As travel slowly opens up around the world, the Maldives is proving to be a great destination for an escape for Dubai residents looking to catch a quick break and disconnect from the rest of the world. While there are many to choose from, the Anantara Kihavah is one of those that truly stand out. Here's why.
While a tropical luxury scene with pure white shores lined with swaying palms are a given when you visit pretty much any resort, the Anantara group of hotels just adds to enhance your experiences. Just from a design point of view, it very successfully blends it's Thai hospitality and design and embeds it locally into the culture - the design plays homage to the olden seafarers that travelled through the Indian ocean as well as the addition of Arab and Portuguese motifs using indigenous materials in addition to light, airy & contemporary interiors. Take your pick of either a beach pool villa nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach, or an over water pool villa poised over the crystal-calm lagoon with sweeping ocean views. Each hideaway boasts a large infinity- edge pool, dining pavilion, spacious wooden sundeck and ample lounging areas complete with swinging daybed, hammock and sun loungers and of-course, you're very own villa host.
In terms of history and location, the resort is located on the Baa Atoll, in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and used to be a place where Arab traders sailing to the Far East often stopped by to take shelter. This is one of the few islands that can boast of some local produce - it's full of coconut, papaya and mango trees. The islands have received a lot of attention because it used to be a prehistoric volcano that sank into its depths, leaving blooming corals within a house reef and plenty of lagoon fish. Not one tree has been moved due to construction of the resort, leaving it looking organic and blissful.
Awarded 'The World's Most Instagrammable Hotel', the hotel is home to a stunning underwater restaurant. Offering a barefoot policy, the hotel truly offers some scenic views both above and below water.
One of the highlights of the resort is that it has the only above water observatories in the Maldives. Anantara Kihavah is the perfect place for spectacular views of both the southern and northern skies. Custom-built for such stargazing encounters, SKY is a unique cocktail bar and home to the most powerful telescope in the Indian Ocean, in the only over water observatory in the Maldives. Perched over the aquamarine lagoon, the bar proffers front-row seats on low oversized daybeds to ocean views from every vantage point during the day, and as night falls, the open roof deck comes alive. Sip Champagne and nibble on Asian inspired tapas, whilst absorbing knowledge imparted by the resort’s 'Sky Guru' on this cosmic journey as you gaze upon the stars.
Perched at the edges of the famed house reef, and six metres underground, lies SEA - Anantara Kihavah's award-winning underwater restaurant and wine cellar. The wine cellar is home to over 450 labels and vintages dating from the 17th century. Visitors can enjoy and take in panoramic views of marine life at play amongst vibrant corals during their gourmet dining experience that extends up to four courses.
In terms of oceanic experiences, Anantara Kihavah also offers a snorkelling experience with manta rays. Owing to the abundance of krill and plankton that accumulates in Hanifaru Bay during the season, you can bear witness to the annual migration of these mysterious gigantic oceanic creatures as they feed. Once in the water, be mesmerised by their graceful movements of glides and somersaults. Curious and friendly, they often swim within centimetres of snorkellers, managing to avoid contact at the last second.
Located a 30 minute scenic seaplane ride away, the Anantara Kihavah is truly a destination worth flying and catching your next break at.