Travel tip: Soneva launches 2019 ‘Festival of Color’ campaign

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel contests, tips, series, or news.

Today (February 8, 2019): Soneva launches second ‘Festival of Color’ campaign to celebrate unique experiences across its resorts.

As most of you know, I am a huge fan of spectacular hotels (and I assume most of you are as well since you are following my blog). Six Senses, Aman, Rosewood and Four Seasons rank among my favorite hotel brands. But none comes close to my absolute favorite hotel group in the world: Soneva. What I like so much about the Soneva – and how they discriminate themselves from their high-end competitors – is their pursuit for excellence, the unique design of their resorts, their commitment to inspired living, their very smart take on barefoot luxury, their breathtaking ‘remote but accessible’ natural locations, and their creation of authentic experiences (unlike any other). Soneva manages four spectacular resorts in the Maldives and Thailand:

  • Soneva Jani, the Maldives’ most exclusive resort
  • Soneva Fushi, the Maldives’ original hideaway
  • Soneva in Aqua, the Maldives’ first floating villa
  • Soneva Kiri, the most exclusive resort in Thailand


Readers of my blog can enjoy exceptional benefits at Soneva resorts, regardless of whether the booking was made via Soneva directly or via a travel agent (read more about it here). These benefits include:

  • A complimentary upgrade to the next villa category (subject to availability)
  • A voucher of resort credit valued at 10% of the total room revenue of the booking (when booking a Best Available Rate) or 5% of the total package revenue when booking one of the Soneva special packages. For example, if you book 7 nights at Soneva Kiri at a best available rate of $1300 USD per night, you will get a resort credit of 7 x $130 USD = $910 USD, which you can use on food, spa, and activities.
  • One personalised experience for two adults. For example, at Soneva Jani, these experiences may include:
    • Private Cinema Paradiso experience with dinner
    • Father & son picnic and mother & daughter spa
    • Private Dinner at the Starlight Table and a session at the observatory
    • Cooking class for children and family
    • Sunrise breakfast
    • Gourmet dining experience which includes chocolate and wine tasting

And now may be the best time ever to book a stay at one of the Soneva resorts since Soneva has launched its second year-long campaign known as ‘Festival of Color’, offering a dazzling array of guest activities and unique experiences, ranging from visiting Michelin-starred chefs and astronomers, through to authors, champion free-divers, artists and more. Each month of 2019 will offer different experiences and is also associated with a different color and theme. Guests will be treated at the Soneva resorts to special color-themed movie screenings, cocktails, canapes and more.

Underscoring the Festival of Colour is a series of short “color” films created by the renowned French film director Bruno Aveillan. Bruno visited Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani to shoot the films, which were inspired by the different colors he found at the resorts. Soneva releases one color film each month during the campaign on its website and on social media. For example, below is the clip released by Soneva to celebrate the month February and the color ‘pearl’:

As part of the Festival of Colour, Soneva has confirmed a huge line-up of visiting experts, including chefs, authors, wine producers, world-champion free-divers, astronomers, artists, wellness practitioners, tennis coaches and more at all resorts. To give you an idea, this is what is happening this month at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives:

  • There are five Michelin-starred chefs visiting the resort in February: including the three-starred Esben Bang, the head chef and co-owner of Norway’s Maaemo. Tom Aiken’s, who became the youngest British chef to win two Michelin stars at the age of 26. The two-starred Heiko Nieder, the one-starred Mark Lundgaard and one-starred Mathias Dahlgren will also be at the resort.
  • Adding to the resort’s wellness offeringswHortensia Corredoira brings her unique multipronged approach to wellness and healing, which combines her academic and technical skills with her subtle perception of the root causes of tension.
  • Château Palmer, the famous winery that produces eminently complex wines, combining aromatic richness and extraordinary elegance with a beguiling velvet texture and remarkable ageing potential will be hosting a wine dinner and two wine tastings at Soneva Fushi.

“We’re really focused on crafting these beautiful, beyond bespoke experiences where discovery is a way of life. With our expert hosts as personal guides, we invite our guests to explore and delight in experiences that will last a lifetime.  Soneva has never been so full of LIFE,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Founder, CEO and Joint Creative Director of Soneva. LIFE stands for Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences.

Contact me if you want to book a stay at one of the Soneva resorts during the Color of Festival. Below is more information about each Soneva resort (with trip reports & Youtube clips). 


Soneva Jani is the ultimate Maldives’ luxury resort (and simply outclasses all of its competitors in the archipelago). It comprises 24 water villas and one island villa, with additional island villas planned at a later stage. Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The highlight of the resort is its location within a 5.6 kilometer lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. The main island is fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery. Every water villa has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.

  • Hotel website: Soneva Jani
  • Top 10 accolades: Soneva Jani features in my top 10 lists of the most insanely beautiful resorts in the Maldives, the most fabulous overwater villas in the Maldives, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, and my favorite hotels in the world.
  • Review: read my review of Soneva Jani here.


Soneva Fushi, the Maldives’ original desert island hideaway, is located in the stunnnig Baa Atoll island archipelago, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Massive, Robinson Crusoe-style, multi-bedroom luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers who know what you want before you want it.

  • Hotel website: Soneva Fushi
  • Top 10 accolades: Soneva Fushi features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the best family hotels in the world, the world’s most insanely beautiful hotel beaches, and the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, breakfast, early check-in , late check-out, welcome Champagne with Maldivian tapas on arrival, one lunch for two, original handcrafted arrival and departure mementos, shoreline beach dinner, private sunset sailing by Dhoni at Baa Atoll, and a cooking class for two).
  • Review: read my review of Soneva Fushi here.


Remote yet accessible by a 70 minute flight from Bangkok on the resort’s private plane, Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s 4th largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. One of the most exclusive beach resorts in the world, Soneva Kiri offers an unrivalled combination of luxury, environmentally friendly design and unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences. The 35 resort villas (including 11 private residences) are amongst the largest in the world. Located on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes in the rainforest, all have stunning infinity pools, impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies, and impeccable service courtesy of private butlers. Highlights include the open air cinema Paradiso, Benz’ mangrove restaurant, the chocolate & ice cream parlour, the children’s den, and the spectacular Treetop dining pod.

  • Hotel website: Soneva Kiri
  • Top 10 accolades: Soneva Kiri features in my top 10 lists of the most insanely beautiful hotels in Thailand, the world’s most amazing beach resorts, the world’s most outrageous hotel experiences,  the best private plunge pools in the world, the world’s most beautiful hotel beaches, the world’s best luxury hotels, the world’s best family hotels, the world’s most remote hotels, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, and luxury hotels with private airports.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, breakfast, early check-in , late check-out, welcome Champagne with Thai tapas on arrival, and a 30 minute spa treatment for two).
  • Review: read my review of Soneva Kiri here.


Soneva in Aqua is the first floating villa in the Maldives and every honeymooner’s dream. The pioneering new boat villa concept of the ultra luxe Soneva hotel group combines all the benefits of the group’s iconic resort’s services and amenities with the freedom and exclusivity associated with a private boat charter. The two-cabin boat features a spacious main cabin with a glass bottom spa and shower facilities, as well as a second room with a king-sized bed and en-suite facilities. Other features include an external raised sun and dining deck, a lower level bar and dining area plus daybeds, lounge seating and a jacuzzi.

  • Hotel website: Soneva in Aqua
  • Top 10 accolades: Soneva In Aqua features in my lists of the 40 hottest luxury hotel openings of 2015 and the top 10 best honeymoon resorts in the world.
  • Review: read my review of Soneva In Aqua here.

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