Monday, September 9, 2013

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN, part 4, Soneva Fushi

Travelling with a 9-month-old baby to Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, Hanna recommends this trip and this rustic luxury to anyone, young or old. The remarkable service even included a tailor-made mosquito net for baby  ... and of course a baby monitor.

At Soneva you can really feel the joys of SLOW LIFE and the “No shoes, no news” philosophy, says Hanna. "As a barefoot luxury destination I can recommend it to anyone: couples, honeymooners, 3Gs (three generations), families with young children or older kids and teenagers. Even families like us with babies have more peace than they could ever imagine…"


Peace for parents. Enjoying one of the casual bars Bar(a)Bar
while baby Lily is with the babysitter

Arrival


After baggage pickup at Male' international airport, Soneva guests are met and transported to the Soneva lounge, and straight into a pampered experience, with welcome drinks and a chance to choose amenities for your room, or even have a quick massage while you wait. After 40 minutes we had a Transmaldivian Airlines Twin  flight of 30 minutes. Landing on the water at Soneva international airport, a small dock 5 minutes by boat from the main jetty, you are met by your butler Mr or Mrs Friday and if comfortable, asked to remove your shoes in line of the No shoes, no news philosophy.
Soft white sand for your toes

The Resort


Out of four restaurants, Fresh in the garden is by far the best. Situated up in the trees overlooking the garden where basically everything you eat (except the fish and meat) is grown, this restaurant holds top quality in everything. We did not have time to think baby chair before we had one by our table, covered with a fresh towel since it was raining outside and the baby was a little wet. Simply gorgeous experience.

The garden that makes everything so fresh

Dessert from Fresh in the Garden



Cold buffet - fresh fresh


The main restaurant Mihiree Mitha also served extremely  fresh dishes with vegetables grown on the island and a great variety of dishes for breakfast and lunch. The staff was friendly and very personal. Travelling with a small baby it was very appreciated that the staff would carry around and play with our daughter, which enabled us to have a calm and nice eating experience!






Lily and Mr Friday


 
Click for a closer look at the chocolate room
The chocolate room is out of this world! It is a must for everyone who goes to Soneva Fushi. The dessert room and the cheese & cold cuts room were also impressive. 

The Mediterranean restaurant Down to Earth was best on barbecue evenings where food stands were put up and you could have your choice of fresh fish of the day, or meat. The a la carte menu was also very good.


Activities 


The main “activity” at Soneva Fushi is to relax, but snorkeling (each guest is provided with a set of snorkeling equipment) and diving are also  rather obvious daytime activities, not to mention fishing or tennis..

I would definitely recommend another “activity” - to hang out at Bar(a)Bar on the opposite side of the island for the very essence of Maldivian style luxury with nets above the water for sunbathing and the most beautiful waters all around you!

Boardwalk to Bar(a)Bar



The charms and casual ambience of Bar(a)Bar

Because of bedtime for little ones we missed out on the classic evening activities including the romance of outdoor cinema, stargazing from the observatory or overnight on the sandbank outside Soneva Fushi island.


Villas


Our Crusoe villa was perfect for our little family. The outdoor bathroom and private beach were the two best features. The interior is of course very “barefoot”. Well put together and fits beautifully for the concept.



Upstairs in our Crusoe Villa

A baby crib was placed beside the large bed on the top floor. Some guests might feel that the stairs are a little steep and narrow for carrying a small baby up and down in the two story villas, but we did not have any problems with this. The outdoor daybed with fan and possibility to cover all sides were a lifesaver during the hot hours for our baby.

Lily's favourite spot under the fan

For us travelling with a little baby the famed in-villa service proved especially handy. Purees of fish/chicken/vegetables and fruits etc were delivered daily to the villa.

Done just right for Lily

When we realized we did not have our mosquito net for the stroller, a tailor came to the villa to take measurements and then made a new net for us!

 Where to stay? The “lowest” category villa on Soneva Fushi holds a very high standard. The sunrise side is the side of the main area and the jetty where arrivals and departures take place. This side does obviously not have the perk of sunset and has less sun hours on the private beaches. But the sunrise side probably has the most romantic views.  All villas have bicycles which makes it easy to get from one side of the island to the other. There is of course also buggy transportation available.


Everything just right for Lily

SPA


No visit to Soneva Fushi is complete without a visit to the spa. The quality and extensive variety of treatments are excellent. We tried a spa consultation with Ayurveda specialist Vipin, who sat with us for an hour explaining the basic ideas behind the traditional Ayurveda medicine with the 5 elements and 3 dorchas before going through our specific body types and dietary recommendations.

The domain of Vipin

Why choose Soneva Fushi?

 The feeling of not wearing any shoes for a week is liberating. But what is more special is that you walk around in light clothes as expected as per dress code. Nor do you carry keys, handbags or money (everything paid at departure by credit card).

 If you want to read up on current events you have to do it from your private mobile phone on wifi. Satellite TV is not provided in the villa (no news) and the location of the resort itself, puts the world on hold.. And that is really what a relaxing holiday should feel like!

 Another important reason for choosing Soneva Fushi is what it does for the environment. For example empty wine bottles are reused as building material in new villas, fuel is pressed coconut shells and organic waste makes compost soil for growing new vegetables. In a world of over consumption it feels quite nice to choose a resort with a responsible take on the environmental issue.

Who should go?


 Who – I would say everyone looking for a relaxing vacation in a barefoot luxury environment, especially if they value healthy food and eco-balance. Families and couples, young and old are all suitable guests at Soneva Fushi.  

And Lily was as happy as a Sandgirl
in her own little chair

 Next a few tips on air travel with infants...

No comments:

Post a Comment