The idea of tropical paradise could not be more synonymous than with the Maldives, and in a country with dozens of resorts to choose from, it can be hard to decide the ideal option. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas offers everything from overwater accommodations straight from a postcard to eclectic dining and recreational activities aplenty. When it comes to vacation bliss, there is a lot to love about Anantara Kihavah Villas. Here are five of the best reasons to take the trip of a lifetime to this luxurious resort in the Indian Ocean.
The overwater villas
Let’s face it. These accommodations really steal the show. When you turn the corner from sandy jungle path onto the beachfront bridge that connects you to the overwater villas, it’s a take-your-breath-away moment. Laid out in an oval shape, these massive villas come with privacy and turquoise views from literally every vantage point.
Polished hardwood floors in the foyer lead guests into his and hers walk-in closets and toward sliding doors that open to reveal glamorous bathrooms. In the center is a chaise longue facing the private, infinity-edge swimming pool. To one side is a soaking tub with glass-bottom floor showcasing the marine life swimming by underneath the villa. With both an indoor and outdoor shower, the options for refreshment come with a choice of views. Even in the loo, the marine views continue thanks to a glass panel on the floor at the toilet.
A large bedroom provides direct access to the pool through one door while another leads to the terrace. You can relax on a swinging day bed, face the turquoise water from cushioned lounge chairs, swing above the water in netted hammocks or step directly into the sea for a swim or snorkel. Plush duvets, large work desks with international power outlets and impeccable housekeeping and turndown service round out a hotel room like no other.
There are also beach pool villas. These have similar luxury except are shrouded in palm and frangipani trees among other vegetation. Private plunge pools and outdoor patios lead guests directly to the beach. New, multi-bedroom residences are equally exceptional. They have even larger pools (directly on the beach or overwater) and shared living areas with dining room and full kitchen. Also included are private spa treatment rooms and fitness center. There’s even a guitar to test out your musical talents. Multi-generational travel is becoming quite the trend . So make sure that you are availing tiny portable ac to make your travel journey comfy . These residences are among the best in the Maldives to maximize time together. The overwater private pool residences are the newest in the resort.
The resort outdoes itself in places to dine. Plates is the international breakfast option with Arabic, European, Maldivian and continental dishes. Fresh smoothies, wellness bowls and a variety of egg dishes (the lobster benefit is a favorite) abound. Breakfast is included in the rates here. For sure, it’s a meal not to miss especially since views of the water are front and center. An alternative is ordering a floating breakfast with the dishes of your choosing plus coffee, juice and Champagne. It arrives in a heavy-duty basket that floats in your pool. It’s a decadent way to start the day. What a special treat to experience at least once during your stay despite the additional cost.
Manzaru serves Mediterranean dishes like fresh pizzas, pastas and salads (try the Kihavah salad with avocado, sunflower seeds and Goji berries). Spice enjoys an overwater position offering pan-Asian dishes spanning from India to Thailand and beyond. A teppanyaki restaurant serves delectable Japanese fare not far away.
Open for three meals a day, it would be a shame to miss out on a meal at Sea, which is a restaurant sunken in the water with beautiful sea life views passing by the thick windows. The view changes by the second and Maldivian marine life books on each table explain what you’ll see including sharks, sea turtles and more fish varieties than you ever knew existed.
You can order drinks and snacks by the pool or via room service, and at sunset, don’t miss drinks and tapas at Sky where the stars unfurl above you. As at most Anantara properties, Dining by Design is a bespoke experience allowing you to enjoy delicious meals at a location of your choosing from on the beach to within the island’s lush gardens. There’s also Spice Spoons, Anantara’s cooking school and dining experience is a great way to learn to prepare popular dishes like Thai curries and salads among others.
The underwater (and overland) experiences
Most people spend at least some time snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the vast marine life that lives in and around the coral reefs. The resort is very protective of the environment and is constantly protecting and promoting the
There are turtle and dolphin adventures, diving experiences and yacht or boating adventures. So mesmerizing are the reefs and underwater life around the resort in the Baa Atoll that guests of other resorts often come here to snorkel or chose the property for their next stay.
And if spending all your time in the water is not a priority, there are many other recreational activities on offer. They include Muay Thai boxing, petanque and tennis courts (a tennis pro is on staff), a full fitness center, volleyball, table tennis and a kids’ club with numerous supervised activities to keep young guests busy while their parents are exploring the island.
Wellness and resort gurus
Anantara Kihavah Villas has numerous gurus on staff that set it apart from other resorts. There’s a sleep guru that can guide you on a path to better slumber (even when jet lagged). Spa recommendations are designed around your routine so that you sleep better both on vacation and at home.
A yoga and meditation guru can bring forth your inner Zen. There is no better place to practice than on your overwater villa patio at sunrise. Ayurvedic therapy is another specialty at the resort. There’s even a wine guru!
The spa offers a long list of massage and beauty services in panoramic treatment rooms in overwater villas. Wellness is a focus of the resort and popular now more than ever before. Cocoon Medi Spa from Bali focuses on new therapies including weight loss and skin care. There are even IV drips of multi-vitamin concoctions. The resort also has a resident naturopath that consults with guests on overall health. This lets guests leave a vacation with a plan to help them live healthier at home. If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that taking care of our mind, body and soul is extremely important.
The sky guru leads guests on stargazing experiences pointing out planets, stars, constellations and other phenomena using a powerful, research-grade telescope in the resort’s custom-made observatory, the only overwater one of its kind in the Maldives. With minimal light pollution in this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this is an experience not to miss for all ages.
Stay in the privacy of your own villa or soak up the sunshine by the pool. There is complete and total serenity here. The entire island is reserved for the resort. Guests can walk or use private bikes through the jungle pathways to explore. Individual villa hosts are just a text message away. They can help set up any activity or request so that the entire focus is on vacation mode.
With one of the longest pools in the Maldives, guests can lounge facing the turquoise water. The swinging day beds are especially relaxing. The villas have private pools of their own. Don’t forget the crystalline sea where you feel alone wading for miles around.
You can read a book in one of the many gardens. At night, watch a movie under the stars on a big screen with popcorn in hand. No matter what you choose, this resort in the Maldives will wow from the moment your sea plane splashes down.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.