Known for having one of the biggest and best beaches in the Maldives, Kanuhura has been a treasured island for decades. When One&Only Kanuhura opened in 2000, there were just 86 resorts in the Maldives. Today, that number has doubled, with nearly every major hotel brand planting a stilt in the sand.
One of the latest addition to the world’s biggest tropical playground is Six Senses Kanuhura. Sister property to the Robinson Crusoe dreamscape, Six Senses Laamu, Kanuhura reopened with an audible sigh of relief.
Since opening (it’s changed hands twice: first to Sun Resort in 2008, then to Six Senses in 2022) it’s garnered a cult following.
A rarity in this island-hopping haven, more than a dozen of its staff have stayed on the island for over 15 years, and several since the day it opened. And then there’s the guests: One couple came to this pristine paradise to get engaged, to honeymoon, to babymoon, and now they bring their kids. One woman has traveled to the island 27 times, and several families come back yearly.
You could say there’s something in the water at Kanuhura. Reefs here teem with turtles, horizons muddy with spinning dolphins and schools of fish swirl in the water. Its Lhaviyani Atoll locale lends itself to some of the best marine life north of Malé.
But it’s also what’s on land that gives this island its magic. Instead of a thin sloping slice of beach often found in the Maldives’ natural islands, Kanuhura has more than a football field’s worth of sugary white sand that’s perfect for Six Senses’ barefoot luxury ethos. Another unique aspect is its two accompanying private, uninhabited islands, available at guest’s disposal.
Since taking over the keys, Six Senses has given it a noticeable facelift. Newly planted palm trees, 12 new supersized Beach Retreats and its seven top-notch dining outlets are among the upgrades.
Bucking any cookie-cutter notions, Six Senses Kanuhura has 14 different categories across 91 villas; the majority spread along its beach. Kanuhura’s design is a bit more fun and contemporary than its rustic, wood-clad sister property. Textured white walls and timber ceiling beams give way to geometric-patterned furniture in pops of blue and pink, boho-chic wall decor and bathrooms with starburst encaustic tiles. Each room is also decorated with an orchid plant from the resort’s very own orchid garden.
Its flower and herb gardens are one of the sustainable initiatives at the core of Six Senses. In the center of the island, guests will find the Earth Lab. Here, a hydroponic vegetable garden produces 120 pounds of produce per month.
These vegetables are used at the bars and restaurants scattered around the island. One of its standouts is The Point. At this oceanside outlet, they sling Spanish tapas on the ground floor and upstairs, bartenders muddle cocktails by what may be the Maldives’ largest rooftop pool.
At Bottega, guests get wood-fired pizza and steaks alongside handmade pasta from an Italian chef. And on the castaway island next door, Drift serves fresh seafood and a wicked tuna tartare. When guests get peckish post-lunch, the resort’s ice cream and smoothie bar, Scoops, serves island-made cones for free.
As with any Six Senses, wellness is an ever-present aspect. In between Electromagnetic Field Therapy at the Biohacking Lounge and 24K gold facials in one of the spa’s eight treatment rooms, the team here leads DIY body scrub classes for guests.
“Six Senses Kanuhura is the reimagination of an iconic resort, says Bryce Seator, Resort General Manager, “Six Senses as a brand has not only fully transformed the physical resort but also reinvented the guest experience, bringing in brand-wide programs along with more localized environment and marine conservation initiatives.”
Beach Villas from $1,019 per night during low season.