Coco Bodu Hithi showcases Maldivian charm
From the moment we stepped off the speedboat transfer from Velana International Airport, we knew, as if by instinct, that we had arrived somewhere special. You see, everything and everyone at Coco Bodu Hithi is set up to work seamlessly to peel the stress off you from the moment you arrive.
In the shade of their Latitude Bar, the wheels of their hospitality swung into motion with a welcome cocktail and a warm greeting by General Manager Mario Stanic and Raj, our private lifestyle host who embodied Maldivian charm. Raj belongs to a brilliant and very experienced team whose primary objective was to ensure that the island became our perfect sanctuary during our five-day stay.
Coco Bodu Hithi, located in the North Malé Atoll first opened in 2006 and the island’s vegetation has matured beautifully since then. Entrusted in his able care, Raj gave us a brief overview of the island as he ushered us through lush greenery towards our Island Villa accommodation.
We would easily have walked past the offramp leading to the villa entrance if not for our guide; such is the seclusion with these villas.
Coco Bodu Hithi has 44 Island Villas situated on the land portion, each a private cocoon demarcated by greenery and providing direct access to the beach and lagoon.
The island’s other accommodation comprises a variety of styles of overwater bungalows with the prestigious Coco Residence being the undisputed oceanic haven.
With a total of 100 villas, each accommodation type offers a unique guest experience – for example, some of their villas offer access to the best snorkelling area of the house reef while others are better for direct beach access. With such variety available, Raj informed us that it is common for guests to begin their stay in an Island Villa before moving to one of the overwater bungalows to round out their visit.
Stepping into our Island Villa, we were introduced to a roomy open-plan space with comfortable furnishings, traditional textiles and a generous infusion of natural light. The villa design encouraged a natural flow between indoor and outdoor space – you can walk from the private 1.3m pool, through the space and out to the lagoon in one smooth motion.
The toughest question that immediately faced us was making a choice between taking a dip in the pool, soaking in the in-room jacuzzi or immersing ourselves in the temperate lagoon water.
We took the first option and soon, the sense of calm embraced us and temporarily made us forget the outside world.
Exploring an idyllic ocean oasis
From above, Coco Bodu Hithi presents itself as an idyllic ocean oasis. The island boasts an L-shaped design, with the lush green canopy of a tropical rainforest making up the land portion and pristine white sandy beaches encircling it.
The resort seamlessly blends with its surroundings, featuring overwater bungalows (Water Villas, Escape Water Villas, and Coco Residences) that elegantly extend into the lagoon at both ends and away from the central hub of the island, offering a serene escape from the everyday.
After a relaxing swim, we retraced our steps to the main jetty to rejoin Raj for a quick orientation to acquaint ourselves with the property.
The island’s lush green tropical forest runs through its entire length and provided us with a cooling and enjoyable walk whenever we needed to connect to the Coco Residences and the Coco Spa.
Air, the island’s poolside restaurant and one of its six dining locations, serves as the main restaurant featuring a fusion of local and international cuisine. The quality and variety of their world-class buffets took us on a culinary journey each day…and this was just for breakfast! Their flavour-packed salads and delectable Indian dishes were standout favourites during lunch, leaving us both satisfied and eager for more.
Latitude Bar, which overlooks a good-sized infinity pool, is a chic lounge serving up tasty cocktails, snacks and light bites. This is where live bands and cocktail parties offer entertainment on selected nights and guests can choose to either mingle, watch a movie under the stars or simply recline and listen to the rhythmic sounds of the lagoon.
Stars, a breezy bar and restaurant had us making repeated visits for one dish in particular – fresh reef fish served with potatoes on a bed of succulent vegetables.
Japanese cuisine is popular with many island resorts in the Maldives and Tsuki, the Coco Bodu Hithi variant offers both a spectacular view and a celebration of flavours including soups, salads, tempura, and sushi.
Our evening plans were expertly arranged by Raj, who secured a coveted reservation for us at Aqua, the resort’s dinner-only restaurant, for a sumptuous overwater dining experience under the stars.
Wellness at Coco Bodu Hithi
Complete physical and mental rejuvenation…this is the holistic philosophy of wellness we personally subscribe to at House of Coco and Coco Bodu Hithi provided ample opportunities for us to lean into this.
Our island experience was elevated by daily visits to the luxurious Coco Spa. The spacious, airy and tranquil setting invited us to choose from a range of rejuvenating treatments. We could also decide to soak in the jacuzzi, sweat out in the sauna, unwind in the steam bath, or invigorate with a cold plunge pool afterwards.
The highly trained Coco Spa staff provided us with impeccable service, ensuring that we came away from each visit feeling truly restored.
One evening, pre-dinner, we boarded a traditional Maldivian dhoni for a relaxing sunset champagne and canapé cruise around the island. We chased the sun until it became a mere suggestion on the horizon and its golden rays faded into the night sky.
To cap our wellness experience, each day we had the option to choose from an exclusive pillow menu thereby enhancing the quality of our sleep.
The Coco Bodu Hithi Island Table
Romantic dinners in the Maldives are an excellent way to create cherished memories. It was therefore fitting that our final experience at Coco Bodu Hithi was an intimate five-course dinner on a private beach.
The colours of twilight and the gentle sound of waves in the background added to an already magical setting.
Soft table lighting cast a glow as the white linen curtains of the pergola danced in the mild evening breeze. Someone had half-buried golden-coloured LED light strips in the sand creating a soft ‘ring of fire’ around us.
Our menu consisted of delicious gourmet dishes made with fresh and local ingredients, a prized aspect of the cuisine served on Coco Bodu Hithi (they like to call this ‘the island table’) which Executive Sous Chef Anjula Karunasinghe had earlier highlighted to us during a brief chat.
We especially enjoyed the seafood selection of plump scallops and jumbo prawns followed by a grilled and tender rock lobster accompanied by a medley of steamed vegetables. The meal ended on a sweet note with decadent panna cotta desserts topped with fresh juicy berries.
As we raised our glasses filled with fresh fruit-infused cocktails that had become favourites during our stay, we offered silent but heartfelt thanks to all who had welcomed us and made our stay at this oceanic haven truly unforgettable.
Speedboat transfers from Velana International Airport, Malé take around 40 minutes and can be arranged during booking.
For more information about curating your own experience at Coco Bodu Hithi (including weddings, honeymoons and other special celebrations) and to learn more about their all-inclusive packages and latest offers/discounts, visit cococollection.com/en/bodu_hithi