Maldives Wellness Review

Featured Image: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Anantara Kihavah is not only a tropical island paradise but also a stargazer’s dream location. The private island’s remoteness means that it is free from light pollution, while its proximity to the equator affords spectacular views of both the southern and northern sky.

At SKY, Anantara Kihavah’s overwater observatory combined with a luxury cocktail bar, the far reaches of the universe are brought into crystal clear focus as guests sip Champagne or cocktails and gaze through one of the most powerful telescopes in the region while the resort’s two resident SKY Gurus regale them with fascinating stories of the night sky.

Photo Credit: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Harnessing their local knowledge of the Maldivian sky to reveal the intriguing stories behind the countless stars that make up the distant constellations, Zunnoon Ahmed, known as Zunnu, and Ali Arushal, who goes by the name of Shalli, are Anantara Kihavah’s Resident SKY Gurus. Both natives of Baa Atoll, Zunnu and Shalli are not only captivating storytellers, but they also each have their own story to tell.

ZUNNOON AHMED (Zunnu)

Having originally joined Anantara Kihavah in 2017 as an IT Coordinator, overseeing the hotel network, managing hotel applications, and playing a key role in ensuring the seamless operation of various technological aspects for a smooth guest experience, Zunnu grabbed the opportunity to develop his celestial passion by volunteering to study stargazing under the supervision of the resort’s first SKY Guru, Ali Shameem.

While his own personal favorite star is Aldebaran, Zunnu is more than happy to take advantage of Anantara Kihavah’s pristine location away from light pollution to find and share a variety of celestial events with the resort’s guests. “We regularly witness awe-inspiring solar eclipses, captivating lunar eclipses, mesmerizing meteor showers, and enchanting planetary conjunctions in our cosmic spectacle,” he enthused.

ALI ARUSHAL (Shalli)

A more recent addition to Anantara Kihavah’s small but elite team of SKY Gurus, Shalli is another native of Baa Atoll, having been born and raised on the island of Kendhoo. Shalli describes his childhood on Kendhoo as happy and enjoyable, and while his interest in the stars began at a young age, it was not until he joined Anantara Kihavah that he delved deeper into the field of astronomy.

Describing his first stargazing session with guests as stunning, Shalli quickly warmed to his new role. As a SKY Guru, Shalli enjoys sharing his passion and imparting unknown knowledge about the stars to others. While he names Antares as his personal favorite star, he enjoys nothing more than being able to show guests distant constellations or share such amazing spectacles with them as a lunar eclipse, solar eclipse or meteors.

Photo Credits: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

The SKY Gurus lead guests at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas on a cosmic journey across both hemispheres’ stars and planets, clarifying what can be seen in the sky with the naked eye and using a green laser, they point out different constellations and explains light years and different types of galaxies. Guests are then able to view the sky from the observatory telescope which has a viewing capacity of 30 million light years away.

The locale gives guests an opportunity to see lunar eclipses, stars and planets invisible from Europe or America. Sometimes, depending on climate and time of the year, you can even catch a glimpse of Saturn with its pale-yellow rings, belts of Jupiter that vary in width, color and intensity from year to year and the several hundred thousand of stars that make up Messier 13.

Photo Credits: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas: SKY Observatory – Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

SKY is one of the finest over-water observatories in the Maldives built with a 3.8 meter revolving Ash-dome and equipped with a research-grade Meade 16” LX200 telescope with a magnification of 400x mounted on a super-giant field tripod.

For more information on SKY and Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas visit www.anantara.com/kihavah-maldives.