Press Releases

Soneva reveals details of its newest resort, Soneva Jani

May 2016

24 water villas and 1 island villa to open in October 2016 in the Maldives

All villas feature a retractable roof for stargazing

The resort is set in a 5.6km private lagoon

(May 17, 2016) Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator, has revealed details of its newest resort, Soneva Jani, opening in October 2016 in the Maldives.  The brand’s newest luxury resort offering will comprise 24 water villas and one island villa, with additional island villas planned at a later stage.

Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The highlight of the resort is its location within a 5.6 kilometer lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. The main island is fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery.

Soneva Jani Water Villa

Every water villa has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze. Like all other Soneva properties, the spacious villas feature beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani, one of Soneva’s co-founders, and are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.

“When we opened Soneva Gili more than 15 years ago, it stood out as a unique and new concept in luxury travel.  It is my belief that Soneva Jani is even more revolutionary.  There are many small details and improvements, for example at Soneva Gili, guests would often sleep on the top deck so that they could sleep under the stars.  In each Soneva Jani Water Retreat or Reserve the master bedroom roof slides back at the press of a button. It closes automatically if it rains,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva.

“We live in an ever more crowded and developed world. Soneva Jani is one of the lowest density resorts in the world. Just 25 Villas are built in an area that stretches nearly five kilometers. It is not an island resort.  It is a lagoon with five private islands where only one of these will have development. When designing and building Soneva Jani, I was very mindful that when we open, the area should seem as natural and beautiful as the first day I laid eyes on it,” he added. “Soneva Jani is one of the most anticipated hotel openings in the Indian Ocean this year. We have already witnessed a huge amount of interest, with the first few weeks fully booked within a few days of opening the booking system to the global travel trade.”

Water Villa in Maldives Sonev Jani

Soneva Jani will include all of Soneva’s popular features including a Spa, a dive centre, an observatory, a children’s den, an Eco Centro, organic gardens and an outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The cinema will be the first ‘silent cinema’ in the Maldives, as guests will be given Bluetooth earphones to watch movies so as not to disturb the nesting wildlife in the area.

The resort will serve global cuisine at five dining outlets, and will feature Soneva’s ubiquitous cheese, chocolate, ice-cream and charcuterie rooms that are complimentary for all guests. Various destination and specialty dining experiences will also be available.

“Soneva Jani is a place of incredible natural beauty. The waters in the lagoon have the most vibrant shades of blue that I have not seen anywhere else in the Maldives. We have an extensive array of marine life, including turtles, rays and occasionally dolphins, and the lagoon is an excellent place for kayaking, sailing and swimming as it is calm, shallow and extends for miles and miles. The villas are stunning and include all the attention to detail that Soneva is renowned for.  Construction is progressing quickly and we are on track for an opening in October 2016,” said Olivia Richli, the Pre-Opening and General Manager of Soneva Jani.

Soneva Jani includes 18 units of one-bedroom Water Retreats, four units of two-bedroom Water Retreats, one three-bedroom Water Retreat, 1 three-bedroom Water Reserve, and one four-bedroom Island Reserve.

In constructing the resort, Soneva kept its environmental impact as low as possible. The pools use seawater with UV filtration and the villas have been built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef.  Furthermore, solar PV will be a significant source of power generation at the resort, all waste-water will be collected and treated on-site, and water will also be produced on-site, including drinking water.  Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre will ensure that waste is recycled, while the extensive vegetable garden will give local produce for the restaurants based on organic principles.

The resort’s soft opening is planned for October 01, 2016, while the official opening date is fixed at November 05, 2016. Bookings are now available from October 01, 2016 onwards.

In addition to Soneva Jani, Soneva owns and operates Soneva Fushi in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand.Soneva in Aqua, an ultra luxurious yacht offering an experiential travel experience, was launched in the Maldives in 2015 and sails out of Soneva Fushi. For more information about Soneva visit

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 IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE AT THIS LINK. Please credit photographer Richard Waite.


About Soneva Fushi:

In 1995, award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. It has a pristine UNESCO protected Biosphere Reserve and is known for its legendary service.

Fifty-seven private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef.  Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from and nine dining options.  If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either.

About Soneva Kiri

Award-winning luxury resort Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s fourth largest but least populated island, Koh Kood – just one hour by private plane south-east of Bangkok. It offers an unrivalled combination of luxury, an integral environmental approach, authentic Thai experiences and mouth-watering organic food.

Soneva Kiri Resort comprises 36 vast pool villas on beach level, hillsides or cliff tops, all overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Available to rent or purchase, all have impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies and impeccable service courtesy of Mr./Ms. Friday private butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, a home-made chocolate and ice cream parlour, a high-tech Observatory, a manta ray shaped children’s Den and the spectacular Treetop Dining Pod.

About Soneva in Aqua

Soneva in Aqua, the pioneering new concept from Soneva Resorts and Residences, is now sailing from its flagship resort, Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. Soneva in Aqua elevates the guest experience by offering the option of a boat villa, which combines all the benefits of this iconic resort’s services with the freedom and exclusivity associated with a private boat charter.

An ultra-luxury and highly refined yacht, Soneva in Aqua measures 19.25 metres in length and 6.40 metres in width, with exceptionally spacious interiors. The onboard crew comprises a captain, a first officer, a Mr Friday butler, a Sous Chef, an interior steward and therapist, as well as a diving host and astronomer (on request).  Guests can charter the boat for one to seven nights and explore the untouched beauty of flung Maldivian atolls.

The two-cabin yacht combines Soneva’s iconic barefoot luxury with a sense of freedom and exclusivity of a private boat charter, while being at the price-point of a two-bedroom villa at Soneva Fushi.

For more information, contact:

Carissa Crowley
Communications Director

Soneva Resorts, Residences & Spas
19/F Two Pacific Place, 142 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: 66 (0) 2631 9624 Fax: 66 (0) 2631 9699 Email: