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Soneva Jani to open in October

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Luxury resort operator Soneva’s highly anticipated new resort in the Maldives will open for business in October 2016.

Soneva Jani (meaning wisdom in Sanskrit) is in the final stages of development on the island of Medhufaru. Part of a five-island cluster in the northern Noonu atoll, the resort is located within a 5.6 kilometer crystal blue lagoon.

The eco-centric brand’s newest luxury offering will comprise of 24 water villas and one island villa, Soneva revealed in a press statement today.

Each water villa has a private pool and a retractable remote-controlled roof in the master bedroom. All the villas open to its own private stretch of lagoon with some featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below.

“When we opened Soneva Gili more than 15 years ago, it stood out as a unique and new concept in luxury travel. It is my belief that Soneva Jani is even more revolutionary,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva.

“There are many small details and improvements, for example at Soneva Gili, guests would often sleep on the top deck so that they could sleep under the stars. In each Soneva Jani Water Retreat or Reserve the master bedroom roof slides back at the press of a button. It closes automatically if it rains.

“We live in an ever more crowded and developed world. Soneva Jani is one of the lowest density resorts in the world. Just 25 Villas are built in an area that stretches nearly five kilometers. It is not an island resort. It is a lagoon with five private islands where only one of these will have development. When designing and building Soneva Jani, I was very mindful that when we open, the area should seem as natural and beautiful as the first day I laid eyes on it,” he added.

“Soneva Jani is one of the most anticipated hotel openings in the Indian Ocean this year. We have already witnessed a huge amount of interest, with the first few weeks fully booked within a few days of opening the booking system to the global travel trade.”

As with the brands’ other properties, Sonu’s wife and co-founder of Soneva, Eva Shivdasani, designed the interior of the villas, which are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.

As measures to keep its environmental impact low, solar PV will be a significant source of power and all waste water will be collected and treated on-site. The resort will also be able to produce drinking water on the island.

The pools will use seawater with UV filtration whilst the villas were built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef.

The island’s extensive vegetable garden will also provide local produce for the restaurants. The Waste-to-Wealth centre will meanwhile ensure that all waste is properly recycled.

According to Soneva, the new resort will feature a Spa, a dive centre, an observatory, a children’s den, an Eco Centro, organic gardens and an outdoor Cinema Paradiso – the first ‘silent cinema’ in the Maldives (guests will be given Bluetooth earphones).

The resort’s five dining outlets will serve global cuisine as well as Soneva’s ubiquitous cheese, chocolate, and ice-cream.

“Soneva Jani is a place of incredible natural beauty. The waters in the lagoon have the most vibrant shades of blue that I have not seen anywhere else in the Maldives. We have an extensive array of marine life, including turtles, rays and occasionally dolphins, and the lagoon is an excellent place for kayaking, sailing and swimming as it is calm, shallow and extends for miles and miles. The villas are stunning and include all the attention to detail that Soneva is renowned for. Construction is progressing quickly and we are on track for an opening in October 2016,” said Olivia Richli, the Pre-Opening and General Manager of Soneva Jani.

Soneva Jani includes 18 units of one-bedroom Water Retreats, four units of two-bedroom Water Retreats, one three-bedroom Water Retreat, one three-bedroom Water Reserve, and one four-bedroom Island Reserve.

The resort’s soft opening is planned for October 01, 2016, while the official opening date is fixed at November 05, 2016. Bookings are now available from October 01, 2016 onwards.

In addition to Soneva Jani, Soneva owns and operates Soneva Fushi in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. Soneva in Aqua, an ultra-luxurious yacht offering an experiential travel experience, was launched in the Maldives in 2015 and sails out of Soneva Fushi.

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