About Soneva

Our History

When Eva and Sonu Shivdasani built Soneva Fushi as well as their home on the deserted island of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives in 1995 they had no idea that their intensely personal vision of a locally crafted villa and environmentally responsible lifestyle would form the basis of a successful collection of world-class hotels, resorts and spas. But that’s exactly what happened. Soneva Fushi was the first ‘castaway’ resort in the Maldives, pioneering a trend for back-to-nature luxury holidays.

It established a blueprint for a highly acclaimed international business, followed by spectacular Soneva Kiri on the unspoilt Thai island of Koh Kood in 2009 and Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll, Maldives, in 2016.

The success of the Soneva brand also paved the way for Six Senses Resorts and Spas with award-winning properties in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Under Eva’s and Sonu’s direction the Six Senses brand gained a global following before being sold in 2012.

Today Soneva have many imitators, but no equals. Each Soneva – and a yachting experience, Soneva in Aqua– impresses on a wide range of levels. Breathtaking ‘remote but accessible’ natural locations, effortlessly chic accommodation, incredible food, truly memorable activities, an inspiring ethos of sustainability and service that is uncannily intuitive.

Celebrating 20 Sustainable Years

1995

  • Soneva Fushi opens

2000

  • Soneva Fushi awarded Best of the Best by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller UK
  • Soneva Fushi wins the President of the Maldives' Green Resort Award
  • Soneva Gili opens

2001

  • First Evason resort opens in Phuket

2004

  • First Six Senses property opens in Hua Hin

2007

  • Eco Centro opens at Soneva Fushi, the Maldives' first integrated waste management centre
  • Soneva wins PATA Grand Award - Environment - Social and Environmental Conscience

2008

  • Six Senses Samui awarded Best of the Best by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller UK
  • Soneva wins WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award - Global Tourism Business
  • Measurement of direct and indirect carbon emissions starts across all operations
  • Environmental levy introduced to offset carbon emissions
  • First SLOW LIFE Symposium, an annual convening of world-leading environmental thinkers
  • Soneva bans branded bottled water

2009

  • Soneva Fushi installs the largest solar plant in the Maldives
  • Soneva Kiri opens
  • Sonu and Eva win the Inaugural Barclays Wealth Sustainable Award for their sustainable work in the luxury hospitality industry

2010

  • The Soneva Foundation is founded, funding projects that address social and environmental challenges

2011

  • Soneva wins HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards Corporate Leadership Award
  • The Soneva Foundation launches the Darfur Stoves Project to provide clean cook stoves to vulnerable families
  • The Soneva Foundation launches the Forest Restoration Project to plant 500,000 tress in Northern Thailand

2012

  • Six Senses and Evason are sold and Soneva returns to One Owner, One Operator, One Philosophy, One Brand

2013

  • WHOLE WORLD Water is launched, replicating Soneva's method of filtering and bottling water on-site
  • Soneva wins Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award

2014

  • The Soneva Foundation launches the Myanmar Stoves Campaign to provide clean cook stoves in rural Myanmar
  • Soneva Fushi becomes the Maldives HQ of FINished with Fins
  • Soneva launches the Learn to Swim programme for children and mothers on Maldivian islands
  • Soneva Glass opens at Soneva Fushi, taking glass bottle waste from Maldivian resorts and creating beautiful glass artwork
  • Soneva Total Impact Assessment is launched to audit all organisational and supply chain social and environmental impacts

2015

  • Work commences on Soneva Jani, applying rigorous environmental and social standards
  • Soneva in Aqua, Soneva's yacht, is launched
  • Soneva wins WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award - Environment category
  • Soneva celebrates 20 sustainable years