It's difficult to avoid superlatives when describing Cocoa Island. The atoll is near perfect, the rooms and buildings are designed in the right style to complement the natural world, and everything is just so pretty.
Service is attentive and gracious and the feel here is one of complete relaxation. Unsurprisingly, it's not boisterous in any way. With just 33 rooms on the entire island, it is never crowded. They are all overwater, putting you directly in touch with one of the major reasons for coming here.
The activities here revolve around the water, but there is also plenty of time for serious relaxation in both the spa and on the beach.
A blend of simplistic Maldivian island charm, with a high quality, rustic, sand-between-the-toes experience. Cocoa Island is low-key luxury at its best.
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Photos of COMO Cocoa Island
Rooms (with the exception of the villas) are inspired by the dhoni, the traditional wooden Maldivian boat. However, the rooms are anything but small and basic — the moment you walk in to your dhoni, you will be pleasantly surprised by the comfort and size of the rooms.
Adding to this feeling of space are the high thatched ceilings, the delicate use of color and abundance of natural light coming in from various sides.
All the rooms are placed over water, and laid out to maximize privacy. There are several room types: one/two bedroom villas, loft villas, dhoni loft suites and dhoni suites. All are very stylishly decorated, using south Indian and colonial-style furniture and local fabrics.
The rooms feel modern and bright, with strong classical touches, and each has its own private sundeck, with direct access to the turquoise ocean a few feet below. All rooms have free wireless internet, hair dryer, satellite TV, iPod docking stations, minibar and tea/coffee-making facilities.
Cocoa Island sits in the less developed South Malé Atoll, 40 minutes by speedboat from Malé International Airport. On the west side of the island, you will find the Kandooma Channel, which is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the Maldives.
On the other side, there's a quiet reef for snorkeling, flanked by a curl of sandy beach which tapers into a spit of sand. This is as long as the island itself, which is surrounded by soft white sand.
Food and drink
Cocoa Island offers top quality menus in a relaxed environment. The main restaurant, Ufaa, serves a blend of Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, and not surprisingly, there is also plenty of freshly caught seafood, as well as a variety of international dishes.
For guests who prefer healthy eating, there is COMO Shambhala cuisine, focused on organic produce and raw ingredients.
The Faru Bar is the perfect place to enjoy a snack or sundowner, to the soundtrack of chilled-out music, looking out over the pool and lagoon beyond.
Children of all ages are welcome, but this resort is very quiet and relaxing, with fewer facilities for children than some others in the Maldives.
Facilities and activities
There are numerous ways to unwind on this tiny picturesque island, including a visit to the COMO Shambhala Retreat, where a range of Asian treatments are offered in simple but comfortable wooden beach houses.
Complimentary morning and evening yoga sessions are offered as well, and you can relax in a good-size hydrotherapy pool. The gym has both cardiovascular equipment and free weights. Underwater is where you'll find most of the action, and guided snorkeling and fish-feeding are complimentary.
Many people don't feel any need to leave the island for the duration of their stay, but if you would like to explore this remarkable archipelago further, both above and below water, then there are some fascinating excursions to choose from.
Visiting the capital, Malé, gives an insight into local culture, while island-hopping allows you to discover the character of some of the other beautiful spots in the Maldives. You can also charter boats and seaplanes for fishing adventures, sunset cruises and romantic meals.
There is a professional PADI dive center at the resort. Diving in the Maldives ranks with the best in the world. At Cocoa Island, they are dedicated to preserving the reefs, as well as ensuring your safety.
Should you have any queries, the experienced staff at the resort’s dive center will be happy to help. They can also provide detailed advice on particular sites. There are over 25 dive sites available nearby. The staff will be happy to explain the differences in the sites to help you choose where to dive, based upon your experience, and what you hope to see. After your orientation dive, your guide will also recommend dives that are best-suited to your ability.
The COMO Shambhala Retreat is a top-quality spa experience in a minimal and restful environment. Choose from massages, such as the COMO Shambhala massage, Indian head massage, Thai massage, and Indonesian massage among others.