Best Experience for: Family, Beach, Diving, Swimming with Mantas and Whale Sharks
Updated Oct, 2021
Located in the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the private island of Baa Atoll, Kihaa stands out for its rich marine life, beautiful beaches and family-friendly facilities. Built in 2012, the 5-star resort looks almost like new, but of course some rooms are already starting to lose their luster. Kihaa’s biggest disadvantage is its location (30 minutes flight from Malé airport to Dharavandhoo domestic airport, and then a short speedboat ride to the hotel), but prices are often half the rates of similar, more affordable hotels. If you want something similar closer to Male, Olhuveli Beach Resort is a good choice.
A friendly atmosphere, where guests can enjoy their time of relax, exploration and sunbathing in total comfort, surrounded by a welcoming and cordial feeling; in addition to this, thanks to its strategic position close to Hanifaru Bay, a Marine Protected Area biosphere announced by UNESCO where whale sharks and manta rays meet seasonally, Kihaad confirms to be one of the best location to fully enjoy the Maldivian relaxing and natural atmosphere.
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The trip to Kihaa starts with a domestic flight to Dharavandhoo airport. Waiting can sometimes seem like an eternity, but guests await in a comfortable, exclusive lounge with free snacks, Wi-Fi, and a shower. The scenic, 30-minute flight is complemented by a short speedboat ride to a private resort island known to locals as Kihaadhuffaru. It is also possible to book a faster (and more expensive), 35-minute transfer by seaplane, right to the island’s doorstep.
Stretching from east to west for 600 meters in length, the beautiful island is home to 118 villas and is surrounded by a lagoon and magnificent white sand beaches. Three restaurants do not allow guests to die of hunger, and there is also an outdoor pool and sports facilities connected to each other by shady paths winding through lush jungle. A dozen water bungalows and spas are built over the lagoon on stilts. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
Excellent layout and design, the resort is decorated in a simple island style with rare elements of modern furniture. The restaurant, lobby, spa, and main bar are hidden under traditional thatched roofs and have high ceilings. Outdoor dining under bright orange umbrellas at the main restaurant often accompanied by good music, from instrumental melodies to classic pop hits at lunchtime. The lobby is decorated with wavy white curtains, furniture in ethnic style, and sand on the floor (most guests prefer to go barefoot).
Family holidays with children in the hotel is not prohibited, but the majority of guests are couples from China and Europe.
Kihaa Maldives endeavours to be eco-friendly and is committed to sustaining the natural environment. Start from 2019 Kihaa Maldives announced that they will no longer be using plastic straws in the resort. The resort has established its own water bottling plant, where guests are offered water in reusable glass bottles.
Baa Atoll is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, justifiably famous for its incredible gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks at Hanifaru Bay is one of the best pearls of the Maldives. A prestigious place in Maldives, until recently 5-star Soneva Fushi was the only resort in the atoll, but in recent years saw the rapid growth of new luxury hotels that have replenished the collection of luxurious accommodation in Baa atoll. Read More...
Located 120 kilometers north-west of Malé City in Baa Atoll, Kihaa is one of the many hard-to-reach resorts in the Maldives. Most travelers take domestic flight (30 minutes) to the domestic Dharavandhoo airport, and then another 10 minutes by boat to the hotel (Kihaadhuffaru private island), with a short golf cart ride between the plane and the pier. Announced by the World Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO, Baa Atoll is literally teeming with ambundant marine life, one of the best in the Maldives. Hanifaru Bay is one of the best places in the world for swimming with whale sharks and giant mantas, located 10 minutes by boat from Kihaa.
Kihaa offers 10 categories of accomodation with various shapes and styles. Guests can choose from beachfront villas, family suites with two bedrooms, as well as a tempting offer with private pools, larger bungalows and more. Please note that Garden Villa with Pool and Family Junior Suite do not delight their guests with sea views.
For most resorts, island planning will be a disaster, but it works fine here. There are 2 rows of villas, one after the other, and most of them facing north, catching a little direct sun. The best beach faces south and faces the public area, from the restaurant to the lobby, and from the jetty to the swimming pool and bar.
Most rooms start at 77 square meters and are equipped with a jacuzzi, minibar, coffee/tea maker, as well as bathrobes, free drinking water and Wi-Fi. The most popular rooms are Reserve Beach Villas and Lagoon Prestige Beach Villas which are equipped with four-poster beds, high ceilings, massive wooden furniture in a rustic style and views of the water. Lagoon Prestige Beach Villas however have a better location, right next to the beach. Some open bathrooms look a bit rough, with green stains in the shower and discolored baths.
Settled on wooden stilts directly over the smooth turquoise lagoon of the Island, the Water Villas are the perfect accommodation to better feel seclusion and total privacy. Featuring a spacious and bright ambience, the Water Villas are composed by a wide bedroom with king-size bed, comfortable living area, a spacious bathroom; the private plunge pool is part of the experience. Water Villa features a direct access to the ocean - with just a few steps - allowing guests to fully enjoy and discover the exciting marine life.
The soft white sand, shallow lagoon, and clear turquoise waters make the beaches of Kihaad especially beautiful, even for the Maldives. For guests there is a flotilla of soft lounge chairs and straw umbrellas. The island has a house reef with diverse and amazing underwater worlds, including sharks, turtles, stingrays, and if you're lucky, you can encounter dolphins, tens of meters from the beach. The water temperature is really refreshing to feel awake, but warm enough not to freeze in paradise. It will be difficult to find any trash around the whole island.
Restaurants and Bars
The resort’s main buffet restaurant, Hanifaru Bay serves international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In general, the variety is impressive, with demonstration cooking of a portion of pasta, meat and fish on the grill, but the quality of food is average. Breakfasts in Hanifaru are included in the price (although the choice is somewhat limited) and guests can switch to an all inclusive meal plan including all meals and drinks. Food is available at an additional cost in two other à la carte restaurants: Spices (South Asian cuisine) and Sarong (pan-Asian). Food and drinks quickly increase the costs of those guests who do not use all-inclusive.
In 2021 KIHAA Maldives to cater to a vast spectrum of market & tastes, the resort has welcomed a new addendum to its exemplary dining experience - The Steak Haws by KIHAA Maldives. The new steak house offers a tantalizing menu with an extensive array of meat selections, cooked to your own-preferred method, to perfection accompanied by rich, divine tastes, and best of service quality.
For drink lovers, upgrading to all-inclusive is absolutely worth the money spent. Unlike many competing resorts, the Kihaa's all-inclusive plan offers a good selection of cocktails available in every restaurant and bar on the island (premium drinks for an additional fee). Complimentary beer, soft drinks and mineral water daily in the mini bar. Two bars in the hotel, Toddy and Chiringuito in the open air are located next to the swimming pool and on the beach. Wine Lounge is a good place for private parties and wine tastings.
The resort is also a heaven for kids, with one of the safest environments you could imagine, with no traffic and away from the stressful city, white sandy beach and the beautiful waters of the lagoon surrounding the island. Kids under 6 years of age stay and eat free, there is also a special children’s menu and many kid-friendly. There are a children playground and kid’s club on the island, where you can leave your kids in the careful hands of their kid’s club girls.
There are several options of accommodation for families from the spacious and private beach Villas to the prestige lagoon beach villas with direct access to the beach. There are also waterfront beach villas and garden villas with private pools and family suites with outdoor rain shower. If you prefer to stay over the turquoise lagoon of the Island, then your choice is the water villas where you can be completely surrounded by the ocean.
Diving and Activity
There are many excellent sports and water recreation options on and around Kihaa. The dive center offers standard PADI courses and organizes daily dive trips to nearby dive sites. Doubling as a watersports center, the place rents everything for snorkeling, windsurfing equipment, kayaks, inflatable swimming facilities, jet skis, and catamarans (lessons are available for an additional fee). The drop off of the house reef is a great place for snorkeling and diving, and not far from the shore. On land expect a tennis, squash, as well as beach volleyball, table tennis and bocce. The large and modern fitness center is open round the clock.
The spa is located at the end of its own jetty, on the edge of the public area. The temple of relaxation and health looks impregnable from the beach - dark and closed. But inside, this is a true heaven. 5 massage rooms, 2 beauty rooms and a large mixed whirlpool are all bright and cozy.
Many privileges are available for those who are willing to pay extra. Guests can enjoy a romantic dinner on the beach, sandbank or in their rooms. A number of excursions, such as island hopping, sunset cruises with dolphins and deep-sea fishing. One of the best excursions is snorkeling with the manta rays in Hanifaru Bay, a protected area known for large concentrations of mantas and whale sharks, not only in seasons, but in fact throughout the year. For those who suffer from aquaphobia there is a daily feeding of fish and stingrays, allowing close acquaintance with sea creatures. Free Wi-Fi can be caught in the rooms, lobby, restaurant, and even by the pool.
In 2021 Kihaa Maldives has announced a partnership with Sunball Tennis, a highly acclaimed international tennis school exclusive to luxury resorts and which now adds Kihaa Maldives to its prestigious roster of over 250 tennis courts worldwide.
Besides restaurants and bars, Kihaad doesn’t have much to do after sunset. Once a week, the hotel organizes White Shisha parties with lounge music on the beach. On certain evenings, the hotel has traditional Maldivian Bodu Beru events, and Sunset Manager Cocktail Reception party cocktail with free drinks.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Nature is Kihaa’s most impressive sight. The resort is located in the center of the Baa Atoll, where a rich underwater life has earned the status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This is the first and only marine site in the country to achieve this goal.
Good snorkeling and diving is guaranteed - and for non-divers, the resort's marine biologist is always on hand to learn more about the marine life of the Indian Ocean.
With mostly overwhelming good reviews, this resort seems to be a crowd favorite. Many reviews detail the staff, location and dining choices as good, great or fantastic. As a newer resort, most of the reviews claim it to be clean and well maintained, which is a great sign for the future. There do seem to be a few guest who aren't happy with their stay and quality of food, but there aren't enough of them to be a concern.
Paradise on the Earth, Fabulous, Exceptional, overall good, staff could need a bit better English skills, great place for vacation, Magical days in paradise, Beautiful island with good facilities, amazing beaches, new villas and...poor restaurants, At check out they will charge 3% extra with credit card payment
Why stay here? What Guests Love
- Great location in Baa atoll
- Beach Villa with a very beautiful view and direct access to the stunning beach
- Excellent diving by reasonable prices. Nitrox - for free.
- Daily excursions to Hanifaru Bay (snorkeling with mantas and whale sharks)
- Clean and beautiful island
- Free wifi
- house reef snorkeling
- Kids Club and Babysitting Services
- Good spa
- Outdoor swimming pool with children's section and bar
What You Need to Know
- Kihaa Maldives is located right at the heart of the world-famous biosphere reserve ‘Hanifaru Bay’ where giant mantas and whale sharks thrive seasonally in feeding frenzies.
- Check-out at 12 o'clock Check-in at 2 pm;
- All children are welcome.
- The service needs improvement
- Hidden 3% credit card fees are applying on all card payment!
- Expensive domestic flight transfer
- Limited nightlife
- Some rooms need repair
- No 24-hour room service
- Free wifi in the rooms is low
- World Luxury SPA Award winner 2018
- Kihaa Maldives has won three prestigious awards at the Asia Pacific Hotel Awards 2019. The resort received the award for ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ and ‘Best Luxury Sustainable Hotel in the Maldives’. They were also recognized as an International Five Star Hotel.
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