Eco-Friendly Luxury Resort Unveils First Fine Dining Zipline Experience

© Photo by Julia Neeson

On the picturesque waters of the Maldives lies a luxurious hideaway like no other. Soneva Fushi, the original desert island hideaway in the Maldives, inspires the imagination with a waterfront retreat that encourages the slow life, infused with unique bucket list experiences.

Founded with a passion for culture and a love of the environment, Soneva is a thriving community working to craft beautiful, beyond bespoke experiences where discovery is a way of life.

With unique experiences centered around learning and delving deeper into Soneva’s philosophy and sustainable practices and with expert hosts to guide your journey, Soneva invites you to lose yourself in experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.

One such experience is the newly unveiled and exhilarating dining adventure high among the treetops: Flying Sauces, the world’s first fine-dining zipline experience.

Destined to become a once-in-a-lifetime, ‘bucket list’ experience, Flying Sauces combines world-class gastronomy with the thrill and excitement of a 200-meter zipline—all set against Soneva Fushi’s magnificent vistas over the lush jungle and sparkling ocean beyond.

After being securely strapped into safety harnesses, diners soar along a scenic 200-meter zipline route to reach an elevated dining platform, enjoying an amuse-bouche, refreshing shooters, and other gastronomic surprises along the way. Upon arriving at the platform, Chef Rasal prepares a delectable seasonal menu in the open kitchen, high above the ground, paired with a selection of over 9,000 fine wines from Soneva Fushi’s extensive cellar.

A long-time Sonevian, Chef Rasal Jayawardene has trained with some of the world’s best chefs, including Chef Benoiten Bernard Dewitte at his Michelin-starred restaurant near Ghent, Belgium.

Since working with Soneva, Chef Rasal has worked alongside more than 50 Michelin-starred visiting chefs, including Tom Aikens, Tim Raue, Alberto Faccani, Rafael Gomez, and Vicky Ratnani.

His menu for Flying Sauces is a six-course, specially crafted menu, utilizing the finest seasonal ingredients like Hokkaido scallops carpaccio with crispy wild rice, celeriac two ways with a raisin salsa, marinated prawns with avocado puree, chorizo oil and rocket, baby leeks with brie cheese cream sauce and rosemary crumble, black cod with artichoke puree and teriyaki truffle sauce and, to finish, a plant-based cheesecake with mango salsa and mixed berry compote.

© Courtesy of Soneva
© Courtesy of Soneva

The zipline experience is suitable for adults and children aged eight and above, with a minimum weight requirement of 25 kilos. Up to a maximum of 12 guests can join each Flying Sauces experience, divided into two groups of six diners, and only one guest is permitted to use the zipline at any time. To ensure safety at all times, harnesses are compulsory along all sections of the zipline route and must be fitted and verified by a trained Soneva Host—these can be removed when diners reach the elevated dining platform.

“At Soneva, we are passionate about elevating the guest experience to something that is unique and rare, and our new Flying Sauces does just that—creating an experiential dining moment to create long term memories for our guests. This gives our guests a new perspective of our unique island eco-system, allowing them to reconnect with the sights and sounds of nature while enjoying fine dining hospitality at the same time.” —Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Founder, Soneva

With unique experiences centered around learning and delving deeper into Soneva’s philosophy and sustainable practices and with expert hosts to guide your journey, Soneva invites you to lose yourself in experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.

© Courtesy of Soneva

Barefoot Luxury

Founded in 1995, as the first barefoot luxury resort, Soneva has always been ahead of the curve, inspiring a standard of sustainability and luxury—proving that the two can co-exist to create a unique experience that lasts long after the trip is over.

Sustainability has always been at the heart of Soneva, from sourcing sustainable materials and pioneering ‘waste-to-wealth’ practices to working with local communities and maintaining carbon neutrality. A mandatory two percent environmental levy is added to every Soneva stay, with proceeds going towards the not-for-profit Soneva Foundation to offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. The Foundation funds a range of global projects that have a positive environmental, social, and economic impact.

Soneva Fushi re-uses or recycles 90 percent of its waste, was one of the world’s first hospitality groups to ban plastic straws back in 1998, produces and bottles its own water, and has been fully carbon neutral for both direct and indirect emissions since 2012. This year, Soneva Fushi revealed the fully carbon-neutral Maker’s Place, a ground-breaking new addition to its portfolio of sustainable innovations.

Each Soneva resort also has its own organic gardens, allowing access to fresh, delicious, and locally grown fruit, vegetables, and herbs and reducing their reliance on imported produce.

Soneva acts as the guardians of the luxurious hideaways, taking care to preserve local culture and the mystery, magnitude, and enchanting beauty of nature.

“The first thing we do is ask our guests if they would like to remove their shoes,” says Soneva Founder Sonu Shivdasani. “Our fondly observed ‘No News, No Shoes’ mantra grounds our guests both to nature and socially. At Soneva, we encourage our guests to go bare when it comes to their feet.”

With this in mind, Soneva works to redefine luxury. Day-to-day city life makes it hard to find a genuine connection with nature and with oneself. At Soneva, real luxury is about finding that connection while feeling the sand between your toes and enjoying dinner under a canopy of a billion stars. Soneva works to provide natural experiences as far removed from the urban environment as possible.

Today, Soneva resorts continue to innovate and are world leaders for guest experiences and sustainability. Soneva Fushi is one of three luxury Soneva resorts in the Maldives, focused on fostering an appreciation for wildlife and the natural beauty of the environment.

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