One of the leading brands when it comes to eco-friendly and chic luxury resorts, Soneva has been steadily expanding its properties in Thailand and the Maldives.
Today, we’ll take a look at two of their most unique offerings – Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi. These two Maldivian resorts epitomize barefoot luxury, providing guests with a one-of-a-kind island vacation.
Which one is better?
Let’s find out in this Soneva Jani vs. Soneva Fushi resort comparison.
- Quick Glance: Soneva Jani vs Soneva Fushi
- The Details: Soneva Jani vs Soneva Fushi
- Soneva Jani
- Soneva Fushi
- Best For: Which Resort is the Best for You?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: Soneva Jani vs Soneva Fushi
Here’s a quick look at how these two fantastic Maldivian resorts measure up against each other:
|Soneva Jani||Soneva Fushi|
|Location||Medhufaru Island, Manadhoo, Maldives||Kunfunadhoo Island, Right on the Baa Atoll|
|How to Get There||45-minute seaplane ride||30-minute seaplane ride OR 30 minute domestic flight and 12-minute speedboat ride|
|Rooms||54 luxury villas – both beachfront and overwater||63 beachfront villas and 8 overwater bungalows|
|Amenities||Cinema Paradiso (a theater), a spa, tennis court, gym, dive center, water slides, beach, lagoon, observatory deck||An observatory, a theater, a spa, dive center, beach, gym, kids center, and world-class snorkeling|
|Food and Dining||9 restaurants and bars with specialty vegan and pescatarian options||10 restaurants with several bars and specialty dining and drinking options|
|Staff and Guest Services||Butler service offered||Butler service offered|
|Price||Starts at $3,200 to $5,600 per night for entry-level villas||Starts at $3,500 to $8,000 per night for entry-level beach villas|
The Details: Soneva Jani vs Soneva Fushi
Only a 45-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport, Soneva Jani is an exclusive private island offering sparkling turquoise waters and little boat traffic, giving guests an amazing 360-degree view of the waters.
Soneva Jani is located at Medhufaru Island right by the Noonu Atoll. It’s a 30-40 minute seaplane ride from the Malé mainland.
The island itself is huge and connected to four other islets. Once a farm, the island still retains its history, with much of what’s offered in the kitchens coming from the resort’s gardens.
A majority of the island is kept pristine too, like Turtle Beach, which remains a sanctuary for sea turtles. The management has also kept a lot of the foliage including the mangroves so migratory birds and wildlife can still flourish in the area.
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For the rooms, there are 7 villa categories on the property. One Bedroom Water Retreat (no waterslide) serves as their entry-level space and is ideal for couples. Meanwhile, their Four Bedroom Island Reserve with Pool is perfect for groups or families traveling together.
Like anything on this resort, their standard room offering is bigger than even the suites offered by other 5-star luxury resorts. These starter villas have 4,413 square feet of space and a 43-foot long pool so you can do laps with ease. Higher category villas even have their own water slide!
Inside the villas, the decor aesthetic is rustic chic, with lots of sustainable wood materials, luxury amenities, and thatched roofing. There’s a spacious master bedroom, a sleeping area for kids inside the master’s area, and a sunken living room with circle glass floors that look down at the water.
A spacious bath with an outdoor shower, tub, and more glass-bottomed areas are sprinkled in the rooms, a reminder to guests they’re housed atop crystal blue waters.
The main highlight is the movable roof inside the master’s bedroom. At the push of a button, guests can watch the starry night from their bed.
Other in-room touches include hanging swing chairs, beautiful wooden fans, and a hidden television pre-filled with over 700 films.
For amenities, Soneva Jani houses most of it on an overwater building they call The Gathering. This building connects to all of the water villas via a snake-like jetty so guests can get to the building and back with ease.
The Gathering has thatched roofing with large open spaces to allow for stunning views of the water. It contains the restaurants, the bar, an overwater netting so you can lie down and relax, a retail shop, the fitness center, a dive center, and even swing chairs.
Aspiring astronomers will love the fact the resort has an observatory deck with a 16” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for stargazing.
Meanwhile, for those who want some water adventure, this building also has a large waterslide and a hammock set in the middle of the water for that iconic Instagram photo.
Aside from the key amenities inside The Gathering, there are also tennis courts, an organic garden, various watersport activities, a theater called Cinema Paradiso, and a gorgeous lagoon, a new spa all around the resort.
Food and Dining
Soneva Jani offers 9 restaurants and bars. Most of the restaurants are housed at The Gathering, but there are independent areas to enjoy, like The Crab Shack.
So Fresh is the main restaurant and it offers a breakfast buffet for guests. Food is fresh and carefully prepared to showcase unique local flavor and international favorites. For vegan or pescatarian meals, head to Overseas, created by Chef Mathias Dahlgren or So Wild by Diana Von Cranach.
There are also unique dining experiences like So Engaging which accommodates a party of five and gives them a front-row seat at the chef’s table.
Other must-try include the Director’s Cut Restaurant where they serve modern-style Japanese favorites like sashimi and black cod. In the meantime, The Crab Shack delivers when it comes to romance, and well, crabs!
For celebrations or private gatherings, So Imaginative is a private room perfect for wine tastings and dinner. There’s also So Starstruck, aptly named because it has an observatory. Finally, So Primitive lets you dine on dishes cooked over a fire pit. Whether it’s roasted, grilled, or cooked in clay pots, these meals offer plenty of local flavors.
In addition to this, there’s an extensive wine collection on the resort. Check out their impressive 20-feet tall wine tower! There’s also an ice cream parlor and chocolate parlor, both of which are free for all guests to enjoy.
Staff and Guest Services
Guests are assigned a butler from the moment they arrive at the resort. The resort dubs them Mr. or Ms. Friday. Fans of Robinson Crusoe will get the reference, as just like in the book, the butlers are ready to assist you if you need anything during your stay.
There’s no denying Soneva Jani is an expensive resort. Entry-level rooms here start at around $3,500 in the low season while in peak months, it can go as high as $5,600 per night. Average room prices begin at $4,400.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to get outsized value from your points here. Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Capital One Travel, and Citi Travel Center all offer a 1 cent per point of value when booking stays here. Chase offers up to 1.5 cents per point in redemption value.
We recommend paying for these stays out of pocket and saving your points for the first class flight getting here! Select AuPACS members get access to hotel rate negotiation and luxury award travel bookings using your points!
Want to know more about how to use and earn more points? Join The Points University and get all the details!
Who Is It For?
With its chic barefoot luxury ethos, Soneva Jani is perfect for couples and families with young kids who want to immerse themselves back in nature – without sacrificing modern comforts or luxury. There’s plenty of activities to enjoy here. And if you’re bringing the family, the large villas ensure there’s enough room for the kids to explore.
Soneva Jani Gallery
Soneva Fushi is one of two Soneva resorts in the Maldives (the other being Soneva Jani.) Like its sister resort, from the moment you arrive, guests are asked to remove their shoes so they can enjoy “barefoot luxury” at its finest.
Soneva Fushi occupies a private island, called Kunfunadhoo, right by the Baa Atoll. It’s one of the bigger islands in the country, measuring 4,300 square feet in width and just a little shy of a mile in length.
The resort is right by Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It’s considered a hub for marine life. In addition, Hanifaru Bay is just 15-minutes from the resort. The bay is perfect for swimming with giant manta rays as well as whale sharks.
Like most things in the Maldives, a seaplane ride is necessary to get to the island. Luckily, Soneva has its own fleet so you can arrange for transport with them and receive a branded experience from the moment you arrive at their lounge in Malé.
True to Soneva’s brand, much of the island has been kept untouched with local vegetation and wildlife kept thriving alongside the resort.
Eco-luxury villas are the name of the game with Soneva Fushi. While the resort has distinctive overwater villas with slides just like Soneva Jani, Soneva Fushi offers more beachfront villas reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe-style homes, but more luxurious.
Villas offer anywhere from 1 to 9 bedrooms with beachfront access and a swimming pool. Inside, the rooms are made from sustainable wood with local furnishings, lots of relaxation areas, and large beds with gauzy drapes.
Standard modern amenities are a staple like minibars, espresso makers, and French press coffee makers, including a TV hidden away so you can focus on what’s important – the gorgeous surroundings.
Bathrooms are even larger than most hotel rooms. In fact, most of them contain a cozy daybed inside. Perfect for those moments when you want to catch a snooze right there. Bathtubs and showers are also al-fresco to allow for the breeze to pass through.
Needless to say, there’s no shortage of outdoor and indoor space in these villas. Even more, your villa is surrounded by thick foliage, offering a lot of privacy despite being meters away from the beach.
Soneva Fushi is packed with unique facilities for guests to enjoy including The Observatory, where you can watch the stars using a high-powered telescope. For diving, there’s the Soleni Dive Center, perfect for exploring over 30 dive sites in the area alongside PADI-licensed instructors.
There’s also a kid’s area called the Children’s Den, and a huge outdoor theater called Cinema Paradiso. Guests can also use the gym, tennis court, head to the vegetable garden, picnic at a private sandbank, or maybe go for a spa treatment at the Six Senses-branded spa in the middle of the jungle.
There’s a ton of activities to do as well including paddle boarding, kayaking, or surfing. You can also snorkel next to manta rays.
Food and Dining
Soneva Fushi has an abundance of restaurants and bars where you can grab almost any cuisine you want. A breakfast buffet is served at Mihiree Mitha, which translates to “here it is” in the local dialect. They also feature live cooking sections, healthy fresh fruit, veggies and sprouts, and a host of other dishes.
Fresh in the Garden is set above the resort’s vegetable garden, on a treehouse. Here, you can munch on Mediterranean organic entrees for dinner. Overwater dining is available at Out of the Blue, an Asian restaurant with a water slide, in case you want to jump into the water.
For fine dining, there’s Down to Earth by Ravi which is open for dinner only and showcases stunning Asian dishes for sharing.
Unique dining can be found at Shades of Green, where they offer a five-course fine dining extravaganza filled with Maldivian dishes. So Bespoke is great for private teppanyaki dinners by the atoll including some sushi. The same goes for Once Upon a Table, a private dining experience for only 8 individuals.
There’s also a special fine-dining zipline experience at Flying Sauces. The dining platform itself is set 40-feet above ground and guests can glide along the 656 feet zipline to reach it. It’s a fantastic experience to be able to wine and dine amidst the treetops.
Guests can also partake in what’s offered in the free tasting rooms – there are artisanal chocolates, cheeses, charcuterie, and gourmet ice creams. In-villa dining is also possible, you can arrange it with your butler.
Soneva Fushi is an expensive resort. This also means food and meals are going to be pricey. To save up, why not go for the half-board or full-board dining packages? AuPACS members get access to hotel rate and package negotiation to get you the most value during your luxury stays!
Staff and Guest Services
Soneva Fushi offers guests their own Mr. or Ms. Friday – a private butler that can address any special requests you might have and make your stay at the resort as seamless as possible.
In fact, from the moment you arrive at the resort, your butler will take care of you, checking you in, giving you a tour, and making sure every request is resolved to your satisfaction.
Entry-level villas start at $3,000 during the low season at Soneva Fushi. During peak months, the price can go as high as $8,700 with the average season room costing around $4,700 per night.
One of the priciest resorts in the Maldives, the huge villas, stunning quality of the amenities, and great food, make the extra splurge worth it.
As we mentioned above, redeeming Amex, Citi, and Capital One points for stays here will get you a fixed value of 1 cent per point, which means you’ll likely need millions of points to get a free stay here. Chase is slightly better at up to 1.5 cents per point in redemption value, but you’ll still probably need to redeem at least a million points to get a free stay here.
Instead, redeem your points for your first or business class travel for better value!
One of the best ways to earn points is by using your credit card. We’ve collected the best travel credit cards you can sign up for today. Check them out and start earning points for your next luxury getaway!
Who Is It For?
Soneva Fushi is geared towards luxury travelers whether they are couples on their honeymoon or families wanting a special getaway. The large, homey, and luxurious villas coupled with the abundance of facilities make it a magical location that offers leisure indulgence alongside thoughtful design and ethos.
Yes, the price per villa is steep but if you’re willing to splurge for a truly pampered getaway, Soneva Fushi is perfect.
Soneva Fushi Gallery
Best For: Which Resort is the Best for You?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||Soneva Fushi||Fushi has 10 restaurants, while Jani has 9, but Fushi has a zip-line restaurant and other signature experiences!|
|Best for Pools||Tie||Both resorts don’t have communal pools but guests get to have private pools in the villa – whether beachfront or overwater.|
|Best for Spa||Soneva Fushi||Soneva Jani’s Chapter Two will have a dedicated spa soon. For now, Soneva Fushi wins.|
|Best for Beaches||Soneva Jani||Soneva Jani comes with a small beach club and pristine white sand with loungers in places|
|Best For Couples||Tie||Both are great options for couples|
|Best for Families||Tie||Both are great options for families|
|Best Location||Soneva Fushi||Soneva Fushi is right by Baa Atoll, one of the richest areas for marine life so snorkeling is fantastic!|
|Best for a Calm Vacation||Soneva Jani||Soneva Jani is a smaller resort with fewer rooms, which goes a long way in having a peaceful stay.|
|Best for Service||Tie||Both resorts offer butler service.|
Soneva Resorts are known for being pioneers of the “barefoot luxury” ethos.
Their resorts not only offer refined luxury for their guests, but it delivers it in ways that are sustainable and friendly to the environment. It’s this unique principle that sets Soneva apart.