Soneva Founder & CEO Receives OBE in King’s New Year Honours 2023 List

Soneva Founder & CEO Receives OBE in King’s New Year Honours 2023 List

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Soneva resorts and Founder of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Sonu Shivdasani have been bestowed the honourary title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in light of his services to tourism, sustainability and charity. The OBE was awarded in the King’s New Year Honours 2023 Overseas and International List.

Hailing from England, Sonu is an alumnus of the prestigious Eton College and a graduate of the esteemed Oxford University. He met his wife, Swedish-born Eva during his time at Oxford and together they fostered a love for the Maldives. This led to the opening of the first Soneva property in 1995, Soneva Fushi in the pristine Baa Atoll. The resort was incepted with a pioneering concept that merged luxury hospitality with environmental consciousness. Thus, the first ‘castaway’ resort was born and went on to reimagine tourism in the archipelago nation.

Within the same year, Sonu and Eva also incorporated the Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas followed by another intriguing investment as Evason hotel group emerged in 1997. With numerous landmark properties across Southeast Asia and Europe, Sonu and Eva sold the management contracts of both companies in 2012 as part of their ethos strategy ‘One Owner, One Operator, One Philosophy’.

After receiving an OBE, the Founder & CEO of Soneva, Sonu Shivdasani shared “Receiving an OBE is an incredible honour and I share it with all of Soneva’s friends and family. 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 since reigned the hospitality scene as a champion of environmental accountability and responsibility and its eco-conscious initiatives are clearly reflected in its properties. Both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand are carbon neutral, and a 2% environmental levy is added to every stay. All proceedings are forwarded to the Soneva Foundation, a not-for-profit UK-registered trust that aids in offsetting carbon emissions and funds meaningful projects worldwide.

Moreover, Soneva Namoona an NGO based in the Maldives also receives funding from Soneva and Soneva Foundation to support key initiatives that help to phase out single-use plastics, improve recycling efforts and inspire coming generations to become environmental stewards in the Maldives.