Experiences that are exhilarating in Anantara Kihavah


The appeal of Anantara Kihavah is an island resort in the Baa Atoll Maldives, on the doorstep of Hanifaru Bay, where feeling serene comes as standard and mindfulness activities make you whisper it.

It starts when you arrive on the island via a small seaplane, which gracefully belly-dives into the turquoise waters after a half-hour journey from mainland Male and delivers you directly to the jetty of Anantara Kihavah. As soon as your feet hit the sandy beaches and you realise that all you can hear are the waves, with your palatial pad sitting above the water, and the horizon everywhere you look, you'll go through the following mental stages of island life: joy, confusion-at-the-joy, excitement, joy-at-the-excitement, calm and finally into a state of what can only be described as a sort of blissful, docile dumbness. The whole process takes about three minutes. 



All of the expected water based activities such as scuba diving to take advantage of teeming reefs within the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, a boat trip to see dolphins, a highly recommended jaunt to swim with local manta rays and general paddling around are just as joyous as you would expect, but it's the wellness activities that send you right over the top. You're already calm and serene; these provide a dopamine-high topper.


Everything at Anantara Kihavah is enhanced. Yoga, for instance, is ''Aerial Yoga", which takes place in the sea: you contort yourself into various Karate Kid poses while in/on/falling off a sling, as the waves crash around your waist. The water proves particularly beneficial when you inevitably lose your balance and, rather than cracking your head open, you simply receive a refreshing dip.



The meditation sessions at Anantara Kihavah take place on the beach, where the peaceful lapping of calm sea on soft sand hurts not one bit. The spa is also naturally built over water. This offers a variety of healing therapies, from options that combine massage with ringing bell vibra­tions to others that make use of a selection of specialist hot oils.


There is even an island "slumber guru", which, admittedly; is a little bit like having an "adrenaline guru" in Anantara Kihavah will make you sleep even more soundly via a selection of pillows and aromatic essences. 



There are the incredible five star restaurants at Anantara Kihavah that you'd expect at such a high end getaway - Fire, which grills things; Salt, which serves Asian cuisine; Plates, which serves most things; and Sea, which is underwater and offers diners the unique experience of trying to spot what fish it is they're currently chewing - but even here there are plenty of holistic options. Most impressive of all is Chef who is a specialist in all variety of "wellness" cuisines, who will prepare you a fruit­grain-unknowable-matter breakfast bowl that looks like the result of a grizzly accident at a muesli factory; but thankfully tastes out of this world.

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