A 40-minute speedboat ride from Malé airport delivers you to Coco Collection’s five star property on Bodu Hithi – an island so peacefully remote it has its own time zone. With unobstructed cerulean ocean views, this Maldivian atoll is a luxury escape that despite its compact size offers a stimulating getaway that provides complete relaxation and discretion.
Sandy paths meander across the island, naturally covered by verdant greenery, and of the 100 villas awaiting you, there are 44 188-square-metre thatched-roof Island Villas tucked away in the island’s lush foliage. Each has individual plunge pools, gardens, outdoor showers and Jacuzzi tub, as well as private picturesque stretches of beach. Sixteen 109-square-metre Water Villas and 16 144-square-metre Escape Water Villas have private infinity pools overlooking the ocean, and though each abode possesses a unique feel, all share a strong sense of calming disconnection - it can be difficult to remember that this is a shared island retreat.
Ariel View Of Coco Bodu Hithi
But the paths also lead to a number of well-hidden treats including a dive centre, an award-winning spa and wellness zone with a stunning private infinity pool that leaves you feeling like you’re in your own private paradise out in the ocean. There is also an over-water platform with breathtaking views for outdoor yoga enthusiasts, and at the farthest edge of the resort, out in the ocean, the 24 Coco Residences, an extra-exclusive section featuring 184-square-metre villas with butlers, private wine cellars, technologically advanced features and split-level living. This zone has its own private restaurant, called Stars, and a lounge where gourmet meals are served in true peace.
Luxury Spa and Wellness Zone
Every part of the island feels like personalised luxury. Guests can experience the public infinity pool surrounded by Japanese sushi bar, Tsuki; the Latitude Lounge for casual eats and drinks; and Air, the international all-day dining outlet. Every seat on the island – including those at Aqua, the over water al fresco eatery where you can catch daily local seafood, and the Wine Loft – are positioned to catch the sunlight and sunsets with staggering views. There may be 100 rooms, but it feels like your own personal island, and is no surprise that it won the Luxury Hideaway Resort from the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017, and Conde Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2018 Best for Romance. But if there is a need for more convincing – try Breeze, the beachside pop-up BBQ – or private pergola – which features Maldivian flavours and grilled seafood at a small handful of tables set for two.
Aqua Restraunt with its sunset view
Coco Bodu Hithi also adheres to the tenets of modern escapism. It coexists alongside a thriving nature via an ethos committed to hospitality that is as stylish and sophisticated as sustainable. Recycling and conservation are key. The island, part of a ring-shaped coral reef lagoon formed by extinct prehistoric sea volcanoes, has one of the best House Reefs in the North Malé atoll. Coco Bodu Hithi has been built around so as not to disrupt it – and it is rich with reef fish, Hawksbill sea turtles, eagle ray, octopi, and just a short distance away at Turtle Point, Large Nurse Sharks and Stingrays. And while you’ll see snorklers in the shallow water’s edge amongst the warm gently lapping waves, expect irresistibly cute baby sharks, as well as their much larger counterparts, black-tip reef sharks. The hotel also offers Coral Nursery Projects and works with the Olive Ridley Project, which fights against ghost nets to protect marine life. With peaceful cohabitation in mind – minus a few considerations taken on part of the guests, including suggestions to practice your “stingray shuffle” when entering the water – this island belongs to the flora and fauna.
Snorkeling amidst the coral reefs
Coco Collection has found a way to blend into the natural environment, with a body of staff that strongly respect, and are knowledgeable of, their surroundings. The sense of harmony resonates through each element of Coco Bodu Hithi – the feeling of total oneness with your surroundings and self and separation from daily stresses may even encourage you to try the windsurfing, sailing, waterskiing (and more) facilities, or take a dive with a marine biologist to explore the reef. The resort is built for long days in the sun and water, and quiet evenings in the villas. The friendly, helpful and updated staff – accessible by WhatsApp – contribute greatly to a sensation that no ask is too much, but ultimately, when provided such a level of discreet luxury, there is little left to ask for as the mind and body relax into the rhythm of island life, ocean waves, waking with the sunrise and sinking peacefully into the star-filled nights.
From Dhs5,372 per night. www.cococollection.com