Anantara Kihavah Maldives: Overwater spa

The highest ground in the Maldives may only be eight inches above sea level, but you don't have to get your feet wet to enjoy this high-end island resort

By Sam Lewis
Published 21 Oct 2015, 12:00 BST

The highest ground in the Maldives may only be eight inches above sea level, but you don't have to get your feet wet to enjoy this high-end island resort, just a 35-minute seaplane flight from Malé.

The overwater villas have glass-bottom bath tubs and the underwater restaurant, Sea, has floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to watch a myriad tropical fish swim by as you feast on a lobster lunch or degustation dinner. Name 10 species correctly and a free bottle of Champagne will arrive in your pool villa… get one wrong and you can always drown your sorrows and drink one of the many bottles sitting in your wine chiller (it's next to the mini-bar that includes sun cream and waterproof cameras as standard).

The resort's spacious spa sits on stilts above the ocean with six treatment rooms with beds featuring small glass windows that give you a view of the sea-life without you having to grab your mask and snorkel. The relaxation room, a delightful open-air decking area with a Jacuzzi and plunge pools, is also on stilts with panoramic views over the water looking out to sea.

While facials use Elemis products, many of the body treatments combine rich local ingredients — including infusions of herbs and plants blended with the island's most prolific crop, the coconut — in wraps, scrubs and masks among the many options delivered with lavish attention by expert therapists.

For those guests who love swimming, there's a serious lap pool — at 49m, it's surely the Maldive's longest — but if you want to cool off without getting your feet wet, one of the resort's Sunshine Butlers will bring you a chilled towel.

But if you've travelled all this way, my advice is to take a dip in the crystal clear sea. Located in the Baa Atoll, this is one of the best diving spots in the Maldives and the resort has an excellent house reef with daily boat trips to nearby dive sites where you're guaranteed to spot turtles and sharks.

Landlubbers can head to Fire, the Teppanyaki lounge, for a cooking lesson, or grab the yoga mat in their villa and join the resort's resident guru for a class. With a range of activities including badminton, tennis, volleyball and pétanque, there's plenty to do and in the evening, you can lie back on a king-size bed under the stars and watch the latest blockbuster at the resort's outdoor cinema.

If you don't want to get there on your bike (every guest gets one on arrival), you can order a golf buggy to pick you up. And if you start to feel peckish, butlers will bring popcorn, Champagne and chocolate strawberries. Each villa comes with a personal butler who'll make any reservations, fill your sunken outdoor bath with warm water and rose petals, and even massage your feet, when you arrive — providing you don't mind getting them wet.


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