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Strung across a quintet of paradise islands in the secluded Noonu Atoll’s Medhufara lagoon, Soneva Jani is a necklace of contemporary overwater bungalows offering steps (or a second-story water slide) directly down to the lagoon. Not that you have to get salt in your hair, with each villa equipped with its own 42ft infinity pool.

Not ready to fall asleep yet? Retract the roof above the bed for star gazing. Also open to the elements (predominantly hot sun and fragrant breezes) are the open-air bathrooms with their sunken bathtubs and monsoon showers. Each villa comes with a barefoot butler attached ready to fulfill your whims.

A three-story overwater structure called ‘The Gathering’ features its restaurants, spa, library, and observatory. While you can eat at a variety of restaurants with locally sourced produce, it’s also possible to go off-resort to a private location where, while you snorkel alongside a guide, your private chef cooks up your gourmet repast.

Adventures like this are de rigeur at Soneva Jani, which offers a fantastic menu of activities from marine biologist-led underwater safaris to a “guess who’s cooking” night where you sit for a mystery menu at the chef’s table.


There’s much about Soneva Jani that makes it an out-of-this-world stay, and perhaps above all else is the lengths to which the carbon-neutral resort is going to actively improve its local environment.

With the reef and lagoon a designated protected area, the hotel oversees its own reef nursery program and has a team at the ready to protect turtle hatchlings as and when required. There’s even an on-site factory that recycles glass for use in the resort.


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