The word that comes to mind when arriving at the, in the southern waters of the Baa Atoll in the Maldives, is breathtaking. It’s an ideal location to enjoy a week of free-diving, sandy white beaches, abundant underwater life, luxurious rooms and delicious food.
The architecture of the hotel reflects traditional Maldivian culture and, with being the first luxury hotel in the Maldives, visitors get to embrace the culture and history of the southern Baa Atoll in style. The island’s rooms and first-class facilities are connected by lush green-canopied pathways and helpful, yet non-intrusive staff, are always on hand to make the experience feel magical, leaving me feeling completely tranquil.
With less than 100 rooms on the island, it felt secluded, with perfect views of the Indian Ocean. Each villa has a private splash pool and outdoor seating on the terrace. For those wanting to stay closer to shore, the deluxe villas give guests the opportunity to watch the sunrise, with a plunge pool and white sandy beaches only moments away. The beautiful house reef features an abundance of colourful fish and, with any luck, you might even see spinner dolphins playing in the distance. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any from my room but I was lucky enough to see them out on one of our many boat trips around the island.
The Hero Attraction
Sustainability of the island and its surrounding ecosystem is a top priority for Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. The island produces its own fresh drinking water and is involved in the Olive Ridley project, run by resident vet Claire Nerissa. I had the pleasure of talking to her about the work she does to help rescue and nurture injured turtles back to health so that they can one day hopefully be released back into the wild. The centre, opened a year ago, is the only veterinarian-led centre in the whole country. So far it has rescued 37 turtles and released 15 of them back into the wild and they currently have eight turtles, which they are hoping to release very soon. The centre is a charity and relies heavily on funding. To find out more about the amazing work Claire and her team do visit
Is The Food Any Good?
An effortless fusion between Maldivian and Asian cuisine. I was spoilt for choice with sunset cocktails at the beach bar followed by a choice of BBQ’s on the beach or the Asian infused Cowrie restaurant, with a choice of fresh seafood, grilled meats and salads. For an open air experience, you can immerse yourself in the lush vegetation at the Cornus restaurant who offer a six course dining extravaganza. For chilled out lunches head to the beach bar where you’ll find a range of sandwiches and snacks along with cocktails. Looking for a more intimate dining experience? You can book a private table on the beach with beautiful views of the sunset. Who said romance is dead?
... And You Must
Make time to check out the world-renowned diving. The island has a house reef that allows for perfect snorkelling trips, where you can get up close and personal with the marine life and beautiful coral. There are daily boat trips to explore other reefs on nearby islands, which I would highly recommend. For those with more adventure in their hearts (I have an addiction to free-diving), you can easily free-dive from the twenty metre drop just off the house reef, where you’ll encounter a spectacular array of pilot fish, black tip reef sharks and parrot fish. I even spotted a few turtles! There is a dive centre on the island run by, and I was fortunate enough to go multiple times during my stay, seeing an array of lionfish, white tip reef sharks, needle fish and lobster.
The perfect combination of adventure and a relaxing island retreat. For those looking for something truly out of the ordinary, the hotel even offers the chance to stay on your very own private island for the night. You get dropped off at a traditional Maldivian style retreat, only a 15 minute boat away from the hotel, with a special phone in case of any emergencies. Yes I did ask the question “has anyone ever used the phone during their stay on the island?” Thankfully the answer was “no!” The island was magical and they provide you with a delicious BBQ before leaving you and your significant other to do some serious stargazing. Barefoot luxury at it’s finest.
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