It’s official: Soneva’s Maldives properties are the best in the world. The celebrated and much-loved brand recently featured twice in The World’s 50 Best Hotels – the only Maldives properties to place – a testament to their loyal guests across the world. Opened in 1995, Soneva Fushi (the seventh best hotel in the world) is still one of the most loved and luxurious resorts today, while Soneva Jani – the shiny younger sister opened in 2016 – has become a haven for well-heeled guests with its sprawling Soneva Soul complex and overwater villas with slides. Founded by pioneering pair Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, the two resorts have long pioneered, rustic-luxe and sustainable experience, and now, the group has launched what is one of the most exciting hotel projects of the year – Soneva Secret.
The 14-villa island takes the Soneva experience to a new level of privacy and exclusivity, taking the much-loved soul and experience of its brand to a new location in the idyllic Haa Dhaalu – the Maldives’ most remote atoll. Welcoming its first guests from 10 January 2024, Soneva Secret takes the brand’s impeccable hospitality, sustainability, wellness and dining to a new, smaller site surrounded by unparalleled nature.
The resort itself will be home to just 14 beach and overwater villas, including lagoon Crusoe Villas, accessible only by boat, and the Castaway, the Maldives’ first floating villa. Like Soneva Fushi and Jani, Soneva Secret villas will have the same signature white-washed, breezy, nature-inspired interiors and decor, all with private pools and direct access to the white sand beach or the brilliantly blue Maldivian lagoon. Every villa will be complete with vast master suites, retractable roofs revealing the sunny (or starry) skies and adjoining bedrooms – offering ample rooms for families and groups.
Another hallmark of the much-loved brand, Soneva guests will also be able to enjoy the company and service of a dedicated Barefoot Guardian and Barefoot Assistant for every vila, on hand to create one-of-a-kind experiences for each guest. The resort will feature 14 private chefs, one for each villa, able to cook up any request and cuisine.
Other dining experiences will include Out of This World – a castaway dining tower, observatory and wine cellar in the lagoon, reachable by zipline; a toes-in-the-sand firepit dining experience at So Primitive; and The Living Room, the island hub and casual dining and lounge venue, which is also home to a library, boutique and Soneva’s renowned ice cream, chocolate and cheese and charcuterie rooms. The latter are one of the brand’s most special USPs – allowing guests unlimited, always-open, complimentary access to its delicious dairy and refined sugar-free ice creams, cheeses and cured meats.
While villas are the focal point of the ultra-exclusive experience, Soneva Secret will still boast a den – the heart of the island – and guests can enjoy snorkelling in waters home to colonies of majestic manta rays, pods of curious dolphins and gentle whale sharks, alongside shoals of colourful tropical fish. Other activities include castaway picnics, sunset dolphin cruises, guided snorkelling and navigating the stars with the resident Astronomer.
With the resort located in the most remote Maldivian atoll, Soneva Soul is perfect for longer escapes where guests can truly switch off. The resort is reached via a scenic 75-minute seaplane flight direct from Velana International Airport in Malé, a 40-minute seaplane flight from Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll, a 30-minute seaplane flight from Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll, or a full-day cruise from Soneva Fushi onboard Soneva in Aqua – the resort’s sleek yacht. Guests can also fly directly into Kulhudhuffushi Airport in the Haa Dhaalu Atoll and take a one-hour speedboat ride to the resort.
Soneva Secret 2024 is open for bookings,soneva.com