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The Maldives, that island paradise, bathed by the waters of the Indian Ocean, which with the beauty of its explosive nature causes sighs even in the last part of the world.
But play with advantage: at nightfall, its privileged location, just above the imaginary line of Ecuador, allows you to see more than 15, 000 stars with the naked eye.
Not taking advantage of this luxury would be a sin. That is why the luxury Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas resort , located in this place on the planet where the skies are so pure and with such minimal light pollution, has decided to install a wonderful star observatory.
How do we get there? Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is half an hour by seaplane from Malé airport, the capital of Maldives.
Anantara Kihavah is half an hour by seaplane from Malé airport, the capital of Maldives © Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
THE SKYBAR: HEAVENLY COCKTAILS
A bar with panoramic sea views, with a warm atmosphere, decorated with wood and lighting that draws a map of stars on the ceiling.
And to top it off, drinks and cocktails of the island prepared with care, such as arak with lychee liqueur, peach, lemon and a pinch of tea.
Sitting on its circular bar to savor this elixir is tempting, but enjoying it on your terrace while you let yourself be duped by one of the most beautiful Indian sunsets is a real luxury. Ah! To all this, add chill out background music, courtesy of the hotel DJ.
But this is not all. On the roof of the Sky Bar, the Ash-dome star observatory has been built , which gives our retinas the best of the sky and the immensity of the sea. We climb?
THE OBSERVATORY: ADMIRING PERFECTION
The first and only observatory of the Maldives houses a 16-inch Meade LX200 digital telescope, mounted on a giant field tripod.
It also includes a remote control with 360 movimiento movement
Do not be overwhelmed, if you do not have the skill to handle these instruments, the Sky Guru will take care of it.
The Sky Bar, with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean © Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
The Sky Guru or guru of the stars, Ali Shameem, shares with all the curious his passion and experience in the world of astronomy, offering weekly star observation sessions , as well as private sessions for those couples who want to live the moment of a More intimate and special way.
Through the telescope we can see the Hat Galaxy - located 30 million light years away! -, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Moon, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion Nebula, Omega Centauri, most of the Messier objects … All that and more you can contemplate from this idyllic observatory.
The sunset in Maldives, one of the wonders of the Indian Ocean © Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
In addition you do not need your mobile to capture the moment, the hotel has an advanced technology camera that you can use to take photos, and if you want you can also print them on site.
The capacity of the observatory is eight people and the opening hours are from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., reserved for families from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day.
The Sky Guru can teach you constellations throughout the year. Even if you want, you can celebrate your wedding under a blanket of stars. Romantic, right?
If you have the opportunity to travel to this dream resort during the winter holidays, on December 13, 2019 there is a spectacular meteor shower that radiates from the Gemini constellation. An experience that will remain in your memory.
The first Maldives observatory houses a 16-inch Meade LX200 digital telescope © Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
SHAMEEM: THE GURU OF THE STARS
Cup in hand and blessed by the light of heaven, you can marvel at the stellar wisdom of astronomer Ali Shameem.
Get ready to bewitch yourself with the yellow rings of Saturn, the Jupiter belts, the bright Omega Centauri or the Messier 13 of the Milky Way (a globular cluster of more than 300, 000 stars in the constellation Hercules).
And yes, the star guru has a favorite. “We can observe 80-90% of the constellations, for example, the Big Dipper or the Southern Cross. Omega Centauri is the densest globular cluster in our entire sky and it is magnificent to be able to observe it with the power of our telescope, ” Shameem says.
A native of Maldives, Ali Shameem shares his love for astronomy with Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas guests.
“The job of Sky Guru is to create a high-quality astronomical experience for guests, which includes the mapping of the constellation in the night sky and the observation of airplanes and sky objects to create a unique experience in their life, ” Astronomer Shameem comments to Traveler.es.
Ali Shameem, the Sky Guru of Anantara Kihavah © Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
As he grew up on an island without electricity, Shameem spent his childhood studying constellations.
“The sky and the stars have been a very curious subject in my life. I wanted to see the Polar star, since, at that time, on my island it was believed that it was visible from the Maldives. However, when I advanced with the subject, I discovered that it was wrong, ”explains Shameem.
"It has always been a hobby for me since childhood, but I discovered that it was a real passion when I had the opportunity to meet my astronomy teacher, Professor Parag Mahgani (an Indian astronomer), at the beginning of the year 2000, " he says.
The hotel lounge, where you can sit and enjoy the spectacle that nature offers © Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas