Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator and developer, is launching a collection of private residences for sale at its newest resort, Soneva Jani in the Maldives. Opened in October 2016, the over-water and island villas offer the ultimate in desert island living being located within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean.
Soneva made history five years ago by being the first developer to offer foreigners the opportunity to purchase resort real estate at their highly acclaimed Soneva Fushi resort. Due to its success and the enthusiastic demand from repeat guests, Soneva Jani is now being launched for would-be owners looking to purchase their own piece of paradise.
The new resort is situated on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The main island is fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery.
At Soneva Jani there will be 24 water villas and one island villa, with additional island villas planned at a later stage. 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.
A highlight of the water 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. Like all other Soneva properties, the spacious villas feature beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani, one of Soneva’s co-founders, and are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.
“We live in an ever more crowded and developed world. Soneva Jani is one of the lowest density resorts in the world. Just 25 villas are built in an area that stretches nearly five kilometres. When designing and building Soneva Jani, I was very mindful that when we open, the area should seem as natural and beautiful as the first day I laid eyes on it,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva.
“Soneva Jani is a place of incredible natural beauty. The waters in the lagoon have the most vibrant shades of blue that I have not seen anywhere else in the Maldives. We have an extensive array of marine life, including turtles, rays and occasionally dolphins, and the lagoon is an excellent place for kayaking, sailing and swimming as it is calm, shallow and extends for miles and miles,” said Olivia Richli, the Pre-Opening and General Manager of Soneva Jani.
Soneva Jani will include all of Soneva’s popular features including a spa, a dive centre, an observatory, a children’s den, organic gardens and an outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The cinema will be the first ‘silent cinema’ in the Maldives, as guests will be given Bluetooth earphones to watch movies so as not to disturb the nesting wildlife in the area.
The resort will serve global cuisine at five dining outlets, and will feature Soneva’s ubiquitous cheese, chocolate, ice-cream and charcuterie rooms that are complimentary for all guests. Various destination and specialty dining experiences will also be available.
In constructing the resort, Soneva kept its environmental impact as low as possible. The pools use seawater with UV filtration and the villas have been built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef. Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre will ensure that waste is recycled, while the extensive vegetable garden will give local produce for the restaurants based on organic principles.
With cooling tropical breezes and average temperatures of around 28°C during the day and 23°C at night, the Maldives offers an ideal climate in which to own a home.
Prices start at USD 3 million. The villas are sold on a renewable leasehold basis.
The residences receive a strong cash yield when rented out, with villa guests paying from $1800 to $30,000 per night, and owners can opt to put their property in a managed rental programme. Figures based on historic occupancy records show that the owner will receive an average cash yield over the first 10 years of approximately 4.2% per annum (depending on personal usage), and an average “return on life” over the first 10 years of 6%.
The country has a stable and transparent legal system, relative political stability and a rate of capital growth that has averaged 7.5% over the last 15 years.
There are regular direct flights to the Maldives (Malé International Airport) from the UK with British Airways flying several times per week with a flight time of 10 hours. There is also a choice of indirect routes with other airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. The resort is then only 35 minutes by seaplane from Malé Airport or a 12-minute speedboat ride for guests on domestic flights landing at the nearby Dharavandhoo Airport.
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