I've read a few reviews on here that were a little critical. I must say I think they were being picky. I struggled to find much wrong with this place, but I suppose if I had to, there were 3 things...... firstly the "host" or "personal concierge", wasn't the best we've had. Hard to pin point, but I just don't think he added any value ( as opposed to our stay at the Nam Hai in Vietnam.... read our review on that place)...... my second criticism was that in the first 2 days of our stay we had random power outages. It took 4 visits from Maintenance to eventually get it sorted out. Our final criticism was the Dive Shop. They mixed some aspects of our bookings and some of the staff just didn't want to be there.
Anyway, now on to the good stuff !.
The resort itself is magical, from the time you are met in Male Airport and taken to a transfer lounge until the time you are farewelled on the pier by resort staff, this place is the complete deal.
It would be hard to give a full review of all the positives, but I will touch on some.
The rooms are great. Spacious, airy, furnished well, well stocked mini bar, comfortable bed. Some reviews complained about the privacy. I don't think that is an issue if you follow one rule.... Don't swim under anyone else's villa. I must say that we had neighbors either side and didn't hear or see them our entire stay. The bathroom is amazing - we just loved the glass bottom bath tub, and viewing glass in the toilet and outdoor shower. We would quite often see fish underneath.
The shower and bath look out into the attol and it is an maxing view.
The over water hammocks are great and surprisingly practical to relax in. Likewise the sun-bed on the deck was large and very comfortable.
We could have spent our entire stay in the villa without venturing out.
The snorkeling outside the villa leading to the resort reef is excellent. Lots of coral, and fish to be seen. We were lucky enough to see many Manta Rays and even a sea snake.
The breakfasts are fantastic with ample selections of Asian and Continental cuisines. We thought the fruit bar was a nice touch where you picked your own mangoes, guavas, pineapples etc. from a basket and they were freshly cut for you. The outside tables are best where you have the great water views, and of course as already mentioned, for those that want them iPads are available with international news.
We dined at each if the restaurants during our stay, and I suppose our favorite was "Sea", the underwater restaurant. The experience was amazing and the staff attentive. I would definitely go during the day so you get to see more sea life. Also, as other reviewers have said, no need to dress up, resort casual is fine. This restaurant has a set menu, but the chef is happy to customize your requirements. I think it would be nice though if they rotated the menu as it may have encouraged us to dine there more than once.
Our second favorite restaurant was "Salt". Again the staff were amazing. The menu was wide and varied with a distinctive Asian feel to it. The quirky aspect of this restaurant is that when they bring the food, the "Salt Somellier" comes to the table with a trolley of about 15 different salts and then gives you recommendations on what salt matches each food. He gives an I depth description of it's origins and qualities etc..... Quirky, but fun !.
We tried "Sky" restaurant once and it was nice, but after ordering we found out the fish was from Australia ??. With such an abundance of fish in their backyard I would much have preferred local.
We also tried "Fire" trepanyaki restaurant, and I suppose it was your typical trepanyaki restaurant. Nothing too special, but ok. Way too much butter cooked in with the grilled meat and rice. I felt 10kg heavier after dining there.
A nice option also is in the in-Villa dining. We enjoyed this several times and it was always delivered quickly and the quality was fine.
The staff at the resort were great. They took the time to learn a little about us, and remembered little things like how you like your tea, how you like your eggs prepared etc. They were attentive without being intrusive.
The only way around the island is by buggy, and we found that a call to concierge and a buggy was there within 5 minutes.
We booked the 2 hour couples massage and it was ok. I've certainly had far better, and I probably agree with some earlier comments I read that it's perhaps a little mechanical and just aimed at getting you in and out.
We booked 2 sessions with the Dive shop, firstly a refresher dive, and then a reef dive for the next day. The refresher dive was good, and it gave us the chance to practice those skills we were a bit rusty on. We were lucky enough to see some nice sealife in the resort reef including huge lobsters tucked away in the crevices.
The reef dive the following day was pretty good, with lots of great coral and sealife to be seen. We did 2 dives and each were quite different. Probably some of the best diving we have done, mind you we haven't dived extensively.
I'm summary, I think this place deserves 5 stars, we had high expectations on arrival and it would be fair to say they were met and even exceeded in several areas.
This would be a great resort for honeymooners, or those wishing to enjoy the beauty of the Maldives.
- 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