When people think of the Maldives, they often think lush verdant jungle and crystal blue waters. Now, you can also think “wine.” Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has introduced the country’s first certified wine education program. Anantara Kihavah has the distinction of being the only resort on the island chain nation that offers a WSET program, and you won’t want to miss it on your next Maldives getaway.
The Wine Education Program
Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives is doing something extraordinary; they’re the first resort across the whole of Maldives to have the WSET-backed program. But Anantara Kihavah is not only the first approved program in the Maldives, it’s the first resort in Asia that has been certified to offer guests this experience. That’s a pretty big deal.
And what do guests get for participating? A press release for the resort’s program explains, “Guided by the resort’s Senior Wine Guru, a WSET Certified Educator, participants will undergo the WSET Level 1 coursework situated in some of the most stunning locales in the Maldives. The program includes three two-hour wine tasting sessions and a final theory examination. The tasting sessions will take place in the over water SKY bar, in the lagoon, and at SEA, the resort’s signature underwater restaurant and wine cellar. Upon successful completion of the course, an appreciation letter from the resort’s General Manager and an official certificate and lapel pin from WSET will be presented.”
The resort’s website has provided the following details about the course:
- Guests must stay for a minimum of four nights.
- The course includes 3 tasting sessions, with each session lasting 2 hours.
- The program’s educator will administer a final theory examination at the end.
- At least two guests must participate per session.
- The cost of the program is $900 USD per couple.
This program is designed to newcomers to the world of wine knowledge, and introduces them to the basics. By the end of the course, participants are expected to be able to understand the key stages in grape growing and winemaking, list the principal types and styles of wine, state the key characteristics of wines made from the principal grape varieties as well as other examples of wines, and know the key principles involved in the storage and service of wine.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
We can’t talk about the program without talking about the resort though. Nestled among the Baa Atoll in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is a tropical getaway straight from a storybook. With an abundance of unique marine wildlife and green and blue as far as the eye can see, it almost feels like setting foot on an alien planet, in all the best ways possible.
You’ll feel transported far from your cares. This idyll among the waves of the Indian Ocean offers, “Nestled amongst lush vegetation, 80 spacious private pool sanctuaries and cool open spaces culminate in the ultimate tranquil paradise. Poised either over the water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach, each hideaway boasts large infinity-edge pools, dining pavilions, expansive wooden sundecks, and ample lounging areas. To further enhance the experience, all villas and residences are serviced by a personal Villa Host 24 hours a day.”
Whether you’re looking to connect with the rich cultural heritage, history, abundant wildlife, or zen vacation vibes of the Maldives, you’ll find it all at Anantara Kihavah.
History of Maldives
Due to their ability to control who can come in and out of the islands and how they can interact with one another, the Maldives was one of the first vacation destinations to begin to reopen in late 2020 and early 2021. With shimmering blue waters and green foliage embracing and welcoming guests, it’s truly an extraordinary place to visit.
Archaeological records suggest that the islands have been inhabited since 1500 B.C., and the islands boast a number of massive ruins and historical sites. It’s unclear who the first inhabitants of the island chain were, although some suggest it was Buddhist monks who migrated from India. Others believe that the ruins suggest heavy influence from Easter Islanders from the Pacific Ocean.
Regardless of who was first to build on the island, it has always been a bustling hub of trade between the Middle East and the Far East, and as a result the island chain nation’s national religion is Islam. The idyllic ports of the Maldives have been the target of pirates and land-grabbers over the millenia, and in 1887 the British turned the island chain into a protectorate of the empire. In July 26, 1965 the island nation gained independence, transitioning from a monarchy to a republic in 1968.
Throughout all the hustle, bustle, and cultural exchange, the Maldives has continued to maintain a zen-like vibe and an escape from the realities of the world. When visiting Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, one must drink it all in: the ocean, the breeze, the land, the marine life, and of course – the wine.
The press release adds, “‘The launch of this program is a fitting addition to the wine appreciation culture at our resort. Over the years, we have amassed a collection worth over USD $2 million, consisting of over 450 labels and vintage treasures. Some the rarest bottles to have graced our underwater wine vault include a 1795 Terrantez Madeira and an 1882 port, the Graham’s Ne Oublie, which is one of only 656 decanters in the world. Our extensive and carefully crafted wine menu has been consistently awarded by the industry’s leading opinion leaders such as World of Fine Wines and Wine Spectator,’ commented Ross Sanders, General Manager.
‘Another initiative we started, is the aging of Champagne underwater. Working with the Champagne Dom Perignon 2008 vintage, these bottles were sunk in December 2020, and we intend to raise them to the surface in preparation for a special wine dinner during the festive season this year.’”
You had our attention at wine education courses, but underwater champagne aging has definitely sealed the deal. To plan your trip, visit the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas website.