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If you were hoping to stay at one of the Anantara Resorts in the Maldives, sorry, but you're out of luck as the hotel has been booked out by a Saudi prince for the next month. But there's another option to try, Soneva Fushi, one of the island's sustainable luxury resorts. Here with a full review of his stay this past December, is TeddyWorcester who we followed on his Great American Road Trip a few summers back. Enjoy and fingers crossed, no Saudi princes book this hotel up!
Can a Resort Be Both Sustainable and Luxurious? The Soneva Fushi Is
The Maldives is one of the most remote nations in the world, comprised of 26 atolls and situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Before the ‘70s, tourism barely even existed in the region but in the last 30 years, over 100 resorts have cropped up, playing a significant role in the country’s GDP.
Now, the world’s most prolific hotel brands have leased their own atolls from the Maldivian government and built luxury resorts. With brands like the Taj, Shangri-La, and Four Seasons, it’s tempting to choose a property that is “safe,” where you know you’ll get luxury and service. However, if you know anything about the current environmental state of the Maldives, you may opt for a resort that prides itself on sustainability. Climate change is real and imminent, with rising water levels threatening to engulf atolls and increasing water temperatures killing off fragile coral.
With plans to head to the Maldives, I searched for a resort with a strong emphasis on sustainability and I am incredibly fortunate to have stumbled upon Soneva Fushi. The 65-villa resort sits on a 1,400 meter long island in the Baa Atoll. I booked a “Soneva Fushi Villa with pool,” which will set you back about $1,243/night. This rate does not include the seaplane transfer from Malé to the resort, which will cost you $550 per person (roundtrip).
The 30-minute flight from Malé, the main island, gave us a stunning aerial view of the countless tiny islands, and was certainly worth the additional cost (not that we had a choice). We landed next to a tiny dock in the middle of the water, dubbed the Soneva Fushi International Airport. Our butler Mohamed greeted us on a boat and took us to the island. Upon arrival, we had a brief tour and went straight to our villa. No checking in, no crazy forms. There was only one rule for the week: no news, no shoes.