Coco Palm Bodu Hithi-Maldives:
This is a bit of a throwback post to five years ago! I used to watch people picking the Maldives as the honeymoon destination of choice. When something is too popular, I usually end up being disappointed because my expectations are sky high. So when it came to picking my honeymoon destination, I spent ages Googling all the top choices. Like everyone else (you know who you are!) I watched the customary Youtube videos about each Island. Thoroughly convinced by everyone’s experiences and the images, I was also determined to go to the Maldives. ‘Maldives?’ my husband questioned. ‘What are we going to do stuck on an island for an entire week?’ (Clearly the idea of spending a week alone on and island with me was not that appealing to him!) My husband was (and still is) a city boy who can’t sit still for two minutes. He tried to convince me to change my mind (‘you’ll be bored in a day’ and ‘there’s nothing to see’) but there was no going back (I blame the internet!). Luckily, my husband was about to eat all his words.
Now I wasn’t sure which Island would be the best fit for us (there were so many) and which would suit our budget (we had a sizeable budget but didn’t want to quite go overboard as we had a house to buy!). In the end it boiled down to choosing the best Island with a basic room, or choosing a mid range Island with the best room. After a room floor plan comparison, I was absolutely sold on the Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Escape Water Residence (Yes, I chose the best room at the mid-range Island). The fact that the room led straight into the ocean and had an outdoor swimming pool, was the deciding factor. This was one choice I didn’t regret at all.
After leaving the airport we were transported by speedboat to the island (definitely a fantastic way to travel/ taxis are overrated!). When we approached the island, my eyes couldn’t comprehend the amount of beauty I was seeing. The videos and pictures hadn’t prepared me for the stunning scenery and natural beauty this island had to offer. No picture could capture the glittering sea and the white beach which I enjoyed, day after day. It was like something straight from a movie (we regularly see amazing/exotic locations in movies but they are never quite the same when you go but this really is!). As we were lucky enough to book an Escape Water Residence, we were driven to a small private reception and offered refreshing mocktails whilst we sorted out some paperwork. We were then driven to our room (I could get used to this door to door service) where we found a stunning villa waiting for us (it even had a wooden plaque outside with our names engraved).
The villa was the size of a small apartment. It was incredibly spacious and had all the amenities (a Nespresso machine? I’m sold) we desired. Although the room was slightly worn, this just added to the charm of the place (I’m all for a polished look, but I do love a bit of character). The luxury on offer here went beyond the standard hotel ‘pillow menu’ and the his and hers sink, indoor and outdoor shower (showering above the ocean!), separate dressing room, large pool and exceptional service, made for a very regal holiday. Every day the staff members would go out of their way to greet us by name (I just love it when people make the effort to remember me) and would make pleasant conversation. The service was highly personalised and no request was too big. There was regular towel art and the turndown service regularly set up a romantic evening for us. We were placed on the sunset side, so we sat watching the sunset daily, whilst sipping our drinks.
The private pool was probably the most exciting thing for me about this room. Usually when we travel, the hotels have stunning pools. Unfortunately we can never use the pool (due to religious reasons about segregation etc.). However, having your own private pool meant I could use the pool freely and regularly. The way the villas were organised, I could neither see nor hear the guests in the next villa (maybe no one was staying there!). Although I’m not the most confident of swimmers (I can only ever manage a couple of lengths in the pool) I did venture out into the ocean numerous times (with my snorkelling gear and lifejacket on). Once I got the hang of swimming in the ocean (this took some getting used to as I had never gone swimming in something which appeared to have no end, contained live creatures and where putting your feet down involved actually potentially damaging something) the feeling was relaxing and quite amazing. I had never experienced swimming alongside fish (I’m quite squeamish) but there was something quite relaxing just watching things swim by. The coral reef further away from our villa, was stunning. Although close to the villa the coral reef was mostly damaged (or removed?). I did not venture too far from our villa as there were repeated warnings of rough seas and I was hardly the most confident swimmer around. Diving to see the untouched coral reef was also an option which we never got round to trying.
The food here was phenomenal. There were two live cooking stations at the buffet option and stunning desserts which wouldn’t look out of place in a patisserie. As a fussy eater I was wary of the buffet options, but the food was absolutely divine and there was the option to add whatever you wanted inside your freshly cooked dish. The bread rolls which were regularly on offer (see my blog post here) were a daily favourite and the breakfast pastries (served straight from the oven) were mouth watering, in both smell and taste. We usually had breakfast in the smaller area close to our room (as we were too lazy to venture as far as the buffet breakfast area) and all our breakfast items were made to order. This breakfast area was also surrounded by the sea so we enjoyed the sea view whilst sampling made to order breakfast items every day. The freshly squeezed fruit juices and mocktails were also a delight to behold. The large bottles of Voss water (left as complimentary) inside our room also ensured we did not go thirsty at any time. The room service was also tasty and actually not as expensive as we would have anticipated. We also ate at a few of the A La Carte restaurants which served some fantastic food. We also decided to do an in room barbecue where the chef set up his barbecue on the deck and grilled culinary delights for us to feast on. This was probably the best meal I have ever had. The grilled meats melted in my mouth and the desserts were astounding.
With regards to activities, we planned for one activity a day. We went fishing (which was the most amazing experience except for the fact that I did not catch anything) where they offer to cook the fish you catch and allow you to eat it. We also attended a sunset cruise which I felt was slightly pointless as you watch the sunset on a boat with 20 other people making it quite unromantic (the view from our room was better as it was private). There were complimentary drinks on offer, on the cruise. A lot of activities available were water based, so if you love the water, the activities would be perfect for you. There was also a stunning spa with every type of treatment available and a gym, games rooms and other facilities which could entertain even the most active traveller. Island hopping and visiting Male also help experience the Maldivian culture, so are perfect options for those who want more than just sun, sand and sea.
On leaving here, I knew that no holiday would probably ever live up to this one. Not only was it our honeymoon, it was also one of the most beautiful places on earth. I can highly recommend Coco Palm Bodu Hithi as one of the most stunning and friendly places I have ever been to. If you’re on the fence about where to go for your honeymoon, go to the Maldives (yes, my husband did enjoy it and still talks about it!). Our pictures cannot do this place justice. If you’ve been here (even if to another island) I’d love to hear about it, so feel free to comment below.