Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas to open observatory

esorts & Spas is to open an observatory at its Kihavah property where guests can star gaze through “the most powerful telescope in the Maldives”.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas already has a Sky bar and employs an astromer to talk to guests about the stars while they are dining or having a drink.

But the new observatory will take this to the next level when it opens in November, according to general manager Dylan Counsel, who has been in the UK to visit tour operators and travel agents to show the brand’s “commitment to the trade”.

He said: “It will become more of a dining and star-gazing experience when we open the observatory. We are making improvements to give guests and agents a reason to visit or to continue to sell us.

“Through the telescope you will be able to see the rings around Saturn; it will be the most powerful telescope in the Maldives.”

The property already boasts an underwater restaurant SEA, one of five restaurants on site.

Counsel said he is keen to get agents and operators with the right client base to visit the property for themselves. “Whether it’s an agent or an operator, we want as many as possible who fit in that level of luxury selling to come and visit,” he said.

Currently, around 85% of UK bookings are via the trade. Counsel said the group was “refocusing its efforts” on business out of the UK following healthy sales despite the economic and political situation in the UK. The UK is the group’s third largest market.

Anantara currently has 39 hotels, five of which are in the Maldives, and most of which are spread across south-east Asia.

It is part of the Minor Hotels Group, which has 156 properties in total under

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