Unlike other exclusive resorts, there are no restrictions in the use of their facilities (Bandos won’t even allow you to eat in their main restaurant or use their pool). I kept telling my hotel (Stingray Beach Hotel) to book me a day in Anantara. I waited for 3 days. The opportunity never came because Anantara was full. It was November, start of the peak season.
Visiting Anantara is like visiting several islands: Dhigu (Main), Veli (honeymooner’s), Naladhu (for the filthy rich), and the small, albeit newly opened Gulhi Fushi themed like a desert island There’s more in the vicinity: Moyo Island (just a sand bar with no facility to offer) and Marina Island (where employees of the resort live). Gulhi Fushi boasts of an “ocean pool”. Just across Gulhi Fushi (which literally translates to “Paradise Island”), you could see the local island of Gulhi, where ferries from Male usually drop passengers before proceeding to Maafushi. Visiting Naladhu is prohibited, but at least you could see it closer. From a distance, it doesn’t look much, though there’s a tall cottage at the edge of it.
|Naludhu for the filthy... rich. :)|
I turned left to the resort’s dramatically somber stretch of white sand beach. A makeshift “jetty” gets continually submerged underwater. And further on was a spa cottage. A Thai girl invited me in and generously offered to show me the interiors of a room. I was thrilled.
I didn't even notice, but it felt like being home.