Following the dazzling celebration that took place on the shores of Soneva Fushi in 2022, Soneva has once again joined forces with Teamwork Arts, producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, to launch the second edition of JLF Soneva Fushi.

A truly bespoke experience, JLF Soneva Fushi is a rare opportunity to reconnect with the joys of live performances of art, music and literature on the idyllic island of Kunfunadhoo in the beautiful Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Over the course of ten days and two weekends, the vibrant barefoot festival will once again host an unforgettable international line-up of award-winning authors and a captivating programme of gala celebrations on the sand, insightful sessions, fascinating workshops and live music performances.

Festival Programme

Join us for a 10-day programme featuring inspiring panel discussions, workshops, and unique experiences, led by a diverse lineup of acclaimed writers, thinkers, and cultural leaders.

Discover the programme

Speakers and Authors

The 2023 edition of JLF Soneva Fushi will once again see a star-studded line-up of world-renowned authors, thinkers and cultural leaders exploring the theme of Slow Life while covering a fascinating spectrum of topics.

Learn more about our speakers

Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor & Author
Usha Uthup, Indian Pop, Jazz & Playback Singer
William Dalrymple, Festival Co-Director, Historian & Author
Vidya Balan, Bollywood Actress
Namita Gokhale, Festival Co-Director & Author
Howard Jacobson, Author & 2010 Man Booker Prize Winner
Damon Galgut, Novelist & 2021 Booker Prize Winner
DBC Pierre, Booker Prize-winning Author
Guðmundur Eiríksson, Judge for Detention of Ukrainian Naval Vessels & Servicemen
Navtej Sarna, Author & Former Diplomat
Pico Iyer, Acclaimed Travel Essayist & Novelist
William Sieghart, Publisher & Founder of National Poetry Day
Sharad Paul, Filmmaker, Actor & Padma Shri Awardee
Shekhar Kapur, Filmmaker, Actor & Padma Shri Awardee
Sanjeev Sanyal, Author, Economist & Environmentalist
Pragya Tiwari, Creative Director of Oijo Media & Journalist
Peter Frankopan, Internationally Acclaimed Historian & Author
Muzaffar Ali, Filmaker, Poet & Cultural Curator
Mary Beard, Classicist & World-renowned Scholar
Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Joint Creative Director at Soneva
Christina Lamb, The Sunday Times Chief Foreign Correspondent
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director – Teamwork Arts

Exclusive Offer

Join JLF Soneva Fushi’s joyful celebration of literature, culture and the arts. Stay at Soneva Fushi from USD 6,500 for three nights in a one-bedroom villa, with full board dining and domestic transfers. Every stay includes unlimited access to JLF Soneva’s Fushi’s vibrant programme. Early Bird savings on all bookings made before May 10, 2023.

Discover the Offer


Fascinating Themes

With 20 world-renowned authors now confirmed, the JLF Soneva Fushi 2023 programme is set to cover a fascinating spectrum of topics: from nation-building to the natural world, fiction and filmmaking to hard-hitting journalism, astronomy to geopolitics, mental health to poetry and scientific discovery to memoir.

JLF Soneva Fushi is food for the mind, body and soul. An exceptional gathering of collective wisdom and expertise from across the world, set in the most idyllic setting of Baa Atoll, with delectable fare, exhilarating conversations and spectacular vistas

Sanjoy K. Roy

A truly bespoke experience, JLF Soneva Fushi’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to reconnect with the pure joy of literature and the arts. The exclusive nature of our barefoot island in the Maldives coupled with both contributors and guests being here for a minimum of a weekend makes JLF Soneva Fushi unlike any other literature festival. It’s this greater, intimate access to authors, deeper understanding, new friendships, and stronger bonds which makes this barefoot festival so unique, and I cannot wait to welcome a line-up of outstanding international authors to our shores once again.

Sonu Shivdasani

Discover Soneva Fushi

Voted as the best resort in the Indian Ocean, Soneva Fushi is a natural treasure nestled in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and one of the largest islands in the Maldives. This precious destination holds magical experiences at every turn, from dining in the treetops of our rainforest, to barefoot luxury on a desert island.

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Enjoy Soneva Fushi’s Rare Experiences

Astronomical Dinner Cruise​​

This incredible experience begins at late sunset, featuring a four-course meal with wine pairings. Our resident Astronomer will guide you through the wonders that stare back at you across the night sky, sharing secrets of the cosmos.

eFoil, eSurf & Seabob

Experience the ocean with complete freedom. Gliding, diving, skimming – all of this is possible with a SEABOB. Learn to move through the water like a fish, on the surface and beneath the waves. The SEABOB is environmentally friendly, moving powerfully and almost silently as you explore the marine world. eFoils use an advanced battery to power a silent electric motor that is mounted on an all-carbon fibre hydrofoil, which can be controlled with a wireless Bluetooth hand controller. Riders, from beginners to those already skilled on a board, can fly for over an hour of fun at speeds of up to 40km per hour! What happens if you fit a surfboard with a motor? You get an eSurf-board with a carbon fibre body that is hydrodynamic and stable. The board also houses the motor, and you control the handheld throttle. The eSurf lets you get up to speeds of 56km per hour, making this an exhilarating water sport.

Soneva Art & Glass

In the Maldives’ first hot glass studio at Soneva Fushi, we create beauty from what others consider waste. From bespoke glassware for our villas and restaurants to striking works of art, all of the exquisite pieces are recycled from used glass bottles from Soneva Fushi and our other nearby resorts. Selected works from acclaimed artists, including Lino Tagliapietra, Tobias Mohl and Martin Janecky, among others, are also available to purchase at the So Glassycle studio.

Soneva Academy

We are delighted to introduce you to the Soneva Academy, which offers educational courses to children and teenagers (aged 12 and up) at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. All our courses consist of four modules (3 sessions and one exam). The certification level takes young Sonevians from junior to expert, adding a new dimension to their schooling.   

Soneva Soul, Soneva Fushi

Reconnect mind, body and soul at Soneva Soul, where thousands of years of ancient healing wisdom unite with the latest science and innovation. Encircled by the island’s lush jungle, our two-storey wellness complex at Soneva Fushi is inspired by its tranquil setting, inviting you to embrace the beauty of nature as you rejuvenate, restore and relax. Built around a central water feature, stepping stones and walkways connect the reception area and treatment rooms on the ground floor, as well as an advanced beauty room, Ayurvedic consultation and treatment room, flotation tank and retail shop. Sound pods with meditative music and aroma pods offering blends of atomised essential oils enable you to relax or re-energise before or after your treatment. Upstairs there are another three consultation and treatment rooms. We offer an exceptional selection of wellness services, designed to help you relax, rejuvenate and rebalance. These include Ayurvedic remedies, yoga, a wide range of massages, body treatments and beauty services, vitamin therapy, fitness training, mindfulness and energy work. Tailored to you, our integrative medicine treatments focus on both targeted wellness concerns and your overall health and wellbeing, and include major auto haemotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen, cryotherapy, prolotherapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy. Our resident Ayurvedic Doctor is on hand to offer complimentary consultations, diagnose your dosha and make lifestyle recommendations that help you regain your balance, while our resident therapists create personalised treatments based on your wellness needs. Throughout the year, we also welcome a line-up of leading names from the world of sport and fitness through our Soneva Stars programme, from legendary tennis and football players to champion free divers. For more information and bookings, please contact [email protected] or your Barefoot Guardian on arrival.

Sonu’s Picnic​​

Take your castaway experience to another level, and try Sonu’s favourite – lunch on a desert island prepared by your own personal chef. Dip yourself in the crystal clear blue lagoon with our in-house snorkelling guide while your chef prepares gourmet temptations in the most romantic of settings.
Complimentary Luxury Villa Inclusions - The Den

The Den

Our Den is a technology-free zone, where we encourage all our young guests to learn, play, discover nature, and let their creativity and curiosity run wild. To ensure everyone is engaged in their activities we ask you to make sure their phones and tablets are left in your villa before they come to The Den. Explore Family at Soneva Fushi    

Private Sandbank Dinner​

Treat yourself to a memorable dinner on our private sandbank​ set in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After meeting with you, our executive chef will design a bespoke menu to suit your palate and your Hosts will set up a beautiful table at the water’s edge.

Frequently Asked Questions

JLF Soneva Fushi is a ten-day festival celebrating literature, art, culture and live performances. The event is a collaboration between Teamwork Arts, the producers of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) and Soneva. This is the first edition of JLF at Soneva Fushi, in the Maldives. There are over 30 internationally acclaimed authors who are part of the JLF, and guests will have opportunity to connect with them all. The uniqueness of this festival is that only 200 guests can attend which will ensure each guest can really interact with the speakers. 

At Soneva, we believe in the Slow Life, which is all about discovering, learning and living experiences at their fullest. By partnering with Teamwork Arts, we celebrate culture, art, literature and music, which are part of our core offerings. JLF Soneva Fushi brings a new dimension to our rare experiences and also complements our existing Soneva Stars programme

We encourage guests to attend the full 10 days of the Festival to enjoy all of the sessions and activities that are on offer, as well as the rare experiences at Soneva Fushi, however this is not a requirement. We have a minimum stay of three nights during JLF Soneva Fushi, with the main events being held on the weekends (Friday – Saturday – Sunday). 

JLF Soneva Fushi is an event of its own. A specifically curated ten-day-programme which is not part of the Soneva Stars programme, but a festival in its own right. Nevertheless, it does align with the Soneva Stars programme concept of bringing unique and rare experiences for  Soneva Fushi guests.

When booking JLF Soneva Fushi, we have a special offer. Guests can enjoy a full-board, three-night stay starting from USD 6,500 for two guests, with complimentary domestic transfers and full access to the inspiring festival programme. Please note that weekend stays include a compulsory Gala Dinner which will incur an additional charge. 

The line-up of world-renowned speakers at JLF Soneva Fushi includes Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson; Booker Prize-winning novelist and playwright Damon Galgut; professor in astronomy and physics at Yale University, Priyamvada Natarajan; filmmaker and actor Shekhar Kapur; Booker Prize winner Marlon James; chief foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times, Christina Lamb; award-winning historian and staff writer at The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum; poet and philanthropist William Sieghart; one of the world’s best-known Classicists Mary Beard; Booker and Whitbread Prize winner DBC Pierre, and many more.

Held across 10 days including two weekends, JLF Soneva Fushi’s festival programme invites guests to engage with literature, along with stimulating debates, dialogue and free speech. The event will include exhilarating discourse across themes that include Environment and Climate Change; Poetry; History; Science and Health; musical performances; Oceanography; Astronomy and much more. 

Each weekend, the programme is dedicated to flagship events, including keynote addresses, gala dinners on the sand, sunset dolphin cruises, live musical performances and film screenings at Cinema Paradiso. Stand-out sessions include an inaugural address by Soneva co-founders Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, alongside Festival co-directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple and Festival producer Sanjoy K. Roy, followed by welcome cocktails on the Beach. 

Weekdays at JLF Soneva Fushi will focus on more close-knit sessions and author discussions, as well as a range of engaging workshops where guests can unleash their own creativity, including creative arts and writing. In true JLF tradition, each day will start and end with music. Every morning, the festival will begin with a choice of enriching and enlightening sessions that focus on expanding guests’ horizons before breakfast, including yoga and meditation, guided snorkelling with Soneva Fushi’s resident marine biologist, glassblowing at the Soneva Art & Glass studio, and transforming waste aluminium into art at the Makers’ Place.  

Full programme is yet to be confirmed. 

Throughout each day during their stay, guests can explore and indulge in everything that Soneva Fushi has to offer: including miles of pristine sandy beaches edged by tranquil turquoise waters; exquisite private villa accommodation, with Barefoot Guardians on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request; healing rituals and innovative wellness treatments at Soneva Soul; exceptional dining destinations serving the finest cuisine from across the world; and rare, one-of-a-kind experiences that create memories to last a lifetime. 

Of course, whilst the Festival will be happening, guests can still experience all of the rare experiences available at Soneva Fushi. Should the guests wish to go on Sonu’s picnic, go diving, enjoy water sports or unwind at Soneva Soul, their Barefoot Butler can assist them. To see all the experiences at Soneva Fushi click here.

Certainly. The Den at Soneva Fushi remains open and a special programme, combining arts and crafts, literature readings, as well as treasure hunts and water sports excursions, will be offered by our team of experts. Parents and children can also enjoy activities together such as Family Yoga and Family Treasure Hunt.

For more information and to book your stay for JLF Soneva Fushi, please visit our website or contact us at [email protected] 

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About Soneva

Guardians of places that have existed long before us, Soneva’s unique vision is inspired by nature’s magnitude, mystery and enchanting beauty.

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About JLF

Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas and a global literary phenomenon.

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