Wellness has always been at the core of Soneva, the award-winning luxury resort operator and now it is more important than ever. With the goal to create a COVID-19 free and eco-friendly environment on a private island resort, Soneva has introduced a Mask Free Environment at its Maldives resorts, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani through on-resort arrival testing ensuring the highest standards of safety and hygiene to allow all guests to spend a carefree and virus-free holiday as well as unveiling new eco-sustainable initiatives.
A Mask Free Environment at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, Maldives
Soneva has introduced a Mask-Free environment at its two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. No news, no shoes…. and very relevant today, no masks as a rarity in this pandemic world. The protocols for on-site testing on arrival, social distancing and changes to dining practices have been implemented to ensure guests’ comfort and enjoyment without the threat of COVID-19. Guests are escorted to their villa directly upon arrival and are requested to remain until the test results are received and are negative. Combined with the highly efficient turnaround with testing, Soneva encourages guests to enjoy the clean sea air and daily sunshine that generates Vitamin D as the best natural ways of boosting the immune system from a holistic wellness perspective.
All Soneva hosts are also required to undergo the same COVID-19 testing procedures as guests, while all materials and products brought onto the islands undergo full cleaning and sanitization procedures prior to being brought onsite to provide increased assurance.
No Mosquitoes – Soneva Fushi finds success with an island-wide, insecticide-free mosquito management solution
While many resorts use chemical fogging to manage the mosquito population, Soneva recently revealed that for more than a year they have been working with Biogents, a company on the forefront of international mosquito control research, in order to introduce a sustainable, insecticide-free mosquito management system. “In the past 15 months, the mosquito population at Soneva Fushi, Baa atoll Kunfunadhoo, has collapsed by 98%. Over the same period, we stopped all chemical fogging,” shared Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Founder of Soneva on Travel Trade Maldives.
Soneva has always used nature as an inspiration for innovation. In the middle of last year, Soneva Fushi embarked on a mission to become the first island to be completely mosquito-free with more than 500 Biogents traps installed throughout the island. While some mimic mosquito breeding sites, others hold a sachet that mimics human sweat with the smell of lactic acid. Soneva also adds a mix of sugar water and yeast as a means to produce carbon dioxide, mimicking exhaled human breath. The traps smell and breathe like a human being and the mosquitoes are lured into a catch-bag where they dry out and die.
Soneva’s pioneering treatment of mosquitoes is unique to any other beach resort, not just in the Maldives, but the world.
Soneva to Open Maldives’ First SCIE:NCE Centre
Soneva recently announced its plans to open a SCIE:NCE (short for Soneva Centre for Island Ecosystems) Centre in the Maldives. The Centre will be located onsite at Soneva Fushi with the objective to create guest experience and learning opportunities around the subjects of marine and terrestrial biology and astronomy, as well as Soneva’s conservation efforts. Soneva has also appointed Dr. Bart Knols – who was instrumental in the implementation of Soneva’s sustainable, insecticide-free mosquito management system to oversee the set up the Centre.
SCIE:NCE will include a research laboratory for in-house scientists as well as scholars visiting from around the world, an outdoor semi-field structure for behavioural and ecological studies on mosquitoes, a coral propagation centre, which will have the capacity to produce 50,000 pieces of coral a year, which when planted, will cover at least one hectare as well as a meeting/ lecture room for seminars, training courses and teaching purposes, augmented with a library and office space.
Soneva intends to set up coral propagation centres at both Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi. These propagation centres will be unique and the largest scale coral propagation in the world. SCIE:NCE is currently in discussion with some of the world’s leading Marine Biologists and coral experts, to help advise the way forward. In the near future, Soneva will invite these scientists and experts to the Maldives to contribute their expertise.
“COVID-19 has brought into question the value of what we learn at school and traditional methods of learning. The world has been exposed to, and got used to remote learning. We see a lot of interest from children, to either learn remotely or on-site, about astronomy, marine biology and conservation. It is our hope that we will develop week-long classes that children can subscribe to when they are at our resorts, and subscribe to digitally if they are unable to physically visit Soneva. I am sure that as we go on, new ideas will come up, and we will look back in a couple of years’ time at the SCIE:NCE Centre as one of those great initiatives that clearly differentiate Soneva from any other resort,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Soneva’s CEO and Founder.