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Angsana Ihuru, meaning ‘old palm trees’, is Banyan Tree’s funky eco-friendly little sister, home to pristine coral reefs in just about the best location on earth for R&R.
Angsana Ihuru's fresh, modern and tropical feel is thanks to its recent renovation; a growing manifestation of the resort's core eco principles. Each spacious villa has a living area and opens out onto a verandah and private garden complete with an outdoor shower as well as the perfect spot for alfresco dining. What's more? You don't have to compromise at Angsana Ihuru. Because the 45 thatched villas ring the island, each one is just steps from the azure water with a sand-sea-sky view.
Whatever your preferences, Angsana Ihuru prides itself on its sheer number of dining options so this island really is your oyster. Begin your evenings with a cocktail at the Velaani bar (a dolphin-watcher's paradise) and the rest is up to you. Dine on Asian, Mediterranean or local cuisine on the water's edge at Riveli; reserve a candlelit pavilion suspended out to sea; or enjoy a sumptuous champagne seafood BBQ by candlelight on your own private sandbank - complete with your own chef and butler, of course. Can't quite make your mind up? Drumroll for the pièce de résistance of all dining options... Angsana Ihuru's 'Discovery Dining' menu of five courses, each enjoyed in a different spot across two islands.
With all that on offer it's easy to think you're simply there to eat but of course this wouldn't be the Maldives without plenty of pampering and water-based activities on offer. Again Angsana Ihuru pulls out a trump card, this time in the form of its house reef. Acclaimed to be the best in the whole of the Maldives, it is teeming with 150 fish species as well as turtles, rays, sharks and flourishing coral. (Go night snorkelling with a guide to spot nocturnal manta rays and moray eels.) Divers of all abilities are well-looked after here, with everything from introductory PADI courses to dives at the famous Rannamaari wreck. Overwater activities include hobie-cat sailing, windsurfing, reef fishing, wakeboarding and tubing in addition to the numerous cruise options available, whether you're looking to picnic on a desolate island or hop across to explore the capital of Malé.
Once you've packed that all in, it's time to head to the spa where you will be scrubbed, wrapped, polished and massaged into complete relaxation. Spa therapists use fresh native flowers and fruits, further adding to this multi-sensory experience.
The resort's Marine Conservation Lab, complete with turtle conservation programs and marine biology classes by resident biologists, is the keystone to this eco-chic resort - and the reason why the reefs remain pristine.
Jacqui, Original Diver