Cocoa Island,South Male Atoll, Maldives, Maldives
"My husband and I have just returned from staying in the Dhoni loft villa and had possibly the best holiday/honeymoon ever. We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and promised ourselves that we would visit to the Maldives on our 10th wedding anniversary. I have looked for around two years for the perfect accommodation and chose this resort due to a previous recommendation from a friend. The resort has recently undergone a complete renovation and the accommodation is simply breathtaking with floor to ceiling views of the Indian Ocean. The villas are situated so that you can simply get to the sea directly from your own private steps. We snorkelled every day and saw hundreds of beautiful fish, plenty of baby sharks, turtles and a manta Ray which was as wide as my husband is tall. A trip to cast cast customer service that really makes this holiday stand out from any others that we have gone on. The staff address you by your first names and are friendly but also discreet. Every morning and meal time we were greeted by our first names and the staff are genuinely interested in talking to us and getting to know us. They also cater for individual requirements so for example although I love eating fish I do not like to see fish heads on my plate and they remembered this every time I ordered something preparing it for me. It is the best value to go on a half-board basis because the food is very expensive if you pay for it individually. The breakfast is complimentary for all guests and included a fantastic hot meal menu as well as the usual continental which were fresh pastries, breads, fruit, cereals, yoghurts, granola and fresh bottles of juice etc. The food was simply outstanding and the chefs are a credit. Meals changed every day and included traditional Moldavian dishes. There are different types of villas in the accommodation and we went for one which was mid range. This is a Dhoni loft villa which has a separate bedroom upstairs. It also has an outdoor shower as well as a bar. The bar includes drinks which are free within the room such as Fanta, sprite, tonic. You’re also provided with milk, coffee, tea, fresh fruit changed daily. We had oranges, apples, grapes as well as three snack pots which were changed daily. These included things like almonds, Wasabi beans, cashews. We also had six bottles of water which were constantly being replenished. The staff also come in later on in the day to do a turndown service. If you read the reviews of this resort most people are returning guests and it is no surprise. We will certainly be looking to return once we have saved up again. The resort is small however if you’re looking for a romantic getaway this place is ideal. The only thing we would change at this resort is the sand bank which we were only able to go onto once because boats from other resorts stop at the far end letting people off. This meant that quite often there are 20 or 30 people on the sand bank which really you just want it to yourse"
"We love COMO Cocoa Island which is a 30 minute speedboat ride from the airport and has recently been renovated so that everything, such as the soft furnishings, mattresses and bedding, is fresh and new. The staff here are some of the nicest and professional you will meet with a “can do” attitude. The food is on another level of deliciousness, with dishes to suit all tastes and a healthy menu that tastes so good you don’t feel you’ve been cheated. The spa offers unrivalled treatments, the dive centre has all the equipment you need and a very safety conscious ethos, and the snorkelling right off the luxurious villas is such a treat with brightly coloured beautifully patterned fish darting among the corals. If you want excellent warm service and some of the best food to be had, this island comes highly recommended. The staff on the islands do not travel between islands or even to the mainland capital Male, as decreed by the Maldivian Government, to make sure that Covid is kept at bay. Those that arrive to work on the islands from other countries must quarantine for 14 days before any contact with colleagues or guests and also take a PCR test to be sure they are clear of the virus at the end of their quarantine. They wear masks and gloves to serve you, but guests can go mask-free. A PCR test is required for all visitors to the Maldives, to be taken within 96 hours of departure. We found that very easy to do in London at the London Medical Laboratory and had our results back within 24 hours, so in ample time before journeying to file on-line with Maldives immigration. The islands are required to have a doctor readily available for the guests should the need arise. An extra service for those who need it is that a PCR test can be arranged for departing guests if required by their next destination. We came here with British Airways who have direct flights from Heathrow and have gone to great lengths to make the journey safe. The cabin air is HEPA-filtered, every key surface is disinfected after each flight and masks are required to be worn at all times except when eating and drinking, a rule that is sensibly adhered to. I thought this would be uncomfortable to do for a 10 1/2 hour journey, but the reality is you quickly get used to it and it wasn’t a problem for any of our family. On arrival at Male Velana International airport, immigration is Covid-prepared with easy walk-through temperature checks, perspex screens, hand sanitiser, masks and gloves, as can be seen everywhere now. The weather is beautiful, the sea air fresh, the warmth so welcome, as well as the warm welcome you’ll experience from the wonderful people who work here. On our last visit we went to Baros which was lovely but COMO Cocoa Island remains our firm favourite, for several reasons but particularly these: the privacy of the villas, the intimacy of the island, the consistently excellent staff, the food here has the edge and the access to the lagoon and snorkelling is better. "
"We staid at Cocoa for 1 week on our 2nd and last leg in the Maldives (which started with Kanuhura). Cocoa is absolutely right up our street - a beautiful almost manicured island with a spectacular lagoon full of marine life, showcasing different colors, shades and forms. We staid at the sunrise COMO Villa and it's one of the best villas we ever staid in the world. The views are single-handedly one of the most unforgettable we ever had, the sun deck is sublime with the added pool which is always a nice to have. The service: perfection, proactive and of an excellent standard. Binoy was flawless and had tremendous patience with the most exquisite requests we could have had e.g. ice in the villa, last minute spa appointments, changes on activities etc. A superb host. Although I'd most likely have preferred the older, heavier southern east-asian/balinese furniture and decor throughout the whole resort (after the refurb earlier this year, this type of decor is only seen in reception, SPA.. and in the occasional corner), I'd say that the current is okay, focused on being simpler, neutral, easier to maintain and overall "safer". (including the new thatched roof of the villas which are now made of a material which is meant to last 20 years.. bringing more of the older decor back would be amazing, it would make Cocoa even better, but that's just a personal preference. The food is mazing, menus are changed every day except for the "always available" Shambala menu which has some exquisite and balanced options. We're on FB so we had the chance to try different meals. I got addicted to the coconut jelly (go figure). We had several treatments at the SPA and this has been absolutely amazing, the team is really skilled and so attentive, not to be missed. The activities centre is highly professional and were always available to answer any questions and arrange ours e.g. the trip to the Rihiveli lagoon and snorkel at Alimatha was certainly the highlight - thanks super Koko !). We felt very well looked after and we genuinely felt that our stay at Cocoa was one the best holiday experiences we ever had in the Maldives - we will go back. PS - yes, Maafushi is doing some contruction to extend the island which will become uneasy on the eyes, for people staying on the sunrise side... yes, Cocoa is having a new villa built next to the sunset COMO Villa. To us, when there's so much perfection everywhere, we just get totally blindsided. Well done Cocoa team."