As we look forward to fun-filled family holidays ahead. We dive into the detail with Sonu Shivdasani, CEO of Soneva Resorts and discover how they strike the perfect balance of family fun and eco-friendly luxury at Soneva Jani…
Imagine waterslides, island adventures as well as an outdoor cinema. All within a 5.6- kilometre lagoon of crystal-clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. Soneva Jani has an endless offering when it comes to entertaining its youngest guests.
Over the years the resort has evolved and adapted to facilitate the changing trends of travel but in doing so has always kept nature as the inspiration for their innovation. Sonu explains that “The crisis that we are all going through now has allowed many people the opportunity to pause and rethink their values and importantly their priorities.”
Apart from the iconic curved slides from the first floor of overwater villas (a favourite feature with the kids and big kids as well), living The SLOW LIFE is encouraged at Soneva Jani. Creating experiences that take their guests away from busy lives to a family paradise of tranquillity and calm. Sonu tells us Soneva Jani “acts as our moral as well as our operating compass, and has also provided a blueprint for the future of the hospitality industry. Sustainability and health are hallmarks of something that our guests rarely experience in their home cities. It is rare to enjoy oneself and not harm one’s body. It is rare to enjoy oneself and not damage the environment. It is a luxury in which we too rarely indulge. Therefore, we have combined apparent opposites and found ways in which these apparent opposites can live hand in hand.”
Island adventures offer an array of things to do for the youngest Soneva guests. It’s a place to let imaginations run wild and be immersed in nature on land and sea. Sonu told us “95% of our guests’ spot dolphins during their dolphin cruise, which is one of our signature experiences. The largest number of dolphins spotted during a single cruise was 40!”
Guests learn of Soneva’s sustainable philosophy with garden-to-table experiences, marine conservation and cultural excursions. Getting the family involved is key, something that their Ocean steward programme encourages. Guests can help rehabilitate coral reefs and coral nurseries at Soneva Jani.
As day turns to night, making sure the whole family are kept happy continues. Choose to have dinner under the stars in one of the many dining options on the island. Sonu tells us that “Some of the known favourites are the award-winning Crab Shack, Overseas by Mathias Dahlgren and our newest concepts So Wild by Diana Von Cranach and So Primitive.” Everything is fresh and delicious, supplied straight from the resort’s very own organic garden.
Or if you fancy something a little more laid back, sit back with a cocktail at the Cinema Paradiso, the first silent cinema in the Maldives. Here guests use Bluetooth headphones while watching films so as not to disturb the nesting wildlife in the area.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF SONEVA