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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

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Sonu Shivdasani awarded OBE in King’s 2023 New Year Honours List

Hospitality and wellness industry veteran Sonu Shivdasani has been honoured as an officer of the order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to tourism, sustainability and charity by the King of England.

Recognised in the King’s New Year Honours 2023 Overseas and International List, Shivdasani is the founder and CEO of barefoot luxury hotel and wellness brand Soneva Resorts and also founded hospitality brand Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Born in England, Shivdasani is an alumnus of Eton College and a graduate of Oxford University. It was during his time at Oxford that he met his Swedish-born wife Eva and together they fell in love with the Maldives on their honeymoon.

In 1995, the couple opened one of the first-ever luxury resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi. Not only did this resort pave a way for the Maldives as a bucket-list destination, but it also set a new standard in barefoot luxury with its ‘no news, no shoes’ policy and has pioneered the very meaning of sustainability in high-end hospitality.

The Shivdasani’s also developed the Six Senses brand which they sold to private equity group Pegasus in 2012. Six Senses was subsequently sold to IHG in 2019 for US$300m (€251.8m, £216m).

Today, Soneva's portfolio includes Soneva Fushi, Soneva Kiri in Koh Kood, Thailand, Soneva in Aqua (the company’s chartered yacht based in the Maldives) and Soneva Jani in the Maldives – the launch site for the brand's all-new Soneva Soul concept.

“Receiving an OBE is an incredible honour and I share it with all of Soneva’s friends and family,” commented Shivdasani, “this recognition reinforces our founding vision, which is placing purpose over profit.

“We believe that true luxury is about time well spent, so we strive to make every moment memorable for our guests without losing sight of our intention to contribute to communities near and far and protect our precious planet.”

Soneva has long championed greater environmental accountability in the hospitality sector and beyond. Its resorts are all carbon neutral with a two per cent environmental levy added to every stay.

These proceeds go towards the Soneva Foundation, a not-for-profit UK-registered trust that helps offset carbon emissions and funds purposeful projects around the world. These include offering fuel-efficient stoves to vulnerable communities in Myanmar, forest reforestation programmes in Mozambique, reintroducing endangered hornbills to Thailand’s Koh Kood Island, setting up coral nurseries in the Maldives and more.

Soneva Namoona, an independent Maldivian non-governmental organisation (NGO), also receives funding from Soneva and the Soneva Foundation for key initiatives that help phase out single-use plastics, improve recycling efforts and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards in the Maldives.

Hospitality and wellness industry veteran Sonu Shivdasani has been honoured as an officer of the order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to tourism, sustainability and charity by the King of England.
SAB,PHR
2023/THUMB350687_251224_419408.jpg
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Sonu Shivdasani awarded OBE in King’s 2023 New Year Honours List

Hospitality and wellness industry veteran Sonu Shivdasani has been honoured as an officer of the order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to tourism, sustainability and charity by the King of England.

Recognised in the King’s New Year Honours 2023 Overseas and International List, Shivdasani is the founder and CEO of barefoot luxury hotel and wellness brand Soneva Resorts and also founded hospitality brand Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Born in England, Shivdasani is an alumnus of Eton College and a graduate of Oxford University. It was during his time at Oxford that he met his Swedish-born wife Eva and together they fell in love with the Maldives on their honeymoon.

In 1995, the couple opened one of the first-ever luxury resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi. Not only did this resort pave a way for the Maldives as a bucket-list destination, but it also set a new standard in barefoot luxury with its ‘no news, no shoes’ policy and has pioneered the very meaning of sustainability in high-end hospitality.

The Shivdasani’s also developed the Six Senses brand which they sold to private equity group Pegasus in 2012. Six Senses was subsequently sold to IHG in 2019 for US$300m (€251.8m, £216m).

Today, Soneva's portfolio includes Soneva Fushi, Soneva Kiri in Koh Kood, Thailand, Soneva in Aqua (the company’s chartered yacht based in the Maldives) and Soneva Jani in the Maldives – the launch site for the brand's all-new Soneva Soul concept.

“Receiving an OBE is an incredible honour and I share it with all of Soneva’s friends and family,” commented Shivdasani, “this recognition reinforces our founding vision, which is placing purpose over profit.

“We believe that true luxury is about time well spent, so we strive to make every moment memorable for our guests without losing sight of our intention to contribute to communities near and far and protect our precious planet.”

Soneva has long championed greater environmental accountability in the hospitality sector and beyond. Its resorts are all carbon neutral with a two per cent environmental levy added to every stay.

These proceeds go towards the Soneva Foundation, a not-for-profit UK-registered trust that helps offset carbon emissions and funds purposeful projects around the world. These include offering fuel-efficient stoves to vulnerable communities in Myanmar, forest reforestation programmes in Mozambique, reintroducing endangered hornbills to Thailand’s Koh Kood Island, setting up coral nurseries in the Maldives and more.

Soneva Namoona, an independent Maldivian non-governmental organisation (NGO), also receives funding from Soneva and the Soneva Foundation for key initiatives that help phase out single-use plastics, improve recycling efforts and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards in the Maldives.

Hospitality and wellness industry veteran Sonu Shivdasani has been honoured as an officer of the order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to tourism, sustainability and charity by the King of England.
SAB,PHR
2023/THUMB350687_251224_419408.jpg

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