Anantara bags Leading International Hotel and Resort Brand title at Maldives Travel Awards

Anantara Hotels and Resorts has bagged the Leading International Hotel and Resort Brand award at the annual Maldives Travel Awards.

Coetzer Deysel, Cluster General Manager at Anantara Resorts Maldives, received the trophy at the Maldives Travel Awards Gala held on November 23 at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort.

Part of Thai hospitality group Minor Hotel Group, Anantara runs three resorts in the Maldives: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort in South Male Atoll, and Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas in Baa atoll.

Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort. PHOTO/ ANANTARA

Situated on Dhigufinolhu Island in the South Male Atoll is Anantara Dhigu, where luxury meets simplicity. The resort comprises of the most spacious of luxury villas coupled with private plunge pools while just being a quick 35-minute speedboat ride away from the main Velana International Airport.

Anantara Dhigu provides a harmonious combination of both the romantic, adventure and family friendly. Upon arrival guests can peer into the crystal waters below the jetty at puffer fish, sting rays and baby reef sharks.

Choose between villas perfectly positioned to catch the sunrise or sunset, or those that have their own private plunge pool. Among Maldives luxury accommodation, Anantara Dhigu is outstanding with its choice of stylishly designed villas and suites. A number of these villas come with direct access to the powdery white beach and all only steps away from the tranquil lagoon.

Parents can relax while little ones are entertained for hours and spoilt for choice with Anantara’s kids club and numerous activities available. Thrill the family with adventures that include water bobbing, surfing and deep sea fishing. Families can even take a short pontoon ride to the island of Guli Fushi, picnic on the deserted beaches and experience some of the best snorkelling in the Maldives.

The cuisine at Anantara Dhigu is an inspiring Maldives restaurant gastronomic experience. Dining is relaxed and informal, with an array of seafood and meat grills, fine Italian cuisine and varying themed buffet dinners, to lighter meals poolside for lunch.

Anantara Dhigu’s evocative location is matched by a tranquil island design approach that feels like home away from home while providing guests with their every need.

Anantara Veli Maldives Resort. PHOTO/ ANANTARA

Anantara Veli, located very close to Anantara Dhigu, is one of the few adult-only islands in the Maldives where white sand and azure waters provide the perfect setting. The resort is perfectly suited to couples or groups of friends looking for a relaxing island hideaway where turquoise waters beckon from a choice of intimate accommodation bungalows, some with direct lagoon access.

Relax with a loved one in the over water bungalows, as a spectacular plethora of sea life swims in the crystal-clear lagoon beneath or unwind on a sun deck overlooking the palm fringed island and pristine coral reefs in the South Male Atoll, just 35 minutes from Velana International Airport. For guests who wish to experience ultimate relaxation, exclusive access to Sundari Ayurvedic Spa will provide a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

Anantara Veli also boasts convenient dining options, such as international cuisines at 73 Degrees and Thai food at the esteemed Baan Huraa, which will re-open in May following an extensive refurbishment. In the evening, add an element of gourmet dining with a unique menu designed by guests and the chef, served on a deserted sandbank that has a backdrop of a breathtaking Maldivian sunset.

The underwater restaurant at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas. PHOTO/ ANANTARA

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is just 35 minutes by seaplane from the main airport. Following the scenic flight, guests arrive to a picture-perfect setting surrounded by the jewel-coloured waters and uninhabited islands of the majestic Indian Ocean.

Comprising 74 one-bedroom villas, four two-bedroom residences and a three-bedroom residence, each hideaway boasts large personal infinity-edge pools, dining pavilions, expansive wooden sundecks and ample lounging areas complete with swinging daybeds, hammocks and sun loungers. All villas feature his and hers walk-in wardrobes, rain showers, outdoor showers and over-sized bathtubs big enough for two. Sunken glass bottom bathtubs in the over water villas offer a mesmerising view of the sparkling ocean, both below and beyond the adjacent infinity-edge pool.

The resort offers a unique experience of dining in the Maldives. Explore the island’s array of gastronomic journeys on the beach, or in the privacy of a villa. Integrating itself with the surrounding beauty of the house reef, a one-of-a-kind underwater dining experience awaits at signature SEA, regarded by many as one of the best underwater restaurant experiences in the Maldives. An extensive international gourmet menu encompasses a choice of over 350 bottles of wines spanning nine decades, paired by the resident sommelier.

Meanwhile, Minor separately runs Naladhu Private Island Maldives in the South Male Atoll and Niyama Maldives Private Islands in Dhaalu atoll.

Initiated in 2012 by Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.

This year, MATATO has for the first time branched out the prestigious awards into three categories; the People’s Edition, which recognises successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

As the first event held under the Maldives Travel Awards brand, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi hosted the People’s Edition on July 13, where 10 individuals were recognised for their immense contributions to the development of the Maldives tourism industry.

The Guesthouse Edition, held in the island of Maafushi on October 30, expanded on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrated the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.

The Gala Edition held at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort on November 23 recognised the best products and services available in the resorts, airlines and liveaboards segments.

Main photo: Ibrahim Asad

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