Be enchanted at the Maldives first and only observatory
As a young boy Ali Shameem was fascinated by the stars. A native of the Maldives, Shameem lived on an island without electricity, leaving the youngster to spend his nights mapping out the constellations above.
So enchanted was Shameem with the heavens that he decided to turn that boyish wonder into a profession, and went on to study astronomy with the likes of Italian astronomer Dr. Massimo Tarenghi who headed the ALMA observatory in Chile.
It is then without wonder that Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has teamed up with Shameem, who is affectionately known as the Sky Guru, to help them create their spectacular new offering.
Aptly named SKY, the installation is the Maldives’ only overwater observatory combined with a unique cocktail bar that sits perched over the deep blue lagoon.
Guests can begin their night in the by enjoying a range of signature cocktails created by a resident mixologist in the bar’s longue as they take in the breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Built with raw timber and adorned with soft lighting throughout, the SKY bar is a contemporary yet warm place for guests to spend the twilight hours as they wait for the sun to go down.
Once the light has faded, visitors can begin their journey exploring the heavens by venturing onto SKY Observatory. The custom-built Ash-dome sits on the roof of the SKY bar - it is the first and only observatory in the Maldives.
The research grade 16” Meade LX200 telescope is mounted on a super-giant field tripod and is remote controlled with 360 degree movement. The spectacular installation was overseen by Shameem who also acts as resident astronomer taking guests on a breathtaking journey across both hemisphere’s constellations.
With the Maldives sitting just above the equator, there is minimal light pollution, meaning guests will witness a pure, unfettered view of the heavens as they lay back on circular daybeds surrounding the dome. And, for the ultimate romantic gift, guests can even name a star after their loved one.
Prices start from AU$1,553 for a night in a Beach Pool Villa at Anantara Kihavah. For more information visit www.skykihavahmaldives.com