Soneva Jani in pictures: Eco-friendly magnificence in the Maldives
This new low-impact resort shows luxury doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment, writes Michelle Hespe.
On the uninhabited Maldivian island of Medhufaru is a new luxurious resort tempting travellers into this pristine part of the Indian Ocean. Soneva Jani has 24 water villas and one island villa blessed with a 5.6-kilometre lagoon of crystal clear, brilliant blue water. The lagoon is home to an extensive array of marine life including turtles, rays and dolphins, and its calm waters make it a dream destination for kayaking, sailing and swimming.
All water villas have private pools opening out on to private stretches of lagoon, while some villas feature slides from their top decks, slipping guests straight into the lagoon below. Retractable roofs in the master bedrooms offer guests an incomparable stargazing experience, while the beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani (one of Soneva’s co-founders) are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.
Local produce at Soneva Jani
The owners of Soneva Jani aim to protect the pristine nature of the resort’s location, and so the environmental impact of its construction was 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 reefs. Solar PV is a significant source of power, and the drinking water is the produced on site. The resort’s vegetable garden offers an abundance of local organic produce for the five dining outlets, and the delectable offerings at the cheese, chocolate, ice-cream and charcuterie rooms are complimentary for guests.
Respecting the Maldivian environment
Soneva Jani features a spa, dive centre, observatory, a children’s den, and the first silent cinema in the Maldives; in keeping with the resort’s goal of protecting the magnificent environment in which it resides, guests are given Bluetooth earphones so as not to disturb the resident wildlife.
All images courtesy Soneva Jani