Anantara Kihavah Villas, Baa Atoll, Maldives

LOCATION: A 30 minute seaplane ride from Maldives capital Male.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The marketing men at Anantara like to use the word ‘pristine’ when describing this property. Unlike many other islands the trees were left almost totally alone in the construction. Just 15 were affected and they were all replanted. This means that while the restaurant and bar areas are worthy of the most funky of establishments, full of designer furniture (including vertebrate lampshades) and endless glorious fung shui lines, the stroll back to your beach or over water villa is a relatively wild one.

THE FACTS: The rooms are 95% identical and nothing shy of stunning.Designed by a local architect of some note in the style of an upper class Maldivian home with sliding walls capable of opening you up to the rather marvellous elements. The bedroom and bathroom flow to the pool and on through to the sundeck, daybed and the ocean with such grace – a work of art that demands viewing from every angle. The water villas (put your guests in these) are dominated by the sea with a glass bottom bath the most outrageous of the nods to the invasion of man into the Indian Ocean. They give direct access to the ocean and the very real chance of watching dolphins and rays swim by from the deck.
Interestingly the resort has 65 types of tea, 19 types of salt (and a salt sommelier), a kids spa menu and sunshine butlers who carry the campest toolbelt in history filled as it is with sprays and lotions.
Opened in February 2011 it has six restaurants and bars, the longest pool in the Maldives at 49m, a library, free iPads and staff following you round with sunscreen.

WOW: The underwater restaurant (the second in the Maldives) is likely to make every meal last twice as long as so much time is spent gawping out of the window at a beautiful array of fish.

HOW MUCH: From $1,350 per night for a Beach Pool Villa

kihavah-maldives.anantara.com

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Hollie-Rae Brader, Editor

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