As we look at our fluorescent screen, eyes burning, back aching and mind boggled as to the hostility of never-ending work, we think back to the Anantara Kihavah Maldives. And for a minute, we’re untroubled by a care in the world.
It’s no secret that the Maldives is such an aspirational destination. White sand so soft you could dive in it, blue skies so clear you get lost in them and an ocean so vast you never see its end.
Yes, the Maldives is as blissful as it gets. And if a carefree island away from the slavery of modern day work life is what you’re yearning for, look no further than the Anantara Kihavah, where even the baby sharks are so peaceful they huddle beneath the overwater spa, lured in by its melodic tunes – at least that’s what Muayad Najemeddin tells us.
He’s the Yoga teacher and Reiki (Japanese healing method) therapist who left a corporate job in Dubai to seek “the true nature of his being” and help others do the same. We bump into Najemeddin on our first day at the resort, where he recommends a “singing bowls” healing session. Singing bowls are water-filled Tibetan bowls that exhibit a lively dance of water droplets and melodies when rubbed with a leather-wrapped mallet.
He uses them to help guests release blocked chakras (energy points). It is frankly peculiar; you lie still while a stranger chants verses you do not comprehend. But the end result is rewarding. Najemeddin tells us we worry too much, are too hard on ourselves and haven’t yet unplugged out of work mode.
Despite the beauty of holidays, it is not uncommon for travellers to experience high stress due to anything ranging from ongoing problems to upcoming expectations. So we begin to be more conscious of our thoughts, focusing solely on our present state. Of course, walking into our water villa makes it easy to leave our worries behind.
Wooden floors and earth hues give us a warm fuzzy feeling while floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a terrace that boasts an outdoor infinity pool and easy sea access via a few steps. Every detail is thought out in this secluded and exceptionally romantic villa. A beach bag and flip-flops are even provided in the two separate walk in male and female closets.
The resort has six over-water treatment suites
Outside, wooden slates give us ultimate privacy, while a large swing bed and two hammocks are where we spend most of our mornings. Did we mention a mobile phone dedicated to contacting our villa concierge?
We decide to use it and book Dinner by Design, a romantic beachside dining experience on an isolated sandbank. Fresh lobster is our go-to meal, though we can’t decide whether it is the food or the atmosphere that is more delightful.
Our friendly private butler is quick to recommend activities around the island, including the orchard garden and cinema under the stars. We are short on time (three days is not enough for the Maldives) but have time to try Sea, a restaurant located six metres under the water.
Visitors can enjoy views of the edge of the reef while they eat, where marine biologists work to preserve its natural state, and we are told they nurture broken coral and replant it along the reef. As for the food, we opt for the obvious choice of seafood, trying the scallops with pesto, potato and parsley. It is surprisingly good, as we are not fans of scallops, but are convinced by the chef to give it a try.
Next, we enjoy shisha at the Sky lounge, a two-floor round venue overlooking the sea from a 360-degree angle. It even features a telescope for stargazing.
The resort has three other dining options, enough to keep you entertained on the beautiful island of Kihavah Huravalhi. That is, if you have time to try them all between exploring the island’s lush gardens or swimming in the surrounding Indian Ocean.
The villas come at a hefty price (around $1,500 a night), but it depends on how much you’re willing to pay for a few days of ultimate peace of mind.
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