Tropical treasure
Outlook Traveller|November 2020
Is this the ultimate island holiday? Amit Dixit checks into soneva Fushi, the original ‘barefoot luxury’ resort
Amit Dixit

LONG BEFORE I ARRIVED IN THE MALDIVES, I had decided exactly what music I wanted playing in my villa, what bath salts I preferred, what snacks I wanted my pantry stocked with, what extra amenities I needed, what activities I was planning to participate in, etc, etc. All fed into a detailed document called My Soneva Preferences.

Only so, once I was there, I wouldn’t have the distraction of choice. I could tell the stress was going to slip away. It would be like home. Only much nicer.

At Malé airport, I learnt I had missed my seaplane transfer, thanks to the late arrival of my flight from Thiruvananthapuram. No matter, they were putting me on a domestic flight to Dharavandhoo, the closest airport to Soneva Fushi in the serene Baa Atoll. A Tesla X whisked me off to the Soneva Lounge where I waited for my next flight. When I alighted into the speedboat for the last leg of my transfer, I was asked to take my shoes off. They disappeared into the cream confines of a shoe bag which had Soneva’s famous tagline emblazoned across it: No News, No Shoes. Who needs shoes in paradise anyway?

I had been booked into a Crusoe Suite, but that really doesn’t begin to describe the palace of pleasures I was checking into. I had my own pool, beach, several bedrooms, a kitchen, sprawling living room, an open-air bathing area that would put Cleopatra to shame, and numerous other nooks. The mod cons were top notch. I also had my own gym. Elbow room has long been a marker of luxury. There was nothing garish about this self-assured luxury...no shiny bells and whistles. Just the weathered beauty of timeless materials like old-growth wood and rough-hewn stone. Unlimited lounging areas with oversized cushions encouraging a certain expansiveness of mind. A sense of sanctuary, memories to be made, something to be treasured.

The bell rang. Thank god, it was...Mr Friday. At Soneva you’re assigned a dedicated Mr or Ms Friday who’s in touch even before your trip starts, and then handholds you through the entire stay. Mine was Mickey and he was escorting me to dinner.

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