Much like Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia, the Maldives was always on my ‘destinations to visit when I won the lottery list. Never in my lifetime did I ever think I would be granted the opportunity to visit this magnificent island in my lifetime, so when opportunity knocked on the door, you best believe I opened up the door and welcomed it in with open arms!
The Maldives consists of 1,100 coral islands which are grouped in a double chain of twenty-seven atolls (atoll = a ring-shaped island that includes a coral rim) with average islands averaging no more than one to two square kilometers in area. With about 200 inhibited islands, over 164 of them are occupied by tourist resorts. It’s interesting to note that every tourist-intended island in the Maldives is home to one resort, so when booking, the whole island belongs to that one resort and one resort only. It’s giving super exclusivity!
I visited the Coco Bodu Hithi resort, part of the Coco Collection, and stayed for seven days. If you’re looking for an option for a Honeymoon or an Anniversary treat, they’ve got you covered.
How To Get There
The Maldives is about an 11-hour flight from the UK, and it’s important to note that direct flights (via British Airways) only occur from November to March. If you wish to visit outside of those months, you’d need to get a connecting flight. You’ll also need to get a Visa (which is free) to visit, and be aware that the airport is…chaotic…to say the least, with incredibly long queues and virtually no wifi. So make sure you have all your required documents to hand with you offline. COVID vaccine documentation is required.
What I love about the location is its proximity to the capital city of Male within this atoll, meaning that there was no need to take a hovercraft to the island, like with the other locations. The thought of getting on a plane that also doubles as a boat has always filled me with dread, so I was relieved to see that it was only a 40-minute speedboat ride to the resort. As you leave the airport, you’ll see an information stand owned by the resort, where someone will lead you to the boat, which is just outside the departure area.
Upon reaching the resort, you are welcomed by the senior members of staff with welcome drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and are taken to your villa via a shuttle cart through dense, jungle-like terrain. SO MANY Instagrammable moments lay within these trees by the way. Just sayin’.
The resort boasts four different types of residences, with all the villas having access to private pools.
- The Island Villa
- The Water Villa
- The Escape Water Villa
- The Coco Residence
We stayed in the Escape Water Villa; boasting 144 square meters and access to a private infinity pool and access to the gorgeous reef, where at sunrise I would “swim” (using the help of a dinghy lmao) with the fishes and baby sharks, and at sundown, I would star gaze on the deck until the early hours. The room consists of a kingsized bed opposite floor-to-ceiling windows, showing off magnificent panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
The bathroom boasts a wet room complete with a rainfall shower, two separate sinks, and an enormous sunken bathtub fit for two people.
The villas are kitted with everything you can expect from a five-star accommodation experience including a fully stocked minibar, an evening turndown service, and multiple robes and slippers available in multiple sizes (a win!)
In an unfortunate state of events, I actually didn’t really eat much whilst out there due to an illness that left me with virtually no appetite! Needless to say, after a few days my appetite eventually returned and I dined on feats of every different kind of seafood available. There are five restaurants and two bars on the island featuring an array of delectable delights. The Air restaurant features an EXPANSIVE buffet where guests dine for breakfast. Filled with every kind of breakfast and brunch food available, I felt like Charlie in Wonka’s factory. It was incredible. Aqua is a fine-dining restaurant that specializes in seafood, Stars is a place that offers a cool Mediterranean menu fused with some Western influences and my favourite Tsuki is a Japanese restaurant featuring some of the best sushi I’ve ever tried.
Of course, if you’re on an island, it’s only natural to expect fresh seafood and the resort did not disappoint. I enquired about the freshness of the lobsters and was told that they are actually shipped in from Dubai, so something to note!
Fat Check! The chairs, sun loungers, robes and slippers are all very fat-friendly! If you’re into scuba diving, it’s important to note that the lifejackets fit comfortably up to a UK size 24 or so, and are quite snug. Something to bear in mind!
The service is absolutely spectacular. You are assigned a personal Butler once you check in, who will give you his telephone number so you can Whatsapp them when you need anything. In turn, they can also WhatsApp you to inform you of activities you’d like to book, and what time your dinner reservations are. We were taken care off so well on the island, and if I could give the service 10 stars, I would!
We briefly met the owner of the resort who was very lovely, and we learned that the majority of the staff also live on the resort too. It was really cool to see the staff playing tennis and taking a load off after their evening shifts too; we all had the opportunity to be sociable together and make friends, which I loved!
Every week, the staff would put on an incredible show for the guests that included the traditional Maldivian dance called the Boduberu which dates back to the 11th Century. It was SO fun, and of course, I had to participate!
Other forms of entertainment include windsurfing, scuba diving the coral reef, a romantic sunset boat ride, a karaoke night, and a movie night, which takes place in an outdoor cinema on the beach – it was incredible! Couples can also, of course, get married here. There is also a gorgeous spa complete with a gym that overlooks the sea.
The island has access to a free shuttle service to escort guests to and from their villas to other parts of the island. If you have a preference of staying near the reception and restaurants, I’d suggest getting an Island Villa as they are the closest. Not only do you have a private pool, but also a private entrance to the beachfront. The water villas are the furthest away from the main island and are about a 7-10 minute walk between the two.
Towels and robes were all fat-friendly, meals had vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, and the entire island is step-free. When walking along the beach with bare feet, be wary of the sand crabs! They are very inconspicuous, and it can be easy to accidentally step on one.
With regard to just…existing on the island as a fat person, it was so lovely to just let loose and hand around the island in my bikini and swimsuits; funnily enough, my cousin and I seemed to be the only ones wearing them 24/7 (only wearing them in the areas where we were allowed to wear them, of course). It was incredibly freeing, with the staff being appreciative of the fact that I couldn’t swim, and kindly helping me while scuba diving. No stares, no being made to feel uncomfortable, it was a wonderful experience.
Overall, illness aside, I had an incredible experience, and the experience was an absolute dream! The weather wasn’t the best when we arrived, but we made the best of what we had and I would do it all over again. Paradise is really real, and it’s in the Coco Collection! They also have an offer on where you can get up to 50% off your booking this Easter so if you’ve been thinking about booking for a while, get while the getting’s good.
DISCLAIMER: I was gifted this stay in exchange for social media content and a review. My reviews are honest and unbiased as usual!