The Luxe List 2011, Maldives: Anantara Kihavah Villas, Ba’a Atoll

The six-course seasonal degustation menu at Sea gets high marks, but it’s the restaurant’s location, under water at the edge of the fish-filled house reef, that makes it a dining experience not to be missed at this 78-villa hideaway. Occupying a beach-ringed isle in the Ba’a Atoll, 35 minutes by seaplane from Male’s international airport, Anantara Kihavah is also just a short sail from the UNESCO-protected lagoon of Hanifaru Bay, where manta rays congregate by the hundreds.

Take inspiration from the kaleidoscopic marine life at daily painting classes with the resort’s artist in residence, and watch more fish swim by under the glass floors of the overwater spa, where Thai and Balinese therapists deliver exceptional treatments. The resort’s overwater pool villas provide instant access to the Indian Ocean and expansive decks for sunning or yoga, but for those who love to feel the sand between their toes or who are traveling with small children, the beach villas, also with their own swimming pools, are a better option.

Kihavah Huravalhi Island; 960/660-1020;; doubles from US$1,350

See more from The Luxe List 2011.

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