There are plenty reasons to visit the Maldives, which is why many tourists return to the islands time and time again. From its pristine and serene beaches, magnificent corals and sea life, to the picturesque sunsets and stunning resorts, the islands are unlike anything else in the world.
So it’s no surprise that the islands and its resorts are a celeb hotspot. Everyone from the Beckhams to Beyonce and Jay Z spend their holidays here. Fortunately, living in the Middle East, you don’t have to be an A-list star to visit. Just a four-hour flight away from the UAE, the islands are perfect for a long weekend getaway. Even better when the resort is easily accessible with a speedboat from the airport.
One such island is Bodu Hithi, in the North Malé Atoll, which is home to the picture-pefect Coco Bodu Hithi Resort. Near enough to Malé International Airport, you will reach the resort in just 40 minutes by speedboat, yet far away from the hustle and bustle to be able to enjoy unobstructed panoramic views, Coco Bodu Hithi is a gem of an island.
The coconut palms, lush vegetation and flora harmoniously blend with the architecture to form naturally canopied sun speckled pathways, with lush foliage in between the Island Villas for privacy. We are ready for a few days of R&R...
MAGICAL MARINE LIFE
Blessed with one of the best House Reefs in North Malé atoll, the over-water villas have been built with a conscious approach to not disrupt the healthy house reef, which is home to an abundance of colourful reef fish, resident Hawksbill sea turtles, eagle rays, octopi, and reef sharks. Just 15 minutes away is another reef dubbed the Turtle Point; one of the most loved snorkelling sites in the region where Hawksbill turtles are often spotted. Large nurse sharks and sting rays also inhabit the waters at Shark Point, just 10 minutes away from Bodu Hithi.
ROMANCE TO REMEMBER
One of the first luxury resorts in the Maldives to open with private pools in all the villas, Coco Bodu Hithi exudes romance. The winner of Most Romantic Resort at the 2016 South Asia Travel Awards, contemporary and tropical elements bring together the distinctive private design of each villa. With a feel of being made for two people, all 100 villas are surrounded by the calm view of the lagoon and the soothing sound of the waves. With intimate spaces and private experiences, the hotel is the ideal romantic backdrop for a veryspecial weekend away with your other half.
HONEY, I’M HOME
During our visit to Coco Bodu Hithi, we stayed in a luxurious Coco Residence Water Villa. Spaciously comfortable, each Coco Residence features high ceilings and large windows that provide stunning natural light, highlighting the exquisite interior. A separate living room offers flat screen TV, stereo and DVD player while the bedroom features a king-sized bed, spacious dressing area and bathroom with a huge double bath, and indoor and outdoor showers. Perfection!
The alfresco terrace area was where you could find us throughout our trip. We loved chilling out on the four-poster day bed – mocktail in hand – enjoying the stunning azure sea views, taking regular dips in the inviting lagoon below, and in our luxe private infinity plunge pool. Top Ahlan! tip: for the ultimate Instagram shots, be sure to pack an inflatable unicorn/flamingo/pizza slice/doughnut. Sure, it’s a little cliché now, but thanks to the crystal clear blue sea and cloud-free sky, your inflatable shots will blow the competitions’ #Dubaipoolday shots out of the water (pun fully intended).
If you prefer staying on land, the island villas are also a treat. Open plan, yet intimate, each villa includes a feature bathing area where you can submerge yourself in the large central tub, along with two outdoor spaces where you can relax and unwind. The beach front terrace overlooks the stunning ocean while the private garden is the ideal way to experience sunshine-filled days the quiet way.
DINING WITH A DIFFERENCE
There’s something different to discover at each of the five restaurants and two bars on the island, all with views of the lagoon and sunset. Air is home to delicious breakfast buffets, a la carte lunches and extravagant themed dinner buffets. Winner of Luxury Seafood Restaurant in Maldives at the 2016 World Luxury Hotels Awards, Aqua is the island’s fine-dining restaurant with a distinctively romantic feel. Latitude bar’s chic seating is the perfect spot to relax as you sip on a refreshing drink or indulge in a snack. Stars restaurant and bar stands over the lagoon within a separate wing of the island. With classic a la carte breakfast favourites, lunch menus inspired by Mediterranean and Asian flavours, and dégustation dinner menus, this restaurant is by far our favourite dining destination. Tsuki offers the true taste of Japanese cuisine where you can dine outside on the terrace or sit at the sushi bar. Plus there is a grape bar with a menu of more than 200 diverse global grapes on offer. In fact, Michelin-starred chefs visit the island every year to create one-off experiences, so you know you’re in for a treat.
With the whole island following the spiritual rhythm of the ocean, it’s no surprise that Coco Spa follows in the same footsteps. An award-winning wellness zone on stilts over the clear water, Coco Spa is a sanctuary for the soul. Mindful of the healing properties of nature and the ocean, the spa is designed to retreat for an escape, whether a massage in one of the eight treatment rooms or yoga on the pavilion overlooking the ocean and beach. With a range of products from the Paris label Thémaé combining the healing properties of tea, therapists at Coco Spa are trained in techniques to treat the mind, body and soul.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
The Maldives are indeed perfect for relaxing and simply chilling on the beach, but for those who seek a bit more, the resort also offers exciting tailor-made experiences. Whether its snorkelling a nearby reef and exploring the beautiful coral garden below, discovering Malé’s rich cultural heritage with a stolen afternoon in the capital city, enjoying the variety of water sports or sailing off on a memorable sunset cruise, there is plenty to keep you busy.