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  1. Top Adventures
January 31, 2020

Stargazing at The Sky Bar

Marvel at the glittering night sky in a specially designed observatory.

By Samantha Coles

The Sky Bar at Anantara Kihava is perched over the lagoon. Illuminated by flame torches at night, the structure looks like a spaceship that’s accidentally, yet elegantly, touched down on the Indian Ocean. Its interior is contemporary yet warm, with raw timber and soft lighting throughout — the ideal place to take in spectacular ocean sunsets or gaze at the stars. Anantara Kihava has an in-house astronomer — who doubles as a wedding priest. He was recruited in early 2017, lured by the promise of a specially designed observatory and state-of-the-art telescope. The promise was fulfilled, and the Sky Bar is the first and only overwater observatory in the Maldives, a custom-built ash-dome that sits on the roof deck of the bar. It houses a research-grade Meade LX200 telescope mounted on a field tripod, remote controlled with 360-degree movement and a swivelling roof that makes you feel like you’re entering Doctor Who’s Tardis. Sipping champagne in a spaceship structure that rises on stilts from the lapping ocean, looking through a telescope at far-away planets, it’s easy to believe that you are as removed from reality as it is possible to get without actually leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.

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