The pinnacle of luxury vacationing in the tropics is the overwater villa. And a major home for these villas is the Maldives, followed by the French Polynesian islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti, while also seen in Mexico, and the Caribbean. The utterly private havens are three to seven feet above the azure ocean water that you can jump into, and most come with access to perks like airport transfers, gourmet food and exclusive butlers.
But some come with that extra little treat; and that is what Soneva, a luxury hotel chain with operations in the Maldives and Thailand, does best. With three island resorts and one luxury yacht, the brand knows their luxury hospitality. Soneva Fushi, that opened almost 25 years ago, was the first resort set up by the brand. Located on Kunfunadhoo Island in the Baa Atoll, the resort follows a sustainable luxury ethos, with the Atoll being a part of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The resort was built with the mindset of keeping the land and marine ecosystems as unspoiled as possible; during the construction, use and maintenance of the resort. It was constructed using sustainably sourced materials and, like all Soneva resorts, is carbon neutral.
The resort also has a “no news, no shoes, and no pretentions” policy, which keeps stress at bay and tranquillity close by. But with surroundings like these, there is serenity wherever you look. The accommodation at Soneva Fushi is in for of private villas, from one to nine bedrooms at that, with their own little beachfront, a few sun-soaked steps from coral reefs, Mr./Mrs. Friday butlers, and most with their own pool.
The latest addition to the wide selection of villas at Soneva Fushi is the overwater villa, the first ever at this resort. Available in one (6,286 sq ft)- or two (9,224 sq ft)-bedroom options, these Water Retreats are connected to the island by a curved jetty. What sets these villas apart is the curving slide that ends straight into the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. What better way to feel one with the water? After you’ve had your fair share of splashing into the sea, a private pool and catamaran nets over the ocean on a large al-fresco deck are there to welcome you. The al-fresco theme continues to the bathroom, a Soneva signature, allowing baths under a crystal-clear sky full of stars.
The villa’s décor is natural and minimalist, offering a chance to be one with nature, through floor-to-ceiling windows, crisp white linen, and an ocean-inspired, spacious living area. For more wow-factor, guests can retract the ceiling in the master bedroom to sleep under the stars, or wake up as the sun rises. The airconditioned villas also come with an well-stocked pantry, wine fridge and minibar, bicycles or tricycles for every guest, an in-villa safe, and WiFi access.
The starting prices for the Water Retreats at Soneva Fushi are; USD 2,626 +++ (roughly Rs1.8 lakh) for the one bedroom villa that sleeps two adults and two children, and USD 5,232 +++ (about Rs3.7 lakh) for the two bedroom villa with a maximum occupancy of four adults and two children, or five adults.