The Maldives specialises in luxury experiences beyond compare.
Here are some suggestions that might allow you to create your own perfect day as defined by your own preferred leisure interests, activities and pursuits. For the purposes of this piece, we’ll base ourselves at the five star Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, in the Baa Atoll, a 35 minute seaplane ride from Male.
For those early birds who find that those precious first hours are the best part of the day, book into an Overwater Pool Villa to watch the sunrise from your own private infinity pool or sun deck. Villas 201 to 220 should give you the very best views of the sun rising over the Indian Ocean.
One of the few places on earth that you might wish to wake up with the fish is three metres below the ocean’s surface at Anantara Kihavah’s award-winning undersea restaurant and wine cellar SEA. Start the day with an unforgettable champagne breakfast, available upon request, whilst sharks, turtles and tropical fish swim by, clearly visible through the restaurant’s glass walls.
For mornings dedicated to wellness try a transformative ayurvedic treatment, massage, detoxification therapy or restorative facial at the resort’s award-winning overwater spa with glass viewing panels to the marine life below. Cycling might seem an unusual pastime in the Maldives but there are bicycles at Kihavah and the more active might also consider a pad and mitt workout in the Maldives’ first and only Muay Thai Boxing ring. Perhaps try an art lesson with a visiting local artist or learn the secrets of Maldivian, Indian and Thai cookery with a spicespoons masterclass.
For an alternative to the resort’s fine-dining underwater restaurant try the poolside bites and refreshing Mediterranean cuisine of Manzaru. Enjoy a selection of European treats with a twist, featuring the freshest seafood. Dessert features a wide range of sweets including a delicious tiramisu.
Afternoons are usually dedicated to the beach and ocean. Experience a taste of Maldivian culture with an afternoon trip to nearby Kudarikilu. Make the short hop to visit the neighbours and enjoy an insight into local life. Take a fishing trip or charter a luxury yacht, motorised vessel or traditional Dhoni boat, with captain and crew, for a more private adventure.
Tranquil waters and bountiful ocean life make Kihavah’s house reef, The Golden Wall, a snorkelling wonderland and one of the area’s best dive sites.
Grab fins and mask for a peerless view of brilliant aquatic life beneath the waves. Discover the majestic giant manta rays at Hanifaru Bay during their migration season from June to November and observe the magical experience of sea turtles in their natural habitat. You can also enrol in a PADI certification course to suit your ability and aspirations at the resort’s Elements Dive Centre.
If you prefer to be on, or over, the ocean’s surface rather than below there are water-sports aplenty from the more leisurely pursuits of kayaking and paddleboarding to adrenalin-fuelled flyboarding, parasailing, jet ski, water-skiing and kite surfing.
The evening is the time to indulge in spectacular destination dining: torches light the way to a table on an isolated sandbank as an expert chef prepares carefully crafted Maldivian fusion cuisine with the freshest local, organic ingredients.
A Maldives sunset is a sight to behold. The most comfortable place from which to view the setting sun is from a Sunset Over Water Pool Villa; villas 232 to 242 will afford you spectacular views. Then again, the considerable charms of the rooftop bar at SKY are hard to resist for a sundowner. For something traditional join the Dhoni boat captain and crew for a sunset cruise to watch Spinner dolphins at play. Or for a more luxurious experience board the resort’s luxury yacht Ocean Whisperer for sundowner canapes and champagne.
Escape to the big screen with an al fresco cinema experience, or stargaze through the Maldives’ most powerful telescope to learn about the constellations and planets with a storytelling SKY Guru at the resort’s overwater observatory.
Thithiboli Kids’ Club
The children will never be short of things to do at resort’s Kid’s Club. They can set sail on a pirate cruise treasure hunt, enjoy mini master chef cookery, tackle the climbing wall and trampoline park, splash about in the waterpark, take swimming lessons or become ocean explorers with age-appropriate dolphin, turtle and divers’ marine biology courses and conservation projects.
Coral Adoption Programme
In association with the resort’s Dive Centre team and resident marine biologist, Anantara has initiated a Coral Adoption Programme, inviting guests to participate in a long-term project by planting coral in the reef nursery and follow the growth with photo updates or return visits.