The resort is popular with peace, quiet and privacy seekers. Daytime sees some use of the complimentary water sports facilities and an uptake on excursions - admirably there is a guide for every couple going to Male - but there are no organised entertainments in the evening, not even television, it's not that sort of place.
Angsana might be seen as the youthful sibling of Banyan Tree. Their high standards and their philosophies are similar but for subtle reasons they are attractive to different people. Angsana looks younger and more modern, almost funky, with its zestful colour scheme of citrus yellow, earthy orange and the green of a fresh bamboo shoot.
A lighter touch to the service and in the atmosphere is noticeable, in part the result of a clientele that is younger and less accustomed to having only the finest things in life. In part it is the result of a happy group of staff who are mostly Maldivian, have worked on the island for many years and who love it as their own.
The essence of Angsana is simple luxury and a fine spa on an idyllic island. Appropriately, the spa is very big relative to the size of the island. Its eight luxurious double pavilions cover an extensive area behind the rooms. They are usually busy as the guests take seriously the island's motto of 'sensing the moment' and succumb, frequently, to the sensual pleasures of a great massage. Therapeutic touch and aromatherapy treatments are the spa's specialities.
The rooms represent simple luxury. Although a little small for such a quality resort, they are very attractively put together and have the added touches of a hair dryer and bath robes, coffee and tea making facilities and a CD player. Of the 45 total, 20 villas come with open-air jacuzzis behind. In front, each room has a swing joli in a small garden made private by enclosing bushes and trees. And from inside every room, through the wall of French windows, you can see the beach and lagoon. Unlike a growing number of resorts, there is no staggering of rooms on Angsana.
The resort is popular with peace, quiet and privacy seekers. Daytime sees some use of the complimentary water sports facilities and an uptake on excursions (admirably there is a guide for every couple going to Male) but there are no organised entertainments in the evening, not even television, it's not that sort of place. Nonetheless, the bar is a delight as the navy blue sky deepens into night, and the lights of Male flicker on the horizon. Spotlights around the perimeter, hanging lamps above the bar and candles on the low tables help create a truly cosy, privileged feeling.
The bar's lovely deck over the water is matched by the even broader restaurant deck. It's an idyllic place for lunch (always buffet) and dinner (6 fine set plates and one Maldivian buffet), though the quality of the cuisine is not quite matched by the wine list.
The perfect geography of the island itself has already claimed many awards and the commendably green attitude of the owners (the resort has won 2 in 10 of the President's Green Resort Awards) should ensure more to come. After a global search the beach was named the second best beach in the world in a recent book on the subject. And if that wasn't enough, the house reef has been named by Asian Diver, and is generally agreed to be, the best resort house reef in Maldives.
Over 140 fish species and an abundance of living coral at the steep drop-off and inside the lagoon that is neither too big nor too small, make this a snorkeller's dream. For a sun and beach dreamer it is equally good: an unbroken, broad, fine, white sand beach. There are no groynes or walls at all, only temporary sandbagging on alternate sides of the island to counter the free movement of the sand over the two seasons. Pumping, however, has been used to shore up the depleted side and, over time, this less fine sand has brought the beach quality down from perfection. Nonetheless, this is one of the best small resorts in the whole region.
Review by Adrian Neville.