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Our review : Como Cocoa Island in the Maldives

Pascal Languillon, CEO of Luxe Wellness Club, has just returned from a couple’s holiday in the Maldives, where he had the pleasure of staying at Como Cocoa Island, a small cocoon of authentic, calm well-being just 40 minutes from Malé. The hotel allows you to enjoy the best that the Maldives has to offer: a turquoise blue lagoon, dazzling seabeds and numerous dolphins. Add to this a fine dose of wellness with dietetic cuisine, excellent massages, unlimited yoga and even a large hydrotherapy pool, and you have the promise of a successful vacation.

A paradise island with an unspoilt seabed

Pascal in paradise… or almost! (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The Maldives…just the mention of this sweet name makes you dream. And rightly so! That’s right, what a total change of scenery for us Europeans, accustomed as we are to concrete and traffic jams… Despite rising sea levels, the luxury hotel industry in the Maldives still has a bright future ahead of it, as the destination is not experiencing a crisis and is in fact attracting more and more people.

When choosing where to stay in the Maldives, you’ll be faced with a difficult choice: almost all luxury hotels offer a turquoise lagoon and bungalows or villas on stilts. What’s the difference? We decided to stay at Como Cocoa Island because it offers a relaxed, authentic version of the Maldives, with a rustic chic feel and a very interesting wellness offer for a small resort.

A spectacular lagoon (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

With just 33 villas linked by a wooden pontoon bridge over the lagoon, Como Cocoa Island is one of the smallest luxury hotels in the Maldives. It’s like a boutique hotel in the middle of the water. This small size is an asset for some (the promise of privacy and calm), perhaps a disadvantage for others (just one restaurant, a tiny bar…). For us, it was perfect!

Yoga pavilion (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Another important factor to consider when choosing a hotel in the Maldives is the distance from Malé. In most cases, you’ll have to take a seaplane. While this has a certain adventurous flavour, it inevitably adds travel time once you land in Malé after a long international flight, and this seaplane flight can only be made during the day, which may mean spending a night in Malé. On the other hand, Como Cocoa Island can be reached by speedboat in just 40 minutes from the airport, which is a definite advantage, even if the journey can be quite bumpy depending on sea conditions…

Our adorable little villa (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)*/

The only disadvantage of this location compared with some of the more distant atolls, and a minor disappointment for us, is its proximity to the other islands, which can be seen quite clearly, with some not very aesthetic buildings… As a result, the horizon is not completely blank and some lights can be seen in the distance at night… Once past this surprise, we quickly forget about it to concentrate on the turquoise blue of the sea and the fish that live there.

Our simple terrace with its breathtaking view (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

In fact, with so few rooms, you often feel as if you’ve got the 350-meter-long island and its magnificent 1 km-long sandbar all to yourself. The beaches and reefs are breathtaking.

There’s a marine biologist in residence, and we had a great time chatting with her. Although the coral has suffered from an El Niño-induced warming of the water, it is in much better condition than most Maldivian resorts. Multicolored fish are just a few flippers away, directly from the villa on stilts. We also saw many small, harmless sharks and sea turtles. For me, the marine life was undoubtedly Como Cocoa Island’s strongest point, and this was all the more true during a fantastic sunset dolphin watching boat trip.

I had already had the chance to see dolphins on various marine excursions, for example in New Zealand where I lived for a long time, but I had never seen so many dolphins at once, leaping and twirling in the air! Add to that a healthy dose of flying fish and champagne bubbles served aboard the boat as the sun disappeared behind the horizon, and you’ve got a perfect end to the day…

Another strong point of the hotel for me was the professionalism and kindness of the staff, especially our butler, with whom we had lots of chats.

Villas set above the lagoon

All the villas at Como Cocoa Island are built on stilts, overlooking the turquoise-blue sea. In my opinion, it would be a shame to stay in the Maldives without sleeping in a bungalow on stilts, as this is truly the DNA of the destination .

Room with sea view (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

We appreciated the comfort of the rooms which, compared to the Joali Being for example, have a spirit rustic chic, with lots of wood and a simplicity of design. Of course, some may prefer the more modern feel of some of the newer hotels in the Maldives. get back to basicsIsn’t that what we’re looking for when we travel to the ends of the earth?

The bathrooms are spacious, with an indoor shower, a beautiful bathtub and an outdoor shower too. We only used the outdoor shower in the end. It’s so much nicer…

The living room has soft sofas, a large TV (which we didn’t turn on) and a mini-bar. But to tell the truth, we spent most of our time outside the villa. There’s plenty to do on and under the water!

You can dive right from your villa (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The ultimate was to dive straight into the turquoise water from our terrace to see the coral reef just fifty meters away. If that’s not happiness, it sure looks like it!

Como Shambhala: wellness as we like it

While the Como Cocoa Island spa, Como Shambhala, is certainly not the largest or most impressive in the Maldives (see our article “We tested it for you, Joali Being”), it has a charm all of its own, and the quality of the care we received was exceptional. The highlight was the duo massage we enjoyed, with therapists who were very good with their hands.

Signature treatment in a duo cabin (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The treatment room was beautiful too, and what can I say about its open-air bathroom?

Another highlight of the Como Shambhala spa is the presence of a hydrotherapy pool, a rarity in the Maldives, as well as a pilates studio. For such a small establishment, it’s impressive.

Beautiful hydrotherapy room (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Add to this a sea-facing yoga pavilion with daily classes, and the chance to do sunrise yoga on the sandbar, and you’ve got a wellness destination that’s well rounded, especially for a small island lost in the middle of the ocean!

The well-equipped fitness room lets you watch the lagoon while enjoying refreshing air-conditioning.

Diet cuisine in the spotlight

The Como Shambhala approach is also present in the kitchen. These are diet dishes made from fresh produce, which help you keep your figure while enjoying essentially exotic flavors. An alternative menu is available for Indian or European-inspired dishes, which are higher in calories, but for our part we focused mainly on this very interesting culinary approach, which is the same in the other Como Group hotels.

Tuna poke bowl (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Among the various dishes we tasted, I particularly liked a delicious tuna poké bowl and a no less succulent “Queen pea bowl” with chickpea falafel. The Indian influence is also very present in the cuisine offered at Como Cocoa Island.

The dining room is simple and pretty, open to the outside. We ate outside most of the time, watching the pool and lagoon just a few meters away. Of course, you don’t need shoes at the restaurant! Eating with your feet in the sand, another pleasure that seems obvious in the Maldives.

Lunch with your feet in the sand (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

I have to say that the breakfast buffet isn’t great by 5-star standards. But don’t get me wrong, with only thirty or so villas to choose from, it would be almost criminal to import a vast array of cheeses and charcuterie of all kinds! For our part, we were very satisfied with the breakfasts on offer, as there were plenty of healthy options .

Our favorite breakfast recipe (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

I particularly like the delicious avocado, tomato, cucumber and parsley toast (see photo above), the exotic fruit juices or the mango chia puddings.

Of course, for those with a sweet tooth, there’s also a selection ofEggs Benedict, scrambled eggs and pancakes.

Our video of Como Cocoa Island

Our feeling

Como Cocoa Island is the perfect hotel for those looking to get back to basics on their Maldives vacation. Time for yourself to find peace and quiet, admire the beauty of the sea and the multicolored fish, enjoy a few yoga classes and excellent massages… Happiness is simple on Como Cocoa Island.

Luxe Wellness Club

Book Como Cocoa Island

Take advantage of our wellness expertise and contact us for a personalized quote at COMO COCOA ISLAND.

Rates : From around 800 euros per night in low season. Exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefits: 1 free massage per person and villa upgrade subject to availability.

Call us for the USA on +1 (646) 980 6652 or for the UK on +44 20 4577 3258

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