Guests arrive in Anantara's Dhigu, the family island (where children are welcome). This has the reception where payments and orientation are done. It has several restaurants, and none of them are off-limits from their guests or visitors (except the six-star island of Naladhu). Your day entrance is inclusive of consumable meals (and if you're a moderate "eater", it is not that easy to consume). The same entrance fee allows use of their facilities; visits to other islands (Veli, Gulhifushi, Moyo Island) including shuttle rides between islands; use of infinity pool, etc. Your entrance fee could be used for spa treatments because its consumable. The island has strong wifi for all guests to use so you can actually connect to the world wide web while having fun.
Anantara is 35 minutes south of Male by speedboat. A Male ferry boat to Maafushi, which is just 10 minutes from Anantara, takes 2 hours however. The resort has 110 beach villas and overwater suites (water cottages). Fuddan Fusion Grill offers steaks and seafood. Terrazzo has Italian cuisine. Aqua Cafe is for cocktails and bars, but it's directly facing the pool so we opted to stay there due to the great view. Children 6 years and under, in the company of their guardians, dine free.
The resort staff has their own place called Marina Island. This is where they rest and "come home" to. Naladhu, meanwhile, is popular among discrete Russian millionaires and celebrities who don't want to be seen. It has 19 large villas and private pools. There's also a single communal pool with "zero community feel" due to its exclusivity, There are 6 beach houses facing the sea. Rich guests celebrate privacy in style.
We had our lunch at the Aqua Restaurant, just beside the infinity pool. One of their head waiters was very friendly that even before our meal, he kept giving us apples. This was an absolutely sweet gesture, and something that sticks in your mind. He would offer advice on which food to partake. We finally decided on Pizza Gamberetti ($30), Stir Fried Beef ($35), Grilled Chicken Bread Burger with Salsa ($25) and sodas.
In relation to the subject of "exclusivity" (which is Naludhu), some islands in Maldives won't even allow day visitors in their restaurants (Bandos resort island in the North Male Atoll) even if you're a paying day guest. The same resort island won't allow their day visitors to use their swimming pool (you're not even allowed to view it - which is ridiculous, thus your very expensive visit has exceedingly limited options. Had I known these facts earlier, I would have given Bandos a miss. It just wasn't worth all the trouble, considering they're one of the least picturesque among the resort islands I have visited. Not Anantara though. This resort is populated by some of the warmest folks this side of earth. They know how to pamper every guests, in-house or day visitor. They're generous with the use of all their facilities, you don't feel like you have to act under a set of stringent rules or limitations. No wonder they're become quite an icon in South Male atoll.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Dhigu's reception and lobby.
|Grilled chicken bread burger with salsa
|Stir fried beef
|Kid's club and playground
|One of the secluded beach-front cottages
|Free use of bikes.
Their website: http://dhigu-maldives.anantara.com/
|My speedboat (water taxis). This is why travels in the Maldives are expensive. You have to rent speed boats like this and they usually cost $200-300 per person.