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10 fun facts we bet you didn't know about Soneva Jani

  • Travel 101
  • By Lisa Nightingale
  • Published
  • Revised 13 November 2023
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The Maldives holds an other-worldly, immeasurable type of beauty that is a ‘see it to believe it’ sort of notion. Almost 1,200 islands and a double chain of 26 atolls are peppered across the equator in the Indian Ocean; this small island country covers an area of approximately 90,000 square kilometres, with fewer than 300 square kilometres of that as dry land. 

Soneva Jani is one of many stunning five-star resort hotels within the archipelago that welcomes guests from all over the world to experience the impossibly clear waters and flawless sands that surround it. But that isn’t all on offer here, the resort plays host to a wealth of both restful and physical activities for guests that embrace this remarkable part of the world. 

We know luxury resorts and have put together 10 Soneva Jani facts for your perusal to help you decide if this is the dream location for your next luxury holiday.

1. Villas with water slides

This is more than just a fun fact, this is one of the most exciting things to happen to chic villa accommodation that we’ve ever known. Amongst a multitude of sumptuous villa options – including tropical jungle and secluded bay settings – Soneva Jani also offers two types of luxury overwater villas with their own water slides into the lagoon: Water Retreats and Water Reserves. 

Can you imagine waking up and instead of walking downstairs for breakfast, literally sliding down the side of your villa for a morning swim? If you book one of our marvellous Maldives holiday offers here, you may not have to imagine it...

Soneva Jani Over Water Villa with slide

Soneva Jani Over Water Villa with slide

2. The owners have multiple resorts across the Maldives and world

The founders of Soneva are Sonu Shivdasani and his wife Eva Malmström Shivdasani, who set up the company in 1990 after visiting the Maldives and falling in love with this part of the world. After leasing an island and redefining tourism here with their first hotel, Soneva Fushi, they built up the company to include the luxury Six Senses Resorts & Spas and the Evason hotels group, which operate across Southeast Asia and Europe.

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3. Dive into a world of water sports

You can’t be in the Maldives surrounded by the translucent Indian Ocean without taking advantage of the fantastic water sports on offer. Activities include motorised and non-motorised equipment such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, windsurfing and catamarans for hire, plus a SEABOB for gliding, diving, and exploring the ocean at your own pace. 

Have you ever seen an e-board before? Think of a surfboard with a motor and you’ve got it! Travelling up to 56km per hour you can whoosh across the waves at exhilarating speed.

Water sports at Soneva Jani

Water sports at Soneva Jani

4. Environmental accountability

CEO Sonu Shivdasani is committed to ensuring that his hotels adopt green practices and since 2008 Soneva banned branded water bottles across its resorts, filtering, mineralising and bottling its own water onsite instead. The Soneva Foundation is funded by other environmental efforts such as a mandatory carbon levy for guests, which helped plant five hundred thousand trees in Thailand and the construction of a 1.5-megawatt windmill in India, amongst other initiatives.

5. Unique dining experiences

There are so many incredible cuisine options at Soneva Jani you will probably struggle to fit them all in during one holiday. Dining choices range from plant-based, Asian and international fare to Japanese, tapas and even in-house chocolatiers offering lots of sweet treats – the real excitement, however, is in the fantastic experiences available.

‘Guess Who’s Cooking’ is a wonderful concept where a secret menu is prepared and served in an ever-changing location by one of the resort chefs, who reveals themselves once you have finished eating. Additionally, guests can visit the North Island for a snorkel and a swim, followed by a pop-up dinner of Maldivian specialities on the private beach that has been caught or picked by the chef there and then.

Atmospheric dining experiences

Atmospheric dining experiences

6. Signature resort experiences

The resort offers a range of customised events for couples, families and groups for any occasion or celebration, or simply just because. Choose a sunset dolphin cruise and try to capture a glimpse of them at play or join the ‘Turtle on Call’ register and you may get lucky enough to witness a mother turtle lay her eggs before the hatchlings race out to sea. Private Cinema Paradiso lets you catch a movie under the stars while the chefs prepare some tidbits and refreshments like cocktails and popcorn.

7. A world of activities for the kids

As well as the wealth of fun water-based activities that children can get involved in, the Soneva Academy offers a range of scientific and educational – but always fun – courses for children aged 12 and up. They can do some birdwatching, learn about the effect of mosquitos on the world, explore the devastating impact of plastic pollution, and be taught about zero-waste approaches to help look after the planet. Not to mention delving into the vast marine life and incredible night skies of the Indian Ocean.

The Mini Den is a technology-free zone for the younger kids in your party to run around, create, play, and make friends while nurturing their curiosity, plus it gives the adults some much-needed time to unwind and enjoy the other facilities of the resort in peace. Beach adventures for the whippersnappers include treasure and scavenger hunts, tennis lessons, gardening, and an island discovery bicycle ride. For underwater fun they can enjoy the lagoon by snorkelling, water sports and underwater treasure hunts.

The Soneva Academy

The Soneva Academy

8. Digital storyteller

To save you time and give you the freedom to kick back and enjoy your holiday, the resort offers a Digital Storyteller, a photographer or videographer (or even a drone!) who will spend as much or as little time with you as you wish and be on hand to capture all the amazing memories you make while at Soneva Jani. Those candid and beautiful moments will be yours to cherish forever, and you won’t even need to think about it!

9. Soneva unlimited package

Guests staying in any of the newer Chapter Two Water or Island Reserves can enjoy unlimited access to food and drinks across every dining experience within the resort, including dinners prepared by Michelin-starred guest chefs, limitless water-based experiences, unlimited spa treatments and so much more. See our holiday offers at Soneva Jani Maldives so you can enjoy luxury for less when you book your next memorable island holiday.

Relaxing spa treatment at Soneva Jani

Relaxing spa treatment at Soneva Jani

10. Soneva stars

Each year the resort releases its exciting events calendar, which is full of special guests ready to impart their expertise throughout a range of incredible activities and experiences. 2022 sees Michelin-starred chefs from all around the globe, top sporting icons and acclaimed wellness specialists – speak with your personal travel manager about what’s on when you come to book your stay.


Whether you're planning a relaxing spa escape, a lavish wedding, the perfect long-haul island family holiday or perhaps somewhere special to propose to your significant other, Soneva Jani is ready to accommodate your every travel request. To find out more about breaks in the Maldives or even to also look at Mauritius holiday options call us today on 0203 816 0985 or click here to submit an online enquiry.

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