When it came time to pick a honeymoon destination, my husband and I knew we wanted to indulge in some far-flung paradise. For us, the Maldives were the answer. After a 20-hour journey (and a couple weeks in nearby Sri Lanka), we arrived in what we could only describe as a dream– shades of blue, aquamarine, turquoise and every shade in between. Powder white sand beaches that stretch for what seem like forever. Truly surreal. We chose to stay at the Soneva resorts, first at Soneva Fushi, the original deserted island hideaway in the Maldives, and Soneva Jani, one of the newest hotels in the Maldives with luxurious overwater bungalows located in its own 6.5 km private lagoon.
If you want the ultimate island luxury experience, Soneva Jani is it. Each overwater bungalow is huge and outfitted with opportunities to experience the ocean around you. From glass bottom tables and nooks to a retractable sunroof above the master bed to the outdoor bathroom with a private ocean entrance to the ocean waterslide, the villas at Soneva Jani are absolutely stunning. When you arrive at a Soneva property, they have a “no news, no shoes” policy so your Mr. Friday kindly takes your shoes and you don’t wear them again until you leave– I forgot to mention you have a Mr. Friday that takes care of everything, whether its arranging activities or showing you around the island.
When we arrived, we also got two bikes to explore the overwater villas which connects to an island where Soneva is currently building out additional villas and private residences. There are so many places to explore and activities to do, like watching a movie overwater or having a Maldivian lunch for two on a private beach. The main hall where the restaurant, spa, night sky observatory and chocolate room (yes, a room full of chocolate) are, is the largest overwater structure in the Maldives. We spent hours here having a cocktail or two lounging on the overwater nets.
We spent the first half of our Maldives trip at Soneva Fushi, which is located on its own private island in the Baa Atoll. The island has a luxury Robinson Crusoe-vibe and although the resort has been around for 20 years, you’d never feel anything was outdated or old. Soneva has done an incredible job at keeping the accommodations new and impressive. There’s a sense of community and congeniality that I’ve never seen or felt at a resort before– all the staff were incredibly friendly and warm.
We also explored the small island by bike and lounged on our own private beach. Soneva provides all kinds of water sports so we spent a whole day paddle boarding to different snorkel spots on the island. Just off the shore of the island, is a small sand bank, which is literally a mound of sand just barely peaking above sea level, no trees, no structures, just sand. We were dropped off by boat on the sand bank for a couple hours and just reveled in the incredible views, feeling like true castaways– so much so that we did not even notice the sharks swimming near us!
(images by HonestlyYUM. I stayed courtesy of Soneva; opinions are my own)