This is our first time to the Maldives and we did extensive research on the resorts (so many that it's mind-boggling). It was tough deciding among so many stunning resorts, and eventually we took a bet on a new resort with an established brand. One of the key factors was that the built-in area of each villa is huge.
We booked the resort with Atoll Paradise, and would highly recommend their services. Their responses were quick, and they are very knowledgeable and friendly. Rates are competitive too. We felt really taken care of from the point they met us at the airport, handing us over to a representative of Anantara, to meeting us when we returned to Male and sending us off. They also arranged for a city tour of Male on our last day as well as access to the airport lounge while waiting for our flight out.
The resort is 35min from Male by seaplane. We stayed at an overwater pool villa for 4 nights. Villas 201-220 face the open ocean, giving incredible views and privacy (but slightly stronger currents), while villas 223-242 face the jetty and the side where seaplanes land (the deck area of 241/242 can be seen from the dining area and beach). The overwater pool residences (221/222) have incredible sunset views. The villas are huge, each with its own infinity pool (not just plunge pool), glass bottom bathtub (big enough for two) opening out to great ocean views, indoor&outdoor shower, his&her sinks and dressing rooms, large swinging daybed and hammocks. truly luxurious! Bottled drinking water is provided and replenished daily, an important thing to note as our friend who stayed at another resort told us only one bottle was provided for his entire stay, and additional bottles cost USD10 each! We spent hours just relaxing and reading in the room and soaking in the tub/pool. We also saw fishes, squid and stingray from the overwater villas.
The service was personalized, attentive and impeccable - almost all the staff greeted us warmly by name, and our villa host Ihsaan took care of our every need very promptly. The management team goes around and chats with all the guests, making sure our feedback are heard. There are about 250 staff presently, and the best thing about going to a new resort (other than having everything brand new) is that it is incredibly quiet and private. Every staff that we spoke with seemed truly happy to be working at Anantara - not sure if this directly affects the experience, but we believe that a company can only be great if they take care of their employees first.
There are two theme night buffets a week on the beach (Tues & Fri). We dined at both Plates (all-day dining) and Manzaru (poolside Italian restaurant). The portions were generous and the food delicious. We were offered iPads at breakfast so that we can catch up with the news or simply surf the net. We were slightly disappointed that the specialty restaurant Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky was not open yet, but they made some of the menu items available in Manzaru first. They also brought us on a tour of the specialty restaurant including the underwater part, which was kind of surprising to me - it felt more like a friend proudly bringing you around his house that was still under construction. very warm and unpretentious.
We were treated to spa for two as part of the honeymoon package. The spa villas are equally gorgeous, and had a slightly more rustic feel with their whitewashed wooden structures.
Overall, a wonderfully relaxing and pampering holiday. although the resort is very luxurious, the atmosphere is casual and warm. no glitz, no pumping nightclub music. the perfect romantic honeymoon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A haven of pool villas, Anantara Kihavah Villas is a Maldives luxury resort that offers the ultimate in privacy and tranquillity, your own sanctuary within a sanctuary. Expansive space that opens on to brilliant tropical nature, with private pools, high ceilings and timber interiors. Flavours of culinary art and wine served amidst a panorama of aquatic life in one of the few underwater restaurants and wine cellars in the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anantara Kihavah Villas Hotel Baa Atoll