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Soneva Jani | A new era of over-water luxury

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Inspired by the word “wisdom” in Sanskrit, the Soneva Jani is the Maldives most exclusive resort. It is their goal to help inspire your senses and create a paradise where you can indulge in the ‘SLOW LIFE’, an acronym standing for Sustainable – Local – Organic – Wellness Learning – Inspiring – Fun – Experiences. And the Soneva Jani is an experience in itself. Whether you are soaking up the local culture, exploring the exotic marine life, or enjoying the culinary creations of Michelin-starred chefs, the Soneva Jani cultivates experiences that will last a lifetime.

At the hotel
Five islands; private lagoon; private beaches; overwater observatory and resident astronomer; overwater silent cinema; gardens with a labyrinth; water slides; watersports and dive centre; ice-cream, chocolate and cheese rooms; boutique; gym; library; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: your own Barefoot Butler, desk, TV, DVD player, iPod dock, Soneva bath products, minibar and a kitchenette with a sink, kettle and tea- and coffee-making facilities.

Our favourite rooms
There are simply no duds in this bunch: every single one of these palatial overwater villas is fit for Neptune and his gang. Follow this simple rule: opt for a room with a water slide or add one on. We promise you, flipper on heart, that it’s more than worth the additional US$200 daily supplement. Bombs away!

Each villa has its own full-size private pool and direct access to the glittering lagoon (the stuff of dreams).

Have a rub or scrub at Soneva Jani’s overwater, lagoon-spying spa. Try a Sodashi marine body wrap, energising jet-lag recovery treatment or a nourishing coconut scrub, which includes a liberal application of coconut oil – your skin will feel softer than a buttered prawn’s.

Packing tips
Bring swimwear that can withstand the gravitational pull of a pool slide. Don’t weigh your case down with sandals and stilettos: Soneva’s signature ‘no news, no shoes’ policy applies…

Communal areas and guestrooms are wheelchair-accessible; the villas (and bathrooms) are extra spacious, too.

Hotel restaurant
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the Gathering, an easy, breezy open-air space housed within the main building on Medhufaru Island. (Naturally, the restaurant comes with the requisite Maldivian views.) Get your five dailies at So Fresh, which dabbles in juices, salads and healthy, organic mains; opt for experimental wine tastings and wine dinners at So Imaginative. Have an out-of-this-world meal at the observatory, where up to four tables can be set up, each one linked to screens connected to the telescope. Temperature rising? Head to So Cool for free helpings of ice-cream, chocolate and cheese; you can also stock up on sushi, sashimi and wine to take back to your splendid sleeping quarters.

Hotel bar
The relaxed Gathering Bar will keep you hydrated, whether you’re thirsty for a knee-wobblingly boozy cocktail, a zingy fresh fruit juice (tropical mango and mint or banana and passionfruit, perhaps) or a flute of ice-cold fizz.

Last orders
Dinner is served until 10.30pm; drinks are mixed at the Gathering Bar until midnight.

Room service
Breakfast can be brought to your villa at any time of day.