Meet Our Hosts
Get to know a little bit more about some of the Hosts we have at Soneva Fushi.
Hannah Harries - Marine Biologist
From a young age, being a marine biologist was the only thing on Hannah's mind. Growing up, she spent all her time on the beach, studying life in the rock pools of the Welsh coastline, or on the water wondering about everything beneath the surface. After three years of working in marine conservation and education in the Seychelles, Hannah joined Soneva Fushi in late 2019, to inspire people to love and care about the world's oceans and everything in them as much as she does!
Gokhan Orhan Kitapci - Food and Beverage Director
Orhan has over 12 years of experience in the world of Food and Beverage. Prior to joining Soneva Fushi, he worked at The Ayada Maldives Luxury Resorts as the Director of F&B. He has also worked at many prestigious hotels in England, where he is from. Before joining the hospitality industry, Orhan studied Engineering in Turkey at Cukurova University. After successfully completing his degree he worked as a waiter and rose through the ranks with sheer dedication and hard work. On a more personal note, Orhan is a true sportsman and enjoys sports like basketball, tennis, chess and volleyball. He has also been a member of the Rotary International Club for almost 25 years.
Justin Robertshaw - Waste to Wealth Manager Maldives
Justin heads up Soneva’s Waste-to-Wealth initiative in the Maldives, overseeing the Eco Centro and organic gardens. As a permaculture designer and Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant he is passionate about sharing his and his team’s knowledge to bring more innovative and sustainable wellness to Soneva, our guests, and the local community. Justin wants to take some of Soneva’s initiatives, such as permaculture gardening techniques, making organic compost, coconut oil, charcoal, coco peat, building blocks and crushing glass for the Art and Glass Studio, and turn these into guest experiences that inspire and impart knowledge.
Ken Kiriyama - Freediving Instructor
Ken has been practicing yoga and pranayama since the age of 16 and was initiated into meditation at age of 17. He is also a freediver athlete and instructor at Apnea Academy under Umberto Pelizzari. He uses pranayama and meditation as the foundation and preparation for freediving. He teaches Yoga, meditation and freediving internationally as well as giving lectures, workshops and seminars.
Thomas Waelchli - Diving Instructor
Thomas' story began 35 years ago when he visited the Maldives for the first time and fell in love with scuba diving. Sonu and Eva Shivdasani were clients at a resort he managed and Sonu did his diving license with Thomas’s business partner Lisa. The Soleni Dive Centre has been operating at Soneva Fushi since the resort’s opening in 1995. Never losing his passion for the underwater world, and leading an inspired team, Thomas now brings his professionalism and expertise to operating dive centres in Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.
Histo the Politician
Viktor Pinchuk, an MP from Ukraine, was introduced to Histo as his Barefoot Butler. Inspired by Viktor, Histo started helping his community and became a Member of Parliament in the Maldives. Today he is the Vice President of the Human Rights Commission in the Maldives.
Sira - Breakfast Chef
Sira is one of Soneva's longest-serving hosts, as he joined Soneva in March 1996. Our guests adore him for his unmissable smile and warm service. You can find Sira behind the breakfast station each morning where he cuts and serves fresh fruit from around the world. Sira is also the man behind our Sri Lankan vegetable garden lunch, where he cooks his native cuisine using vegetables grown in our organic gardens.
Chelsea Xu - Barefoot Butler
Chelsea Xu, graduated from Guangzhou China Hotel Management in 2013. She first came to the Maldives in 2014 to work at Jumeirah Divanafushi as a Chinese guest relation executive. In 2017 she joined Soneva Fushi as a Chinese Barefoot Butler, and now almost 2 years on she is still in love with the island and the resort.
Chef Sobah - Chef de Cuisine at Sobah's Restaurant
Chef Sobah is one of the most acclaimed chefs in the Maldives. In 2015 he took top honours at an International Culinary Event, winning the 'Best Chef in the Maldives' Award. He also scooped other awards at the event, including the Best Chef (International category), among others. Sobah's is built on the uninhabited island of Mendhoo - just 15 minutes by boat from Soneva Fushi - and is a fine-dining Maldivian restaurant that serves traditional cuisine with modern twists using traditional cooking methods.
Shafeeq at Home
There are three generations of Shafeeq’s family providing for the island. His grandfather weaves baskets and his father and brother catch local fish. From a nearby island, they love to share with hosts and guests their local knowledge and experience.
Chef Akira Koba - Sushi Chef
Chef Akira is an exceptionally experienced sushi chef from Japan who is visiting Soneva Fushi this year to oversee the resort's new sushi dining destination. Chef Akira has trained under one of Japan's most renowned Master Chef.