After her perfectly Goop-y Hamptons summer wedding, there was no way Gwyneth Paltrow’s honeymoon would be anything less than spectacular. The lifestyle guru and her new husband, Brad Falchuk, did not disappoint with their yachting trip in Capri, but it’s their recent excursion to the Maldives that takes the (decidedly gluten-free) cake.
Paltrow and Falchuk jetted off to Soneva Jani, a luxe resort in the Indian Ocean, but they didn’t go alone. Paltrow’s consciously uncoupled ex-husband, Chris Martin, came along, as did both their children, Falchuk’s children and a handful of extremely lucky family friends. It was a “very modern honeymoon,” Paltrow explained on Live With Kelly and Ryan.
We can see why Martin and the rest of the crew would want to join the newlyweds. Soneva Jani is in the Medhufaru lagoon of the Noonu Atoll, and is composed of five separate islands, with a total of 26 accommodations positioned mostly over the water. There, guests will find premium perks such as a spa, pools, yoga pavilions, personal butlers and a yacht adventure that includes its very own astronomer. Here’s everything you need to know about this decadent Maldives retreat.
You arrive on a purple seaplane.
Soneva Resorts just unveiled its new 10-seater Twin Otter seaplane in December, which they redid and customized, because sometimes a purple seaplane with chrome and purple leather interiors is just necessary. It is available exclusively for Soneva guests, and a 45-minute flight transports you from Malé International Airport directly to your new pad for $1,100 round-trip.
The overwater villas are their own mini private islands.
The villas range in size—from 4,500 square feet to more than 13,000 square feet—and contain one to four bedrooms. Each one is unique, with features like retractable roofs, outdoor showers and baths, day beds, private pools, wine cellars, sunken outdoor eating areas and waterslides that go right into the lagoon. Depending on the season and villa, prices range from $2,000 a night to $31,000 a night.
Then there’s the island reserve villa.
Spanning more than 18,800 square feet, the four-bedroom beachfront villa is like your own exclusive mansion on the water—it certainly boasts the price tag of one, costing up to $34,000 a night (also known as many yearly salaries). It has indoor and outdoor living areas, a steam bath and sauna, a private pool and a wine cellar. The master suite is on the main level, and the second floor has three additional suites with dressing rooms. Guests can also enjoy the children’s sleeping area, an outdoor deck with daybeds and sun loungers, a waterslide and their own butler service. Throw in some rose quartz rollers and jade eggs in the bathroom, and you have the getaway Goop-y dreams are made of.
This year is a big one for Soneva Jani.
The resort just launched Festival of Colour, a rotating selection of activities and experiences that includes events hosted by Michelin-starred chefs, astronomers, artists, healers and yogis.
Your yacht comes with a personal massage therapist and an astronomer.
Bored with that waterslide? Book a day trip ($2,800 for four people) on the resort’s 75-foot yacht, the Soneva in Aqua. The crew includes a captain, a chef, a butler, a dive master, a massage therapist and, if you wish, an astronomer (though that seems more suitable for the aptly named Astronomy Cruise).
And it’s not just a little sailboat—it has a master suite with a glass-bottom spa tub, a dining area, a bar, an outdoor hot tub, a library, daybeds, a lounge and a sun deck. The boat’s daytime experience includes snorkeling (think turtles, dolphins, perhaps a manta ray), drinks, a custom lunch prepared by the onboard chef and a personalized spa treatment.
Don’t worry about the food.
Soneva Jani has six restaurants, and that’s not including the wine cellar (the vino is located within a 20-foot glass tower) and beach options. So Imaginative showcases an ever-changing chef’s tasting menu, but with its mystery menu specially prepared by the chef, So Engaging might be your best bet. Meanwhile, the complimentary ice cream parlor, So Cool, flaunts more than 60 constantly changing flavors of homemade ice cream and sorbet as well as a Willy Wonka–esque candy spread.
More villas are coming.
The resort is planning to build an additional 32 island villas in the next few years, some of which will be available for purchase. Don’t be surprised if Gwyneth adds one to her next Goop gift guide.