outdoor lounge anantara kihavah

Is This The World’s Most Exclusive Bar?

27 April 2018
Read Time: 2.8 mins

You may have had the pleasure of drinking in bars atop the world’s tallest buildings, or overlooking pristine waters, but you’ve probably not sipped cocktails in an overwater, open-air observatory bar in the heart of the Maldives, have you? That’s exactly what Anantara Kihavah SKY Bar, the newest and most exclusive bar in the world, has on offer.

On an island accessible only by private chartered flights, Anantara Kihavah’s SKY offers guests an experience fully immersed in not only the unrivalled luxury of the resort, but the untainted beauty of the Maldivian skies. Think a cocktail bar, minimal light pollution, unrestricted open skies, a resident astronomer, and the most powerful telescope in the Indian Ocean.

The outdoor lounges at Anantara Kihavah are certainly welcoming. (Image: Anantara Kihavah)

The observatory is the first and only one in the Maldives. Sitting over the water, it is overseen by resident astronomer Ali Shameen, who grew up on an island without electricity, setting him up for a life-long fascination with the stars. Over 10 years experience observing the stars, he has overseen the entire launch of the observatory, and now leads each guest through their stargazing experience.

The onsite Sky Bar consists of a panorama lounge perched above a turquoise lagoon, complete with unrestricted views over the Indian Ocean. The resident mixologist takes care of the drinks while oversized daybeds are ideal for taking in the natural beauty to the mellow soundtrack created by the in house DJ.

It might be lauded as the most exclusive new bar in the world, but Anantara Kihavah’s Sky isn’t the only bar worth mentioning here.

RELATED: Craving more island luxury? A guide to Thailand's best islands

Three more luxury destination bars to add to your drinks list

The heavenly Pangkor Laut Spa Village. (Image: YTL Hotels)

The Straits, Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

On a stretch of Malaysian coastline a few hundred kilometres south of the bustling beach resorts of Thailand, this private slice of luxury comes complete with overwater bungalows, private villas and a spa village. The Straits is one of eight drinks and dining experiences available in the resort, but certainly the most exclusive. A private dining experience that specialises in Southeast Asian cuisine, to allow for market-fresh ingredients to be sourced, a 24-hour advance reservation is required. The experience of course comes with ideal drinks pairings for each course.

RELATED: Want to explore more of this? The top luxury travel experiences 

Upa Upa Lounge Bar, Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort

Take an overwater bungalow and turn it into a bar and you have the Upa Upa Lounge Bar in Bora Bora. Complet with a glass floor deck, and ultimate vantage point for discovering the lagoon’s coral reefs and fish, this bar will completely immerse you in the island life.  Enjoy afternoon tea, sip a sunset cocktail, or enjoy a post-dinner digestive from the cigar bar.

Photo courtesy of Angsana Velavaru

Azzurro Restaurant and Bar, Angsana Resort, Maldives

Angsana Velavaru is a Maldivian resort with the only overwater bungalows completely detached from any land. Standing alone, the resort is completely surrounded by nothing but aquamarine water, coral reefs and schools of jewel-like fish. At the heart of it is Azzurro, a timbered restaurant and deck, serving drinks to suit all tastes as well as Mediterranean style meals. Where else would you want to enjoy a cocktail than on a lounge suspended above the ocean, sea breeze kissing your face?

Vicki Fletcher

A writer and photographer for Flight Centre, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, hiking into mountain ranges, following locals to the best food in town, and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's written for publications across Australia and Europe. Top travel tip: always look up. Follow Vicki on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.