Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani have been named No. 7 and 36 respectively in the new global ranking of The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023. The list has been announced at a captivating awards ceremony in London, and includes industry-defining hotels from 35 different locations across six continents worldwide. This long-awaited list is 50 Best’s first foray into the travel space, and its first new global ranking since the launch of The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2009.
In addition to making the Top 50 list, Soneva also won two special prizes. Sonu Shivdasani OBE, Soneva CEO and Co-Founder, was crowned the recipient of the prestigious SevenRooms Icon Award – the only award given to an individual and not a hotel property. Soneva Fushi was also honoured with the Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel Award, which recognises the highest ranking hotel that is located within 20 metres of a beach.
This evening, the world of travel gathered from all corners of the globe to celebrate each other’s achievements at the announcement of The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023. Hosted at the historic Guildhall, the unveiling highlights outstanding hotel experiences across the world that will shape the aspirations of consumers, travellers and hoteliers.
Nestled in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest islands in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi is a natural treasure with magical experiences at every turn. The resort’s 53 private island villas are ensconced in a verdant jungle, while the eight Water Reserves are among the largest of their kind in the world. Guests can stay entertained with visiting experts as part of the Soneva Stars calendar, explore 14 fine dining destinations, discover transformative wellness at Soneva Soul or make time for play at The Den – one of the largest children’s playgrounds in South Asia.
Lying at the heart of a 5.6-kilometre lagoon, Soneva Jani is one of the world’s most exclusive and lowest-density resorts. Located on the island of Medhufaru in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll, the resort has seven island and 51 over-water villas, split between the North Jetty and South Jetty – each offering Soneva’s signature Barefoot Guardian service and uninterrupted ocean views. The playful escapism of this sparkling lagoon setting makes Soneva Jani irresistible to experience seekers with iconic over-water residences and unparalleled access to water sports and marine experiences.
Tim Brooke-Webb, Managing Director for The World’s 50 Best Hotels, comments: “Our heartfelt congratulations go out to every hotel on the list, each of which has clearly made a lasting impression on our Academy of travel experts. After seeing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, it’s been especially fulfilling to see so many hoteliers from around the world gather in London to celebrate each other’s achievements under one roof for the first-ever awards ceremony for The World’s 50 Best Hotels. We hope this list inspires travel lovers to book somewhere truly spectacular for their next trip.”
“Eva and I were extremely surprised, very humbled and are genuinely honoured to receive the SevenRooms Icon Award. We are also touched that Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani came in at number 7 and number 36 respectively on The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023 list,” explained Sonu Shivdasani OBE, CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva. “At Soneva we are a family that strives with passion in pursuit of a common goal – to offer exceptional experiences whilst minimising our impact on the environment and, at the same time, enhancing the overall wellbeing of our guests.”
The launch of The World’s 50 Best Hotels is another step in 50 Best’s journey towards becoming the ultimate global reference point for the very best hospitality experiences across the world, encompassing restaurants, bars and now hotels.
How the 50 Best voting works
The list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy, which comprises 580 international well-travelled experts within the hotel and travel industry, with a 50/50 gender balance. The Academy is split into nine regions across the world, where each region is headed up by an Academy Chair. A minimum of 25% of the panel will be renewed each year. All voters, aside from the Academy Chairs, remain anonymous to eliminate the possibility of lobbying. At the point of voting, they are simply required to list the seven best hotels they have stayed in over the past 24 months in order of preference. Voting is carried out individually and strictly confidentially on a secure site and the results remain confidential until after the list announcement. Additional information is available on the 50 Best FAQs page here.
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