Think you could never have enough of a beach holiday? Soneva Jani, a spellbinding new eco resort at Maldives' Medhufaru, 200km north of Male, may be the ultimate beach holiday you've ever had. No, this is not just a quaint little paradise on a snow-white beach with large glass windows to help you drink in the sunlight.
There is much more to Soneva Jani, a 150-acre property with 25 villas. Instead of a shared, well-moved lawn and pointless fountains, this water Garden of Eden blesses its guests with access to a spectacular private lagoon with a luminous sapphire backdrop.
The villas are what really set the experience of Soneva Jani apart. What catches the eye as you glide across the arterial connections between the villas, first, is the slide. It commences from the roof deck and curves its way down into the pristine waters. The villas are one-bedroom living spaces with a sun deck, a pool that mimics the lagoon on its perimeter, a seating area by the edge of the stilt-raised platform for midnight musings and, of course, the dwelling area. Measuring a total of 411sqm, the villa can accommodate two adults and two children. The master bedroom has a retractable roof that slides by for a night under the stars. Other niceties include a walk-in minibar, a dressing room, a study, an outdoor shower and a sleeping space for children. The villas are designed by Eva Shivdasani, who happens to be one of the co-founders of the Soneva chain.
This may be a one-bedroom accommodation, but you’ll find yourself quite spoilt for choice when it comes to perches. Catamaran nets are spread over the private pool if you’d like to be in touching distance of the water, without being drenched.
The resort is home to an observatory that hosts the famous Eleos, a 16” Schmidt-Cassegraain telescope. It’s known to be the biggest scope in all of Maldives. Many have marvelled at their first glimpses of Jupiter and Saturn when viewed through this extraordinary lens. It’s so powerful that it offers a view of the galaxy that’s 31 million light years away. It’s called the Sombrero Galaxy and makes for quite a spectacle, given that it’s 30 per cent as large as our very own Milky Way. Soneva Jani has its very own resident astronomer to guide you with your visual expedition into the cosmos.
The thrill of living in a one-bedroom paradise of your own, flirting with the planets and taking in the incredible marine life of the Indian Ocean is remarkably unmatched by most sea-side stays, even in a luxury capital like the Maldives. Soneva Jani has been built with a simplistic soul to the place that falls into the spectrum of luxury that only the great-of-taste would appreciate. Try it.
Tarriff: Rs 2.6 lakh per night for one bedroom; Soneva Jani, Medhufaru Island Noonu Atoll, Maldives