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Soneva Fushi
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Reviewed 16 August 2014

We honeymooned at Soneva Fushi for ten days in January - it is difficult to write a review about a place when you know there aren't enough superlatives in the English language (or any other language, for that matter) to do it justice. From the moment we were met at Malé airport, this was just the most wonderful experience. The transfers, the welcome, the island, the room, all the staff, the food & drink, the restaurants & bars, the watersports and diving, the outdoor cinema, the observatory were so far beyond any expectations - it was out of this world. If you are looking to holiday somewhere that you're only ever likely to go to once, this is without doubt THE place to go. The place is paradise, at every level, and the ultimate getaway destination for those in search of tropical luxury presented in a very sympathetic way and in keeping with its natural environment. To Laurie and the team, all we can say is: thank you for a most memorable time - keep up the amazing work and we cannot wait to return at some point in the future.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Jono S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

Dear Guest,
Congratulations on the wedding and thank you for both choosing to have your honeymoon at Soneva Fushi as well as taking the time to post the review of your experience from earlier in the year.
Paradise is a wonderful way to describe Soneva Fushi and we are all delighted you have felt the experience first hand from the moment you arrived at the airport to the moment you left the island. I will certainly pass your thanks onto Laurie and the rest of the team who love to hear how much our guests enjoy the Soneva Experience and it certainly helps us to 'push the envelope'.
We take the greatest care to work in harmony with the environment around us, both flora, fauna and human which is why i think we are able to achieve the wonderful accolades you our guests bestow on us.
we now have even more reason to visit for your first wedding anniversary as we have some wonderful new villas nearing completion, which will give you even more reason to return to us.

with warm regards and personal thanks for taking the time to post the review

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

The transfer to the seaplane at Male airport could not have been better handled, we had already taken our shoe off as this was not our first visit, and were thoroughly enjoying ourselves even before the seaplane touched down at Soneva Fushi International Airport, but it just got better and better, and being met off the seaplane by Reena, our Ms Friday with a huge smile and a hug was a wonderful start to a delightful break, she had looked after us on our last visit and did so again this year.

Attention to detail is everywhere, and staff simply understand when to ask if you need anything or if you want to be left alone, quickly working out what level of maintenance you need. It is not overt, but ever present if required.

I went with my two boys, a 17 year old and a 13 year old, both of them loved it. There is lots to do for all age groups, and the house reef provides endless entertainment. You propel yourself around the island on sit up and beg black bicycles which is enjoyable, or walking which is just as good

The food offer is extremely good catering for all tastes with venues ranging from dining by candle light in the tree tops to the bar at the end of a pier or all alone on a sand bar in the middle of the ocean. The open air cinema is a must, as is stargazing in the observatory. Teenagers can enjoy a friendly football match in the host village in the middle of the island.

The island does not have any water villas, thus avoiding the ungainly intrusions often seen on other islands. Instead all buildings carefully integrated into the landscape helping to reinforce a relaxed, informal, unspoilt and private feel. The pace of life is slow, relaxed and effortless.

Room Tip: There are villas on two sides to the Island, simply chose if you want to enjoy a spectacular sunrise or sunset. The East side of the Island looks out towards the neighbouring island in the distance which is inhabited, the West is more secluded.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Service
4  Thank Robin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

Dear Guest,
It's wonderful to hear that we achieved our goal of meeting your needs (without being overbearing or intrusive) and that Reena, your Ms Friday achieved everything your boys and you wanted from your vacation.
It's always interesting to me to hear what our guests feel about their experiences on the island and what they wanted from their vacation and more and more I hear that it is the plethora of 'little things' that make up a magical experience. Thats why we believe in doing the simple things well, with care and passion to put the guest at the heart of our business. As a guest said to me recently, When you love your job, it's not work!
Delighted that the experiences all lived up to your expectations and that you particularly enjoyed 'Fresh in the Garden' our treetop restaurant, where we have just appointed a new Chef to lead the team and pioneer our enhanced organic offering. The Sandbank is a 'must'...where else on earth can you stand in the middle of the ocean with 360 degree views of islands and blue skies and is a memory that most guests talk about on their return to us.
We (as always) will continue to make the improvements to the island and ensure you have more wonderful memories to add to your Soneva Fushi collection.

Until your return, our warmest regards

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

My wife and I spent a week at Soneva Fushi and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Our Crusoe Villa plus pool was fantastic, the outdoor showers an experience. The fact that they came back every night and lit the pool up with candles was a really nice touch. The food is excellent, we recommend the Japanese restaurant By the Beach, although the other restaurants were very good too. The breakfast experience was probably up there amongst the best 5 star resorts we’ve stayed at. Maybe the only grumble is the wine list, I could have done with some more classic white burgundy at wholesale prices (ha!) but frankly it didn’t really matter. Meanwhile, our Man Friday Ashfaan was brilliant and made every effort to look after us. We managed to organise a private cruise at the end of the week and didn’t expect the level of attention (champagne on tap, on-board chef serving up fresh cerviche/sushi) we got. Oh and you must check out the observatory, just seeing Saturn with your own eyes made the whole trip a little bit more special. That and the fact they have their own marine biologist on site and do everything possible to reduce carbon foot print means we will definitely be back one day!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank The_Squire76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and for such positive comments about your experience and Soneva's guiding principal of SLOW LIFE, which as you completely understood is not just about 'going slow or taking it easy'. Every day in every way we like to enrich the life we lead as well as those precious few weeks our guests get to relax and rejuvenate. Thank yo so much for such high accolades about our food and we all agree with you that the breakfast buffet is one of the best in the world and the Japanese Cuisine from our award winning Japanese Master is second to none. I loved your comment about the oil lamps being lit around your villa and to let you into a secret, this oil is also recycled and comes from our kitchens... there is nothing on Soneva Fushi, which we can not turn into "Waste to Wealth". Sincere thanks about your wonderful comments about Ashfaan your Mr Friday (whom refer to as our 'Baby Butler') he has not stopped smiling since he saw the review with his name so clearly mentioned! You have also touched on my personal favourite experience at Soneva Fushi, "Ever Soneva so Celestial", our observatory, where you can almost touch the stars and constellations through our high powered Meade Telescope. Never to be one to stand still, Sonu and Shameem our in house Astronomer, are busy working on the plan for our wonderful new customised telescope, which will 30 inches wide (twelve inches bigger than our current model) which of course will be spectacular!
Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to write and we will look forward to welcoming you back to your island home in the not too distant future.

with kind regards

Karen Merrick
Resort Manager

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Reviewed 26 July 2014

I haven't put reviews on tripadvisor in the past but Soneva Fushi is such an exceptional resort, that I had to do it!
For our first Maldivian adventure we screened many resorts based on several criteria:
- Being afraid that our family of five might get bored on a claustrophobic small island, we were looking for one of the larger ones.
- Choice of activities and facilities for children and adults as we were staying for 10 nights.
- Privacy, low density of villas and availability of 2-bedroom villas, being aware that many resorts only offer 1-bedroom Honeymoon villas and the odd (very expensive) presidential 2 bedroom villa.
- Existence and easy access to house reef with a varied marine life, as our youngest daughter was just 8 years old.
- Choice and quality of restaurants, obviously you can't drive to the next city if you don't like the hotel food.

This was the brief and Soneva Fushi delivered in an outstanding way! Everything looks and feels effortless and understated, but the attention to detail and perfection achieved is amazing! Just a few examples: the whole team was always very friendly, polite and helpful even though they must have been quite tired as we were staying during Ramadan. The housekeeping team perceived our preferences, without us even telling them, and prepared the villa accordingly, just perfect. Our Mr. Friday made sure that our teenage son could join the (very good) local football teams and play a match with them. Combined with visiting the host village, this was a very special experience. Quality and variety of food and wine at the restaurants as well as flexibility of chefs was outstanding (our daughters got specially prepared milk chocolate pralines sent to the villa). One night a very talented duo 'Huya & Shan' played amazing Maldivian songs. We would suggest to organize once in a while a 'dancing under the starlights event', it would be great fun! As our seaplane flight back was only late in the afternoon, we were offered to stay in our villa for the whole day, which was great as we could enjoy our vacation until the last second!
A nice mix of European, Asian and American couples, families and groups of friends added to the relaxed atmosphere. We were lucky and had no issues with mosquitoes.
The house reef is huge, stretches around the whole island, with an abundant marine life, and access from Bar(a)bara-Bar is very easy - the whole family loved it and relaxing at the bar afterwards! Apparently, based on reviews from experienced Maldivian travelers, the variety and quality of corals is not on par with the best in the Maldives. But having Hanifaru Bay within a 20 min. speedboat distance and seeing Manta Rays while snorkeling is really fantastic!
The sustainability concept of Soneva Fushi is credible and not presented in an obtrusive or pretentious way. It's really just the result of embracing the beauty of the island and being in touch with nature. Combined with the sublime quality of the hotel, this is the magic of Soneva Fushi, which made our stay so memorable! Being able to walk around the whole island, several stretches of beach front undeveloped, and no water villas that spoil the view and damage the eco system is true barefoot luxury! There is one note of concern: even though the new private residences are impressive and our kids already opted for buying one with a waterslide, some prospective residences are pencilled in in areas which used to be undeveloped, one even in a 'Protected Nature Reserve'. But I'm confident, the owners' couple will make sure not to overdo it.

All in all congratulations to the whole team for creating and maintaining such a gem of a hotel! Our son left a note at the resort saying 'love Sonefa Fushi, best place ever' that probably sums it up better than I tried to do in many words.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank gerandco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2014

Dear Guest,

No need for a thank you...It is our pleasure!
'Magic' is a word often used but obviously we agree with, not just because we work/live/play at Soneva Fushi, but because we also experience the same on a daily basis. It's not work... it's a lifestyle as another guest quite recently suggested.
We love to try to make small things happen that are different than the norm and look after our guests like they were the guests in our home. This is the philosophy that Sonu and Eva live by and as they live on island most of the year, we also adopt.
Delighted that you got to Hanifaru Bay to see the Manta's...which is truly a 'magical' experience and quite recently the team have see a young whale shark just off the beach near one of our private residences, which seems to be coming back to the same spot. We will keep our fingers crossed for your next visit that we will have more amazing experiences to show you in the Biosphere reserve.
The new Children's Den is underway as you may know, so there will be plenty more interactive entertainment for your little boy on his next visit. Thank you once again and we look forward to welcoming you back to your 'magical' island in the near future.

warm regards
Karen Merrick

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Reviewed 22 July 2014

I don't want to repeat what everybody else has said but this is without question our favourite place to go on holiday to. I would like to emphasise that how good the diving is there. Fantastic fish life and admittedly we were a bit lucky but the manta season produced some unforgettable experiences. I have dived quite a bit but have never come across a better dive team - Thomas, Fabio, Francesca, Monica were all quite exceptional .

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Tim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MLESAManager, Manager at Soneva Fushi, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2014

Dear Mr F,
Thank you so much for the exceptional comments, both for the resort and in particular the Soleni Dive Centre. Sometimes we also should mention that guests also come to Soneva Fushi for the wonderful 'Active Sports' and not just the 'Chill Out' atmosphere we are also famous for. Soleni has actually been our partner here on the island for as long as the property has been operating (20 years next year). The story of Thomas and Lisa's venture wish Soneva is due to the fact that they met Sonu and Eva while they were on their honeymoon and actually taught Sonu how to Dive! As you can see the relationships we have with our partners is just as important as we have with our guests! We very much look forward to welcoming you back to Soneva Fushi in the near future both to chill out and hopefully to see more Manta's and Whale Sharks. I have passed your personal thanks onto the team at Soleni and are are also looking forward to welcoming you home to the island.

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
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