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Travel BlogMay 28, 2022
Soneva Announces Sun-Drenched Summer Programmes in the Maldives and Thailand
Soneva has announced a spectacular programme for summer 2022 across its award-winning resorts in the Maldives and Thailand. Running throughout July and August, guests of all ages at Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva Kiri can get into the summer spirit with one-of-a-kind experiences, dine on exceptional cuisine with Michelin-starred chefs, unwind with an array of visiting Soneva Soul wellness specialists, and meet acclaimed visiting experts through the ongoing Soneva Stars calendar including one of the best football strikers of all time and World Cup champion David Villa and football freestyling sensation Marcel Gurk
Helping guests stay cool throughout the summer, each of Soneva’s award-winning resorts in the Maldives and Thailand features a 24/7, complimentary ice cream room, where guests can sample a cool selection of 60 homemade ice creams, plant-based nice creams and refreshing sorbets. This year, in honour of International Ice Cream Day on July 17, a mouth-watering array of limited-edition flavours can also be sampled.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Guests at Soneva Fushi this summer can dine with not one, but five exceptional visiting chefs from around the world as part of the Soneva Stars roster. Named one of the ‘100 chefs who have changed Italian cuisine in the last 10 years’, two-Michelin-starred Alberto Faccani’s dynamic style blends styles, forms and traditions. Mark Lundgaard of two-Michelin-starred Kong Hans Kælder restaurant in Copenhagen will be showcasing his distinctive mix of classic French cuisine and new Nordic kitchen. Mexican-born Nina Metayer is the darling of Parisian patisserie, while Mickael Viljanenis the chef behind Dublin’s two Michelin-starred Chapter One. And Bart De Pooter is a prominent Belgian chef, best known for his two-Michelin-starred restaurant Pastorale.
Helping guests stay active this summer, former Real Madrid defender Rafael Márquez recently joined the roster at Soneva Fushi to host a series of football camps. Football freestyling sensation Marcel Gurk will be offering his freestyle workshops to Soneva Fushi’s youngest guests this summer too.
Guests can take a fascinating voyage across the heavens with astrophysicist and analogue astronaut Sarafina Nance at Soneva Fushi’s island observatory. A frequent on-air science expert, she will be hosting after-dinner stargazing sessions along with fascinating talks about astronomy throughout the day.
Families and younger guests have so much to see and do at Soneva Fushi. The Den, the region’s largest children’s zone, has a fun-packed programme of experiences and activities that include arts and crafts, movie nights, treasure hunts and pool parties. The experts from Oppidan Education will be making a welcome return to offer one-on-one mentoring sessions to Young Sonevians, as well as fun complementary activities at The Den. Older children and teens can also join the Soneva Academy, which takes learning outside of the classroom with a selection of fascinating immersive courses, including the Marine Life of the Maldives, Mosquitoes and the Adventure of the Corbin, which follows the voyage of an ancient treasure galleon.
Soneva Jani, Maldives
Soneva’s exceptional line-up of visiting chefs will also be going to Soneva Jani in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll. Mark Lundgaard, Nina Metayer, Mickael Viljanen and Bart De Pooter will all be hosting exclusive dinners at the resort, including at So Engaging, the intimate chef’s table that seats just five guests. One of the greatest Dutch culinary talents, Jonathan Zandbergen, will also taking up a culinary residency at the resort. Executive Chef at Restaurant Merlet in Schoorl, Netherlands, and with cooking methods that combine both tradition and innovation, he has won numerous prestigious awards, including the ‘Prix Culinary Le Taittinger’.
Other unforgettable dining experiences during the summer calendar include a sunrise breakfast on the sands of North Beach and a mouth-watering selection of themed dinners showcasing the continent’s eclectic cuisine at Asian Kitchen. From the mind of acclaimed Swedish chef, Overseas by Mathias Dahlgren’s menu is an ode to organic produce and the sea, while the new menu at So Wild by Diana Von Cranach offers a health-conscious, plant-based menu designed by the innovative raw food chef herself. And at So Starstruck, the Maldives’ only overwater telescope, diners can explore the heavens with the resident astronomer, Maavin.
Hailed as one of the best football strikers of all time, David Villa is a FIFA World Cup champion, UEFA Champions League winner and the Spanish National Team’s all-time leading goal scorer. After his retirement, he founded his own company, DV7 Group, offering football camps, clinics and other curricula to boys and girls around the world. Joining him on the summer roster at Soneva Jani is football freestyling sensation Marcel Gurk who will be offering freestyling workshops for young Sonevians, too.
At Soneva Soul, visiting wellness specialist Roger Moore returns to Soneva Jani throughout the summer. Named in Tatler’s ‘Best of the Best’ guide as ‘one of the top 8 therapists worth travelling around the globe for’, his unique approach combines cutting-edge science and medicine, Eastern wellness philosophies, psychotherapeutics and spirituality to create an integrative pathway to wellbeing. Guests can also join Soneva Jani’s own yoga and meditation masters Justin and Kamal for yoga and meditation sessions and guidance in yogic breathing (Pranayama).
Soneva Jani’s 5.6-kilometre private lagoon is just waiting to be explored – all non-motorised watersports are complimentary, including paddleboards and kayaks, and guests can also book swimming or snorkelling lessons with experienced instructors. There are also lots of exhilarating motorised watersports to try, including wakeboarding, e-surfing and the Seabob.
An array of family-focused activities will keep children and teens engaged from morning to night at Soneva Jani’s all-new The Den. From sensory spaces for toddlers to a mocktail bar for teens, plus areas for dressing up, Lego, crafts, reading and so much more. Older children are also invited to connect with the world around them with the Soneva Academy’s immersive modular courses, from exploring the stars to learning about sustainability and the Maldives’ marine realm.
As part of its ongoing commitment to ensuring that younger guests stay inspired and intrigued outside of term-time, Soneva has also partnered with Oppidan Education, a British-based mentoring firm created to help children continue their learning outside of the classroom and reach their full potential. As well as complimentary drop-in workshops with fun, educational activities at The Den, Oppidan will also offer private, one-on-one appointments, which can be scheduled each afternoon.
Soneva Kiri, Thailand
Summer at Soneva Kiri invites guests to relax, unwind and reconnect on tranquil Koh Kood, one of Thailand’s most unspoiled, least populated islands. The resort’s dining experiences take guests on a journey of discovery across a world of flavours and culinary cultures. With soft sands and exceptional views, lunch on beautiful South Beach offers rotating lunch themes from pit- or spit-cooked seafood to Mexican feasts, or guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience at the jungle-encircled Mushroom Hut, where every delicious course is crafted from mushrooms organically grown at the resort’s Eco Centro. At Kruua Mae Tuk, a ‘no-menu’ dining concept offers a vast selection of dishes inspired by ingredients grown on Koh Kood guests, as well as seafood caught fresh from the seas around the island.
Many of the most memorable experiences at Soneva Kiri this summer include exploring the beauty of the resort’s island home. The Seven Days Seven Beachesexperience invites guests onboard a traditional fishing vessel to discover some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches and bays. Guided snorkelling trips visit the nearby sunken sculpture garden at Koh Raet, or the pristine waters of the Koh Rang Yai National Marine Park. And fishing adventures take guests to the best fishing areas around Koh Kood, Koh Raet or Koh Mai Si with local fishermen.
At Soneva Spa, guests can relax and rejuvenate, surrounded by nature. As well as an extensive menu of therapies and healing rituals, Soneva Spa is also offering a daily calendar of complimentary wellness sessions including Himalayan singing bowl meditation, cardio workouts, Pilates and Tai Chi.
The Den and Eco Den teams at Soneva Kiri have compiled an enthralling summer programme for younger guests. Led by experienced childminders, children can try their hand at eco-friendly workshops and scavenger hunts at Eco Centro, enjoy afternoon dance hours, embark on snorkelling and jungle adventures, and watch family-friendly movies with dinner at the open-air Cinema Paradiso. Budding young chefs can also take part in Soneva Kiri’s latest Junior MasterChef competition at the Cooking Hut, with fantastic prizes to be won.