Remember those escapist plans you put on hold last year? Well, 2021 is the year to treat yourself. Not like you’ll need very much persuading of course, but just in case you’re on the prowl for something utterly fabulous, Soneva Jani has launched an all-new, limitless experience in the Maldives.
Call us the devil on your shoulder if you like, but after the year that was, you certainly deserve a spectacular ‘just-because’ holiday – a celebration vacation, even if there’s nothing specific to celebrate. So, if there’s one ‘calculated move‘ we’re putting at the top of our list, it’s to get better value (or go all out) on your next holiday by combining what you didn’t spend last year, with some of this year’s travel budget.
There are many ways that you can optimise your next big trip. For example, you could upgrade your cabin of travel or accommodation category. But if like us you’ve got flight vouchers and holiday credit in-hand; just top it up/off and you’ve got the opportunity to pick something even more fabulous than you had originally planned. All there is to do is to figure out where and what.
There are many new, escapist concepts vying for our attention this year. But the fabulous Soneva Jani piqued our curiosity to explore further. We’re glad we did. Just as we had launched our “Next Chapter” issue of OutThere – proposing the way forward for luxury travel – Soneva Jani launches their very own innovation … Chapter Two.
Chapter Two at Soneva Jani consists of 27 brand new Water Reserves, some of the biggest and most luxurious overwater villas in the world. Each feature enormous living spaces and huge terraces with ocean on all sides, to present uninterrupted views of sunrise and sunset; as well as outdoor bathrooms and private plunge pools, perfect for ‘blue-wellness’ junkies. And just when you think the experience can’t get any more sublime, a retractable roof opens over the master bedroom to send you off to sleep under the stars. For the OutThere hedonist, some villas include water slides that will swoosh you directly into the lagoon.
The magic isn’t just aesthetic. In line with Soneva’s commitment to sustainable travel, the villas have been built to the highest eco-friendly standards, employing technology to reduce the environmental impact of their existence and use. We’re thrilled to report that there’s also a villa built especially for differently-abled travellers, a welcome nod to guest diversity.
Privacy is also of utmost importance for Chapter Two; with the villas positioned off the southern tip of the resort’s main island to ensure seclusion and a low-human-contact stay. With guest safety of paramount importance, the resort has employed strict Covid-testing protocols to ensure you can be mask-free if you wish to mingle, or have it just you and your ‘Barefoot (and bare-faced) Butler’. If you’re travelling as a couple, be warned … Soneva Jani is a family-friendly resort, so ask your travel advisor to ensure that if it’s privacy you want, that it’s privacy you’ll get.
Chapter Two also features some dining innovations. So Wild by Diana Von Cranach is a fully plant-based restaurant in the middle of an organic garden, a sublime setting but doubling up as great social distancing. The cuisine draws inspiration from the raw food movement, as well as Ayurveda; and in line with those principals, dishes are made from produce from the resort’s own garden. Overseas by Mathias Dahlgren brings pescatarian and plant-based Swedish flavours to the resort, with its name being a play on the imported dining concept and its overwater location. Don’t fret, carnivores, So Primitive, the back-to-basics, fire-pit grill restaurant with a twist, will never leave you hungry.
Not that hunger will ever be a risk at Soneva Jani. Escapists that book into any Chapter Two villa will experience Soneva Unlimited, which is another way of saying ‘all-inclusive’ without lowering the tone. We’re all for it, as it includes dining at all bars, restaurants and in-villa; alcoholic beverages and wines from the Soneva Unlimited list; guest Michelin-starred chef experiences; and spa treatments at the brand new 1,742 square metre wellness centre and Ayuverdic clinic.
When the time comes for us Brits to get out to the Maldives again, Sri Lankan Airlines is now offering direct flights between London Heathrow and Male, in addition to British Airways and the connecting flights via the Middle East. Now, where are those flight vouchers?
Featured photography by Sandro Bruecklmeier and courtesy of Soneva