Welcome to the Turquoise Travel Diaries, a collection of interviews, stories and excerpts from our fabulous team, as they travel around the world. Here at Turquoise we pride ourselves on unrivalled knowledge of the destinations in which we specialise, so that we can provide honest, expert advice to all our guests and fellow travellers. This week, our interview is with Grace Wright who has returned from The magical Maldives, staying at Soneva Fushi and has reaffirmed how The Maldives is pure luxury…
If you were to pick one thing that makes Soneva Fushi stand out from all the other resorts in the Maldives, what would it be? The barefoot luxury.
What was your absolute favourite restaurant at Soneva Fushi? My favourite restaurant at Soneva Fushi is Fresh in the Garden. To get to this restaurant you walk through the island’s vegetable garden, up some steps and over a rope walkway. I promise it is worth it! The restaurant itself is surrounded by banana trees and the outdoor platform makes it the perfect star gazing spot whilst enjoying a Mediterranean-inspired dish and large glass of red wine.
Do you think Soneva is better suited for honeymooners or families? Soneva Fushi in my opinion would suit anyone looking to switch off and relax with their loved ones. It can be a very romantic island with lovely spots of private beach, and it’s also extremely welcoming for families with young children- it has one of the best kids clubs I have seen in the Indian Ocean! The island is big enough that kids can run around playing and it wouldn’t disrupt anyone.
Can you tell us where you can have the most fun at Soneva Fushi? During my week at Soneva Fushi, I absolutely loved watching the classic Chocolat at Cinema Paradiso. This spot on the island used to be a helipad before seaplanes were around, and now they use the space for their open-air cinema. It is the most incredible, magical experience with the stars twinkling above you and a gentle breeze around. There is complimentary popcorn and ice cream available and I would highly recommend a Cosmopolitan to go with it! Cinema Paradiso is available once a week starting at 9pm.
You spent your birthday in the Maldives- how did you celebrate in paradise? I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday at Soneva Fushi and it has been the best to date! It started with in villa dining for breakfast. The night before we went through a tick list of well over 50 items to choose for breakfast, 30 types of smoothies, 25 types of fruit juices, the list goes on… This was not a chore, this was the best bit of breakfast – creating my perfect spread! Breakfast was followed by a paddle board adventure. We were very lucky that our villa was on the sunrise side of the island, right next to the water sports centre so we paddled past our villa! We then enjoyed a relaxing afternoon followed by a cocktail or two… or three… at Bar(A) Bara on their hammocks hanging over the Indian Ocean. The sunset was incredible this evening and was topped off by some dolphins showing off a couple of meters away!
Did you meet anyone at the resort who stood out for you? At Soneva Fushi, every villa is assigned with a Mr/Ms Friday. We got incredibly lucky with our Mr Friday, otherwise known as Gemko. Gemko was on hand for all our wishes and desires. He would pop by at breakfast every day to see what our day ahead looked like, if he could recommend or help with anything! Gemko made a huge difference to our stay at Soneva Fushi and without him it would have been a very different holiday.
Did you treat yourselves to any spa treatments? What would you recommend for a spa ‘first-timer’? I went for a lovely massage at Soneva Fushi. The spa here is a Six Senses Spa and it did not disappoint! This would be a perfect experience for a spa ‘first-timer’ for many reasons. Firstly, there is such a variety of treatments which you can choose from including wellness therapies. If you want a healing aspect from your treatment then you can choose from Ayurvedic techniques or even Reiki. If a smoothing foot scrub is more your thing then a therapist would be delighted to do that also. There is such a peaceful atmosphere in the spa and it also smells amazing!
Is Island fever a myth or could you have spent longer in the Maldives? To me, island fever is a complete myth. The Maldives is a very special place in the world where you can just switch off and relax. With very limited wifi around, there is no need for phones or iPads so we took to reading books after books after books and it was utter heaven. At Soneva Fushi there is such a diverse range of restaurants, serving everything from award-winning traditional food at Sobah’s Restaurant, to your personal cravings at Mihiree Mitha. You will not get bored or wish there was more choice.
Did you learn anything about the Maldives which you didn’t know before? My trip to The Maldives confirmed for me how much we need to look after our planet. I know this cannot be done single handed, but the amount of rubbish generated by these Maldivian Islands is astonishing. Soneva Fushi in particular is one of the best islands for recycling all food waste, recycling glass and looking after the ecosystem to take care of our planet and keep it looking as incredible as ever!