Frequently Asked Questions
Who we are; what we believe in
1. Who owns Soneva Jani?
Soneva Jani, which opened in 2016, is privately owned by Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, who launched Soneva back in 1995. Today Soneva is one of the few luxury brands that remains family owned and operated.
2. What is SLOWLIFE about?
SLOWLIFE explains our outlook at Soneva. We take our environmental and social responsibilities very seriously, and are committed to developing our resorts in the most sustainable way possible. Among our many initiatives, this includes using sustainable materials, recycling our waste, eliminating plastics, conserving water, and preserving and protecting the local ecosystem.
3. What is the ‘no news, no shoes’ policy?
From the moment you arrive at Soneva Jani, we encourage you to slip your shoes into a bag for safekeeping. We believe that a sense of connection with nature and the world around you is only complete when you feel the sand between your toes. We hope to give you a wonderful excuse to unwind and relax without feeling the need to check up on what’s happening in the outside world. You only need to put your shoes back on when you are ready to leave our island.
- 1. Who owns Soneva Jani?
Things to know before you arrive
1. Where is Soneva Jani located?
Soneva Jani is found in the clear waters of the Medhufaru lagoon in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll. This small private archipelago includes the 150-acre Medhufaru Island and five islets, four of which remain untouched.
2. What is Soneva Jani time?
At Soneva Jani, we set our clocks forward to one hour ahead of Malé time so that our guests can enjoy more daylight hours. Malé time is UTC + 5. During Ramadan, the clocks at Soneva Jani shift back to Malé time.
3. What is the weather like in the Maldives?
The Maldives’ tropical climate is influenced by monsoons – the average temperature is a balmy 30°C (86°F), while sea temperatures are around 22 to 28°C (72 to 82°F). The coolest days are a pleasant 25°C (77°F). During the dry season from November until April, expect clear blue skies, light sea breezes and tropical sunshine. The wettest time of the year is during the monsoon season from May to October, when the weather can be more mixed, with sunshine, showers and occasional storms.
4. When is the best time to visit?
With its tropical climate, sunshine-filled days and temperatures averaging 30°C all year round, the Maldives is an all-season destination. Diving is good at any time of the year, however the monsoon season (May to October) is the best season for manta rays and other marine life due to the higher quantities of plankton in the sea.
5. Will I need any vaccinations?
Vaccinations are only required for visitors travelling to the Maldives from regions where yellow fever and cholera are endemic. For all other guests, no vaccinations are needed.
6. Is there a Doctor on site?
We have a resort nurse at Soneva Jani who is available 24/7. Our clinic is well equipped and includes a Cardiac Machine, Defibrillators and other emergency equipment. The nearest hospital is a 10-minute speedboat ride away, which is the Manadhoo Atoll Hospital. More serious situations might require an airlift to Malé.
7. How much taxes and service charge I pay at Soneva Jani?
Tax on villas at Soneva Jani stands at 25.44%, which includes a Service Charge of 10% on your room rate, Carbon Offset Tax at 2% of your room rate, and a Goods and Services Tax at 12% on the rate. There is an additional USD 6 per person per night Green Tax for food and beverages, transfers and other resort facilities, such as the spa.
- 1. Where is Soneva Jani located?
Arriving and Departing from Soneva Jani
1. What airport should I fly to in the Maldives?
You can fly directly into Maafaru International Airport, in the Noonu Atoll, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It handles scheduled domestic and international flights and private charters. Located on Maafaru Island, it is just 7 ¾ nautical miles from Soneva Jani, which can be reached with a short speedboat ride.
Read more here
2. What happens when I arrive at the airport?
Upon exiting the doors after luggage collection, you will be met by Soneva’s airport representative holding a sign saying ‘Soneva’. They will escort you to either the lounge or the seaplane terminal for departure.
3. How do I get to Soneva Jani?
To reach Soneva Jani from Malé, you can take a 45-minute private seaplane from Malé International Airport direct to the resort. There are currently no domestic flights operating to Soneva Jani, but we expect that there will be in the near future. For prices, please check with our Reservations team. Flights can also be booked via the booking engine on our website.
4. How do I get to Soneva Jani from Soneva Fushi?
We offer complimentary transfers by speedboat between Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. The journey takes approximately 60 minutes. Alternatively, at an additional charge, guests can sail between the two resorts on our private yacht, Soneva in Aqua, which takes around four to five hours. We recommend that this is booked as part of a two-day/one-night excursion. For more information, please contact our Reservations team.
5. How do I arrange transfers to Soneva Jani?
Transfers are arranged by our Reservations team. They will need to know the details of your international flights at least 72 hours in advance.
6. Why does the seaplane only fly during the day?
As seaplanes take off and land on water, they are only allowed to fly from sunrise to sunset, due to safety regulations. For guests arriving into the Maldives, if you would like to reach Soneva Jani by seaplane on the same day, please plan to arrive at Malé by 15H30 local time. If you are unable to arrive by that time, you can spend the night in Malé. It is also possible to take a domestic flight to our sister resort at Soneva Fushi and stay overnight at Soneva Fushi instead and transfer across to Soneva Jani by speedboat the next morning (approx. a 60-minute speedboat ride).
For guests departing from Soneva Jani, seaplane flights can be arranged for international flights scheduled for a departure time between the hours of 09H00 until approximately 16H00.
7. What happens if I arrive in Malé very late at night?
If you arrive outside of the seaplane’s flight schedule, you can arrange an overnight stay at either the Hulhule Island Hotel at the airport or Hotel Jen Malé. The first seaplane the following day will depart for Soneva Jani at 09H00. Our airport representative will meet you upon your arrival and assist you with your transfers.
For late arrivals, it is also possible to stay overnight at Soneva Fushi, our sister resort. The last domestic flight from Malé to Dharavandhoo Airport (which is the local airport island near Soneva Fushi) is at 23H15.
8. What is the price of private seaplane charters from Malé to Soneva Jani?
We offer a private seaplane charter. The cost of a private charter on the Soneva Seaplane (9 seats) is USD 9,000 per one-way trip, which includes a CIP service for passengers. Trans Maldivian Airlines (TMA) also offers a VIP private charter at USD 8,000 per one-way trip (for 8 or 10 seats
depending on the plane selected). This does not include CIP services. TMA also offers a regular 8 or 10 seat charter, including CIP services, at USD 6,500 per one-way trip. All prices include taxes.
9. What is the baggage allowance on the seaplane?
The allowance is 25 kg per person, including hand luggage. If you have more luggage, please let our Reservations team know in advance.
10. Do infants require their own seat?
Transfers for infants below the age of two are free of charge. Due to legal safety requirements, there is no separate seat allocation for infants below the age of two on the seaplane. Please note, there is also no baggage allowance for infants on the seaplane.
11. Can I arrange a speedboat transfer direct from Malé to Soneva Jani?
We advise against speedboat transfers from Malé – the journey takes approximately 3.5 - 4 hours by sea, which can be a rough journey. We recommend transfers by seaplane to make the most of the incredible daytime aerial view of the Maldives.
If you are travelling from our sister resort, Soneva Fushi, we offer a complimentary speedboat transfer which takes approximately 60 minutes.
12. What are the speedboat transfer fees from other resorts?
Speedboat transfers can be arranged from the following resorts at an additional cost, plus 23.2% tax. These can be arranged with our Reservations team in advance. For resorts in other atolls, guests will need to return to Malé International Airport and arrange seaplane transfers directly from there.
13. Are there CIP services at Malé International Airport?
Yes, Commercial Important Person (CIP) services are available for those looking for the ultimate in luxury service as they travel. The Maamahi Executive Lounge is available for CIP guests on both arrival and departure from the Maldives. It offers a number of services, including: receiving CIPs at the steps or gate when they disembark from the aircraft; escorting guests to or from the CIP lounge and aircraft (in the CIP vehicle, if the aircraft is parked far from the terminal); handling passports for immigration clearance; handling luggage and processing check-ins; collecting luggage from the belt; and escorting guests to their onward choice of transport. Additionally, the airport offers a first aid service (with any costs incurred the responsibility of the passenger), and emergency services (including wheelchairs, ambulance and stretchers).
Access to the Maamahi Executive Lounge is priced at USD 280 per person, and is complimentary for guests staying in villas priced at USD 2,000 per night and above. Please note that due to limited space, access to the lounge may be restricted by the airport team during peak seasons. We will do our best to ensure availability, however this cannot always be guaranteed.
14. Can I leave luggage in the Soneva Lounge?
There are no storage facilities at the Soneva Lounge, however there are secure locker facilities at the International Airport. Lockers can be rented on a daily basis and cost less than USD 10 per day. This can be arranged upon arrival at the airport. Please ask Soneva’s airport representative for assistance.
15. Can I land my private jet at Malé International Airport?
Yes, but you will need prior authorisation before entering the Maldives, which can be arranged through a jet handler in Malé.
16. What happens on departure from Soneva Jani?
The exact timing for your departure will be communicated to you by your Barefoot Butler on the evening before departure. Your luggage will be collected and you will be presented with your final bill for signing approximately one hour before you depart. Our transfer team ensures that all Soneva guests reach Malé International Airport on time for connecting flights.
- 1. What airport should I fly to in the Maldives?
What should I bring with me?
1. What should I pack?
At Soneva, we believe in travelling light. Don’t get weighed down with non-essentials by following our useful packing guide:
- Leave your heels at home – our ‘no news, no shoes’ policy not only lets you feel the sand between your toes, but also means your suitcases will be considerably lighter.
- Keep it casual. Take your cue from our laid-back vibe and dress accordingly.
- Don’t bother with heavy clothes – our enviable climate is temperate all year round, so the most you’ll need is a light wrap or shawl. And if it does rain, simply borrow one of our rain coats or umbrellas.
- There’s no need to bring bottles of mosquito repellent with your toiletries – we have both mosquito coils and lotion in all of our villas.
- Want to while away an hour or two with a great book? Visit our well-stocked library from The Ultimate Library and choose your favourite tome. Most of our villas also feature their own bookshelves, too.
- Our goal is to completely eliminate the use of plastic at our properties. Please don’t bring any plastics with you (such as water bottles) – we provide our own filtered water in eco-friendly reusable glass bottles. If you must bring plastic, we politely request that you also take it home with you.
- Please also avoid having your luggage wrapped in cellophane at your departure airport. Single-use plastics such as luggage wrap have a devastating effect on the natural environment, and we are currently campaigning to end their use in the Maldives.
- We have professional photographers and videographers at all our resorts to help you capture that perfect moment, so you can leave heavy camera equipment at home. Please contact us at [email protected] for further details and prices.
- For families with infants and small children, we will arrange all the essential equipment you need, such as cots and high chairs. Please refer to our pre-arrival form for more details, or contact us at [email protected]
- If you’re travelling with children, don’t pack all of their toys and gadgets – younger guests will love the Mini Den, our dedicated zone for kids of all ages, which includes a Lego room, dressing up room, cinema, music room, arts and crafts space and even a kitchen for kid-friendly cooking classes.
- Need a charge? We provide adaptors in all of our villas and our electricity sockets are multi-standard to fit a wide range of plugs and chargers.
- If you need to stay connected to the outside world, we offer complimentary WIFI at the resort. Should you wish to truly disconnect you can turn the WIFI off in your villa.
- To chill out to your favourite soundtrack, simply connect to the Bluetooth Bose speaker system in your villa. Each villa also includes a television and DVD player.
- Planning to stay active during your visit? We have everything you need, from yoga mats in every villa, personal bicycles and tricycles for guests of all ages, and complimentary use of non-motorised watersports equipment, including paddle boards, canoes, catamarans and windsurfs. We also have an on-site gym.
- Tell us your favourite vintage, and we’ll stock up your walk-in mini bar or cellar before you arrive.
- Forgotten something? Our on-site boutique has all the essentials, from natural suncreams to the latest beachwear.
2. Can I bring my surfboard with me?
Yes, you can. However, your board may not be able to travel with you on the seaplane, depending on the weight of the luggage. We have a wide range of eco-friendly, complimentary surf boards and other water sports equipment that are available for you to borrow, so we encourage our guests to leave their surfing equipment at home.
3. Can I bring and use my own drone?
Maintaining our guests’ privacy is our top priority, so we strongly advise our guests against bringing or using their own drones. Drone use is completely banned across many areas of the resort (such as above guest villas). If you would like to record drone footage, we recommend that you use our Digital Storyteller photography service.
For guests who would prefer to bring their own drone, there are specific times and areas when drone use is permitted, which are approved by our General Manager. Please check timings with your Barefoot Butler.
- 1. What should I pack?
Accommodation and Services at Soneva Jani
1. What type of villas can I stay in at Soneva Jani?
Staying at Soneva Jani is a unique castaway experience. There are two types of accommodation at the resort: Water Villas and Island Reserves.
All of our luxurious Water Villas are perched directly over the lagoon, and many have their own water slides. Accessed via a jetty from the main island, the Water Villas have been designed to offer maximum privacy while making the most of the incredible views over our lagoon. All of our Water Villas have their own private pools, as well as direct access to and from the water. Most also feature a retractable roof over the master bedroom, perfect for stargazing or enjoying the morning sunshine.
Our vast Island Reserves are just steps away from the beach and nestled within lush forest for maximum privacy. Each features a large private pool, extensive open plan living areas and expansive al fresco terraces and decked areas.
2. Who are Barefoot Butlers?
As soon you touch down at Soneva Jani, your Barefoot Butler will be at your beck and call. Our personalised butler service is your single point of contact throughout your stay – as your loyal personal assistant, they will help ensure every last detail of your visit meets your needs.
3. What complimentary services can I expect during my stay?
All of our villas come with a Barefoot Butler, who will be on hand to anticipate and respond to every request during your stay. When you arrive, you’ll be welcomed with fresh fruit in your villa, and during your stay you can help yourself to bespoke handmade chocolates, your favourite ice cream flavours, and a delectable array of cheese, charcuterie and preserves from So Cool.
Discover our library on the top deck of The Gathering, which has an enthralling selection of books for you to browse, or visit The Observatory – as the only overwater telescope of its kind in the Maldives, complete with an in-house Astronomer, it offers incredible views of the night skies. All of our guests are invited to use our fully-equipped gym and tennis courts, and all of our villas have bicycles and tricycles for your personal use during your stay – a great way to explore the resort! All non-motorised water sports, such as kayaking, Hobie Cats and stand up paddle-boarding, are offered free of charge to our guests. We have motorised water sports such as the Sea Bob which are chargeable.
While we encourage our guests to take a well-deserved break from the outside world, all of our villas and designated public areas feature complimentary WiFi if you need to stay connected.
For our younger guests, we offer unlimited, complimentary use of the Mini Den and its programme of activities – our dedicated children’s zone.
For the full list of complimentary inclusions, click here.
4. We would like to know if there is a resident doctor or clinic on the resort’s island and where do you take any guest that may have a life-threatening emergency? To what emergency room do they go and how do they get there to be stabilized? Where do they get evacuated to?
At Soneva Jani we have a certified nurse in-house, who is available 24 hours to attend to any simple queries. At the resort, we have a small clinic that is open 24 hours and is equipped with basic first aid facilities like a cardiac monitor, defibrillator, suction machine, nebuliser, EpiPen, medication for blood pressure and cardiac issues to stabilise any guests in case of an emergency.
We also have a local hospital on the neighbouring island of Manadhoo, where at times we have used their services. In Malé there are three big hospitals. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital is a government hospital and Tree Top Hospital and ADK Hospital are two private hospitals.
The only place to evacuate to would be a mid-level hospital close by, which is 15 minutes away by speedboat.
- 1. What type of villas can I stay in at Soneva Jani?
Experiences at the Resort
1. What can I do at Soneva Jani?
Where do we begin? Whether you want to learn a new skill or discover more about the world around you, relax your mind and indulge your senses, or explore the beauty of the Maldives, there’s truly something for everyone. Enjoy life on or in the water with a range of water sports. Non- motorised water sports, such as paddle-boarding or kayaking, are complimentary for our guests; or you can try your hand at eco-friendly surfing, diving or a guided snorkelling trip around the atoll, or join a sunset dolphin cruise.
Catch a classic film at the silent Cinema Paradiso, gaze at the star-filled night sky at The Observatory or put on an apron and learn to cook your favourite dishes in The Gathering’s open kitchen.
Embrace castaway life with a desert island picnic, or celebrate the full moon on a secluded sandbank, complete with candlelit dinner. If you want to simply relax and feel rejuvenated, visit the Soneva Spa, which has a vast menu of holistic treatments and internationally-renowned visiting practitioners.
For the full list of experiences, click here.
2. What is the Soneva Stars programme?
Our Soneva Stars programme celebrates the wonderfully diverse array of guest activities that we have on offer this year; from Michelin-starred chefs and world-renowned astronomers, to sporting legends, celebrated authors, expert wellness practitioners and so much more. Each month has a thrilling programme of special events, collaborations and activities. There has never been a better time to visit Soneva Jani! Find out more about Soneva Stars here.
3. What days can I see a movie at Cinema Paradiso and how much does it cost?
Cinema Paradiso, the Maldives’ only silent cinema, is a complimentary experience for all guests. Cinema Paradiso is also available for private screenings on Monday and Friday, which can be booked through your Barefoot Butler.
4. What water activities are available at Soneva Jani?
Whether you’re experienced in the open water, or a complete novice who wants to try something new, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the variety of fun and exciting water sports available at Soneva Jani. All non-motorised water sports, including Hobie Cats, kayaks and stand up paddle-boarding are complimentary for our guests, or have a go at water-skiing and wakeboarding if you’re looking for an adrenaline boost.
With clear waters and fantastic visibility, the Noonu Atoll is ideal for snorkelling. Discover the abundant marine life, including sea turtles and rays, with a guided tour alongside our resident Marine Biologist. The dolphin cruise is one of Soneva Jani’s best-loved experiences, and a unique opportunity to see these intelligent mammals as they swim and play in their natural habitat.
Soneva welcomes divers of all levels of experience – take a Scuba diving course with our expert instructors at the Soleni Dive Centre, and explore the many dive sites around the resort.
For a true desert island experience, enjoy a picnic on the sandbank, or view the perfect sunrise and sunset with your own private cruise. Discover more about island life and the sub-aquatic natural habitat with excursions to local, uninhabited islands and fascinating tutorials from our in-house Marine Biologist, or enjoy our sustainable fishing trips.
5. When is the best season to see dolphins and manta rays?
Dolphins can be spotted in the Noonu Atoll all year round. Manta Rays are more likely to be seen at our sister resort, Soneva Fushi, which is located close to Hanifaaru Bay. The manta season runs from May to October.
6. What dive sites are near Soneva Jani?
Soneva Jani is close to many incredible dive sites which are rich in marine life. Our Soleni Dive Centre has multi-lingual PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) instructors, while small dive groups ensure that you have the best and safest experience, no matter what your level.
The Noonu Atoll is known for housing the highest density of schooling fish which can be found in the Maldives, especially Fusiliers and Snappers with the privileged presence of a huge spinner dolphin population. The underwater world is renowned for scuba diving with dive sites such as Orimas Tila, known for spotting grey and white tip reef sharks, and Christmas Tree Rock (Vavathi Kurohli Tila) which is famous for its abundant vibrant soft coral life.
We have over 20 dive sites close by and still many more to be discovered. Our house reef is one of our main attractions for both diving and snorkelling where you can find amazing marine life such as dolphins and turtles. We have exciting dives from easy to more advanced levels with the chance to see grey reef and leopard sharks, napoleon wrasse, eagle rays and much, much, more.
7. What is the Bubblemaker children’s programme?
The Bubblemaker programme offers children aged 8 and above the chance to learn how to use Scuba gear, breathe underwater and swim with Scuba equipment in shallow water. It is priced at USD 90 per dive.
8. Where can I snorkel at Soneva Jani?
The warm waters of the private Medhufaru lagoon are teeming with aquatic life – and can be accessed directly from our Water Villas or our beachside Island Retreats. Alternatively, take a guided snorkelling trip with our resident Marine Biologist around the Noonu Atoll, which is home to dolphins, turtles and manta rays.
9. Is there an age limit for snorkelling?
We do not have an age limit for snorkelling. However, guests of all ages must be comfortable in the water.
10. When is the best time to surf at Soneva Jani?
Surf season in the Maldives depends on the weather, with peak surfing conditions between May and September. Our surfing guides will help you discover the best hidden breaks in the Baa and Noonu Atolls, all within a five to 35-minute speedboat ride of the resort.
While it is possible to bring your own board with you, we encourage you to leave it at home. As the world’s first sustainable surfing programme, we offer a full range of complimentary, eco-friendly surfboards and equipment that are made from recycled materials.
11. Is there anything dangerous in the water near Soneva Jani?
At Soneva Jani in the last two years, I have never been attacked or chased by a Titan Triggerfish, therefore I would not say that this is a threat to our guests. Occasionally we may find a sea urchin underneath a villa which can give you a painful sting/cut if stood on, therefore I would advise caution when entering/exiting the water and taking care to look where they stand. On rare occasions, jellyfish may drift into the lagoon, however the majority of these are crown jellyfish, which do not sting and may cause only a slight irritation – Eleanor Butler, Soneva Jani’s Marine Biologist
12. What equipment is available in the gym and what brand is it?
Our all gym equipment is from Technogym. We have the following equipment in our gym:
- Cross Trainer
- Skill Bike
- Skill Row
- Multi Gym PLURIMA
- Multi power weight rack
- Dumbbell sets
13. Do you offer photography or videography services?
So that you’re free to live in the moment, our in-house photographers and filmmakers (we call them Digital Storytellers) are on hand to capture your Soneva experiences. From picnic excursions to family portraits, from anniversaries and weddings, to documenting your snorkelling trip, our Digital Storytellers can accompany you wherever you wish, capturing whatever memories you choose. They also offer drone photography and videography.
If you wish to book one of our Digital Storytellers, please coordinate with your Barefoot Butler to reserve a time slot, or contact our Reservations team.
- 1. What can I do at Soneva Jani?
1. Is Soneva Jani family friendly?
Yes, Soneva Jani is ideal for families of all ages! Guests young and old can experience an island castaway adventure – whether exploring the warm, crystal-clear waters of the lagoon, or discovering the island’s five kilometres of nature trails that wind through the forest.
Children will love the Mini Den, which is found in The Gathering. This dedicated children’s zone has an action-packed calendar of events, and special activities.
Satisfy the sweetest of teeth in the complimentary So Cool ice cream parlour and So Guilty chocolate room, or watch a movie from the comfort of your beanbag at the silent Cinema Paradiso.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with activities, too – from treasure hunts around the island, learning to dive on the Bubblemaker programme, stargazing with our Astronomer and searching the seas with our resident Marine Biologist, to family beach picnics with a personal chef and sunset cruises for spotting playful dolphins.
2. What is the Mini Den, and what can children and families do there?
The Mini Den is our children's club, suitable for children aged 4 years old and up.
3. Do you offer private babysitting services?
Yes, we do. Babysitting can be arranged in advance and is priced at USD 31 per hour, including taxes.
4. Do you offer private babysitting services?
Yes, we do. Babysitting can be arranged and is charged at THB 850 per hour (inclusive of taxes).
4. Can my child learn how to ride a bicycle and swim while staying at Soneva Jani?
Yes. Swimming lessons can be arranged at an extra cost. We offer complimentary bicycles and trikes in all of our villas – the paths across the island are firm yet sandy, making them a great environment for cyclists who are learning how to ride.
4. Do you provide cycling helmets for children?
Cycling helmets can be arranged on request.
- 1. Is Soneva Jani family friendly?
Dining at Soneva Jani
1. Where can I eat at Soneva Jani?
Dining at Soneva Jani is a feast of flavours and cultures, with many of the ingredients picked fresh from our organic gardens or sustainably caught just offshore. Located in The Gathering, So Fresh is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving a sumptuous breakfast buffet followed by live cooking stations serving tandoori specialities, wood-fired pizza and the freshly grilled catch of the day.
The Crab Shack has been voted the ‘World’s Most Romantic Restaurant’ by CNN. This beautifully rustic beach hut serves an exquisite selection of crab and seafood dishes, complemented by a menu of the finest wines and cocktails. Upstairs, the bar boasts incredible views over the lagoon, perfect or laid-back sundowners.
Soneva Jani’s experimental private tasting room, So Imaginative, pairs the finest gastronomy with a sommelier-selected choice of vintages, while the Wine Cellar, housed in a tower within The Gathering, features an impressive international selection of wines, including organic and biodynamic varieties.
Dine upon a mystery menu with a front row seat to the thrilling action in the kitchen at So Engaging, our chef’s table – with just five seats, this exclusive dining experience is an unmissable opportunity to interact with the chef as he prepares an unforgettable feast. Learn about the wonders of the night skies with a guided Astronomy Dinner at So Starstruck, or enjoy modern Japanese fare at The Director’s Cut, while watching a classic film at Cinema Paradiso.
All of our guests are invited to visit the complimentary So Cool ice cream parlour and delicatessen, with its entrancing array of ice creams and sorbets, and extensive selection of gourmet cold cuts, cheeses and preserves. Don’t miss the indulgent So Guilty, with a decadent spread of complimentary chocolates, truffles and pralines.
You can also take advantage of our In-Villa Dining service at any time of the day, or speak to your Barefoot Butler to arrange a bespoke destination dining experience with one of our chefs.
For the full list of dining destinations, click here.
2. Do you cater to vegans, vegetarians, celiacs or people with special dietary requirements?
Yes, absolutely. We have a wide range of menus to suit every dining requirement and our chefs can customise every meal according to your preferences. We offer vegetarian and plant-based menu items in all of our restaurants at Soneva Jani. As the Maldives is a Muslim country, halal meals are readily available.
3. What is The Gathering?
Found at the heart of the boardwalk, The Gathering is a three-storey overwater structure that includes a number of our dining outlets, including So Imaginative, So Fresh, So Engaging, The Gathering Bar and So Cool, our complimentary chocolate and ice cream parlour and delicatessen. It is also home to the Soneva Spa, the library, So Soneva boutique, The Den, and our vast wine cellar. The Observatory, the first overwater observatory in the Maldives, is located just next door.
4. Which restaurants are included in the Half and Full Board meal plans?
For guests staying who have chosen the Half (breakfast and dinner) or Full Board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) options, meals are only fully-inclusive at So Fresh for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you choose to dine at any of our other outlets, you will be credited with USD 100 per person for lunch, and USD 175 for dinner. Anything outside of this credit limit will be charged as a supplement as per the published rates.
5. Do I need to book ahead for Soneva Jani’s restaurants?
Tables at our restaurants (excluding So Fresh for our Half and Full Board guests) are based on availability. You can book in advance via Reservations, or you can speak to your Barefoot Butler if you want to book a specific restaurant during your stay. Usually it is not required to book in advance, except during peak periods.
6. Are there additional charges for In-Villa Dining?
For Half and Full Board guests, there is no additional charge for In-Villa Dining, which includes one appetizer, one main course, and one dessert per guest. In-Villa Dining can also be ordered à la carte for guests who are not on a meal plan.
7. Do I need to be a guest to dine at Soneva Jani?
No, guests staying on other islands can also dine at Soneva Jani. However, reservations must be made in advance by contacting our Reservations team at [email protected] Transfers to and from Soneva Jani can be arranged privately, or through Soneva Jani by prior arrangement. The only exception is for the sandbank, where we only allow resort guests to dine.
8. Are any beverages included in the Half or Full Board meal plans?
No, all beverages, including juice, water and aerated drinks are charged separately.
9. Do you offer an all-inclusive supplement?
Yes we do. The all-inclusive supplement is priced at USD 400 per adult per night (age 15 and above) and USD 200 per child per night (age 7 to 14). It includes the following:
- Daily Full Board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at resort restaurants and In-Villa Dining
- House brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages all day at all outlets and for In-Villa Dining
- In-villa minibar, replenished once per day
- Laundry service
- Selected joint excursion/activities
All rates are in USD per person per night, inclusive of taxes and service charge. The supplement is charged in addition to nightly villa rates and is not applicable for any bonus night offers. An upgrade from a Half Board package to the all-inclusive package is charged at an additional USD 225 per person per night.
10. Can we prepare our own food in the villa kitchens?
This can be arranged on request. Please note that not all villas have kitchens so this should be confirmed with our Reservations team in advance.
- 1. Where can I eat at Soneva Jani?