling)…one hour like this and you have already recovered from your stressful year of hard working…you can even get lost if you want, you can find a daybed nestled in the forest corner with breathtaking views on the sea…living with the nature, thats whats all about on Soneva Fushi. The seaplane lands on some deserted little sand strip, way outside the island, this way no one is bothered from the noise of the daily fying planes…you can even book a day trip to this sand strip and feel like robinson crusoe…There is this restaurant where you can eat in middle of the rainforest, so relaxing and beautiful, go there when the sun is still out, and not after 8, as you then actually don't see anything of the beauty of the nature, but you don't have to miss to see the stars on this amazing telescope they have and listen will to the passionate young man, who explains you the deep view into our space universe…all restaurants offer an amazing large choice of food, that you can find daily something nice to eat…the wine list is great…and the prices even greater…but with the heat you can more easily drink cocktails than wine…the wine cellar is fantastic, and its worth having a look at it and taste some of the best bottles by the glass, thats a great treat to offer to the clients…what amazed me, is that the sand is all around the island very soft, on lots of islands its not that way…depending on the villa you choose or the size of villa you need, they are all nicely layed out with all the comfort you need…maybe sometimes all a bit close to each other, but you never feel disturbed by the neighbors…well my report seems all boring, but thats because all is perfectly orchestred around you, that you feel like being home, your own island, your own home, and that makes it so special…and not to forget of course the fantastic, amazingly helpful, polite and attentioned to all details staff…congratulations to the management and their staff…you made our stay unforgettable and perfect…One of the overall best resorts in the world... Our kids loved it, we loved it…and we will be back of sure...

Room Tip: if you want it really quiet, stay further away form Barabar and from the main jetty, besides this, a...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Thierry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear Guest,
it is always a delight to read that your time at Soneva Fushi was one that brought you so many calming oppertunities that are able to reconnect you to the wonderful natural world, that we have the pleasure to experience every day. As you picked up on it's a joy to look after our guests here on the island and assist with the transition (if necessary) from the outside world to the serene surroundings of the island.
Our aim is that these simple, yet all so powerful experiences; like the bike ride through the jungle or the rabbits nibbling your toes, give you a sense of 'difference' from the outside world and allow you to re-programme your way of thinking.
All of this of course is helped with us having some amazing Chefs who create dishes inspired by Wellness, Comfort or Creativity using only the freshest ingredients we can source, and of course that are cooked with love. This along with every other aspect of Soneva, is created with you in mind.

We are always here, just a plane ride away and we absolutely look forward to welcoming you back to your island home.

with warmest regards

Karen Merrick

Resort Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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England
Level Contributor
56 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

When I researched a dive trip to the Maldives it struck me that the average review of Soneva Fushi was about three times longer than the usual write-up. Everyone who's been there seemed a bit "gushy". Well having just returned from a ten day stay I now know why - it really is a very special place. The service and ethos is as good as advertised and we are already trying to work out when we can return.

We are both divers - this isn't the place to go into huge amounts of detail but the diving was in the main very good and on some days, off the scale. We saw 20/30 manta rays feeding and on nearly all our dives were able to see groups of 5 or more at cleaning stations. Soleni dive centre is the best we have ever dived with. If anyone want specific details (water temp etc) then please do ask a question.

As far as the resort goes - all the glowing reviews that you have read here about food, accommodation, service, eco credentials and the like are true but as ever, breaking down the sum of the parts does not do justice to the resort as a whole. In the nuclear arms race that has broken out in the luxury sector in the last decade whereby resorts are calling themselves 6* or 7* (giant plasma TVs, massive water villas, neon, gadgets), Soneva Fushi is an oasis of common sense and taste. It is undeniably expensive, in some instances painfully so, but I've stayed at equally expensive places and been slightly underwhelmed.

Any downsides? I'd struggle to be honest. The business of charging for water at the restaurants and bars annoyed us (yes, I know some of the proceeds go to charity) and the tone was sometimes a bit too "Gwyneth Paltrow" (six pages of teas on the breakfast menu, really?) but like I said, minor stuff.

Our favourite ever place, truly special.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Flaherty99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to write the review on Tripadvisor and for the decision to choose to take your vacation at Soneva Fushi. We also believe whole heartedly that the island is an incredibly special place, partly due to the innovative facilities and offerings, but I suspect mostly due to the longevity of the host retention and the fact that Sonu and Eva call it home for the majority of the year.
Thank you also for the kind comments about Soleni Dive Centre, who have been our partners on the island for many, many years and delighted you got to see so many Manta's, which of course frequent the waters around Soneva Fushi.
You will also be reassured to know that since 1995 our ethos of SLOW LIFE has really not changed, we continue to do the simple things well, with passion and with the guest in mind but without major impact to the environment we live in. It's what we do and what we have always done.
We look forward to welcoming you back to your island home and for your next visit with us, will be able to present 'Soneva in Aqua', our beautiful cruising yacht, which will be sailing on her maiden voyage around the atolls towards the end of the year.

Wishing you continued, wonderful memories of your time at Soneva Fushi.

warm regards

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2014

Top-notch service and close attention to every detail. The Robinson Crusoe decor is adhered to down to minor items like notepad paper. The pleasure of walking around barefoot was a discovery for us, and is completely safe (but watch out for the stinging caterpillars hanging from some trees). The fauna, by the way, is diverse and very amusing: we could watch the fruit bats alone for hours. Snorkeling is ok, but then we have been spoiled by the excellent reef at Villingili. We did not try diving.

The staff is helpful but non-intrusive: for instance, they make every attempt to clean your villa when you're out at breakfast - a practice which is strangely not followed in most other resorts. Food choices are outstanding - just imagine separate cooled room-size pantries for cheeses, chocolate and ice cream. And the observatory is the cherry on the cake.

The two weeks we spent here were superb.

Room Tip: Rooms on the sunrise side avoid the view of the populated island across (but the beach is somewhat r...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tanabat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Dear Guest,
It is always wonderful to hear that we continue to surprise and delight clients with the efforts made to ensure the top notch service and attention to detail, you have mentioned.
The cuisine is always a significant part of any vacation and delighted that you thought our selection was outstanding. As you might have guessed the most frequented area of the island must be 'The Chocolate Room', with it's vast selection of chocolate inspired creations, followed as you mentioned with our home-made ice cream selection of up to sixty flavours rotating every few days.
We like to think of Soneva Fushi as a home away from home, somewhere that feels familiar and relaxed, yet different enough to offer Learning - Inspiring - Fun - Experiences.
It was a genuine pleasure for our team to look after you and we do hope that you take the oppertunity to visit us again in the not too distant future.

with warm regards

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2014

Soneva Fushi is truly a rare gem. A perfect combination of the best service and luxury, with the atmosphere of a tropical unspoiled island. All the staff are amazingly helpful and friendly, with special mentions to Zahir who was so nice every breakfast, Lynn who went above and beyond to organize everything and was such a fabulous host ( despite us constantly managing to be late for just about everything arranged ) , the manager Laurie who greeted everyone so warmly, our Mrs Friday and the lady at 'The Den' who kept the children entertained so well all week. While we were there it was the birthday of my nieces and the staff arranged a fabulous and unexpected party at the outdoor cinema, and decorated their bed beautifully that evening. The children were utterly thrilled, and so were we.
The island itself is a true gem, everything you'd expect from a tropical island in the maldives, pure white sand, palm trees and crystal blue waters full of beautiful fish if you fancy some snorkeling, or scuba. Cycling barefoot slowly back through the lamp-lit palms after dinner is such a nice way to end the evening, although they will happily buggy you back should you over-indulge at the ice-cream and chocolate rooms, or anywhere else, but it seems a shame to miss the experience no matter how lazy you're feeling.
Food from all of the restaurants was impeccable, as good as I've found anywhere. The Japanese chef at 'By The Beach' very kindly prepared us his special menu the first evening at no extra cost and the ice-cream and chocolate rooms were always full of delicious treats.
I must admit to being a little skeptical of the eco concept before we arrived and from a selfish point of view how it would affect the experience, but it works superbly and everyone at SF is genuinely passionate about practicing it, not just talking it.
No resort is without some niggles, although it's very difficult indeed to think of any during our stay. The only issue we had are the mosquitos, which like anywhere in the tropics are pretty hungry. If you go in the water, don't make our mistake and forget to re-apply the repellent.

If you're looking for a marble clad hotel, decorated with carved sculptures and staff wearing bow-ties, this isn't it, and it's all the better for it. If you want a top of the line, tropical experience without compromising luxury or service, it's hard to imagine how Soneva Fushi can be beaten.

Room Tip: Villa 14 is superb. Fabulous pool and beautifully designed, on the sunrise side of the island. If yo...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
Dear Guest,
thank you so much for your kind words about the hosts whom looked after you during your stay and agreeing that we deserve our position on the best resort of the world list... a high accolade indeed! More importantly we are truly delighted that you and your family found the spirit of Soneva Fushi and it enabled you to enjoy the concept for a truly relaxing and memorable vacation, We really understand the value of the simple things in life, of which having time to enjoy is most important.
Cinema Paradiso is such a fun experience and ideal for children and adults alike and we are all delighted that the birthday party for the girls was such a success, hopefully the impromptu visits from the island Bunny Rabbits helped also in this regard.
Eco Centro, our waste to wealth centre, responsible for the inovational recycling of the waste products on the island is such an inspirational area, which we continue to add to and brainstorm ideas to not only benefit our island, but the local community as well as the other resorts in Baa Atoll to help move us forward in our long term goal of completely 'decarbonising'.
We wish you continued memories of riding your bicycle along palm filled roads in the evening and we very much look forward to welcoming you back to your island home in the very near future.

warm regards

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

I had an amazing experience traveling to Soneva Fushi in May. Unforgettable memories. Unique concept of the hotel makes you feel very good, healthy and harmonizes your body and soul, because you reconnect with nature, and in the same time you are having a high end villa and five star service. The staff of the hotel is brilliant and I was treated like a queen. Restaurants and food is absolutely amazing, the choose of food in the buffet is HUGE, and the menu in the restaurants is ver wide. I really enjoyed the creme paradiso, because it is absolutely beautiful to lie on a sun bed under the night sky and to watch the cinema, in the same time being served with the drinks and popcorn. If you want to enjoy privacy, it is the place, because each villa has a beautiful access to the sea with white send. In the same time if you want to communicate, you can always find nice people in the bar, seems like the people who choose Soneva are very special, nice, opened and intelligent. Next time I will be back I would love to come with a boyfriend, because it would be great to enjoy the romantic experience there. Wild island, night on the sandbank. What can be more beautiful?

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fler_Olga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Resort Manager at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 7 June 2014
Dear Guest,

What a great review! We are absolutely delighted to know that Soneva Fushi created unforgettable memories for you. We are glad that you rated our service as being five star, and that the variety and quality of our food in the restaurants exceeded your expectations.

Cinema Paradiso is there to either enjoy quiet private moments or if you so wish, to enjoy a movie with friends and family and is a unique experience not to be missed.

We really hope you are able to come back in the near future and as mentioned be able to bring your partner for an overnight stay on our private sandbank with actual bed and washroom facilities.

Wishing you a relaxing time ahead and we look forward to helping you harmonize again with nature in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

This was our 12th visit to a Soneva resort but the first to Soneva Fushi. Since the company had sold their "Water Villa resort" we decided to try their flagship island and we were not disappointed.

How many other resort's General Manager and Resort Manager welcome all their arriving guests personally (Thank you Laurie and Karen) as they step off the sea plane?. and there is a dedicated button on the phone with the GM's Christian name and direct extension. No PA's here ...They know you and you know who they are and they mean to ensure you have access if required!

There are many different types of Villas and the description is quite confusing, but having chosen a villa type that didn't match our expectations, one press of the dedicated telephone button got us through to GM Laurie who moved us ...Job done !

There are many different types of Island resorts in the Maldives and we have visited quite a few. If you are looking for sophisticated urban living then this is not for you. Soneva Fushi belongs in the unsophisticated category as far as culture is concerned but definitely not the service accommodation and food. You will only need to pack shorts and tops and for the ladies the occasional dress, and definitely no shoes.

You get around the island by bicycle, although they do run a buggy service for those for whom bicycling is not an option. It's fun and liberating, however the signage could do with a little tweaking and the occasional "off into the jungle" after a wonderful relaxing dinner and associated alcohol is to be expected!

The restaurants are either the beach or in a beautifully constructed decked structure above the vegetable gardens. For us the highlights on the food front are the two barbecue nights where the choice of home-grown/locally caught/spectacularly cooked food was eagerly anticipated.

The management ethos of "can do" is reflected by their team, nothing is too much trouble and it is all done with smiles...it shows.

The Six Senses spa is a haven of peace and serenity and we had a massage/treatment most days, as well as an hour in the gym daily! Not having been to the gym for some 20 years we were supervised by the very forgiving Vipin who enabled us to feel very righteous afterwards. The Spa building is due to be moved and rebuilt later this year and that's appropriate as it is a little tired now.

My only criticism that I would have liked to have had addressed is the cost of the wines. Whilst I acknowledge the wines comes from a long way away, and I am told there is a heavy tax levied in this Muslim country, I would expect to be able to buy a reasonable bottle of French or Italian "plonk" for less than $80 a bottle. The starting point needs to be in the fifties.

In a nut shell however, World Class management,service, food and ambiance and this is another resort that we will return to .

Room Tip: The Sunrise side of the island has a better beach in the morning whereas the sunset side has the sam...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mrlworldwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Area General Manager, Maldives at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Dear Guest,

It is always a pleasure to make dreams come true and whenever we know that for whatever reason we may have not met our guest expectations, we certainly do our utmost to exceed. Benchmarks are there to be raised, hence the reason Soneva Fushi is ranked so highly by both our new guests experiencing Soneva Fushi for the first time, or by the 52% of guests who return to us every year.

Getting lost is part of the “Fun” aspect of Soneva, the rigorous schedules we adhere to in our day to day city lives do not apply at Soneva and we try to gently remove these boundaries, however having said that we are in the process of reviewing and adding a few more landmarks around the property to aid those guests enjoying a sweet sherry or two!

Cuisine and produce is constantly under review and we try wherever possible to ensure as much of our market list comes from our organic garden or from sustainable sources which is one of the reasons we also have a meat free day at Soneva Fushi as well as purchase from suppliers whose ethics match our own in terms of decarbonizing and sustainability.

We are always looking into the wine pricing we receive from the suppliers and reviewing the selections available. However I take your point, and the sommeliers and I will review to add some additional “quaffable” wines to the listing.

Our sincerest and warmest regards to “J” and your goodself and we hope to have you back in paradise in the very near future.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
Area General Manager, Maldives
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014

I spent 7 splendid days in Soneva Fushi in May 2014. It was real paradise. This luxury resort combines spacious cozy villas, perfect service of open and friendly staff, delicious meal ( especially fish and seafood ) and private atmosphere. I have been to some Maldivian resorts before, but this is fantastic. We are grateful to our personal Mr.Friday ( Maurooff ) and all staff who attended us.

Room Tip: Good view from sunrise villas
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Victoria P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Area General Manager, Maldives at Soneva Fushi Resort, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Dear Guest,

We are delighted that you referred to Soneva Fushi as paradise and your entire interaction with the team resulted in perfect service and friendly staff. Our only wish is that you continue to love the Soneva brand both in Maldives and our amazing sister property in Thailand.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Yours sincerely,

Laurie Burr
Area General Manager, Maldives
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Soneva Fushi Resort

Property: Soneva Fushi Resort
Address: 2233 (Formerly Soneva Fushi by Six Senses)
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Baa Atoll > Kunfunadhoo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kunfunadhoo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Soneva Fushi Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When Eva and Sonu Shivdasani built Soneva Fushi as well as their home on the deserted island of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives in 1995 they had no idea that their intensely personal vision of a locally crafted villa and environmentally responsible lifestyle would form the basis of a successful collection of world-class hotels, resorts and spas. But that's exactly what happened. Soneva Fushi was the first 'castaway' resort in the Maldives, pioneering a trend for back-to-nature luxury holidays. It established a blueprint for a highly acclaimed international business, followed by spectacular Soneva Kiri on the unspoilt Thai island of Koh Kood in 2009. The success of the Soneva brand also paved the way for Six Senses Resorts and Spas with award-winning properties in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Under Eva's and Sonu's direction the Six Senses brand gained a global following before being sold in 2012. Today the Sonevas have many imitators, but no equals. Each Soneva - and a yachting experience, Soneva in Aqua - impresses on a wide range of levels. Breathtaking 'remote but accessible' natural locations, effortlessly chic accommodation, incredible food, truly memorable activities, an inspiring ethos of sustainability and service that is uncannily intuitive. The resort that set the tone and the standards for every subsequent resort. A jewel of an island - large by Maldives standards - with perfect beaches, a vibrant reef encircling the island, a colony of nesting turtles and its very own world class observatory. Located in the Baa Atoll, Maldives' only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi is blessed with extensive coral reefs and significant biodiversity including large concentrations of whale sharks, manta rays and marine turtles. The resort is perfect for romantic couple getaways, or family holidays as it provides unique experiences and activities for all, from diving and snorkelling with the marine biologist, to sandbank dinners and a children's den (playground). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Soneva Fushi By Six Senses Hotel Kunfunadhoo
Soneva Fushi By 6 Senses
Soneva Fushi Hotel
Soneva Fushi Resort Maldives/Kunfunadhoo

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