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“Kick of your shoes and get closer to nature.”
Well-being in harmony with nature – this 5-star Coco Collection resort is synonymous with absolute exclusivity and environmentally thoughtful luxury. It is located 124 km from Malé, in the north western Baa Atoll, where nature is still untouched in many places. Coco Palm can almost be called the wild sister of the chic Coco Bodu Hithi.
With the Olive Ridley Project and the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre they also make an important contribution to the protection of the sea turtles!
In addition to the many water sports you can also enjoy a movie night under the stars or visit the uninhabited island Embudhoo for picnics and overnight there. If you would like to, you can even have the whole island to yourself and get married there. How wildly romantic!
It is about a 40 minute trip with a TMA seaplane from Malé Airport to the island. This really is easy and relaxed flying. The pilots fly barefoot and sometimes there is a spontaneous stopover at another island.
I always thought that you would be taken directly to the island, but no, the plane lands next to a platform in the middle of the sea. From there, you travel by boat to the island. Very cool!
Where time stands still
The resort was built about 20 years ago and exudes a very special and original charm, through the beautiful wildness of nature, but most of all, through its very special employees!
Shameer from India welcomed and looked after us during our entire stay. What a cool guy! He even arranged for my sunglasses to be fished out of the depths of the ocean, but more about that later on!
Did you know that the sand around the Maldives moves around? This wide stretch of beach can for example be on the other side of the island in a few years.
At exactly 6 o’clock the sting-rays, sharks and a lot of other fish come to feed. How do they know when it’s time to eat again?
Of course there are also critical voices saying that they get too lazy to hunt themselves, but they like it. For years, they have been fed by one and the same employee, and they welcome him as a friend. They bumped into him, just as dogs would do. Cute!
The 98 villas in Maldivian style with their thatched roofs reflect the style of the region. They are carefully distributed all over the island and offer plenty of privacy and above all closeness to nature. Some have an open-air bathroom, a pool or are built on stilts. What do we like most? That there are no TV’s! Who needs a TV when you are on holiday and even more so when in paradise?! We definitely do not!
We stayed in one of the Deluxe Villas, which was the first to be built on the island. It is hidden in the jungle and yet right on the beach. It has a great terrace with a day bed and the pool has the perfect depth of 1.50m.
Inside, there is a comfortable four poster bed and a chic chest of drawers with a mini-bar filled to the brim.
You also receive 2 complimentary large glass water bottles, which are refilled in the morning and in the evening with fresh Coco Water. The water is from the island’s desalination plant. Roughly 1 liter of drinking water is extracted from 5 liters of salt water.
The absolute highlight of this villa, besides the pool, is the open air bathroom! Such chic and extraordinary design!
After the construction of the first villa, No. 28, the design was changed. In our opinion, a real pity! Although the other Deluxe Villas have a different design, they are also very romantic! However, in the near future, some will gradually be rebuilt.
These villas also have a terrace with plunge pool, direct access to the ocean, a cozy four poster bed, a mini bar and an open bathroom!
There are also Ocean Front, Beach and Sunset Beach Villas.
The vegetation on the island is wild and natural. You find these little black-and-white birds and chameleons all over the island.
If you prefer to live directly on the water, the Lagoon Villas are perfect. We liked both – you are either right on the beach or directly on the water!
The Lagoon Villas have a sun terrace, a plunge pool, a four poster bed, a mini bar and a large jacuzzi bath.
The Sunset Lagoon Villas are a bit larger, have a pool with glass bottom and offer plenty of privacy.
Restaurants & Bars
In the Conch Bar you can enjoy the evening with wine, beer, cocktails and small snacks. Or you can listen to a talk by the resident marine biologist or to the locals chatting away.
The beach bar has the perfect location to enjoy the sunset with a delicious sundowner in hand!
The main restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are different themed evenings and a live cooking station.
The restaurant is quite big. If you prefer a more romantic setting, you can also book a private dinner on the beach or a private BBQ in your villa. We found the upper area with its comfy seating also quite cozy.
The buffet was always very lovingly arranged! One evening there even was tuna-sashimi – freshly caught and super delicious!
This restaurant offers Thai, Indian and Maldivian cuisine on certain days.
Beach BBQ Dinner
An especially romantic version of dinner is the beach BBQ right under the stars and with freshly grilled lobsters, crabs, pineapples, potatoes and so much more.
There are plenty of appetizers and desserts to choose from.
It was really the best lobster we have ever eaten so far. So fresh!
The Coco Spa offers treatments from Bali, Thailand and India.
We had a wonderful Balinese massage – very professional and so relaxing! We simply loved the open treatment rooms. To be massaged with the twittering of birds in the background is amazing!
There is a separate treatment room for Thai massages and of course, there also is a fitness room.
We went on both the Dolphin Sunset Cruise in the evening and the Dolphin Sunrise Cruise in the morning. And although the chances of seeing dolphins are better in the morning, we also saw them in the evening on the Sunset Cruise.
We also had a really great guide, who saw them from afar!
And they came very close, because they like to swim along the bow of the boat. The boat makes underwater sounds, which they experience as pleasant and they like the bubbles that rise at the bow of the boat. In the evening there was also an Englishwoman on board who whistled softly the whole time. Perhaps she also lured them to the boat with her whistling. For we were told, the fishermen in the Maldives do the same. They attract the dolphins by whistling and in turn, by just being there, the dolphins help them to catch tuna.
The next morning on the Sunrise Cruise, I sat down at the bow all by myself and whistled softly. And then the dolphins came so close that I could actually hear them. It was almost like they were communicating with me! I do not know whether it was just coincidence or not – but I heard them “talking” – when they were swimming right beneath me. This was truly an unforgettable experience!
I have already swum with wild dolphins in Kenya and Mauritius, but they have never been this close before.
There were approximately 50 – 60 spinner dolphins. One of the hotel’s resident biologists was also on board and gladly answered all our questions.
The Sunset Cruise in the evening is quite romantic and while sipping on some sparkling wine you can watch the glowing sky.
When we returned to the island, the moon was already out, just as the sun was setting in the pink-and-purple ocean. Magical!
Catamaran sailing, water skiing and windsurfing are available. And if you want to go diving or learn how to dive, you can do so at the hotel’s PADI diving school. The nearby reefs are perfectly suitable for snorkeling and diving. Unfortunately, most of the coral has been destroyed through various environmental influences, but as a result there are now more fish found in the reefs. We also saw plenty of sea turtles here. And whoever feels like it, can even go swimming with mantas or stingrays.
Visits to the local village
We also visited a village on a nearby island with Shameer. We were even invited inside for a cup of tea by one of his friends. Really nice!
Previously people lived here in small thatched houses. Today, however, they also live in chic, colorful stone houses with every kind of comfort. Tourism and fishing offer the most job opportunities.
At the end of the tour, as I was about to get onto the boat, my sunglasses fell into the water at the docks. What a dilemma – without my sunglasses I could not see a thing in the glaring sun. But what could I do, other than buying a new pair of glasses, or so I thought at least. But not with Shameer! A few hours later, he returned with my sunglasses. He actually went back to the village with the diving instructor that then fished my sunglasses out of the water. How incredibly cool and caring is that?!
For the sake of the environment
Coco Palm has dedicated itself to preserving and protecting the environment, especially the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Coco Palm also tries to keep the human fingerprint as low as possible and supports the local Maldivian population.
“Coco Palm is committed to preserving and developing the island of Dhuni Kolhu according to the principles of eco-tourism. We are an excellent example of how environmental sustainability and maintaining the cultural integrity of the Maldivian people can be cultivated in a 5-star resort.”
Group General Manager Anthony G. Paton has written a few basic principles about the protection of the environment for their guests. However, some of these, we should also take to heart, even when at home: Some Best Practices for our surroundings and the eco system
“We did not inherit our planet from our grand parents; we are simply borrowing it from our great grand children”
More info on the philosophy, the principles and how Coco Palm protects the environment, can be found here.
Marine Turtle Rescue Centre
With the help of donations and in cooperation with the Olive Ridley Project, a new marine turtle rescue center was being built under the guidance of marine biologist Claire Petros (more info). Now, injured sea turtles and those in need of care can be nursed back to health here.
When we were there, it was still under construction, but has now been finished and has just opened its doors.
We already met Claire on our flight there. She had a turtle with her on board that had one leg missing; apparently it was torn off by a shark. On the island, Claire lovingly took care of this small emaciated turtle.
In the Conch Bar Claire also held an interesting talk about the Olive Ridley Project. It is actually quite crazy when you hear how many fishing nets are lost in the ocean every year and how many marine animals get entangled and eventually die because of them.
You can help! Everyone should really pay particular attention to the tuna that they buy. In the Maldives, tuna is still caught using the one-by-one method with only a pole and line. If you only buy sustainably caught fish, you can play a small part in the preservation of marine animals even when you are back at home.
A further contribution to the protection of the environment: vegetables, spices and herbs are all grown on the island’s own small farm.
And even some the furniture is manufactured locally in the carpenter’s workshop and by hand.
Honeymoon & Wedding
25% discount on the accommodation price (can be combined with early booking discounts)
- Cocktail reception, 1 bottle of house wine, fruit platter, romantic bed decoration, romantic 3-course candlelight dinner
- Sunset Cruise included when booking a Sunset Beach Villa or Deluxe Villa
- Movies on the beach with wine and Coco Palm gift included when booking a Lagoon Villa or Sunset Lagoon Villa
Valentine’s Day Special
Love is in the Air Package: breakfast on the beach or in the villa at $ 90 per couple, private BBQ in the villa at $ 270 per couple or beach BBQ at $ 250 per couple (more info)
„Renewal of Vows“ Package from $ 2500
Spa treatments, ceremony on the beach or on the deserted island Embudhoo with an overnight stay, bridal bouquet, wedding cake, photographer, champagne breakfast and much more (more info)
We had a wonderful and relaxed time on this beautiful rustic island and in our awesome villa. Nature is simply magnificent here! If you are looking to spend some romantic time in harmony with nature, we can highly recommend it! And getting married on the deserted island must be beautiful.
The managers and the employees put their hearts and souls into what they do and that gives this eco resort that certain something! Their commitment to nature is also commendable – we learned so much here and also met such passionate people. It was not just a holiday, but a great experience that has left its mark, also in our hearts.
Rooms: 98 villas: 9 Ocean Front Villas, 23 Beach Villas, 25 Sunset Beach Villas, 27 Deluxe Villas, 12 Lagoon Villas and 2 Sunset Lagoon Villas
Duration: Nonstop from Frankfurt to Male with Condor in 10.5 hours
Transfer: 124 km from Male Airport, about 40 minutes by seaplane
Air Temperature: 24 – 33° Celsius
Water Temperature: 27 – 29° Celsius
Malaria: Malaria free
Vaccinations: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended. Mosquito repellent to prevent Dengue fever.
Best season: (November) December to March
Time Difference: 5 hours
Price: From 398 EUR per night
Honeymoon Special: 25% discount on accommodation
Special features: Untouched island, great excursions, beautiful romantic villas, very personal service
Perfect for: Couples, families, nature lovers, water sports enthusiasts, romantics, honeymooners, weddings
Green Pearls – Unique Places
Preferred Hotels & Resorts
MATATO Maldives Travel Awards – Best Eco Resort in Maldives – 2012, 2014
Booking.com – Outstanding Hotel Partner Award – 2014
World Luxury Hotel Awards – Global winner in Best Luxury Resort – 2014
Kuoni Swiss – Travelife Gold Award – 2012
Trip Advisor – Certificate of Excellence – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Green Globe EarthCheck – Silver Certificate – 2010, 2012
Green Resort Award by President of the Maldives – 2001, 2009
Green Globe EarthCheck – Bronze Certificate, recognizing our commitment to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards – 2009
Green Globe EarthCheck – Benchmarked Certificate for achieving the Green Globe Company standard for the Accommodation Sector – 2008
VIP International Reader’s Travel Award – 1st Place for the most beautiful Spa-Resort Worldwide – 2008
Kuoni Swiss, Switzerland – Green Planet Award – 2007
TUI Holly Award – One of the 100 Most Popular Hotels Around the World – 2006, 2007, 2009
World Travel Award – Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort – 2005
World Travel Award – Maldives’ Leading Resort – 2005
World Travel Award – Maldives’ Leading Resort – 2004
World of TUI – Umwelt Champion – 2004, 2012
You can find many more informations about the Maldives in the interesting A Guide To Maldives by Michelle from Traveljunkiediary.com!
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Please note: Our stay was sponsored by the Coco Collection. Thank you so much! The opinions expressed in the article are nonetheless 100% our own!