Cocoa Island Resort
Cocoa Island is a small, private island resort designed for those seeking an easygoing, foot-in-the-sand experience. Here, in the quiet waters of the Indian Ocean the strongest winds are gentle breezes, and the highest points, leaning palm fronds. Each lagoon is a point of stillness, but the encircling reefs bristle with life. The resort is found in the less developed South Male Atoll, a 30-minute speedboat ride from the international airport. On the west side lies the Kandooma Channel, considered to be one of the best dive sites in the Maldives; on the other side is a quiet reef for snorkelling flanked by a curl of rockless beach which tapers into a spit of sand. This is as long as the island, disappearing with the advance of the Maldivian tide.
Rooms are inspired by dhoni boats, as used by local fishermen, adjoined by simple wooden walkways built above the shallow ocean. From your room, walk out on to a private terrace; from your terrace, slip into a warm Maldivian sea. The view from the wide platform bed is directly out to the watery expanse. The bathrooms, all with double sinks, a bath and shower, share the horizon views. Interiors are quietly contemporary with a nod to local rusticity in Maldivian kajan roofing.
At Cocoa Island, eat like a castaway – fresh lobster, caught locally, cooked in the Keralan style. Dine feet-in-the-sand at the main restaurant, Ufaa, beneath an alang-alang pavilion and huge Maldivian sky. Menus change daily, blending Indian and Sri Lankan traditions with an emphasis on seafood, tandoor and organic, locally-sourced produce. Spicing is used with a lightness of touch. Choice is always tantalising, promising simplicity in the tropics, and sophistication for the more demanding gourmand. There is also a hotel bar, Faru, serving fine wines, exotic cocktails and energising juices.
At Cocoa Island, you can choose to do very little. Some guests find their own stretch of beach; others prefer to relax in privacy on their suite’s hidden terrace, or lounge beside the resort’s main swimming pool – cobalt, melting into an empty horizon. Particularly popular are the beach drop-offs, dolphin and sunset cruises, allowing guests to indulge in the natural solitude of empty beaches and mirror-flat horizons. In addition Cocoa Island has a water sports centre, a library with an extensive collection of books, an all day lounge, a boutique, a fully equipped Dive Centre, deep sea fishing, gym with yoga facilities, and a Como Shambhala Retreat offering a full range of treatments including massages, Ayurveda, facials and facilities such as massage pavilions, hydrotherapy pool, steam rooms and meditation area. For a quiet, relaxing and romantic honeymoon Cocoa Island is the perfect choice.