Our Philosophy

Pioneered by Soneva

Soneva was the first barefoot luxury resort of its kind, a family of resorts that has always been ahead of the curve. Today, Soneva is still an innovator and a leader in the world of hospitality when it comes to both guest experiences and sustainability.

While there are many imitators, there is only one Soneva.

Barefoot Luxury

In 1995, Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island luxury resorts, pairing the island castaway fantasy with intelligent luxury. On arrival our guests are asked if they would like to remove their shoes - having no shoes on allows us to really feel and experience the ground we walk upon.

No News, No Shoes

Soneva's 'No News, No Shoes' philosophy is all about disconnecting from daily life and truly embracing the luxury of time. None of Soneva's resorts come with television and news channels, and the Wi-Fi in each villa can be switched off with the flick of a switch, allowing guests to disconnect to reconnect.


From the very beginning, sustainability was at the heart of Soneva's ethos, from sourcing sustainable construction materials and maintaining the natural beauty of each of our resorts' locations, to working in partnership with our local communities. We believe that luxury and sustainability are interconnected concepts; in today’s world, sustainability and luxury do not compete,  in fact, they complement each other. Today Soneva is 100% carbon neutral and we continue to make a difference wherever we can. 

Intelligent Luxury

Intelligent luxury is about understanding what true luxury is for our guests; many of which spend most of their time in urban environments. It is about understanding the daily lives of our guests and offering them experiences that are both ‘new’ - in that they are rare, unusual and exceptional to our guests, but at the same time ‘true’ in that they are highly desired and cherished.


SLOW LIFE stands for Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences. It explains our philosophy, which is to create unforgettable, enlightening experiences that illuminate lives whilst treading lightly on the earth.

Organic Gardens

Each of our resorts have their own organic gardens in which we grow herbs, fruit and vegetables for our restaurants. We believe this is the best way to get the freshest and most delicious produce to our guests. It also eliminates the need for produce to be transported to our resorts, therefore lowering the amount of carbon we need to offset.

Ice Cream Parlours

Soneva's ice cream parlours are iconic, with over 60 homemade flavours of ice creams and sorbets to choose from every guest is spoilt for choice.

Chocolate Rooms

Soneva was the first luxury resort to offer complimentary chocolate rooms filled with chocolates made by in-house chocolatiers. Open every day for your pure enjoyment.

Cinema Paradiso

From the only overwater cinema in the Maldives at Soneva Jani, to the widest screen in the Maldives at Soneva Fushi, Cinema Paradiso is sure to mesmerise movie buffs. Soneva Kiri's Cinema Paradiso is magical, in that it appears to float in the middle of the resorts reservoir, surrounded by lush jungle.

Outdoor Bathrooms

All of our villas, in all our resorts come with spacious outdoor bathrooms. We believe it is a luxury to be able to shower and bathe under the stars or bask in the sun in the privacy of your own garden. Be your outdoor bathroom filled with lush vegetation, a water feature or lead you straight into the lagoon it will be an experience to remember. 

Water Slides

Soneva is known for having water slides in most of its larger villas at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Kiri and in its overwater villas at Soneva Jani. It doesn't matter how old you are, our slides always put a smile on our guests' faces.


Soneva was the first resort to have its own Observatories for guests to explore the night skies guided by our resident Astronomers. Soneva Jani boasts the first overwater Observatory in the Maldives, while both Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi are the first resorts in the world to offer guests the incredible experience of 3D Astronomy, which allows them to see space in all its three dimensional splendour.

Soneva Drinking Water

In 2008, Soneva began producing its own drinking water and has since been plastic bottle free. All the water that we serve is filtered, mineralised, alkalised and bottled on site in reusable glass bottles. We contribute 50% of the Soneva Drinking Water revenues to the Soneva Foundation, with the proceeds funding the work of over 500 projects and charities. To date more than 750,000 people worldwide have been given access to clean water as a result of our initiative.

Carbon Neutrality

As a result of our introduction of the environmental levy in 2008 we are now carbon neutral across all three Scopes. Included in Scope 3 are emissions such as guest air travel (which counts for 80% of our emissions), sea, air and road freight, and Host travel.

Eco Centro

At Soneva we take solid waste management to new heights by viewing it as a valuable resource. We now recycle 90% of our waste at Soneva Fushi. Some of the key components of our Eco Centro activities are: composting, building block making, the maker space where we recycle plastic, and the Glass Studio.

Total Impact Assessment

At Soneva we developed our own carbon calculator in 2008 that accounts for all three Scopes of emissions. We took it further and developed the first Total Impact Assessment in the hospitality industry in 2015, which includes environmental profit and loss, human capital and social capital.