On-water retreat

Eight new over-water villas have been added to the Maldives’ resort, Soneva Fushi, marking the start of a remarkable new chapter.

Photography by Soneva

13 November 2019


Perched above the turquoise depths of the Indian Ocean, the eight new one- and two-bedroom Water Retreats are scheduled to open to guests by April 2020.

Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury.

The resort’s pure connection with nature inspires the imagination with 62 one to nine bedroom beachfront villas.

Designed to exist in complete harmony with the Baa Atoll’s idyllic island setting, the new Water Retreats adhere to Soneva’s pioneering sustainability ethos, as well as its renowned “no news, no shoes” philosophy of barefoot luxury.

“We are very proud to announce this exciting new phase for Soneva Fushi,” says Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva.


“When we first launched Soneva Fushi in 1995, we redefined tourism in the Maldives with our unique vision that pioneered the concept of sustainable luxury. After more than two decades at the forefront of the global luxury tourism sector and as a bucket list destination in the Maldives, we strive to evolve with our guests’ ever-changing needs.

“While we will always remain true to the much-loved spirit and laid-back ethos of Soneva Fushi, the new Water Retreats will elevate our offering, ensuring that our guests’ experience is more memorable and special than ever before.”

Accessed via the curved jetty near Dolphin Beach, at the opposite end of the island to Out of the Blue restaurant, the eight Water Retreats have been carefully designed to ensure the utmost privacy for guests, as well as to make the most of the picture-perfect ocean vistas.

Both the 584-square-metre one-bedroom Water Retreat with Slide, and the 857-square-metre two-bedroom Water Retreat with Slide come with their own private pool, as well as a curving slide that plunges directly into the Indian Ocean.

With a choice of either sunrise or sunset views, the villas feature a large al fresco deck, which includes plush sun loungers, a sunken seating area and catamaran nets over the ocean. Both villa types feature an expansive upper level with a dining sala and day bed, as well as Soneva’s signature open air bathroom with direct access to the sea – ideal for guests looking to shower off after a dip in the balmy waters, or for a relaxing bath under the stars.

Vast floor-to-ceiling windows fill the interior of the Water Retreats with light and a sense of space. The generous living area is inspired by the ocean setting and is a luxe take on castaway chic – from sustainably-sourced materials such as reclaimed driftwood, to crisp white linens. Every detail, from a well-stocked wine fridge and mini bar to an ample pantry, ensure guests’ every need is met.

Flanked by an ensuite, dressing room and children’s sleeping area, the master bedroom suite features a king-sized bed for the ultimate in comfort. At the push of a button, the ceiling will retract automatically, enabling guests to wake with the morning sun, or to sleep under a sky that is blanketed with stars. In the two-bedroom villa, a second guest bedroom also includes a king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom and dressing room.

The design and choice of location of the Water Retreats followed a comprehensive environmental assessment within the resort to ensure that the Baa Atoll’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems remained unharmed by construction activity and the subsequent use and maintenance of the villas.

Like all Soneva’s carbon neutral properties, construction materials for the villas were sourced sustainably, while the low impact overwater design maintains and complements the natural beauty of the tranquil coastal setting.


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