Former top international model Eva Shivdasani, née Malmström, is known more today for her creative input in some of the world's most exclusive resorts. Shivdasani and her hotelier husband Sonu founded the Six Senses and Evason resorts and spas before selling both groups last year. Eva was the creative director, and Sonu was the CEO. These days, the couple own two resorts - Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, where they live, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand, with plans to open a second resort in the Maldives in the near future. Life as a model meant the Swedish-born Shivdasani travelled extensively - in the process learning what she did not want from a hotel - while her training in fashion fuelled an interest in interior design. "I am constantly trying to get new ideas for our new ventures, but I try to always keep a 'red thread', so our guests know they are in a Soneva," she says. "I always prefer to design it all myself and buy as little as possible 'from the shelf'." Much of the Soneva design philosophy is based on the Shivdasanis' vision of the "SLOW LIFE" - Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experience. "It's a way of life, and we hope our guests will turn off their mobile phones and computers, totally relax and enjoy the nature and the calming energy," Shivdasani says. "We grow our salads and mushrooms organically on the island, and only catch sustainable fish ... Being Swedish, I was brought up respecting nature, animals and people, and not to waste any of our resources, water, electricity and energy in general." Besides promoting the "SLOW LIFE" at its resorts, Soneva hosts an annual symposium on sustainability and tourism, and contributes to several clean-water charities. It's a way of life that Shivdasani hopes people will take home with them. "The feeling of having been one with the earth, having walked barefoot in the sand, eaten organic produce, feeling happy to have been in an environment that tries not to take advantage of the earth's resources and to leave with a feeling of harmony" - that is the lasting impression she aims to impart to guests. As for her own free time, Shivdasani enjoys catching up on e-mails and reading. "[I spend my leisure time] in my house in Soneva Fushi, catching up with the 100 e-mails I get every day. I love to read good books, and I used to read a lot, but having a business of one's own means there is not much time for that," she says. Shivdasani is also busy planning a spacious and "totally private" new resort and destination spa in the Maldives, and building private villas for purchase. "I like to have a small but exclusive business. I don't believe in expanding too much. I would like to have total control," she says. "I believe in a hotel business [where] the guest feels every little detail has been thought of."