Anantara Kihavah Villas Maldives Ranked The Second Best In The World

Loading Maldives Offers.... Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas was ranked as the second best resort in the whole world by the Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards 2016. This is not a small feat achieved by the luxury Maldivian resort, Condé Nast Traveler is one of the biggest luxury and travel lifestyle magazines in the world and this years’ Reader’s Choice Awards were participated by over 300,000 people who voted in different categories such as the Indian Ocean’s Best Resort category, which was dominated by Maldivian resorts while Anantara KihavahVillas Maldives took the top spot. Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards have been taking place since 1987 and this year’s awards included 20,000 listing of different exotic resorts, hotels and countries from all over the world.

Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards described Anantara Kihavah Villas as Seventy-eight freestanding beach and overwater villas, each with its own infinity pool, on a private island of soft white sand. It was also recently named as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and is 35 minutes by seaplane from Male’ the capital city of Maldives. It delivered high end thatched-roof luxury, with the lagoon at center stage.

Other resorts from the Maldives also took some of the spotlight with Chevel Blanc Randheli placed at 17th.  The resort was described by Condé Nast Traveler as a recent resort from the luxury conglomerate LVMH, the owners of Louis Vuitton, Céline, Dior etc, that would set the bar high. The white sands and turquoise waters of the Noonu Atoll, in the northwest Maldives, are the backdrop for 45 one and two bedroom villas. And that as far as looks go, it doesn’t get chicer than this, but the whimsical touches such as the turtles drawn in the sand along the path to the villa, thoughtful little notes from butlers left alongside the pitchers of fresh juice was what truly gave this place its character.

One & Only Reethi Rah from the Maldives was also on the list and was portrayed as an instant favorite among honeymooners and celebrity couples, the 130 thatch-roofed villas, all with terrazzo bathtubs for two, are scattered along the 12 beaches of this 109-acre island in the North Male Atoll with the Daybeds outside the Moroccan restaurant, Fanditha, as the best place to take your meals.


Loading Maldives Offers.... The new Residence Maldivesat Dhigurah is the latest luxury hotel to grace this stunning chain of islands

This year sees the opening of The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah. It will be linked by a footbridge to The Residence Maldivesat Falhumaafushi, which opened in 2012.

Both lying in the Gaafu Alifu atoll, they will form one of the largest resort offerings in the Maldives. Along with properties in Mauritius, Tunis and Zanzibar, it brings the total number of The Residence by Singapore-based group Cenizaro to five hotels and resorts, with further expansion plans in the pipeline.

What immediately strikes me immediately is the warm welcome that I receive at The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi. In fact, this is the case throughout my stay: the hospitality and personal service is impeccable and no request is too much. For the duration of my stay I reside in a Water Villa, just one of 94 beach and over-water villas that has been designed with inspiration from the island; think thatched roofs, lush fabrics and natural materials.

Intended to be a home-from-home, it’s easy to relax and unwind here – it’s the ideal ‘fly and flop’ resort and perfect for honeymooners who want to remain in their own bubble. The wow-factor is without doubt the ocean views; waves lap on the villa’s doorstep while a school of fish flits between the bright coral reefs; it’s as though I’m in an aquarium. The veranda is the perfect spot to indulge in some Maldivian sunshine and kick back and relax. In fact, it’s quite easy to spend your whole time in somewhat of a lazy daze.

If you can be stirred from your slumber, however, start or end your day with sun salutations on the open-air deck, which is dedicated to yoga and meditation classes. It’s also the spot to watch the sun rise or set. For further relaxation, Clarins’ spa (the only one in the Maldives) can give you that added push.

For those who are more active, guests can not only enjoy a number of excursions such as swimming with dolphins, but can also make the most of the hotel’s PADI 5* Dive Centre. Offering all types of water sports, from snorkeling to scuba-diving, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover the coral reefs and rich marine life.

After burning off some energy, it’s important to refuel. The Residence Maldives offers a number of settings in which to dine, whether you’re after a light bite or a sumptuous à la carte meal. A highlight is the private dining experience, where a personal chef creates a bespoke menu. I enjoy a candlelit meal on the beach as the sun sets and a canopy of stars is revealed. It’s the ultimate finale to a magnificent Maldives experience.

A Multitude Of Awards For Dusit Thani Maldives

Loading Maldives Offers.... The Gold Medal in the Luxury Hotel and Resort category of the prestigious Travel Weekly Magellan Awards has been won by Dusit Thani Maldives for the second year running and it is not the only award in the bag for the resort as the Most Prestigious Wedding Venue in the Prestigious Star Awards 2016 was also recently seized by the resort.

The highly sought after Magellan Awards are organized by the US based business to business news publication Travel Weekly and is judged by a panel of professionals who are at the top of the industry. Other categories apart from the Luxury Hotel and Resort category, for the Magellan Awards included the Airlines and Airports category as well as the Destinations category. The awards pride itself in judging from its nominees from design to marketing to services and honouring the best in travel and giving credit to the outstanding travel professionals behind it all.

Dusit Thani Resort shortly translated as Heavenly Town, is located in Baa Atoll and is a Thai inspired 5-star luxury resort winning countless awards for its excellence, with the Most Prestigious Wedding Venue in the Prestigious Star Awards 2016, being the latest addition to its trophy cabinet.

The Prestigious Star Awards which Dusit Thani won by competing with over 2000 other challengers. The awards are held to celebrate the quality, performance and reputation of some of the world’s best venues that are qualified to host the most memorable events. Dusit Thani Resort was described as a magical venue, gracefully blending Thai hospitality with the unparalleled luxury of the Maldives by the ambassadors of the Prestigious Star Awards.

Joachim Schuette, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, expressed his joy on the Magellan Awards “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award for the second year running, as it truly highlights our continuous commitment to enhancing our resort and creating even more memorable experiences for our guests.”

The resort is comprised of 94 villas and offers its guests opportunities to dive and swim in the serene waters of the Maldives to experience natural beauty and marine life that the Maldives is acclaimed for. Dusit Thani Resort also contains five award winning top class restaurants offering different cuisines and gastronomical miracles.

It is truly a magical place to be.

TV presenter Amanda Byram samples aerial yoga and water trampolining in the tropics

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Rumor has it that when the architect was commissioned to shape the One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, he said he wanted each guest to ‘feel like a king’.
He failed spectacularly. Because from the moment we set foot on the island, we felt like a god and goddess instead – we were in heaven.
After leaving Male’s international airport, we were greeted by a band of merry men who promptly ushered us on to a luxury private yacht to take us to the resort.

Feeling like Jay Z and Beyoncé, my husband Julian and I kicked back and pressed the start button on our honeymoon. If first impressions were anything to go by, our marriage had just got off to the perfect start.

At the resort there were more warm and welcoming faces, before we meandered down the tiny, sandy ‘roads’ towards our beach villa in a golf buggy – cars have no business on this island.

Along the way, our personal concierge Gizem told us that staff at Reethi Rah outnumber guests by a ratio of more than three to one – although you would never know it, as the level of privacy made us feel as if we were on a deserted paradise.
When they were visible, staff pirouetted around us with balletic precision, noting our various requests and making them happen without breaking sweat despite the 30C heat.

Of the ten room types available, we chose the thatched beach villa with high ceilings, beautiful Balinese-style decor, and a pool.
But let me get one thing straight: no matter where you end up laying your head, rest assured you will be in a den of luxury.
Behind our large wooden front gate, there was a distinct and blissful feeling of isolation.
There was a secluded patch of beach to call our own, with two palm trees harboring a hammock.
We were spoiled with an unpacking service, a choice of pillows, an essential oils menu, a bathroom with two massive sinks complete with his-and-hers soaps, and wooden shutters everywhere (which stayed open during our stay, as I didn’t want to miss a single second of that spectacular view).

There was also a second shower outside should guests want to recreate that Timotei advert for fun (yes, of course I did).
You could be forgiven for never leaving your villa, but that would be a foolish tactic. The 24-hour golf buggy service will happily whisk you to any one of the amenities, of which there are countless.
For sporty guests there is a state-of-the-art gym with knowledgeable instructors – they put me through my paces on an outdoor circuit of which Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis would be proud.
There is a yoga pavilion where you can do aerial yoga (you are suspended in a low-hanging sling, so it’s not for those who don’t like being upside-down), a full-size football pitch, a badminton court, and tennis courts.
There is also an art gallery, a Taylor Taylor hair salon, a Mani & Pedi nail salon, a barber shop and a kids-only club. Meanwhile, the beach club was alive all day thanks to a DJ playing the latest tunes.

Most afternoons, Julian and I loved grabbing an ice cream before working off the inevitable sugar rush out on the hotel’s massive water trampoline. Big kids only need apply. 
Bouncing up and down on the giant inflatable, I felt like one of the contestants on Total Wipeout, the BBC series I used to co-present with Richard Hammond.
The resort takes seriously its sea excursions – trips such as luxury yacht big-game fishing, turtle adventures, sunrise fishing, reef snorkeling, sunset cruises and shark safaris can be arranged by Marine Concierge Center staff.
There are four main restaurants to tickle your taste buds. 
The main Reethi is beautifully constructed, with high ceilings and carved wooden pillars and doors, and serves contemporary Asian and Mediterranean fusion food. This is also where breakfast is served. 

Warning: make sure you arrive hungry. We are big breakfast buffet connoisseurs, and this one must be seen to be believed.
Another favorite for dinner was Tapasake, serving exquisite modern Japanese dishes with noodles and oodles of fish straight from the ocean outside your villa.
Fandita – which means ‘magical’ in the Maldivian language Dhivehi – is aptly named, thanks to its Arabian Nights-inspired restaurant and bar with beautiful sunset views. 
And the Chef’s Garden also hosts a restaurant – the candlelit area of the vegetable garden is designed with romance in mind.
In keeping with the romantic setting, the spa has massive his-and-hers steam and sauna rooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a courtyard. 
It is a haven of serenity, set among a beautiful expanse of manicured trees and grass leading to the ocean. 

During your time here, you can practically feel the stress in your shoulders dissipate and your mind let go. 
So what is it about the Reethi Rah that makes it an experience that stands out, even for those who have been fortunate enough to enjoy luxury travel in the past? 
I suppose it is the result of an overall vision to create paradise and then the sheer determination to never lose it.
On one of the websites about the Maldives that I browsed before our trip, I came across this quote: ‘We travel not to escape life but so that life doesn’t escape us.’

‘Inspirational’ quotes are not usually my cup of herbal tea, but here I found something that rang a bell.
Holidays which invite you to ‘get away from it all’ tend to be connected with the idea of taking a long flight somewhere and just plonking yourself on a beach for the rest of your stay. 
This doesn’t sound like an escape to me – it would be more like some sort of detention center for the soul.
What we discovered on the Maldives was an escape that took you away not just from your nine-to-five routine but offered an entree into another world – a life-affirming boost that lasted much, much longer than a suntan.
We can’t wait to return.

A picturesque bonanza

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Hanker after an adventurous yet serene break from your hectic urban life? Consider no further than the fascinating islands of The Maldives to have your fill of powdery beaches, water sport activities, seafood and privacy in the various resorts dotting the islands. Tropical climate with an abundance of greenery and cool, blue water all around ensures tourists throughout the year – Westerners come for sun bathing and adventure activities in summer while others visit the island in the months of festivities like Eid, Diwali and New Year.

Positioned smugly in the clear, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the atolls (a cluster of islands) of The Maldives – about 20 in all scattered over North and South of its capital city of Male, happens to be an independent island country. In most cases, each small island is owned privately in which beautiful 5-star resorts are constructed as tourism is its only revenue. A popular holiday destination with glittering ocean, white sandy beaches, the resorts are sheltered with dense plantations and provide all the amenities for city dwellers. Male is the only one-point entry to the Maldives and the islands are accessible from Male by speed boats or seaplanes.

With a total population of just around 4 lakhs, this South-Asian island country to the south-west of Sri Lanka and India, is a major tourist attraction. It is the lowest country in the world since even its highest point above sea level is less than 8ft with average elevation being 5ft. which allows you to wade in the ocean and that explains why Maldives is a preferred holiday destination.

Bang in the middle of the ocean, each sandy landmass of the island country rests on the shelf of coral reefs and out of the innumerable coral islands, only around 200 are inhabited since some of them got submerged with rising water and in some places new islands are formed but are not inhabitable. Furanafushi island in North Male’s Kaafu Atoll is one of the nearest to the capital city and it can be reached within 20 minutes by speedboat. Like most other, this island too is privately owned but all islands come under The Maldivian governance. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa owns Furanafushi, Kurumba in Vihamanaafushi and W Resort & Spa in Fesdu islands or any other resort, all offer a variety of facilities and activities to tourists for a memorable stay.

 Earlier Maldives was a kingdom and the kings promoted Buddhism but since 12 century AD, Islam was adopted as the only religion (they follow the Sunni sect) so much so that it is mandatory for those who wish to acquire Maldivian citizenship to convert to Islam. The official language is Divehi which is a mix of Sanskrit and Arabic. Natives here are simple folk whose main profession involves jobs in resorts/hotels, driving speedboats/cruises/seaplanes or guides and water sports managers. The rest are into local agro industry too.

Adventure activities:

Maldives is famous for its water sports activities by virtue of its low-lying and various other water-friendly features.

If you happen to stay in one of the Ocean or Pool Villas of the resort, your dream to walk around or swim in the shallow ocean bed can be realized. Else, access to the beach allows you to snorkel or swim; for those who like a little more speed and adventure, try water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, in the pristine ocean. If exploring the reefs is up your sleeve then Seabob is the technically advanced powerful toy and the coolest way to indulge in your aqua fantasy. Thrill seekers can go with wind-surfing, scuba-diving and catch sight of sting rays and sharks or soar like a bird to get an aerial view of the Indian Ocean peppered with greenery (islands) as you parasail with expert guidance.

For the less adventurous yet exploring minds – Sunset Dolphin Cruise offers an insight into dolphin behaviour, handline fishing on a Dhoni (a special boat) allows you to experience traditional method of fishing with bait and fishing lines as the Maldivian waters are rich in Tuna, Mahi mahi, Sail fish and Wahoo.

Food and Recreation:

Seafood specialties and live catch are cooked in Sea Salt with global cuisines for breakfast and dinner to suit every guests’ palate being served at Feast while Baan Thai and Asian Tea House take care of oriental food lovers’ choices. Almost every resort offers spa treatments with Maldivian herbal aromatic massages, facials, mudpacks and wraps to soothe exhausted nerves and Shine. The plunge pools in the Pool and Ocean Villas are a great draw since you can swim and enjoy in the seclusion of your private abode.

If you still want to get the city feel, a visit to Male takes care of your retail therapy and you can shop for souvenirs like lacquered artifacts, high quality coral jewelry – even black coral is found here and some pearls. You can visit the Grand Friday Mosque, Victory Square, National Museum, king’s family tomb and catch a glimpse of the President’s Palace.

The Maldives could be a tad expensive destination because practically everything and majorly food related items are brought in from Sri Lanka, India or Australia and a few other countries. Almost everything is imported here yet with their dependency on international resorts/retreat and tourists, it has a clannish and happy population. Poised on live coral reefs and sand bars, Maldivian islands are a picture-postcard paradise for honeymooners and avid leisure travelers for fun, frolic, food and of course great photo ops!

Seven nights in your own Maldivian resort for $6 mln

Loading Maldives Offers.... Want to own a resort island with 78 rooms for seven nights at US$6.25 million? This is what W Maldives, a luxury resort in the Maldives, is offering to its guests under a buyout package called “Extreme Island Takeover”, transforming an island into your own private playground.  The package starts from $4 million for four nights; $4.7 million for five nights and $5.5 million for six nights. Customers get the entire 78 rooms, all dining venues, free flow of food and house beverages, unlimited spa (inside operation hours), unlimited water sports and shared seaplane transfers to and from the resort.

The hotel said that guests who purchase the buyout package ‘Extreme Island Takeover’ will have access to the 78 private escapes located both on the beach and over water – each with its own plunge pool and sundeck; six creative gourmet eateries and lounge bars, including 15 BELOW, the Maldives underground nightclub, literally located 15 steps below the island surface and the over water AWAY® Spa for an ultimate escape.