For those of you following my story during my last vacation to the luxurious Soneva Jani Maldives resort, you probably noticed I never stopped smiling while we were there – you could say I reached the peak of my fantasies, no exaggeration.
(In case you missed them, here are 3 highlights from our vacation there: part 1, part 2, part 3).
Following a short flight from the Malé airport, we landed at the resort’s pier in a small seaplane. From there we took a short speedboat trip to reach our final destination – an insane villa in the middle of the ocean, which we had the privilege of calling home for our last five days in the Maldives. I remember looking all around this amazing resort and not believing my eyes the whole time – am I really here? I felt like I was in a parallel universe, a land of endless possibilities where anything you dream of can come true. Just being there proves anything is possible.
Soneva is an ultra-boutique luxury hotel chain for the rich and famous, and the Soneva Jani is the crème de la crème when it comes to luxury vacations, specifically in the Maldives. It’s a resort that’s hard to describe in words, stories, images, or videos – yes, you can see and understand it’s a resort of the highest quality, but it’s simply impossible to comprehend how unusual this place is until you’ve experienced it in real life, how different it is compared to any other luxury hotel.
I remember that back in 2019, when we were guests at the chain’s two other resorts – the Soneva Kiri in Thailand and the Soneva Fushi in the Maldives – I realized it was impossible to compare Soneva’s resorts to other hotels, as luxurious and amazing as they may be. Soneva is more than just a hotel or a luxurious resort. Soneva is an experience far beyond that. Soneva is a holistic experience for the body, mind and soul.
So how did I get invited to stay with Daniel and Jasmine at the world’s craziest resort?
As I’ve mentioned, right before COVID-19 burst into our lives, Daniel and I went on an amazing tour of the Far East, during which we were invited to stay at two of Soneva’s exclusive resorts. Soneva’s marketing department loved the photos we took for them back then and used them to promote the resorts, which is why they invited us to stay and create content for their third resort this year. This time we were invited for five full days, during which we incorporated content creation for the resort alongside a vacation with our amazing Jasmine – combining business and pleasure in the best way imaginable. Seven years ago, when I decided to open my Lifestyle business – combining work and pleasure – this is exactly where I imagined I would be. While I didn’t know Soneva back then (though they’ve been around for a while, their first resort opened in 1995!) I could definitely imagine the atmosphere, the scents, the flavors and mostly that sensation you can only get at a Soneva resort.
For those of you who personally know me, you know I don’t get easily excited, but the experience of a Soneva resort vacation is extraordinary in every sense of the word. And the fact that I was hand-picked to photograph and create content for this exclusive chain, which gets dozens (if not hundreds) of offers from photographers and content creators worldwide, is a major affirmation for me that I’m on the right track. You could say it’s every travel blogger and photographer’s dream to reach the stage in their career when they’re invited to stay and create their art in such a place – and I totally managed to achieve it.
We often strive to achieve a goal, and when we finally do, we don’t spend more than a few minutes celebrating it. Since we always feel like we’re chasing our own tails, we keep wanting to achieve “the next best thing” and we don’t even bother stopping when we reach a peak we’ve set for ourselves, to just sit and enjoy the view. I personally find myself in this position so many times. This time it was different. Conquering this career peak as a content creator and photographer was one of those unforgettable moments, and I can’t explain how many times a day I stopped to just soak in everything around me and be grateful.
Truth be told, there are so many things to write and tell about the Soneva Jani resort. I could seriously write a whole book on the experience of being there. But this time I decided to let the photos speak for themselves, while I try to pinpoint the most important things for those who want to treat themselves to a luxurious vacation and are contemplating whether or not to choose the Soneva Jani resort. 🥰
Let's Cut To The Chase - All the things you want to know about the resort
🌟 The Soneva Maldives luxury resort is synonymous with a perfect hosting experience and is styled in an authentic and natural fashion that combines with the shades of the ocean and nature. SLOW LIFE stands for Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun Experience, and it describes Soneva’s philosophy, aimed at creating unforgettable and innovative experiences that enrich their guests’ lives while maintaining sustainability.
🌟 Soneva Jani is not a typical luxury resort. Responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the Soneva group’s philosophy, and it comes across in both the larger and smaller details that make up the experience of being there: zero plastic products, recycling about 90% of the waste created on the island, using solar energy, and recycling and purifying waste water are only some of the things they do on the island when it comes to sustainability.
🌟 Soneva Jani places maximal importance on optimally tailoring the experience to their guests. A few days before arriving at the resort, we received a detailed questionnaire with questions such as “what type of music would you like to have in the room?”, “what is your preferred temperature?”, “what is your preferred soap scent?” and “how firm do you like your pillows?” When we arrived at the villa, everything was ready according to the questionnaire we’d filled out, and what they refer to as a “Barefoot Butler” greeted us – the villa’s personal concierge during your stay. He gave us a tour of the island, answered all our questions, fulfilled our every need (for example, booking spa treatments, dinner reservations and even a babysitter for us!). Bottom line, he simply made sure we felt as much at home as possible.
🌟 All water reserve villas open to a private laguna strip, and include a private pool and open roof located right above the bed, through which you can see the stars at night. Almost all villas have a waterslide that leads directly to the laguna underneath (from what I understood from our Barefoot Butler, 100% of the villas will soon have waterslides!)
🌟 The villas themselves can only be described in one word – insane! We stayed in a villa at the resort’s new area called Chapter Two (more about that later). In case you missed my villa tour, click here.
🌟 Since its opening, Soneva Jani has become synonymous with above-water luxury. The large and detailed villas are famous worldwide, especially the main resort building called ‘the Gathering’, the largest structure built above water in the Maldives (a huge, 3-story-tall structure, including central food areas, an observatory, a spa and gym, a gift shop, water sports facilities and a scuba center). A new and luxurious area (imagine that, even more luxurious!) was launched at the start of 2021, and given the name Chapter Two (where we stayed 😍). Other than Chapter Two including 27 new villas carefully positioned to maximize privacy and create a real sense of isolation, the new area also has the option of enjoying a new experience Soneva is offering called Soneva Unlimited, where they invite the guests to enjoy every aspect of Soneva Jani as much as they like, all included in the price of the room.
🌟 Soneva’s strong connection to nature is distinctly expressed even in its designs. The design is very close to nature and amazingly blends in with the natural environment surrounding the resort on the one hand, and on the other hand, everything is precise and thoughtful – what the Soneva group calls ‘Intelligent Luxury’.
🌟 Soneva Jani has two spa areas – one at Chapter One and the other, recently opened, at Chapter Two. The new area was given the name Soneva Soul, and looks and feels like a village from a futuristic movie, as if designed by Gwyneth Paltrow for Goop 😋. This area has new treatment rooms as well as a breathtaking yoga center, a huge gym and a juice bar.
🌟 Even when it comes to culinary skills, Soneva Jani takes it to the next level. Aside from the versatile and excellent room service menu (believe me, with such an amazing villa you’d want to eat at least one meal by the pool 😍), and breathtaking breakfasts, the resort has restaurants from five different cuisines (including an incredible Japanese restaurant where we had the last dinner of the trip!), a wine cellar and even an option for a luxurious picnic on the beach. On top of that, the resort occasionally hosts famous chefs from all over the world for even more exclusive culinary experiences.
Amazing Room Service 🤤
A Small Taste of Breakfast
🌟 I can’t help but talk about the hotel’s sweetest attraction – the chocolate and ice cream room that’s open 24/7! The hotel’s ice cream shop offers more varieties of ice cream and sorbet flavors, and the chocolate room has an incredible variety of chocolate and truffles. All treats are prepared by the hotel’s team of confectioners right on the island!
🌟 At a place like Soneva Jani you can easily sit by the pool or on the beach all day and feel like you’re on a deserted island, but if you feel like getting some action into your vacation, there are quite a lot of options. Watching a movie under the sky, dolphin-sailing, swimming with sea turtles and guided dives are only a few of the activities.
Wow! I wanted to keep it short and let the photos speak for themselves, but I ended up with 1,400 words about our vacation (as I said, after summarizing) 🙈 Soneva Jani is definitely so much more than a resort, and I am so grateful for getting to experience it in real life.
Thank you to the Soneva group for inviting us, until next time ❤️