Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has created two new green spaces for their guests to immerse themselves in nature – the Nala Orchid Garden and an organic vegetable and herb garden. Guests can take Maldivian afternoon tea surrounded by orchids followed by a garden tour with the resort’s resident Orchid Guru Prem Pemithalaka, who has over 38 years of experience in landscaping and orchid cultivation. Dedicated to mimimising its food miles, the island resort has also introduced a new organic vegetable and herb garden with the produce being used in the restaurants and for cooking classes.
Meaning ‘beautiful’ in the local Maldivian language, the Nala Orchid Garden is home to 1,200 blooms of 25 different orchid varieties. From hanging and ground orchids, to those known for their fragrance or vibrant colours, orchid varieties include Cattelya, Dandrobium and Mokara. May to August is particularly good for viewing orchids when the island is at its most green.
On the complimentary tour, Prem guides guests around the orchid garden telling them about the different orchid varieties, giving tips on how to grow and treat them. One of Prem’s most fascinating approaches to plant care is sound science, where he talks to the orchids to produce sound vibrations believed to have a positive effect on plant growth and guests are encouraged to try this.
Hailing from Sri Lanka, Prem joined as the Orchid Guru at Anantara Kihavah in 2015 and has been tending to ornamental plants on the island ever since. As well as the Nala Orchid Garden, there are about 2,000 orchids scattered around the resort with some attached around the palm trees that line the pathways, all of which the orchid guru propagated himself.
Guests can enjoy Maldivian afternoon tea surrounded by what is one of the world’s most diverse and widespread flowering families. A private table for up to four people is set in the shady orchid garden with a special menu of Maldivian treats, including lobster and caviar mashuni rolled in chapati bread, curried chicken and cheese baked in pastry and a spiced bread with local banana compote and caramel banana cream and. Afternoon tea starts from £142 per person based on two sharing and includes half a bottle of champagne.
With everything from garlic, fennel, green chilli, Maldivian chilli, basil and spinach to green watergrass, red watergrass and aloe vera leaf grown, guests can visit the new Organic Garden at their leisure or join Anantara Kihavah’s resident gardener for a guided tour as he shares details about the sustainable practices implemented. If the timing is right, it may even be possible to enjoy a glass of sugarcane juice straight from the garden. For a more hands-on approach, guests can also join the resort’s ‘Spice Spoons’ cooking classes, which include a visit to the Organic Garden to pick herbs and vegetables.
Situated within the UNESCO Biosphere of the Baa Atoll, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is rich in tropical flora and fauna. Known for its sea activities including snorkelling with manta rays or sea turtles, Observatory and underwater restaurant SEA, Anantara Kihavah is committed to preserving the island and the orchid and organic gardens offer a beautiful and shady alternative to the beach.
For more information or to book, call +960 664 4111, visit us at Anantara.com/en/kihavah-maldives or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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