All of our Soneva Private Residences in the Maldives are inspired by nature and built to accentuate the beauty of their idyllic island locations. Explore our sustainable design philosophy and the craftsmanship and materials we use for our interior design.
Sustainable plantation teak is used for much of the furniture found in our Private Residences. Here, it has been crafted into a vast semi-circular daybed with a playful fish design….
Hand-crafted by on-site artisans, this unique door has been made to measure its arched frame, creating a memorable entry-way to the villa….
Most of our water villas and many of our island villas feature their very own water slides into the ocean or your private pool – a signature feature loved by residents of all ages….
Crafted from small pieces of leftover wood, this intricate, vaulted ceiling comes alive with movement and texture. …
This eccentric chair was inspired by the chickens that roam freely around Soneva Fushi. Made with coconut wood and tufts of grass, its intriguing design is eye-catching yet comfortable….
Many of our over-water villas feature a roof over the master bedroom that retracts at the touch of a button so you can sleep under the stars….
Open-air bathrooms are a signature Soneva detail, letting you bathe or shower under sun-lit or star-strewn skies, surrounded by nature….
A double-height ceiling fills a villa living area with a sense of space, while an expansive curved daybed has been designed to take up an entire side of the room….
Catch glimpses of marine life in the clear waters of the lagoon below through this playful porthole seating area in one of Soneva Jani’s over-water residences. …
All of our over-water villas at Soneva Jani feature an open-air tub, hidden from view, with spectacular ocean vistas as you soak.
Surrounded by lush gardens, exterior terraces and decks are perfectly positioned to make the most of the exceptional views towards the ocean….
Sustainable plantation pine poles from New Zealand are used for many of our projects. We remove the bark, but leave the natural shape and patina of the wood….
Eva first discovered our hedgehogs in a UK garden store – originally used to clean muddy boots, they’re also perfect for brushing sand from your feet….
Technology and televisions are hidden away from view in our villas, such as in these cleverly designed trunks at the foot of the bed in a water villa….
A shoal of illuminated fish light the way in this Soneva Fushi villa. Many of our design elements are inspired by the ocean….
Offcuts are crafted into eye-catching geometric panelling to transform a bedroom wall into a memorable design statement….
A huge section from a fallen tree has been repurposed into a sturdy central support in a water villa – combining natural beauty with practicality….
Many of the fittings in our villas, such as this wonderfully tactile fish handle, have been created in our Makers’ Place recycling studio. …
Recycled leftover wood is slotted together to create a 3D finished texture on desks, cupboards and drawers….
This huge manta ray light, crafted from lightweight rattan and resin, provides a spectacular focal point in a Soneva Jani Water Retreat….
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Soneva, and our Private Residences are no exception. We are committed to creating an elegant, luxurious aesthetic while treading lightly on our planet.
All of our villas and their interiors are crafted from sustainable, ethically-sourced materials. We never use rainforest hardwoods, instead using fast-growing, ultra-sustainable and durable bamboo or plantation-grown wood. True to our ‘Waste to Wealth’ ethos, we re-use and recycle materials wherever we can, whether transforming driftwood into sculptures and statement lighting, using reclaimed telegraph poles for construction, or turning waste metals and glass into eye-catching design details
Eva’s Favourite Design Features
Our Creative Director and Conscience, Eva Malmström Shivdasani oversees every aspect of our design and interiors at Soneva, and her inimitable aesthetic and focus on earth-friendly design solutions can be seen across our private residences. Here are a selection of her best-loved design details.
Starfish Wall Light
We believe in finding beauty where others only see waste. Discarded aluminium from drinks cans has been repurposed into a beautiful starfish-shaped wall light at our Makers’ Place studio.
At Soneva, even the most practical features are visually appealing. Used for ventilation, this hand-crafted metal screen door is decorated with a selection of eye-catching fish motifs.
Sparkling Villa Numbers
Illuminated villa numbers are inlaid into the water villa jetties at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. They are upcycled from waste glass bottles at the Soneva Art & Glass Studio.
Naturally wavy Bole wood has been used for villa walls as well as flooring, cut to match the organic shapes of the tree trunk. Hidden doors are concealed within the curves.
Locally Made, Universally Loved
Every element of our interior design is completely unique to Soneva, overseen by Eva Malmström Shivdasani, our Co-Founder and Creative Director. We strive to employ local talent at Soneva, and our talented team of in-house carpenters and craftspeople create around 99 percent of the furnishings, fittings and décor at our villas. The rest is sourced from skilled artisans in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, or curated by Eva during her travels.
All materials used at our resorts and private residences adhere to our strict, environmentally friendly and socially responsible standards. Our villas are constructed using wood from sustainable plantations that we visit to see their processes first-hand. Our hand-woven interiors fabrics are sourced from a women’s cooperative in Sri Lanka that helps rural women find work. And reclaimed materials, such as waste metal, plastics and glass, are recycled into works of art and functional items in our Makers’ Place and Soneva Art & Glass studio.
Beauty from Waste
Used glass bottles are melted in the Soneva Art & Glass furnace and transformed into beautiful works of art and unique glassware for our villas.
A Second Life
Discarded aluminium cans are washed and upcycled into useful items for our villas, from door hooks to drawer handles.
Furnishings and fittings are crafted on-site by Soneva’s team of skilled artisans, or sustainably sourced from ethical suppliers around the world.
Vines are abundant in our island jungles – once dried, their beautiful curves and bends can be used for furniture, feature walls and lighting.
Chips of glass are sorted by colour at the Soneva Art & Glass studio. These fragments will find a second life as glasswares and decorative pieces.
Coconuts are used extensively across our projects – from the wood and leafy fronds from coconut trees, to the versatile fibre from coconut husks.
Even our chess sets, a feature in every villa, are hewn from reclaimed woods from our surrounding jungle.
Every item in our villas is bespoke, even down to the crockery, carefully chosen by Eva for its natural aesthetic.
All of our private residences are designed to be naturally illuminated by the sun’s rays – through floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights, light holes and portholes. Even so, we always look for inventive and unusual ways to light up a room, using natural and reclaimed materials – driftwood, branches, even loofahs – to create one-of-a-kind, statement pieces.
Versatile and unusual parasitic vine sections are transformed by Soneva’s carpenters into free-form hanging light fixtures….
Great care is taken to conceal wiring and electrical features, from twisting natural ropes and fibres around the cable, using transparent wires or colourful fabrics….
These eye-catching table lamps have metal lamp stands in the shape of fish bones. The more modern design of these lamps make them stand out against the muted hues of Soneva Jani’s overwater villas….
Lightweight but durable, exceptionally strong and sustainable, bamboo is used across Soneva’s construction and interiors. Here, lengths of bamboo cane have been formed into a starburst light feature….
Where others see waste, we see beauty. Reclaimed elements throughout our Private Residences celebrate nature at every turn….
This unique and ingenious design was conjured up when Eva had to find a lighting solution for the vaulted ceiling in Villa One’s master bathroom. The support beam could not hold the weight of a more traditional chandelier, and that’s where Eva’s idea of using the light-weight loofahs came from. LED lights are threaded discreetly through the loofahs themselves….
Sun-bleached vines and driftwood are crafted into a statement table lights or textured, beautifully tactile wall coverings….
Niches and hollows in villa walls are crafted into light features, infusing rooms with a soft, ambient light….
Passionate about the environment and sustainability, Eva has the challenging role of creating and overseeing all of Soneva’s interior designs. Her philosophy marries absolute luxury with an unwavering commitment to using local and sustainable materials, resources and skills.
CEO and Joint Creative Director
Since the launch of Soneva Fushi in 1995, Sonu has pioneered greater environmental accountability within the hospitality sector and beyond. He believes strongly that companies must play their part in addressing the problems of the 21st century.