We stayed 7 nights in Kihavah, 3 nights in a beach villa and 4 nights in a water villa. We have been to Maldives a number of times before, and despite our high expectations, the staff at Anantara Kihahvah turned this holiday into the best we have experienced in the Maldives.
Firstly, the accommodations were really of high quality with little to nothing wrong with them. We fell in love with the Beach Villa until we moved to the Water Villa which blew our minds. We really liked the layout of the rooms: they were spacious, luxurious, and made us feel very close to nature and both types of villas were very private. The pool in the water villa was much bigger than we expected. The house keeping was excellent.
Secondly, the staff made our experience unforgettable. Always smiling, they knew our first names and were always courteous and knowledgeable. For instance the waiters knew and could explain in detail every single item on the menu. The villa hosts were immediate to answer our calls if/when we needed something and were always ready to share a good story with us about their lives in the Maldives. By the end of the holiday we had created a bond with a number of staff members. They even invited us to come and cheer the Kihavah volleyball team as they played against another island. We thank all the staff for a memorable stay, and in particular, Solah, Shah, Jerry, Aboo, Jenny, Ifoo, Cang, Raj, Rambe, Sun, and the general manager, Dylan.
Thirdly, the quality of the food, which matters a lot to my partner and I, was exceptional. We were on full board. The breakfast at Plates was sumptuous with a full buffet and also some choices "a la carte". Lunch at Manzaru was varied and great (we recommend the cappuccino dessert), and the dinner options were varied (Salt , Sea and Sky). We enjoyed every meal we had on all quality, taste and choice . The chefs are really good!
The house reef is incredible, and we thoroughly enjoyed snorkeling several times. We saw sting rays, moray eels, lion fish, lobsters, black tip sharks, squid, spotted eagle rays , many many colorful fish, and also we swam for more than 10 minutes in tandem with a beautiful turtle along the reef! This was one of the highlights of the trip!
Lastly, and unfortunately, we were a little disappointed with the dive center. My partner is a passionate diver so the diving played a big part on this trip. Some guides were very good and pointed out many things to see while others cared less. Also, we booked two trips to Hanifaru Bay to see the manta rays. Although we did not see mantas, which we accept (as experienced divers who have traveled a lot, we understand that there are no guarantees), we felt cheated on the second attempt to see the mantas as we were not even given the chance to enter the bay to look for them (despite paying the full fee, including the bay entrance fee). Instead they took us to a reef close by (which had little to look at) with the excuse that their sources told them there were no sightings of mantas in the bay that day. This should have been communicated to us before we set off so that we could have made a decision as to join the expedition. In fact, we were (oddly) the only boat in the area that day unlike the first trip where there were many other boats and snorkelers trying their luck in the bay. Another guest also mentioned how odd it was that they just dropped us on that side reef when in his experience (he was experienced and had been to Hanifaru Bay before with another resort) it was clear from when we passed with the boat that there was nothing on that reef.
Nonetheless, we highly recommend Anantara Kihavah and will most likely return soon, we loved it so much. We haven't given up seeing the mantas feeding at Hanifaru Bay but will most likely book a live aboard or a resort closer to the bay.
Thank you to the awesome team at the resort which made this trip so memorable!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A haven of pool villas, Anantara Kihavah Villas is a Maldives luxury resort that offers the ultimate in privacy and tranquillity, your own sanctuary within a sanctuary. Expansive space that opens on to brilliant tropical nature, with private pools, high ceilings and timber interiors. Flavours of culinary art and wine served amidst a panorama of aquatic life in one of the few underwater restaurants and wine cellars in the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anantara Kihavah Villas Hotel Baa Atoll