Anantara Resort Kihavah seem to have it all: something on the water (spa), something underwater (a wine cellar and a restaurant), and something bigger and better from whatever other hotels Maldives might have: the longest swimming pool. And there is still more.
Most of all, Anantara stands out with its “green” efforts. The hotel was built on a former coconut plantation, but not a single tree has been cut down during construction, giving the whole palm-stuffed island an established, undiscovered feel. The canopied paths meander between the trunks, and some palms have become integral parts of the villas, for rather than cut down trees, the architects chose to build around them.
The hotel’s green efforts go beyond the architecture. The kitchen is supplied with organic vegetables grown on the island, and recycled materials are widely used. There is a notable lack of motorized water sports and divers are required to respect the principle of passive interaction with the marine life. A biologist hired by the hotel oversees reconstruction of the coral reefs.
Ecological philosophy of the hotel doesn’t presuppose any trade-offs on the guests’ comfort. The villas are suitably equipped with Bose home theater system, iPod docking station, 42-inch LCD TV, refrigerator with a collection of wines and a Nespresso coffee machine. Each villa has a dressing room “for him and for her” and a double bath. The Over-Water Pool Villas even sport a bathtub with a glass bottom, recessed into the floor.
Spa caters for all senses—in its six villas guests are subjected to massages tailored to individual needs, but there is also a restaurant, notable for a jacuzzi suspended over the ocean. Menu invites guests to create their own meal, from the three-part menu: Revitalising, Nourishing, Energising. Choosing one dish from each part guarantees a perfectly balanced meal.
One of the most interesting buildings in Anantara is the Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky. restaurant. The name refers to four levels, each with a different cuisine. One of them is Sea., an underwater dining room and wine cellar, with a whooping collection of over 6,500 wines. The restaurant is roofed with an iconic form, striking in its outstretched shape, inspired by a cuttlefish bone and the ancient Japanese edo helmet.
A favourite with visitors is the 49-meter swimming pool, with sun loungers adequately spaced, and where the staff is always on hand to provide cold towels, serve drinks and fruit or a light lunch. In the evenings, the pool bar turns into an Italian restaurant Manzaru.
At Anantara the youngest hotel guests are also taken care of. At Boli Thiththi Kids Club, designed for children under 12 years of age, parents can safely leave their kids under the supervision of qualified personnel—at no extra charge.