Cocoa Island Resort
|April 25, 2012|
There is, after all, Paradise on Earth...
It was a cloudy evening as we arrived at the COMO Hotels and Resort’s 2002 creation in the South of Maldives – Cocoa Island. Stepping out from the speedboat after a bump-less 40 minute-ride from Malé International Airport, I realized – as I glanced at the pristine white sand and crystal clear water – that I had been transported to a whole different planet, altogether.
Never a strong believer of love at first sight, I took one good look at the small island and decided – after living in denial for 26 years – there really must be such a thing as falling in love at first sight, after all.
An exclusive luxury resort for those looking to unwind, relax and enjoy nature in its purest form, Cocoa Island exceeded my expectations in every imaginable category.
This little dot of an island – no more than a few kilometres across – occupies a super-quiet, undisturbed area that looks out into an empty horizon. The sand is milky white and well-maintained in terms of cleanliness.
Lead through a planked walkway, we were quickly and efficiently checked in by the staff and given a quick tour of the resort. There were cleverly designed planked walkways leading to 33 suites and villas perched atop calm, shallow water, surrounded all over by house reef and oh-so-clear lagoon, rich with marine life. Spotting baby sharks, crabs and colourful fish all around us as we made our way to our loft villa, we couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of it all.
Brought to life by Singaporean architect Cheong Yew Kuan, the style at Cocoa is deliberately restrained, contemporary with a hint of sophistication. Certain rooms are built like ‘Dhoni’ boats, based on designs used by Maldivian fishermen. Each of these 33 rooms – which include eight Dhoni Suites, nine Dhoni Loft Suites, ten Loft Villas, four One-Bedroom Villas and two two-bedroom COMO Villas sit offshore on the southern side of Cocoa, overhanging the lagoon.
Our Loft Villa had a private terrace with direct access into the lagoon. The bedroom on the mezzanine level was done in simplistic interior while the outdoor shower with steps into the sea couldn’t have been more perfect. With modern amenities in an islandy setting, there was a feeling of comfort and tranquillity all around us.
Not wanting to waste a single beautiful second, we quickly changed into comfy beachwear and set off to explore the magical little place.
Cocoa Island is the perfect choice for those looking for a romantic getaway with heaps of privacy, far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There were times we felt like we were the only ones on the island. Thirty-three is a clever number for a small, luxury resort that delivers what it promises.
When I heard the island has just one restaurant, my curiosity grew. Ufaa is a unique foot-in-the-sand space where Head Chef Timothy De Souza keeps the entire island happy with his mouth-watering creations.
There were – surprisingly authentic – Indian thaali nights, scrumptious seafood, steaks cooked to perfection and mouth-watering desserts. Daily breakfast buffet wasn’t a disappointment either, mind you. A vast choice of fruits, hot and cold breakfast, it was a flawless setup – one we looked forward to, every morning.
Expect breathtaking sunsets, complimentary daily yoga, fabulous spa treatments, heaps of water-activities for the adventurous and gallons of romance in the air.
My partner couldn’t wait to snorkel at every opportunity he got, mostly in the gorgeous lagoon directly behind our villa.
You know the place is magical when you – especially if you’re not a morning person – wake up every day at 6:30am and eagerly draw back the curtains, hoping to catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming their way across. We were lucky enough to spot them from our villa once – they glimmered and danced in the ocean – while we squealed and yelled in delight.
There is not much to do after dinner when the island becomes pitch-dark, except look forward to yet another beautiful day. You can, nevertheless, grab a bottle of bubbly, find a comfortable spot and gaze at the stars above – hand in hand with your partner. Even the stars at Cocoa Island have something magical going on up there, let me tell you that.
It is a destination worth visiting at least twice in your life. As I bring this article to a close, I sit here already planning my next holiday to Cocoa Island – March 2013 it will be!
Ruba Athar Siddiqui
For rates, details and more information: http://www.cocoaisland.como.bz/