Arrivals & Departures Maldives resort opens overwater stargazing observatory bar

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

The new SKY bar at the luxurious Anantara Kihavah resort has a resident professional astronomer.

The world of high-end hotels and resorts comes with some unusual job titles, whether it's the Lego butler at Ireland's Ashford Castle or the "duckmaster" who cares for the mallard mascots at the Peabody hotel in Memphis.  

The latest comes from the luxurious Anantara Kihavah private island resort in the Maldives, which is employing a resident astronomer to lead stargazing sessions at its new SKY Bar.

SKY is part overwater bar, part open-air observatory: indeed, it's billed as the Maldives' first and only observatory, and is equipped with what the resort describes as the most powerful telescope in the Indian Ocean.

Thus, guests can enjoy ocean views, tapas and cocktails such as the Kihavah Island Tea (a combination of white rum, arak, lychee, peach, lemon and Earl Grey tea) plus stargazing with resident astronomer Ali Shameem.

Shameem, a native Maldivian who has a decade of experience as a professional astronomer, offers both weekly stargazing experiences and private sessions.

Set on the island Kihavah Huravalhi, the Anantara Kihavah is accessible only by private chartered plane and has 80 beach and overwater pool villas.

Its other unusual experiences include Sea, an underwater restaurant complete with underwater wine cellar. 

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