For Champagne breakfasts overlooking an impossibly blue lagoon, leafy jungle surroundings to hide away in, and lazy afternoons spent wallowing in your own pool or exploring the coral reefs surrounding the island. Think polished tropical island escape.
Anantara speaks to couples looking for a stylish spin on the Maldives along with out-of-this-world snorkelling and diving. Located in the Northern Atolls, the island’s protected coral reef and fabled dive site, the Golden Wall, makes it a bucket list spot for keen divers – with sharks and exotic fish such as snapper and squirrelfish darting around colourful bursts of coral. Back on land, romantic moments are in abundance thanks to many unique settings like the underwater Sea Restaurant, stargazing at Sky and endless bespoke options for honeymooners to dial up the far-flung experience. And with 80 villas to choose from, newlyweds are bound to find a stay in step with their island ambitions.
Set the scene
As the seaplane smoothly touches down on the ethereal blue waters around this Northern Atoll spec of green and white, couples can expect a somewhat lively welcome. Traditional drums line up along the jetty, along with staff holding fresh coconuts. Then it’s a scenic golf buggy ride to the villas, winding through tropical greenery, with mature coconut palms soaring amongst sculpted orchids (there is a dedicated orchid garden here) and many native jungle plants. The architecture feels reverential in places and more bold in others, with striking thatched buildings dotting the island – think triple-height vaulted ceilings and ebony-shaded structures. Honeymooners can tap into the many gurus at the resort. We recommend a date with the Sky Guru based at the impressive observatory, where you can name a star and register it to mark the occasion.
In their dense jungle location, the Beach Villas are designed for couples seeking a higher degree of seclusion. Set back moments from the beach via a private pathway, these feature a large fresh water pool, a number of cushioned daybeds and a charming dining table under the shade of a cabana. The bedroom’s dark-wooded aesthetic feels smooth and masculine, with plenty of Maldivian influence and ornate pieces of furniture. The lose-yourself-in-it king size bed faces the garden with floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to the sunny terrace area.
The real wow-factor moment lies just behind those sliding doors – a vast alfresco bathroom with his and hers sinks and with futuristic stepping stones crossing a shallow pool to reach a deep bath tub. Designed in white polished concrete with mosaic details; the space greatly contrasts the bedroom’s brooding shades. Couples who’d rather climb out of bed and straight into the Indian Ocean can opt for the overwater villas, suspended over the gently sloshing lagoon below.
Any whims are seen to by the rooms’ own private butler for the duration of your stay, and a private chef and sommelier can even be arranged for a special in-room dining experience.
Food and drink
The main hub of Anantara restaurants is set in a futuristic building, with decks scattered in tables for front row seats of the Indian Ocean. Here, evenings throughout the week rarely feel the same with a choice of teppanyaki restaurant Fire, Indian-influenced restaurant Spice and twinkling cocktail bar Sky, not to mention the much-hyped underwater restaurant, Sea.
For a thrilling start to the day, book a private breakfast at Sea. Here, in a small hexagonal space with a mirrored ceiling, glasses of Taittinger and Lobster benedict are paired with a marine show of tropical fish, all drawn into the surrounding reef. On the coral and shell-strewn tables, you’ll find a guide to the reef fish, making this spine-tingling experience an educational one.
For couples after something a little different, the resort also offers a Dining By Design package, where romantic lunches or suppers can be rolled out in style at your own villa, at scenic points along the beach or even aboard the resort’s luxury yacht, Ocean Whisperer
As part of the Anantara brand, this newly renovated resort was always set to wow. Thai company Anantara is best known for injecting the most personal, destination-based touches at each resort, ultimately catering to modern couples wanting to really feel their location although without letting sacrificing on luxury. It comes as little surprise that Anantara Kihavah has been named one of the best islands in the Maldives, with Kihavah Maldivian for the coconut palms which dominate the island and lend it its jungle appeal.
Kids will be in heaven here with every smoothing-over amenity and facility parents could wish for. First names are carved onto bicycle seats, mini slippers and flip flops await little feet in the villas, and tiny robes are even hung up ready for cosy moments on the sun loungers after an alfresco bath. Cots are set up ready for any jet lagged tots ready to snooze in and there are special children’s toiletries for moisturising after a day in the salt and sun. The Kid’s Club takes children out to sea for pirate adventures or to spot turtles while parents can check into the spa or just enjoy some downtime. Really though, every detail has been thought of to ensure your child’s stay is as luxurious as yours.
Anantara Kihavah’s romance reaches its crescendo in the glamorous overwater spa. All six treatment rooms can twist to suit couples, with two massage beds, delicate soft drapes and a double-sized bathtub under an opulent chandelier. Make the most of your spa time à deux by booking the Honeymoon Package, which includes a rose petal bath, Champagne and signature treatments for two. Each treatment begins with a lavender sea salt foot ritual, though the sound of the waves gently lapping the beach is bound to send you into a zen space well before this.
It would appear that Anantara have been very mindful of doing what they can to ‘preserve the planet,’ in their words. The resort has been rewarded with a Platinum Green Globe Certificate making it one of the greenest resorts in the Maldives. Firstly, all the villas were built around mature palm trees, none of which were cut down and this is keenly felt with the tree canopy so dense and clearly established. Then, in the villas, you will find refillable Mother Of Pearl pots for the bath gel and other toiletries, and when it comes to laundry, linen and towels are only changed at your request in a bid to save energy.
Located in the Northern Atolls, Anantara Kihavah is a mere 35 minutes from Malé by seaplane transfer. For keen divers and nature lovers, it’s worth venturing this extra distance from Malé to see the colourful coral reef and experience a jungle setting, with unsullied views across the Indian Ocean from all angles.
To book please visit www.anantara.com
Related article: Honeymoon Review: Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives