Why You Should Visit Soneva Fushi for Luxury and Adventure in the Maldives
Located in the Maldives’ pristine Baa Atoll, Soneva Fushi, is a lush island a one hour seaplane flight away from Velana International Airport in the Maldivian capital of Malé. Soneva Fushi is one and a half miles long and extremely verdant – there are fruit bats dangling from the trees and flying over the canopy, seemingly to their own lazy circadian clock.
The resort is outfitted with fifty-seven private villas, each tucked away with their own stretch of beach hidden among dense foliage. You can swing lazily from your private hammock of the villa, and since the coral reef is shallow and only a few steps away from shore, you can jump right in with your battle gear of fins and snorkel. Take in a diverse marine life of schools of black and yellow striped sweetlips; butterfly fish; and bright blue Fusilier fish.
The outdoor shower is one of the coolest aspects of the accommodations: there is a private waterfall where water pours down from a carved stone wall. In order to get to the shower which is propped up securely to a pine tree, you walk over a series of smooth stones that massage your feet on the journey. Fruit bats, lazy geckos, and butterflies are some of the visitors to your shower experience, and it of course feels like you have stepped into your own private jungle.
Outside your door, there will be a complimentary bike with a basket attached that you can use for the duration of your stay. You can also always contact your Mr. Friday, who can escort you around the island in a golf cart or on foot if you choose.
On the western side of the island, the Bar(a) Bara restaurant is a casual dining spot set at the end of a jetty overlooking the reef. You can choose to sit in lounge chairs with umbrellas, or you can sit inside the cushioned net that hangs off the side over the water. From both vantage points, spot small sharks and trumpetfish hovering next to the stairs that lead into the water, where guests can walk down for after dining snorkeling.
You can book a private freediving course with the on-site freediving instructor, Ken Kirimaya, who happens to be the 16th best freediver in the world. He remains at Soneva Fushi for 6 months out of the year and trains people on how to enter a yogic state of mind: calmness and peace when performing a breath hold free dive (some of the world’s best freedivers can achieve depths of hundreds of feet). You will start off with meditation on yoga mats for the first 30 minutes on the beach, and then enter the water for the freediving tutorial, which will be a mix of the different freediving disciplines: constant weight; variable weight; free immersion; and static apnea.
One of the most awe-inspiring sights in the Maldives is the night sky; the minimal light pollution creates impressive sparkling landscapes. This year, Soneva Fushi became the first in the world to create a 3-D astronomy experience with the introduction of its new Meade LX600 telescope. After dinner at the Fresh in the Garden restaurant, you can walk over the adjacent swinging bridge to the planetarium. Some of the intriguing sites you may witness include a starfish cluster 6,000 light years away; Orion’s nebula where alpha stars continuously eat larger particles; and Betelgeuse, the alpha star in Orion’s belt.
On the western side of Soneva Fushi island, you can book scuba diving excursions at the Soleni Dive Centre. If you are PADI certified, the dive team can take you out on a small, but luxurious yacht with plush green seats, white painted walls, and wooden flooring. For example, the Miriyandhoo Tila dive site is known for its eagle rays, tuna, boxfish, and reef sharks, while another dive site, Muthafushi Tila opens up to marine life like mackerel, hawksbill turtles, butterfly fish, parrotfish, and bloated pufferfish.