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Maldives: SKY Overwater Observatory

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas (Kihavah Huravalhi Island) have just launched SKY, an exclusive over-water observatory, cocktail bar and panorama lounge perched over the island lagoon, adding to their already long list of unique experiences – notably their SEA underwater restaurant and wine cellar. The Maldives are located just above the equator so guests can observe both hemispheres’ stars using the resort’s research-grade 16-inch Meade LX200 telescope mounted on a super-giant field tripod, remote controlled with 360-degree movement – noted by Anantara as the most powerful telescope in the region.

SKY Overwater Observatory cocktail bar

SKY Overwater Observatory cocktail bar

Featuring wide open skies and minimal light pollution the Maldives offers a unique vantage point from which to gaze into our solar system and the universe beyond. Guests are invited to sip champagne and cocktails before a stargazing session with resident guide Ali Shameem who spent his childhood mapping the constellations, and the last decade as a professional astronomer working alongside the renowned Italian astrophysicist Dr Massimo Tarenghi at the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre Array) observatory in Chile.

Common sights observed might be the pale yellow rings of Saturn or the counter-rotating zones and belts of Jupiter that vary in width, colour and intensity from year to year. The resolving power of the telescope reveals the splendour of the Milky Way’s massive Omega Centauri globular cluster and Messier 13, a cluster of more than 300,000 stars, invisible to the naked eye, in the constellation of Hercules.

SKY Overwater Observatory

SKY Overwater Observatory

Anantara Kihavah resort, featuring 80 beach and over-water villas, is a 30-minute seaplane flight from Velana International Airport. It is situated within Baa Atoll – a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve consisting of three separate natural atolls and 57 uninhabited islands. The surrounding reefs are home to turtles, manta rays, moray and honeycomb eels and vibrantly coloured coral formations and tropical fish, making them a prized destination for divers.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Prices at the resort start from $US1,196 a night for a beach pool villa. skykihavahmaldives.com