Soneva Has Developed a New Normal Practice for Their Resorts
A common question I find myself asking out loud on a weekly basis is when will this all end? The global pandemic has impacted my job tremendously and I’m eager for things to go back to normal. In the last five years, I’ve traveled more than what the average person might travel in a lifetime. It’s a key part of my job and something I wouldn’t trade in for anything.
As I reflect back on all the adventures my job has graced me with, I wonder to myself how hotels and resorts will ever recover. What will it be like for them once they can reopen and how will they prepare for their guests?
Today, I was sent a video from Soneva–the world-leading resort operator–which showcases just how they plan on opening their resorts to guests. The video titled, “The New Normal,” features Soneva CEO & Founder, Sonu Shivdasani explaining his resorts new practices to keep both his guests and staff safe from COVID-19. Watch the video below:
Here are the details directly from the Soneva press release:
Upon arrival in the Maldives, guests will be greeted by a Soneva airport host and escorted to undergo a COVID-19 test using a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test Report machine. Once arriving at either Soneva Fushi or Soneva Jani, guests will be escorted to their villas, and are requested to remain there until the test results are received and are negative, a process that takes between six and 24 hours. As soon as a negative result is confirmed, guests are free to roam anywhere in the coronavirus-free island resort, from bars to beaches to restaurants to the Den children’s club.
In cases where the COVID-19 test result is positive, the resort will ask COVID-positive guests, as well as those traveling with them, to isolate in their villa. In this case, Soneva will waive the daily room rate of the villa for the next 14 days. Should any guest develop severe symptoms and have to be hospitalized, an excellent and COVID-19 experienced hospital is just 10 minutes by boat from Soneva Fushi. Soneva’s full response to COVID-19 is outlined here: https://soneva.com/sonevas-response-to-covid-19.
Soneva has also implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols across each resort in collaboration with hygiene certification organizations. All Soneva hosts are required to undergo the same COVID-19 testing procedures as the guests, while all materials and produce brought onto the islands will undergo intense cleaning and sanitization prior to being brought on site. The Chocolate Rooms will now be manned by Pastry Chefs, who have moved there so guests can watch them make (and serve) the chocolate. Soneva’s famous breakfast and lunch buffets will remain – but with Soneva’s hosts doing the actual serving.
To welcome guests back in July, Soneva Fushi is unveiling eight new Water Retreats. These massive one- and two-bedroom overwater villas are among the largest in The Maldives, created with sustainably sourced materials; each has with its own pool, retractable roof and water slide that leads directly into the Indian Ocean. Soneva has launched a series of new “conscious experiences” to encourage guests to travel for good, including participating in beach cleanups, visiting local island communities, bringing turtles back to the open waves, and installing coral fragments to the ocean.
If guests want to have a dream luxury resort in the Maldives all to themselves, they can buy out the entire Soneva Fushi island resort at a special rate starting at $100,000 per day. This “Castaway Buyout” offer is valid for stays from now until July 25, as well as from September 1 – 30, 2020. A minimum three-night stay is required, and the package rate is based on the room only.
Read more about Soneva’s response to COVID-19 here.