Design and Interiors

Meet Our Designers and Craftsmen

Meet the Hosts behind our uniquely crafted furniture and interiors.

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Creative Director and Conscience

Eva Malmström Shivdasani

Eva has the challenging role of creating and overseeing all of Soneva’s interior designs. During the 70s and 80s, Eva was a top fashion model appearing on the covers of more than 100 high-end magazines world-wide. Eva also had a successful clothing company: L’EVA in Paris. Her real flair is in her impeccable taste, innovative and unconventional ideas and an overall daring approach that ensures a different ‘feel’ for each project. Her attention to detail is legendary amongst her colleagues.

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CEO and Joint Creative Director

Sonu Shivdasani

A descendant of Indian Parents, Sonu was born and studied largely in England, with some periods of his education in Nigeria and Switzerland. He is an alumnus of Eton College and a graduate of Oxford University, where he earned an MA in English Literature. During his time at Oxford, Sonu met his Swedish-born wife, Eva. They fell in love with the Maldives and leased an island there in 1990. After considerable effort and some good luck – their first resort, Soneva Fushi opened in 1995. As the pioneer luxury and environmentally friendly resort in the country, Soneva Fushi redefined tourism in the Maldives and soon became known as the premier beach destination. Whilst the evolution of Soneva keeps Sonu quite busy, he enjoys reading, art, architecture, wine, travelling, wellness and Soneva Living in general.

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Creative Manager

Nutthaporn (Natty) Panyaparabodee

Natty graduated from Assumption University’s Faculty of Arts and joined the Soneva family 12 years ago. She works closely with Eva, Soneva's Creative Director, on all things design, from designing the unique furniture found in the villas to what materials are best suited to create these pieces. Natty is particularly drawn to the philosophy behind how to blend function and aesthetic design.

Interior Designer

Pitchayut (Jump) Samutsarn

Jump graduated from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang’s (KMITL) Faculty of Interior Architecture. He went on to work as trainee at STUDIO HBA in Shanghai before coming to work for Soneva. Jump has loved painting and drawing since he was child, he uses this passion to create bespoke interiors that truly capture the Soneva aesthetic.

Interior Designer

Cattleya (Cherry) Heng

Cherry graduated from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang’s (KMITL) Faculty of Interior Architecture. While studying she was part of a project with Museum Siam to renovate Bangkok Dolls, a traditional Thai doll museum. After this Cherry was a trainee at Octane Architect & Design. Soneva is Cherry’s first job after graduating. Aside from interior design, Cherry is also skilled in illustrating with watercolours. She is inspired by her experience with Thai architecture to create light, airy interiors.

Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Project Coordinator

Nattaphong (Phong) Piyarattanapiphat

Phong graduated from Mahidol University in Bangkok, after which he worked and travelled in Japan for three years before joining Soneva. Phong oversees everything to do with the creation of pieces of furniture and interior fixtures, ensuring that each one is designed to the correct specifications.

Construction Director

Ahmed Ibrahim Manik

Ahmed is Soneva's much-loved builder and craftsman. He is an incredibly creative and skilled and has been pivotal throughout countless construction projects. His favourite project to date is the Crab Shack at Soneva Jani and the metal horse. Ahmed says that Soneva gave him the opportunity to let his hidden talents shine, and the results are outstanding and visible for the whole world to see.

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