Naladhu Maldives Tops Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017

Naladhu Private Island Maldives resort named #1 resort in the world

With only 20 beach houses dotted around a palm-fringed island in the middle of the ocean, Naladhu Private Island Maldives by Anantara epitomizes castaway luxury with timeless moments.

Recognized for its entirely unique take on the Maldivian experience, Naladhu has been awarded a top spot in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards, positioned as the #1 Resort in the World.

The Readers’ Choice Awards are known as “the best of the best of travel”, the epitome of excellence, with this year’s awards the 30th in an illustrious history. Over 300,000 dedicated readers voted on their favorite hotels, destinations and travel experiences across the globe.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by Condé Nast Traveler’s readers as the number one resort in the world. This year, we decided to rename the property to reflect its true and unique qualities and so this award is a testament to the dedication, passion and commitment of our team in delivering this experience to our guests,” comments Coetzer Deysel, General Manager at Naladhu Private Island, Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli.

“Naladhu Private Island Resort has been a favorite choice for travelers from all around the world for many years as it provides them with the luxury, exclusivity and privacy that they seek from a holiday in the Maldives. We measure our success by the high levels of returning guests who visit us year after year, treating Naladhu as their island paradise home.”

Naladhu Private Island Maldives, formerly known as Naladhu Maldives, pampers guests from the minute they arrive to be greeted by their own, personal, 24-hour on-call House Master. They experience the ultimate in barefoot luxury and secluded island living, staying in one of only 19 stylish and elegant houses or the island’s lavish 2-bedroom residence. Each island home blends colonial-style interiors, luxurious sophistication and above all offers complete intimacy and privacy.

In 2018, Naladhu Private Island will see a number of extra additions that will elevate it even further as the world leader, making the guest experience even more exquisite and unique.

Naladhu Private Island Maldives delivers foot-in-the-sand luxury, with days spent in hammocks fixed between palm trees or in lounge chairs on the private pristine white beach, nights at its world-class restaurant – The Living Room, which entertains a number of Michelin Star chefs from around the globe each year.

Anantara Resorts made a clean sweep of the Indian Ocean category as well, with Naladhu Private Island Maldives placing #1, Niyama Private Islands Maldives placing #2, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas placing #12 and Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort placing #17 and #18 respectively.

Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travelers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations across the world. From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travelers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise.

Anantara Maldives continues coral protection and regeneration

In 2016, the longest global coral bleaching event in history impacted reefs in the crystal clear waters of the Maldives, as a result of the El Niño weather phenomenon. Understanding the monumental role that the reef played, Anantara Maldives Resorts acted quickly by increasing its coral conservation project HARP (Holistic Approach to Reef Protection), which in only one year improved the reefs surrounding each of Anantara’s four resorts in the Indian Ocean.

The five-year HARP programme, led by Chief Scientist of the Living Oceans Foundation Dr. Andrew Bruckner, encompasses practical environmental protection and marine education. Additionally, throughout the year, the project is worked on by the on-property dive center teams, Aquafanatics at Dhigu and Elements at Kihavah, sustaining and building on the work done by Dr Bruckner which is inclusive of maintaining, monitoring and growing the coral whilst protecting it at the same time.

The pioneering programme has already succeeded in limiting potential damage to the coral reefs that surround the resorts – ensuring that they continue not only survive, but thrive.

Detailing the work at Anantara Dhigu and its positive impact for both guests and the surrounding environment, Dr Bruckner explains, “Essentially, all of the corals we used were rescued and would otherwise have died. They include juvenile colonies attached to rubble in areas where dredging and sand extraction occurs, as well as broken branches that were detached by snorkellers, divers and strong wave action from larger colonies, and corals that were dying due to coral-eating snails and coral disease. We took small clippings and attached them to ropes suspended in the water column. The nursery creates a new habitat that attracts fish, and also maximises survival and growth as the fragments are elevated off the seafloor, preventing burial and consumption by coral predators.

“The work to date has produced a new snorkel trail at Anantara Dhigu and the coral nursery which provides much-needed habitat and structure for fish and invertebrates in the area. Within just a few days over a 1,000 fish, comprising 60 species, had moved into the reef. A cleaning station was established at the beginning of the trail, which is now visited daily by a school of batfish, dart fish, unicorn fish and other species – and is once again being enjoyed by guests.”

After the programme was in place at Anantara Dhigu, Dr. Bruckner went on to work on the reef that surrounds Anantara Kihavah‘s underwater restaurant, SEA, “The project at Kihavah demonstrated that a beautiful thriving coral reef can be created using corals that would otherwise die. All of the corals transported to the underwater restaurant were collected on the reef surrounding the resort, including corals that were broken, fractured and detached from the bottom, piled up in sand channels and at the base of the reef, being buried by sand, under attack by voracious coral-eating snails and affected by coral diseases.

“Many of the colonies were partially dead, but all diseased tissue, predators and algae were first removed from the colonies. Then, small broken branches were attached to ropes suspended in the water. These branches will be grown for about 18 months until they form small “bushes”. The corals will be removed from the rope and used to restore other areas surrounding the restaurant. This will produce a continual nursery and once the grown corals are removed, the ropes will be replaced with new fragments.

“As a result of this work, SEA restaurant guests can once again view a healthy coral reef. Moreover, as the restaurant is located at the edge of an underwater cliff, guests can view both the reef marine life and larger pelagic fish, sharks, turtles and other creatures which visit this area in search of food. This is Kihavah’s signature restaurant and is visited by almost all guests, and this critical work promises an unparalleled ocean-viewing culinary experience.”

The next steps of the HARP programme with Anantara involve the continuation of work from the past two years, with the overall vision of restoring the entire habitat. In collaborating with leading experts in their fields for ground-breaking marine biology research, Anantara is pioneering the HARP programme. Currently, all project work undertaken in the Maldives by Coral Reef CPR for HARP is funded by the Anantara initiative ‘Dollars For Deeds’, whereby Anantara guests are invited to donate one dollar for each night of their stay, which is then matched dollar for dollar by the hotels.

Dollars for Deeds funds raised in the Maldives are committed over the coming five years to three key focus areas: protection of marine and coastal environments; environmental education; and community welfare.

Future visits from Dr. Andrew Bruckner, and other Coral Reef CPR scientists are set for mid-August 2017 and October. To select your Anantara Dhigu, Anantara Veli, Anantara Kihavah Villas or Naladhu Maldives experience and to help play a part in the protection and regeneration of coral reefs in the Maldives, visit anantara.com or email [email protected]

World Travel Awards reveals global hospitality champions in the Maldives

Maldives was recognised by voters from around the globe as the World’s Leading Beach Destination.

HNA Tourism Group shone the spotlight on the rapid development of Chinese hospitality, taking the title of World’s Leading Integrated Tourism Group.

In South America, Ecuador was awarded the trophy for World’s Leading Green Destination.

Frasers Hospitality was honoured with the title of World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand, while Europcar took the title World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company.

Partners for the Grand Final 2016 included Sun Siyam Group, Trans Maldivian Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Ooredoo, and St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development.

TV5 Monde acted as the World Travel Awards’ Intentional Broadcast Partner.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Each year World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.

World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries, and international print and broadcast media.

Maldives won three prestigious categories for the destination:

  1. World’s Leading Beach Destination 2016
  2. World’s Leading Dive Destination 2016
  3. World’s Best Spa Destination 2016

Additional 9 awards won by the Maldives Tourism Industry:

  1. World’s Leading Airport Resort 2016 – Hulhulé Island Hotel, Maldives
  2. World’s Leading Boutique Cruise 2016 – Four Seasons Explorer, Maldives
  3. World’s Leading Boutique Villa Resort 2016 – AnantaraVeli Maldives Resort
  4. World’s Leading Dive Resort 2016 – Constance Moofushi, Maldives
  5. World’s Leading New Resort 2016 – AaaVeee Nature’s Paradise, Maldives
  6. World’s Leading Private Island Resort 2016 – COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives
  7. World’s Leading Underwater Hotel Restaurant 2016 – Sea @ Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
  8. World’s Leading Water Villa Resort 2016 – The Sun Aqua Vilu Reef
  9. World’s Most Romantic Resort 2016 – Baros Maldives

For more information about World Travel Awards, visit here, or find a complete list of Grand Final 2016 winners here.

About World Travel Awards

World Travel Awards celebrates its 23rd anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade.

Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators, destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top level networking opportunities, regionally and globally.

The brand aims to celebrate those organisations who push the boundaries of industry excellence.

Free(dom)-Diving at Anantara Maldives

Ten metres above, the glassy ceiling of the Indian Ocean glints and and shimmers while below the warm turquoise of the Maldives fades into an infinite blue.

Nearby, canoes and snorkellers paddle on the glittering ceiling while scuba-explorers plumb the depths of the archipelago’s coral kingdom. Here, you wait between one world and the other at Anantara in South Male’ atoll.

Having free-dived down, your lungs are squeezed to half of their normal capacity as the weight of paradise brings two bars of pressure (the exact opposite effect of the ones serving cocktails on the resort) – but you feel calm.

Anantara Free Diving

After spending an hour with Mari – your PADI-trained free-diving instructor – by the pool, you understand the physics crucial to this quickly growing sport. She’s been taking guests through their paces since Anantara became one of the first resorts in the Maldives to give free-diving lessons earlier this year.

As your lungs shrink, so your buoyancy reduces the further you get toward the end of the rope attached to the buoy above. Here, at ten metres’ depth, you have neutral buoyancy. A few kicks up and your lungs begin to expand, sending you back up to the surface. A few down and gravity will return, taking you deeper and deeper with minimal effort.

As much a mental as a physical sport, free-diving requires relaxation and control to practice. Tense muscles and a busy brain use a lot of oxygen – but luckily you’ve been relaxing hard since your arrival, and pranayama tuition is available at Anantara’s wellness centre.

Anantara Free Diving

The mammalian dive response kicks in as soon as your face hits the water, reducing your heart rate to 25 percent of its normal level and slowing your metabolism to conserve oxygen. But concentration is needed to ensure you equalise the pressure in your ears and mask during the descent.

Getting down here was the hardest part, and for a few precious moments you’re floating; a tropical spaceman. Up or down is your call, but only for as long as you can hold your breath, and your body is sending strong signals it would like to breath some time soon.

Recalling your induction in the warm and plentiful air of the morning, you know that the oxygen levels in your blood have dipped only a couple of points and remain above 90 percent. But it’s the CO2 levels that are urging you back to the surface.

Anantara Free Diving

The difference between a novice and a pro is their ability to withstand higher levels of CO2, allowing them to hold their their breath for long enough to dive to 25 metres or lower. The world record unassisted free dive is 95 metres, and the longest time anyone has held their breath underwater is 22 minutes and 22 seconds.

While the discomfort is natural at first, being able to dive down to the reef has been a way of life for Maldivians for millenia, foraging for those hard-to-reach crustaceans, octopus and sea cucumbers on their doorstep. You may feel out of your depth, but didn’t that first session back at the gym leave you feeling like a fish out of water?

Mari floats alongside you, checking you make the right decision and head back up. You do – flicking your fins and expanding your lungs as you race back up the rope leading into the sky.

Full courses are available at the resort’s ‘Aquafanatics’ Water Sports Centre, allowing you to take your skills to new depths. These include training on technique and safety procedures to ensure you can free-dive with freedom. 

Anantara Free Diving

Greater at Anantara

In a nation famed for its reclusive reefs, the Maldives’ single-island resort concept has produced more than 100 little pieces of paradise for the ultimate tropical getaway.

In this sense, Anantara’s slice of South Male’ atoll is no different, offering the romance, the tranquility and the adventure of a Maldivian holiday in equal measure. However, at Anantara’s resorts just south of the capital, these qualities are spread across three different resorts, creating a unique neighbourhood of luxury; Greater Anantara.

Upon arrival at the airport, would-be Anantareans are taken to the resort’s airport lounge, before migrating south, past Male’ on the 35 minute trip to the cluster of islands they will make their home.

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Six islands, spread over 2.7km of coral on the eastern side of the atoll, provide options for families, couples and everyone inbetween. Dhigu – the largest of the three – features 110 family-sized beach villas and overwater suites; Veli, a few moments away caters to couples, with a range of rooms made for two; and Naladhu – the smallest of the three – offers around 20 ‘houses’ for those who really want to get comfortable.

Two ‘picnic islands’ – one with it’s own cafe for hungry snorkellers – as well as a staff island, complete the complex.

Dhigu is without doubt the heart of this coral community, housing four restaurants, the Aquafanatics water sports centre and the largest of the complex’s three spas.  It’s recently renovated water villas are particularly spacious, assisted by cavernous ceilings designed to resemble an upturned dhoni.

Dhigu - Sunset Overwater Suite

Sprouting northwards from the tip of the island, the water villas’ wall to wall windows frame spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Similarly, the island’s dining options serve up early morning sun at the Fushi Cafe, or residents can drink in the sunset at the poolside Aqua Bar on the opposite side of the island.

The Sea, Fire, Salt restaurant goes a little further west, bringing spectacular surf and turf over the reef, with ‘Salt Gurus’ on hand to change the way you feel about seasoning. Upstairs, those wishing to journey still further west can take in Italian cuisine at Terrazzo.

Dhigu dwellers looking for a new place to eat can use Greater Anantara’s transport service to Veli, taking a bicycle to the south of the island before hopping onto the cushioned ferry between the islands. Lazy hammocks and love hearts emerge from behind the tiny Moyo Island sandwiched in between, as do more of the island’s intimate water villas. Veli is Greater Anantara’s adults-only area, bringing ocean calm up the beach and into the island.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Breakfast and dinner buffets at the pavilion-style 73 degrees restaurant can be interspersed with poolside snacks at the Dhoni Bar, while Origami brings Japanese cuisine into the fold. As with Dhigu, the Veli suburb offers a range of activities, including cooking classes, watersports, and morning meditation and Yoga to kick-start a hard day’s relaxation.

Invitation only cocktails at the Orchid garden add further to the refined air of Veli, with countless Mr and Mrs’ having left their mark via wooden hearts decorating the area. Lying on a long jetty between Veli and Naladhu is the Baan Huraa restaurant – claimed to be arguably the finest Thai restaurant in the Maldives.

Naladhu itself is the smallest and the most-exclusive district in the Greater Anantara constellation. A large wooden door at the end of the long bridge from Veli is more Dungeons and Dragons than Sun and Surf, bringing an air of mystery to what is essentially a private, gated community.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

This island is accessible only to residents, and no amount of riddles solved or duels won will gain you entry to this tranquil realm (residents have a key, while other Anantareans can book ahead for dinner on the island).

Twenty ‘houses’ – all named after local flora – are nestled along a weaving maze of sandy paths. Inside, a mixture of world styles furnish the apartments, making even the farthest flung traveller feel at home. Bookshelves are customised to the guests before their arrival and room service is available – 24/7 – at the touch of a button, leaving no impediment to the suburb’s glorious privacy. Enormous outdoor decking areas provide cinematic views from the outdoor bathroom, which leads into the generous pool.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

The theme continues in the aptly named Living Room, where guests can live another Indian Ocean sunset as they enjoy a bottle from the restaurant’s impressive cellar – one of three in the community’s $500,000 wine treasury.

Whichever resort you choose to stay in, this tropical trio – Dhigu, Veli, and Naladhu – together provide a wide range of options to make your trip to Greater Anantara greater.

Anantara Launches Once-in-a-Lifetime Manta Ray Experience

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, offers guests the chance to get up-close-and-personal with manta rays at the world’s largest natural manta feeding destination, during their annual migration across the Indian Ocean. For the first time, guests have the rare opportunity to freedive with the gentle giants at the protected site of Hanifaru Bay, which can attract more than 100 rays around the time of the full moon. With the season well underway, guests still have time to witness the spectacle first hand before the end of November or to plan ahead for the next season which starts in May 2017.

With a wingspan of up to 7 metres, manta rays congregate at Hanifaru Bay during the south-west monsoon and, with optimum wind and tide conditions, enter a shallow cul-de-sac in the reef to feed on microscopic plankton, small fish and crustaceans. The Anantara team works closely with the rangers who protect Hanifaru Bay to get the insider scoop on the mantas’ movements so that guests can quickly reach the site, which is located only 45 minutes from the resort, maximising their chances of spotting the rays. Scuba diving is not permitted so guests now have the choice of snorkelling or freediving.

Manta Rays, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Manta Rays, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Hot on the heels of sister resort Anantara Dhigu Maldives’ announcement in May that it was opening the first PADI-accredited freediving centre in the Maldives, Anantara Kihavah is now also fully licensed. Whilst freediving has been popular in the Maldives for some time, the PADI certification offered by Elements, the water sports centre at Anantara Kihavah Villas, teaches divers proper breathing techniques and trains them on how they can enjoy the sport safely.

Coasting through the ocean with flowing, graceful movements that echo the natural motions of the Mantas that surround, freedivers experience a sense of oneness taking the Maldives’ manta experience to an entirely new level. Closer encounters, liberating mobility and the ability to glide with freedom from scuba or snorkelling equipment enhance an already unforgettable outing.

Manta Rays, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Manta Rays, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

At the helm of Anantara Kihavah’s freediving centre is Talya Davidoff. A passionate, advanced freediving instructor, Talya is also a fully qualified marine biologist and a competitive freediver with a personal best of a depth of 42 metres. Adding even greater depth to her aquatic expertise, Talya will be undergoing training with freediving world champion, Alexey Molchanov, before the South African Championships in June next year.

Talya and the Elements team at Anantara Kihavah Villas are dedicated to safeguarding the wellbeing and habitat of the manta rays and enforce the strict regulations that have been set by the local rangers. Known for its commitment towards sustainability and protecting the local environment, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas also launched a coral adoption programme when the resort opened in 2001. Over the five years to date, Anantara’s team has continued to enhance its reef initiatives to accelerate the regeneration of coral growth.

Anantara Kihavah, which offers 79 spacious private pool villas poised overwater or nestled on a private beach, is located 30 minutes from Male by seaplane and boasts an abundant and colourful house reef of its own. For guests who wish to maximise their ‘bottom time’, SEA. FIRE. SALT. SKY. offers a one-of-a-kind over and underwater dining experience.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

To reserve a stay at the resort and experience the thrill of freediving with mantas, or to learn more about freediving, contact +960 664 4111 or [email protected]. For more information on Anantara’s Maldives resorts, visit anantara.com.

Anantara’s Coral Protection and Regeneration Programme

Anantara has launched their latest coral protection and regeneration programme, aiming and provide a safe environment in which life on the reef can thrive.

Named, ‘Taking A Holistic Approach To Reef Protection’ – HARP – the 5-year scheme is headed by marine biologists from Coral Reef CPR – conservationists, biologists and ecologists whose mission is to reduce threats and promote sustainable management of reef ecosystems.

“Some reefs in the Maldives are experiencing unusually high water temperatures which is causing coral bleaching,” explained the organisation’s lead scientist Dr Andrew Buckner.

“These coral animals contain symbiotic single-celled algae within their tissues, which provide the coral with up to 90% of its energy. Once stressed, the coral expels these algae, causing them to turn completely white.”

Snorkelling with fish, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Snorkelling, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Dr Bruckner noted that, despite the bleaching of the reef in the Maldives, the coral can recover. The atoll archipelago suffered extensive bleaching as a result of the intense 1998 El Nino, while the recently ended El Nino was said to have been the strongest in 20 years.

In addition to monitoring the water conditions at 10 points in South Malé and Baa atoll this year, the HARP programme saw the removal of the harmful Crown of Thorn starfish from around Anantara’s three South Malé atoll properties in 2015. Following this project, Anantara have produced and distributed a manual outlining best practice for other resorts to follow.

As a result of this year’s observations, Coral Reef CPR have discovered that temperatures on the reef have exceeded 30°C, rising as high as 32 – 33 °C in lagoonal environments.

“Under normal conditions, sea water temperatures should be 3-4 degrees cooler at depth but these high temperatures are extending beyond 35 metres depth,” noted Dr Bruckner.

As well as being caused by the recent El Nino, Dr Bruckner noted that the sea has been unusually calm, allowing UV light to penetrate further down the reef.

“Due to stressful conditions corals in some areas in the Maldives began to pale in colour at the beginning of April and several sensitive species bleached white. By mid-April between 60-80% of corals on the reef we were monitoring were fully bleached or a very light yellow in colour.”

Aerial, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Aerial, Anantara Kihavah Villas

On a more positive note, however, the researchers have discovered some corals that appear to have adapted to higher temperatures, with further plans made to analyse and encourage the wider growth of these so-called ‘super corals’.

The HARP programme is set to build upon Anantara’s award-winning conservation work, which has included coral regeneration programmes in place since 2011. Guests at Anantara Dhigu, Anantara Veli, Anantara Kihavah Villas or Naladhu Maldives can join the marine biologists on excursions as well as help to fund the project through the company’s ‘Dollars for Deeds’ initiative.

The scheme sees guests invited to donate one dollar for each night of their stay, which is then matched dollar for dollar by Minor Hotels. Subsequent funds raised in the Maldives are committed over the next five years to the key areas of marine and coastal environment protection, environmental education, and community welfare.

Anantara Opens First Padi-Certified Free Diving Centre In The Maldives

The Maldives attracts travellers from around the world with a visual spectacle unlike anywhere else on the globe. Above the waterline and beneath the waves, unbelievable worlds await exploration. Anantara opens the door to new encounters with a pioneering aquatic experience in a nation where the total area is 99.99% water. Available to guests at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Naladhu Maldives, Aquafanatics is the first PADI-certified free diving centre in the island nation.

A multitude of watersports from scuba diving to surfing and deep-sea fishing to sailing connect guests from all three resorts to the glistening lure of the Indian Ocean. Launching a country first, the free diving centre offers another dimension to ocean-based adventures on the islands.

The less explored activity of free diving strips many restraints attached with traditional scuba diving. A truly liberating activity, it relies on the diver to hold their breath, leaving them free to move unhindered through the translucent Maldivian waters.

Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

With no oxygen tank bubbles to distort vision, the vivid colouration of coral life glows brighter than ever. Devoid of heavy equipment, guests move at will alongside inquisitive fish, developing a sense of belonging. With every dive guests acquire the ability to stay below a little longer, discovering more on each descent.

Free diving is entwined with the cultural heritage of the islands in the Indian Ocean. Since ancient times locals have harvested sponges and clasped gleaming pearls from beneath the waves. Anantara’s professional freediving instructor, Mari Kagaya, reveals a peaceful, intrinsic underwater encounter. “The Maldives provide the pinnacle in free diving adventure,” she explains. “Escaping the trappings of scuba gear, our encounters with sea life are graceful, natural and deeply personal. Guests discover their own hidden depths, not only of their body, but also the mind.”

Naladhu Maldives
Naladhu Maldives

Every diver is made to feel at ease in the water with Mari, who is originally from Japan. Her warm and welcoming approach to teaching freediving has been mastered since 2002 when qualifying as a diving instructor in Honduras. Amidst the gentle lapping sounds of the ocean, the resorts’ guests are guided through the theory of free diving. With a new focus on breathing and reserving energy, all that’s left is to turn in the water and embark on a new journey of self-discovery in the Indian Ocean.

To reserve a stay and experience the pleasures of freediving first hand, travellers are invited to contact +960 664 4111 or reservation[email protected]. For more information on Anantara’s Maldives resorts, visit anantara.com.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas Invites Guests To Paint In Paradise With Renowned Resident Artist

The world’s globetrotters are invited to explore their creativity amidst the Maldivian paradise of Baa Atoll and create a masterpiece to take home. In collaboration with internationally acclaimed visual artist, Julie Simpson, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas welcomes guests to tap into their inner talents and express the beauty of its magnificent surrounds in a personal masterpiece.

Guests can indulge in artistic revelry on this private island in Baa Atoll, surrounded by dazzling blue ocean. Julie will be offering classes six days a week, both at the resort’s poolside Manzaru restaurant and also private In-Villa tutorials. Guests of all ages will benefit from the expertise of the artist-in-residence and receive guidance on creating their work. All materials will be provided and each piece can be brought home as a spectacular holiday souvenir.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Looking out to the ocean, the poolside setting at Manzaru creates an ideal open air studio and Julie encourages visitors to drop by for painting demonstrations or an informal chat. Julie will paint during the evenings to “demystify the artistic process” and guests can also buy her work to adorn their walls at home, a splendid way to relive memories of their Maldivian escape.

Hailing from Australia, Julie has brought her expertise to destinations such as Russia, Morocco, Italy and France. Known internationally for her abstract sand, sea and sky artworks she will draw from the emotion and colour of the environment’s beautiful natural canvas to create a mural for the resort’s children’s club. In her first visit to the Maldives she expects the Maldivian blues surrounding Anantara Kihavah to inspire new work.

“I draw extraordinary inspiration from the environment surrounding me,” Julie commented. “I love helping others to express their passion through art, and Anantara’s island is an amazing backdrop to unlock hidden talents. Immersed in serenity with nature literally painting the horizon in a flowing colourscape – what setting could be more perfect?”

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Along with this unique artistic experience, guests can enjoy snorkelling in UNESCO World Biosphere reefs, delighting in an underwater dining event at Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky or soothing sun-kissed skin with a massage with island-sourced essences in the resort’s luxurious sanctuary.

Julie will be in residence at Anantara Kihavah Villas until 27 May 2016 and offering her insights to guests of all ages. Adult classes cost USD 95++ per two-hour session whilst classes for children (4 – 11 years) can be reserved for USD 55++. Classes will run from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm six days a week.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas Unveils Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence

In a destination as luxurious as the Maldives, it is hard to top the extravagant experiences already available. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas rises to the challenge with the unveiling of its one-of-a-kind Three-Bedroom Beach Pool Residence. Secluded in a green cocoon of island lushness, the Residence was specially designed to host fantasy-filled holiday escapes in a private sanctuary for families and intimate groups. The villa offers a world apart to enjoy together, with an impressive 1,050 square metres of luxurious space, taking a cue from the famous lines of the poet Kahlil Gibran: “Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Ultimate Luxury Nestled Along White Sand Beach and Turquoise Waters

The Residence’s discerning guests arrive at the island via an unforgettable seaplane ride over blue jewel-tone waters. Greeted at the jetty, each family or group of friends is escorted along a white-sand path cutting through dense tropical jungle, passing the chef’s herb garden – ready to add its flavours to private dinners – and ushered through the Residence’s private entrance.

Inside, guests find themselves in a designer-draped haven borrowing elegant accents from Thailand, Morocco and India. Teak columns punctuate spaces of pristine white purity. Daybeds float over the infinity-edge pool and the water features of courtyard bathrooms. Swaying palms rise through the sprawling wooden deck.

By day, guests can luxuriate in Anantara Spa treatments, delivered in the privacy of the Residence’s spa sala, and a variety of imaginative indulgences. In the central villa living area, a full multimedia suite invites for a private cinema experience on the 55-inch 3D LED TV with Bose home theatre system. A humidor adds a distinctive touch to the central bar, while a painting easel awaits colourful bursts of natural inspiration.

By night, guests are welcome to immerse themselves in the pool, twinkling with fibre-optic lights to mirror the night sky of the Indian Ocean. An adjacent Jacuzzi pool and sunken dining cabana invite with more spaces to relax. Retreating to each of the three bedrooms, guests can drift to sleep in oversized king beds or enjoy a late night soak in two-person bathtubs while savouring an exquisite bottle from their bedroom’s own custom-stocked wine cabinet.

Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Expanding the Possibilities for Island Getaways

“The Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence caters to guests who dream big,” explained Jean-Marc Ma-Poon, the resort’s General Manager. “We’re addressing the growing demand for larger accommodation.”

The spacious Residence comfortably accommodates up to six adults and six children, or nine adults. Extending the hideaway even more, a lush orchid garden pathway leads to a connecting door and an adjoining Beach Pool Villa, which can increase the retreat to four bedrooms – along with another infinity pool and dining pavilion.

In addition to the pools, beach access points pierce the towering walls of greenery leading to the island’s immaculate white sands and the treasures of the house reef waiting to be snorkeled and explored at any time.

Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Jewel in the Crown

Guests wishing to enjoy the Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence in total privacy are welcome to do so, never leaving its embrace. A personal Villa Host is on hand 24 hours a day catering to all requests. Beyond its walled gardens, unsurpassed beauty and a variety of glittering experiences abound – from the over and underwater dining of Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky. to the adrenaline rush of sea bobbing and graceful encounters with manta rays on bespoke excursions.

Set on one of the most picturesque Maldivian islands, Anantara Kihavah Villas features 79 private pool sanctuaries either poised over water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a stretch of private beach. The Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence is the jewel in its crown, for guests who demand the pinnacle of spacious luxury.

Aerial view, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Anantara Kihavah Villas

For more information and bookings, please visit http://kihavah-maldives.anantara.com