Soneva Fushi Maldives: 'World's largest' overwater villas open

Take a look at the Soneva Fushi overwater villas in the photo gallery above.

If there were a complaints department  for an overwater stay in the Maldives, surely the only things to whinge about would be the thrum of waves breaking under your villa or the rattle of passing buggies and bikes along the wooden jetty interrupting the holiday bliss. 

But even those potential irritants have been removed at the eight new water retreats on Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll, which has been best known, up until now, for its jungle villas.

Designed for maximum privacy, the one and two-bedroom retreats have been raised high enough above the ocean to reduce noise and vibration,  while the curved jetty planks have been relaid lengthwise for quieter commutes. 

Said to be the largest overwater villas in the world, the one (584 square metres)  and two-bedroom (857 square metres) villas are ideal for young families with secure doors onto the decks for safety and a 19-metre water slide that ends with a splash into the ocean's crystalline waters.  

Each villa has a large deck to enjoy that killer sunrise or sunset view, plus plush sun loungers, a sunken seating area, catamaran nets and private pool. 

There's an upper level dining sala, fully stocked drinks and snacks fridge and pantry and Soneva's signature outdoor bathroom with direct access to the sea.

Soneva's creative director Eva Malmstrom Shivdasani  was keen to retain the property's natural beauty so the villas are hidden among the vegetation. 

"When we had to add more villas we didn't want to touch the beach as we believe it should be for our guests and the turtles that visit our shores," she says. "So, we built over the ocean.  We hired all the right people to come and assess the proposed location, ensuring there would not be any live coral in the area."

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Soneva Fushi was the blueprint for the "No News, No Shoes" desert island hideaway with a second Maldives property Jani in Noonu Atoll and Kiri on Koh Kut in Thailand.

The villas are clad with sustainable wood panels while the colours of the ocean and jungle extend to the interiors with light blues, greens and beige. The master bed has a retractable roof for starlit night skies. 

The only thing to complain about now will be the check-out date.  

Soneva Fushi is a 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport or you can take a domestic flight from Male to Dharavandhoo Airport, followed by a 12-minute speedboat ride to the property.

A one-bedroom water retreat costs from $US2626 a night and two-bedroom from $US5232. 

See soneva.com

See also: More than a million tourists visit the Maldives each year. Here's what they don't see

See also: A place so much like paradise, it's insane

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