Welcome to a resort where the only policy is “no shoes, no news”.
The Maldives, an archipelago of remote islands in the Indian Ocean, are considered one of the most alluring island getaways on the planet, and one that you should, at the very least, dream of visiting. If you’ve ever been to social media, you’ve probably stumbled upon the breathtaking villas on the water that dot the pages of travel influencers. Chances are, you are wondering where they were staying. The small group of islands in the Indian Ocean are also home to a series of luxurious private island retreats accessible only by speedboat or seaplane from the airport in the country’s capital, Mal.é. But it’s worth the trip. The Maldives are full of luxury hotels that offer their own version of the famous overwater villas on the internet. That said, the Soneva Jani resort is in a class of its own. Here is a guided tour of a most mind-blowing travel fantasy.
INSIDER ADVICEIf you are planning to take a true luxury trip to the Maldives, the flying experience must match the extravagance of the hotel. The best option for couples and solo travelers looking to splurge is Qatar Airways. Book one of their comfortable Qsuites in their business class section. The private cabin offers a sumptuous a la carte menu, a robust entertainment selection, seats that convert to flat beds, and a choice to start your trip with a glass of champagne or a refreshing mint and lemon cocktail.
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Located on Medhufaru Island, a 45-minute seaplane takes you to the exclusive Soneva Jani Resort. The private island is home to over forty luxury 1-4 bedroom villas for travelers seeking secluded wellness vacations where they can enjoy peaceful peace. When you land at Male Airport, a representative will be waiting to take you to the private lounge to refresh you while waiting for transfers to the resort. Guests arrive at a floating dock where their boat transfer will take them a few minutes to the resort’s main arrival point.
As soon as you touch the boat, there is a hotel representative ready to take your shoes off for the duration of your stay, encouraging guests to participate in their “no shoes, no news” policy. Enjoy walking barefoot in the sand, or take advantage of the free motorized or regular bikes available to all guests.
Upon entering the peaceful villa, you are greeted by white wood designed to give off positive energy and a sunken dining table facing the crystal blue lagoon and your private terrace. There are plenty of places to relax in the living room if you want to cool off from the sun or decide to take a dip in the private pool instead.
For early risers, one of the most romantic ways to start the day is to have breakfast outside by the ocean or choose to have a floating breakfast in the pool. After your swim, the deck offers an outdoor shower to wash off the salt water before entering the villa. You can also go upstairs to the private roof terrace to enjoy your tea or coffee with stunning views of the sunset and sunrise. Do not jump on the famous water slide which takes you directly into the lagoon!
In their villa, guests have a private kitchen, mini-fridge, and a desk facing the deck for those attempting to work while on vacation. If you need anything else, a barefoot butler is just a WhatsApp message away. The bedroom has another office behind it with a retractable sunroof and a private area for reading or meditating next to the main bathroom, which includes a walk-in closet. Arguably the best part of the space is the inground tub and outdoor shower just steps from a private enclave for swimming in the ocean.
When it comes to dining, Soneva Jani has her fair share of choices for guests who want to skip the dining room menu. Breakfast is buffet style in the Gathering’s largest building, where you will also find the resort’s spa and clothing store. Before returning to your villa, you can choose to relax on one of the many outdoor hammocks or sofas while gazing at the horizon.
Each home has a tablet where you can browse additional dining options, such as a Japanese dinner at Director’s Cut restaurant with a movie on the water, lunch on the beach at the famous Crab Shack, or a meal under the stars with the hotel astronomer of the house. If you decide to venture outside of your villa, there are a myriad of private beaches for you to lounge on, some of which host intimate ceremonies for weddings and other celebrations.
The Maldives may have a plethora of luxury stays that offer their own set of thoughtful amenities, but the Soneva Jani is an experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. While the natural scenery of the Maldives makes it one of the most memorable and romantic vacations you can take in your life, Soneva Jani’s service and aesthetics will make her truly unforgettable.