Soneva Jani, a luxury Maldives hotel and sister property to Soneva Fushi, is the latest property to open overwater bungalows in the region. Opened in November 2016 in the Maldives Noonu atoll, the resort is comprised of five islands and a 3½-mile private lagoon. Here are five reasons to visit.
Soneva Jani features 24 overwater bungalows, starting from one-bedroom villas to four-bedroom, designed in a modern style. Each has a private pool, a catamaran net for lounging, an open-air bathroom and a personal butler, dubbed Mr. or Ms. Friday. Many bungalows also come with something we haven’t seen before: a water slide.
Twice weekly the resort shows a movie in its overwater cinema — the first of its kind in the Maldives. Recline on catamaran nets above the water or settle in to a cushioned lounger while you snack on complimentary popcorn. Guests are given Bluetooth headphones to use while enjoying the movie so as not to disturb nearby wildlife.
The Perfect Hammock
We love a good hammock and this one is no exception. Swim (or wade at low tide) out to this hammock to catch some rays and a glimpse of the marine life swimming by. The sun is quite strong this close to the equator, so be sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen. If you overdo it, head to the spa for the Sodashi Sun Soother treatment, which uses plants like lavender and geranium to calm redness and irritation.
The Maldives islands are great for stargazing since low light pollution allows for clearer views of the night sky. Don’t know a shooting star from a black hole? Book a table for dinner at So Starstruck. You’ll dine atop the resort’s observatory with the staff astronomer, Mike Dalley. Listen to discussions and cultural stories about constellations, which can be viewed through the 16-inch telescope, Eleos.
If you can’t get enough of the night sky, head back to your overwater bungalow and, with the touch of a button, the roof retracts and frames the stars in all their glory. Snuggle up on your bed and watch for shooting stars — according to the resort’s astronomer, one happens approximately every 15 minutes.