Uninterrupted ocean views create a unique castaway experience. The beautifully designed villas offer the ultimate in privacy and laid back luxury.
Medhufaru Island Manadhoo Maldives 20001 Maldives
Price / Night
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Luxury, excellent resort, room was very big and comfortable, the host was friendly, thoughtful and helpful. Tried different restaurants, all of them were very good. Beautiful views everywhere, definitely would recommend it to everyone
We are couple from Thailand. We stay for 2 nights in two bedrooms pool villa, It's incredible place to stay. Very huge villa with huge private pool. In the villa had everything you need. Living room, Theatre room, Bedroom with automatic sunroof, and the signature of SONEVA is slide into the ocean! that's so fun. Moreover there are 3 restaurants, we really like Crab Shank restaurant that you can enjoy the whole 1kg of Crab with special sauce from chef. Gosh that's so delicious! We like cinema Paradiso that we enjoy the classic movie with sunset time. You shouldn't miss the spa that located on the beautiful spot in resort, really nice environment, good air and really calm. We had very good experiences here. Hoping for a stay with Soneva again in the future.
Very very long, detailed review ahead so scroll on by if you aren’t interested…. Ok. Where to start. Three words. “AH… MAH….GAH” I’ve had many fantastic vacations at 5 star resorts… and I’ve only ever written one other “Ah Mah Gah” review on TA… and that was after my trip to Tahiti/Moorea/Bora Bora back in 2008, with my husband, parents, and two small boys. 14 years, many other nice vacays and 3 more kids later, my husband and I decided to travel alone to the Maldives so we could actually sleep/ shower/eat/and snack out in the open. I’m sorry- let me reiterate… so *I* can eat/sleep/shower/snack out in the open..somehow my husband manages to do all that without interruption. *insert eye roll emoji here*. At home, the slightest sound of the crackle of a package opening brings forth a gaggle of children with open hands. Vultures, they are. But I digress. This is the furthest trip we’ve ever taken without our 5 children. And it was spectacular. From beginning to end. We stayed at Ozen Bolifushi for 4 nights, and Soneva Jani for 4 nights. We loved them both, but this review is for Soneva. Where to begin. I did not use a travel agent… I booked through Soneva.com. They were so helpful through all 52567845 of my questions. Shaibaan was the best… God bless him for his patience! Every detail was handled by Soneva without question. Between coordinating transfer timing with our previous resort and making sure we were comfortable in our travels without having to worry about a thing. We took a boat from our previous resort to the airport in Male where we were whisked off in a Tesla to the beautiful, new seaplane terminal- about 10 minutes away. The car doors open upwards- like the ‘Back to the Future’ delorean. I can’t say I’ve ever been in a car like that before. So cool. They have a dedicated Soneva lounge which was beautifully designed and decorated…quite large and very comfortable with refreshments and a kind attendant who gives you an iPad to fill out some personal requests for the room and preferred activities. They ask which scent you want your bath products to be. Can you even? I chose lemongrass. The open air deck was fun. I’d never seen or been on a seaplane, so watching the coming and goings of a seaplane terminal was pretty cool. Then we board the seaplane which was ah-mazing. So so fun. I’m not a small plane person but these were not scary at all. I thought flying a seaplane to a remote resort would make me feel like we were going too far away but these sturdy little planes are just going all over in between the islands… connecting everyone. It felt like we were just taking a little ride to our next hotel. Everything was seamless. We dropped some passengers off at Soneva Fushi, then took off and headed to Jani. A speed boat picked us up from the little mini dock next to which our seaplane landed and took us to Chapter one… Some other passengers were whisked away in the opposite direction to Chapter 2. As soon as we sat in the boat, we were asked to take off our shoes and enjoy the beginning of a ‘no shoes, no news’ vacation. My husband will never admit this but his feet are baby soft and sensitive..while mine are so calloused and hard you’d think I was working rice fields all day. The irony. So he wore shoes for most of the walking at the resort. But all staff is barefoot. It’s adorable and enchanting. It is completely up to the guest whether they want to wear shoes or not. During the day, the wooden decking was hot, so we saw many guests wearing shoes/sandals/slides. Anyway - we arrive at the dock. And we meet our sweet, soft spoken barefoot guardian Assad. He’s introducing himself while walking us over to the golf cart… but I’m too busy giggling at my husband pretending to be tough with his bravest face walking all of 6 feet barefoot from the hot boat dock to the golf cart… he’s too much. We then took off on a golf cart tour of the resort. It was so educational! Don’t miss this. We met another couple who stayed at chapter 2 who declined the initial resort tour after a very long travel day and went straight to the spa for a massage on arrival. Hey, if I was in chapter 2 and got unlimited complimentary massages, that might be me too. All day. After every meal. I’d be trying all kinds of treatments. But whatever you do, at some point, take this tour. Their dedication to the environment is impressive. I believe this resort has offset its carbon footprint in every way… especially considering the amount of wood used in construction of the villas and the gathering. The spa is absolutely beautiful. There are two- but we toured the newer one. The treatments looked enticing… but we were only there for 4 days and wanted to enjoy every minute of our villa and surroundings… we didn’t want to waste any time away from them. In hindsight, I wish we had tried some of the treatments because they looked pretty cool. We also toured the kids club and OH MY GOODNESS- if you can afford to bring your children here, DO IT. It’s amazing. Wow. I don’t want to spoil it with pictures, but it is absolutely fantastic. It’s the largest and most fun looking kids club I’ve ever seen on any vacation.. and this includes Beaches at Turks and Caicos and Disney Cruise Line kids’ clubs. Ok so we get to the villa. It was on the sunset side. We noticed with the weather that day that there was a lot of natural sea debris floating in the back of the villa water. I mentioned this to Assad and they changed our villa the next morning. No hesitation at all. He was only our guardian for one full day, and then we met Fasli, who took over for the rest of our vacation. What a sweetheart. So, here’s the deal. The villa is indescribably beautiful. It’s HUGE. Picture Jimmy Fallon saying ‘huuuuuge’ in his most hilarious- yet accurate-Donald Trump impression. My sentiment was similar upon first inspection of our dwelling. Almost too large for only two people. Plenty of room for extra people… although it is important to note- only the bedroom is air conditioned. The white furnishings… so many nice touches. You MUST see it in person. And the water. Amazing. Beautiful shades of blue everywhere you look. The sand was mostly smooth but I’m still a little worried about stepping on stones and/or creatures and that’s when I realized I forgot my aqua shoes. I asked our barefoot guardian via WhatsApp if there were any aqua shoes sold on the resort. But due to the ‘no shoes- no news’ policy, there are no shoes to be purchased on the island. My husband, Mr. Babyfeet himself, was all, “suck it up, you’ll be fine.” But no- Fasli says-“let me see if I can work my magic.” She legit had a pair of aqua shoes (in my exact size) flown in on the next seaplane from Male. They only cost $40- which, to me, was extremely reasonable… I hope we showed our eternal gratitude to her for literally saving my vacation. That was ‘beyond the beyonds’ when it comes to anything I’ve seen or experienced in a service aspect at any resort. By the way, a can of SPF 30 sunblock at our previous resort cost $99. You should have seen that verbal exchange. I’m all “99 US dollars? for spf 30 sunblock?? You must mean pesos, right? “ ….she said, “ No, that was USD. “ Ok then. I ended up waiting until after we checked out and purchased SPF 100 at the airport before boarding our seaplane to Jani. For $30USD. Soneva also offers complimentary coral reef safe SPF 30 block in the room.. as well as insect repellent, after sun shampoo and conditioner. But the way. I’m not fair skinned and have vacationed in very many tropical locations but the Maldivian sun is extremely strong. I stayed out of the sun and in the shade created by the palm leaves most of the day at our previous resort and I got the worst sunburn of my life. I’m thinking it was from the short distance I walked to/from the room or through the little bit of sunlight shining through the tree leaves. But I digress. Do NOT forget sun protection. So my aqua shoes arrive, and I’m all set to use the slide and get into the ocean. I’m a water slide snob and hate those slides where a layer of your skin is shaved off your back everytime you slide over the seams used in construction. These slides were all one piece. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Water slide fans will know exactly what I’m talking about here. And don’t act like you are too old or too cool for a water slide. It’s Awesome! However, despite the huge flow of water coming out of the spouts at the top of the slide, we did inch down the slide pretty slowly. I read a review from a person who sat on a life vest inside out- with the soft side of the vest down on the slide and the straps and buckles facing you. I hope the resort didn’t mind that we did that, because the slide was about 1000x faster and more fun that way! We flew down that thing and it was a blast. But we were sure to keep the soft side touching the slide so we wouldn’t damage or scratch the surface. Meals were excellent. Breakfast was a little confusing to figure out. But we eventually did. With typical buffets you look at the choices, and put some on your plate. They had offerings that I wasn’t sure how to get (the Asian station) and it looked like some Indian selections. - I believe you had to order those off the menu, but it was difficult to know what you were ordering without seeing it. I think I speak for many when I say it’s nice to be able to look at your options, and try a little of each offering, rather than have five plates of full portions being brought to your table. But the food was absolutely delicious. We had the half board plan and that was plenty for us. We were full all day from breakfast and were hungry by dinner time- which is later than we are used to in the USA. Our first night we ate at the gathering. It was great! Very large menu. The second night we ate at Overseas which was fresh and delicious. Our third night was a Monday - and they have a beach cocktail hour and dinner on mondays that is not to be missed … weather permitting. It was absolutely fantastic. The scenery, the food, the music, the ambiance. Do NOT skip this. I don’t usually like outdoor buffets but everything was so fresh and delicious. And you get to mingle with Soneva staff at the cocktail hour. We actually loved that. Our last night was Cinema Paradiso at Directors cut. The sushi was delicious there. However, it rained… so we couldn’t stay to snuggle on the net/hammocks and watch the movie. But on a clear night, it would have been fantastic! Don’t miss that!!!! I would have liked to try the all vegan restaurant. I love trying new things and once dragged my husband to a highly rated vegan restaurant in Philadelphia. Our current diet is nowhere near vegan or vegetarian, but wanted something different and the food was fabulous!!!!! I can imagine how good it would have been at Soneva. Vegans are some creative folks. And the chocolate and ice cream room! It was not open 24 hours as I previously read, but it was open very late. This is something many resorts miss the mark on. Most resorts do not offer any sweets/desserts/snacks after dinner time. Maybe it’s an American thing, but I love a good dessert or sweet treat after my dinner digests a bit. However, during our tour when Assad told us the ice cream was vegan and dairy free, I felt robbed of the images of myself eating ice cream after dinner and sitting on those lovely cushions looking at the moon. Assad laughed, and told us it was really good, and to give it a try. He was right- the ice cream was actually pretty good!!!! And the chocolate was to die for. I would have liked more plain chocolate offerings in the chocolate room… as I don’t like my chocolate mixed with fruit or coconut… and I’m not a hazelnut fan. But it all was SO good. I don’t think there was much dairy used at the resort in any food or dessert. I noticed it a little- I’m not sure my coffee cream was real dairy cream… but it was still great! Then I started to realize how much better I felt without it, and with all of the other healthy food they serve. I was still completely satisfied with everything I ate so it was not a problem at all. I didn’t have to take my blood pressure meds once in the maldives because I was so relaxed. My GI tract thanked me as well. I am not sure what it was about the Maldives- but I felt healthier while I was there. Of course now I’m home picking on chicken nuggets as I type this review. I’m a detriment to myself. Also, maybe it was jet lag- but we had planned on watching movies after dinner in our villa… however we were exhausted every night. It took us 5 days between two resorts to watch 30 minutes of a movie on Netflix. That’s the sign of a good vacation though, so no complaints. ;-) Oh and the sea life! We saw sting rays (someone said they saw a manta ray in the lagoon- I think they drank too many cocktails- Mantas are not found in shallow lagoons.) We saw a few black tip sharks which were more afraid of us than we were of them… Funny story- one was swimming right under our villa. The sweet Japanese couple staying at the villa next door were out in the lagoon swimming… we were fervently waving and yelling, “look at the shark! Swimming toward you guys!” They were all, “Hi! Hello! Hi!” Smiling and waving back to us. They couldn’t quite hear us… but a few minutes later when that shark made its way over to their villa my Japanese friend climbed up that ladder so fast I think he left his bathing suit in the lagoon. One day a sea turtle swam by us.. I practically threw my husband into the lagoon with his iPhone (supposed to be waterproof, right?) and told him to get video of it. He was able to get a few seconds of video… then his phone didn’t work for 24 hours afterward due to ‘moisture in the charging port.’ Keep this in mind- if your phone claims to be waterproof- I wouldn’t trust it on a vacation like this. Just saying. It was underwater for a maximum of 3 seconds. They also give you bikes… and e-bikes if you request. Listen. I thought an ebike would be cool. But be careful! That thing has a mind of its own! It’s so fast and I feared I would go flying off the deck into the Indian Ocean everytime I turned it on. That’s just me though. There is a bit of a learning curve. My husband took to it right away- as did 99% of the other guests we talked to- and loved it. By our last day I finally figured it out and loved it as well. I wish they made e-bikes for guests of shorter stature, because my feet barely touched the ground. I’m 5’1”. That probably added to my issues learning the ebike. Something to note- and I’m not sure how they would improve this… the decking/path around the resort is not all that wide. And it is difficult riding and being mindful not to ride off the edge-while also navigating around all of the moving golf carts. Especially around meal hours. I stopped multiple times to allow golf carts to pass me on our way to/from the beach dinner. A great time to ride is between 12-3 in the afternoon and very late at night. There were virtually no carts around then. We felt like we had the entire path to ourselves. I do feel maybe a rail of some sort on the sides of the decking would help add to the security of the guests while riding. But do not let this detract you from exploring and using the bikes!!! It’s still so fun to ride around! This place is just so special… I’m dying to come back -with my children this time. Maybe I can be a Soneva Star. They have these special guests who showcase and share their skills…. Olympians, World class chefs, trainers….. Do they make one for moms? I can be the Soneva Star of diaper changing. How about kids? Mine are stars at finding the tiniest piece of a vegetable hidden in their dinners, sniffing out when a garbage bag contains an old toy I tried to throw away without them knowing, and finding me in the depths of my house to ask me to put the straw in their juice box when they were sitting right next to their father. No? Ok, I tried. I tear up at the thought of not being able to experience this again in my life… so I’m putting this out to the universe. We WILL be back! And this time, we would stay here at least a week. Assad told us everything changes - and the resort gets better with every repeat visit. I can’t wait to see that. Little tidbits of info- -I was floored at how well everyone spoke English on that side of the world. I live on the east coast - USA. From the Doha airport, to the Maldives… everyone spoke English first to us. -Tipping in USD was accepted- no need to exchange currency. And we never felt like we needed to. We left a tip everyday for housekeeping and tipped the butler when we left. -We didn’t have a single bug bite. Even after exploring the island on bikes. -try the fresh juices. I swear I instantly felt healthier after drinking those! So delicious! I’ve never truly experienced the saying , “a feast for the senses” until this trip. This place will forever occupy a space in my soul. If you are on the fence about coming here and splurging on this trip, let me say one thing. To me, traveling is worth every penny. I know the actual trip is only a small portion of time in relation to the cost. But there is no price you can put on the months of anticipation and excitement prior to the trip, the actual trip itself, and the memories you will remember forever when you return home. Just go and enjoy.