Picture the setting: it’s evening time, you’ve just finished a delicious, light and fresh dinner, and you decide to stroll the mere metres back to your residence. The moon is full and the light shimmers on the ocean as the gentle waves lap onto the beach. The sand is so white that it could almost pass as daytime; the whole scene is mesmerising, almost unreal.
OK, so perhaps I shouldn’t pin my hopes on a Man Booker prize anytime soon, but COMO Cocoa Island inspired me; it took my breath away. It can be hard to differentiate between the myriad island resorts in the Maldives – they all look stunning on their websites but this one truly stands apart. It doesn’t try to be all things to all people, and COMO Cocoa Island has stood the test of time. It opened some 15 years ago and has barely changed, staying true to its original concept and keeping itself in great shape.
Physically, the resort island is very small. It takes a few minutes to walk from one side to the other, and a truly exquisite, world-class beach encircles it and stretches out at one end along a picture-perfect sandbank. All villas are over water along one jetty. With such a small area, facilities are limited but perfectly formed: one restaurant, one pool, one gym (you get the picture). Everyone is generally in bed by about 10pm, and there isn’t 24-hour room service, either.
No, you don’t come here to party. You come here for complete and utter relaxation, to unwind totally and spend your days meandering from one meal to the next, interspersed with a swim, a snorkel and a snooze. You enjoy luxury and elegance, but you prefer a barefoot style with draped white linen and warm touches. You don’t care if the light switches are old-fashioned, or if the decor hasn’t changed since it opened. This is a beautifully maintained hotel run by a delightful and faithful team. Somewhere to visit to drink in the vast skies and rippling lagoon. It’s the perfect desert island.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Resort experience
- Scheduled Yoga class
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
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