Best of the Maldives: Underwater Function Room – Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah underwater room

Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin’ for?
Under the sea, Under the sea
Darling it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me
The Little Mermaid

If you want your social functions immersed in water, then Anantara Kihavah are the latest to add an underwater spectacle to their resort.

The biggest of the underwater rooms in the Maldives extends it to more than a meal or treatment. It is being used for dining, dancing, functions like weddings (see picture below) and special events like wine tastings…

“View and savour the Indian Ocean’s abundance of marine life by descending into a connoisseur journey at the underwater restaurant and wine cellar, ‘Sea’, where guests are indulged with exquisite degustation menus or classic creations and tempted by the resident Wine Sommelier’s perfect accompaniments from a vast array of new and old world selections. Oenophiles will delight in the impressive underwater wine cellar, featuring one of the most balanced and diverse wine collections in the Maldives with over 6,500 bottles and 320 labels from 14 countries. 22 labels are available by the glass and regular tasting sessions offer guests a tantalising journey through the vineyards of the world.”

Sort of a new dimension to going ‘down below’ to see the wine cellar and literally taking special occasions to the next ‘level’.

Anantara Kihavah underwater wedding

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Massage – Kurumba

underwater massage

 

 

If a sliver of sand is not close enough to aquatic blissful relaxation, then Kurumba’s underwater scuba massage treatment (launched today!) should literally soak away the stress. Aprille Phoulle of the Veli Spa explained…

“Many of our divers get a whole range of muscle soreness and tensions from having heavy tanks on their backs. We figured why not provide the soothing treatment they need in the environment they love. Sure, more and more resorts are offering underwater spas and restaurants, but we are the first to go truly underwater with our services. At our latest underwater management meeting (modelled after the government’s cabinet meeting) decided to literally take to plunge. Customers have the choice of a table massage (anchored to the lagoon floor) or a ‘free floating’ treatment. The latter combines the benefit of a ‘flotation tank’ as the clients are set at neutral buoyancy. Due to the warm tropical waters of the Maldives, it is quite comfortable diving in just a t-shirt and trunks making it easy for the PADI-certified therapist to work those sore muscles (not mussels). We use only the finest Ayurveda, eco-friendly fish oils like ‘Tranquility Tuna’ and ‘Box Fish Bliss.’ The treatment also naturally includes something that has become a popular pedicure treatment in Europe, fish depilation, as wrasses delight in gently nibbling at the dead skin especially the crispy, sunburnt type. A tank of air is just right for a half-hour session.”

The Euro-Diver dive centre has also collaborated with the Veli Spa on a range of other treatments designed for the diver set such as the “Nitrox Detox” and the “Scuba Scrub”. They are also working with PADI to develop a range of new specialty skills that can be combined with ‘Underwater Massage’ such as ‘Compressed Air Aromartherapy’ for a ‘Dive Therapist’ certification.

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Art – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi olly and suzy art 1

In the Maldives you can marvel at nature’s artistry through such masterpieces of its coral gardens, and some resorts feature reef regeneration to aid and complement such artistry, but Soneva Fushi showcased underwater art (which is coming up for a benefit exhibit soon in London) as a part of their long term sponsorship of the Blue Marine Foundation…

“Olly and suzi’s manta ray and shark art will be exhibited in 2012 and 30% of the sales will be given to Blue Marine Foundation, a new charity formed by a group of influential individuals, brands and organisations to protect the world’s oceans through the establishment of a global network of marine reserves. Six Senses’ Maldivian resorts – Soneva Fushi, Soneva Gili and recently launched Six Senses Laamu – are sponsoring the foundation for the next three years.”

Soneva Fushi olly and suzy art 2

Best of the Maldives: Bedroom – Conrad Maldives Rangali

Rangali underwater bedroom

   

Many Maldives bedrooms have some distinctive views and the water bungalows certainly give you that up close view of the aquarium-like ocean around. But if you want more up close and more aquarium and more ‘surround’ than ‘around’, then the big news out of the Maldives this month is the introduction of Conrad Maldives Rangali’s ‘underwater bedroom’ experience.

Rangali has taken what was one of the all-time best ‘Best Of’ features (and the very first featured on Maldives Complete), the Ithaa underwater restaurant, and extends the use of this great space during the graveyard shift by transforming it into a bedroom.

Luxury Insider reports that “After a champagne dinner, what is normally the 12-seat restaurant will be rearranged into a double bedroom while breakfast will be served in bed.”

Gives a more inspiring connotation to the colloquialism ‘sleeping with the fishes’.

Best of the Maldives: Spa – Huvafen Fushi

In the spirit of the Ithaa restaurant at the Conrad Hilton Rangali, the Huvafen Fushi resort has opened an underwater spa. A number of spas have delightful settings on jetties and beaches right near the water, but if you truly want to be immersed in the aquatic serenity of the atolls, the Lime Spa.

Best of the Maldives: Restaurant – Ithaa at Conrad Maldives Rangali

Conrad Hilton Rangali Maldives Restaurant
While just about any part of the Maldives are dazzling and remarkable, a few place within the magical atolls stand out even for paradise.

There are dozens of enchanting ways to enjoy a meal in the Maldives – on the beach with the water lapping at your toes, on a deserted spit of sand in the middle of the ocean – but perhaps none so distinctive and ‘Maldivian’ as the Conrad Maldives Rangali’s Ithaa underwater restaurant.

“Dine 16 feet below sea level at Ithaa, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s unique undersea restaurant. Marvel at 180° views of reef and marine life, sip champagne cocktails and sample Maldivian-Western fusion cuisine at this spectacular Maldives venue – the world’s first all-glass, undersea restaurant.”