Soneva Fushi & Spa

Barefoot luxury, creative, lush

Marine Drive, Eydhafushi, Maldives

(960) 660-0304

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At a Glance

This eco-conscious resort pioneered the concept of barefoot chic now imitated the world over, and is a great fit for couples and families looking to unplug and recharge.

Indagare Loves

  • The eco-conscious approach of the resort, which feels appropriate and necessary in the fragile setting of the Maldives
  • A romantic dinner on a private sandbar a short boat ride away from Fushi.
  • The lush, large island which can be explored on bike (it’s one of the Maldives’ largest resort island)
  • Cinema Paradiso, an outdoor movie theater on the wild western part of the island, where couples can reserve private screen time. **


This Maldivian property, was opened in 1995 by Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, visionary hoteliers who were among the first to introduce high-end resorts to the Maldives (a backpackers’ paradise until the early 1990s) and who are true innovators in the field of responsible and sustainable hotel development.

Situated in the North Baa Atoll, a thirty-minute airplane transfer from Malé, Fushi occupies a lush 100-acre island, one of the largest in the Maldives. Its 65 villas are cleverly hidden in the tropical landscape, so you definitely won’t feel crowded here. The resort—the first to champion the luxe Robinson Crusoe look that has since been widely copied—is built entirely out of sustainable materials like weathered wood, bamboo and thatch. The villas are supremely comfortable, but don’t expect to find marble floors or golden faucets; the interiors are truly island appropriate, with limestone floors, huge outdoor bathrooms, ceiling fans and cushy daybeds from which to take in the periwinkle ocean views.

Fushi’s motto, “No shoes, no news,” is taken quite seriously: shoes are placed in linen pouches, and you’re encouraged to keep them there until checkout. I had one of the most memorable meals of my life at Me Dhuniye restaurant, listening to the swoosh of the palm trees above me, sipping a crisp Sancerre and nibbling on fresh seafood, all with my bare feet buried in the soft sand under the table.

Accommodations range from studio-like bungalows to two-bedroom villas. For the most privacy, request to stay on the northwestern side of the island, which is also where you see the best sunsets. I loved the two-story Crusoe Suite, which has an upstairs bedroom and its own little stretch of beach, complete with a hammock. For a splurge, book the Jungle Reserve, an 18,000-square-foot extravaganza with its own spa suite, large swimming pool and a tree house with a waterslide.

Activities here include tennis, snorkeling, scuba diving (there’s a PADI-certified school on the island), fishing trips and excursions to nearby islands. Many guests, however, prefer to lounge, read, swim in the warm ocean or bike around the island (the bike pedals are cushioned to accommodate bare feet). Travelers should know that there is no common pool, although twelve of the villas come with their own. Partake of a wine tasting in Fushi’s lovely cellar, which stocks some 500 labels and was amassed by the former sommelier of England’s Chewton Glen. Also, couples should book the “deserted island” for the singular experience of lounging alone on a private islet in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A delicious picnic is provided, as are walkie-talkies, in case you want to return to Fushi earlier than planned.

Who Should Stay

Couples who enjoy a tropical island setting and don’t mind families. Fushi is not exclusively a honeymoon resort, and children are permitted. Thanks to the spacious set-up, however, you hardly ever encounter the neighbors. The only travelers who will not be happy here are those looking for a scene.

Written by Simone Girner

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