With an underwater restaurant and cellar, and the Maldives’ most powerful telescope, stargazing and fish-gazing are notable highlights
Key Selling Points:
- The Maldives’ most powerful telescope with a purpose-built observatory (pictured below)
- Underwater restaurant and wine cellar
- Hosted WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses
- One-, two-, three- and four-bedroom accommodation
- Onsite mosque
Sky observatory and lounge bar
Overview: A 35-minute seaplane ride from the capital, Anantara Kihavah Maldives is surrounded by the azure waters of Baa Atoll, home to Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a haven for manta rays from May to November. The resort has five restaurants and bars, among them, Sea restaurant with its adjoining wine cellar, built underwater by the colourful reef. By night, stargazing through the Maldives most powerful telescope is an education. Whether guests need one or four bedrooms, there’s a broad spectrum of accommodation. The two-bed overwater residence is fully loaded with wow-factor.
Swimming with manta rays in Baa Atoll
Accommodation: All 80 villas and residences at Anantara Kihavah Maldives have private pools. Located over water or along the talcum-soft beach, there are one-, two-, three- and four-bed units. The smallest – Beach Pool Villas – are 285 square metres including outdoor bathrooms and sundecks furnished with dinner tables, sun loungers and swing chairs.
Inside a Beach Pool Villa
Privacy is maintained with tropical foliage that’s so dense guests may feel like they’re sitting in a treehouse.
Beach Pool Villas
The largest configuration – the Four Bedroom Beach Pool Residence – combines the Three Bedroom Residence with a Beach Pool Villa. It accommodates groups of up to 12 people and has its own kitchen and lounge, plus a newly extended swimming pool fitted with massage jets, and a personal gym and spa. Over water, the biggest residence has two bedrooms.
All over water villas have glass-bottomed bathtubs
The palette throughout is neutral with occasional ocean-hued accessories, traditional teak trimmings, floor-to-ceiling patio doors and high vaulted wooden roofs topped with straw thatch.
Two-bedroom over-water residence
Food and Drink: Underwater dining at Sea restaurant is a life experience not to be missed. Built by the house reef, a kaleidoscope of tropical fish weave outside the windows. Diners are given a book to identify the various marine species, alongside an appealing fine-dining menu featuring steak as well as seafood.
The food is good, but wine enthusiasts might like to consider enrolling on the WSET wine course here instead of simply having dinner. As well as the restaurant, the space houses the world’s first underwater wine cellar and it’s very well-stocked. There is arguably no more enthralling a location on the planet to learn about wine.
Above Sea, a glamorous sunset-facing F&B jetty is home to Fire, Spice and Sky
Guests can also dine ‘by design’ on the beach
Fire is an intimate open-sided teppanyaki restaurant with an Edo roof shaped like a cuttlefish bone and Spice offers Asian haute cuisine with signature dishes from the recently installed tandoori oven; both are open for dinner. Rooftop lounge Sky serves cocktails with 360-degree views.
On the beach, at the hub of the resort, there’s poolside Manzaru for leisurely lunches and romantic Italian candlelit dinners, and Plates for breakfasts – light and healthy, or indulgent, washed down with Champagne – and dinner buffets.
Facilities: In addition to the indulgences that you’d expect to find at an established five-star Maldivian resort – a superb water sports centre, luxury spa, yoga pavilion and gym – there are some unexpected treats in store.
The island has its own Muay Thai boxing ring and a qualified instructor to show guests the ropes
It also has the most powerful telescope in the Maldives, housed in an observatory next to Sky bar. Few things are quite so memorable as seeing the moon close-up for the first time.
In addition, there’s an open-air cinema; a charming orchid garden with a seating area; and tennis, badminton and volleyball courts. Big game fishing, PADI scuba training, canoeing, sailing, cruising and snorkelling – there’s so much fun to be had in the water and the house reef is teeming with life. Snorkelling with manta rays is even an option.
For kids, there’s the colourful Thiththi Boli Club, complete with trampolines, cooking classes, and arts and craft sessions.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is a 35-minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport in Malé. For more information, call 00960 660 1020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.anantara.com/en/kihavah-maldives