FIRST SHOT

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS -

A Mal­di­vian over­wa­ter ob­ser­va­tory.

The Mal­dives might be bet­ter known for its beaches and un­der­wa­ter won­ders, but it also has all the right in­gre­di­ents for ex­cep­tional stargaz­ing: just 400,000 res­i­dents spread over great ex­panses of sea, min­i­mal light pol­lu­tion, and an equa­to­rial set­ting that makes the stars of both the North­ern and South­ern Hemi­spheres eas­ily vis­i­ble. Guests at Anan­tara Ki­havah Mal­dives Vil­las will now get an even bet­ter view of the heav­ens at SKY, its new over­wa­ter ob­ser­va­tory and lounge. Here, res­i­dent as­tronomer Ali Shameem leads both weekly and pri­vate stargaz­ing ses­sions, al­low­ing lucky so­journ­ers to ad­mire the rings of Sat­urn through a re­search-grade tele­scope. An­other place to take in the night sky? The enor­mous cir­cu­lar daybed on the out­door deck. And if a drink is in order, head down­stairs to Sky Bar, where cre­ative cock­tails in­spired by the ce­les­tial bod­ies are served be­neath a blaze of tiny lights that mir­ror the con­stel­la­tions ( skyk­i­havahmal­dives.com). —James Louie

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