You might think there is little to do in the Maldives; that was certainly the impression my new husband had when I first floated the idea of honeymooning there. However, our stay at Coco Bodhu Hithu proved the Maldives is anything but dull. Our 4-day mini honeymoon was filled with incredible marine life, romantic meals and striking sunsets, all set to the beautiful backdrop of pristine islands and turquoise atolls that the Maldives is known for.
We arrived late at night – speeding across inky water with no idea how beautiful the islands we were passing by looked in the daylight. The first priority upon waking up, therefore, was to draw back the curtains and take in the scenery. The kind butler who had chauffeured us to our room in a golf buggy the night before had showed us a nifty trick. We pressed open on the handset next to the bed and hey presto the Indian Ocean appeared at the end of the bed.
First on our agenda (after breakfast of course), was to get in the water. At 30 degrees Celsius the ocean is warmer than bathwater and just as still as a bath too. Our resort has a fantastic house reef which means you needn’t go far to see some of the vibrant Maldivian marine life. In our case, we needn’t go much further than the steps from our overwater villas that led into the lagoon. No sooner had we left the ladder than we were surrounded by fish of every colour. We didn’t know their names at that point but luckily we had an appointment with the resort marine biologist later in the week to provide the answers.
After all that swimming and the late night speedboat arrival, we were ready for some spa time. At Coco Spa, the treatment rooms (thatched overwater villas with their own plunge pools) are as incredible as the treatments. We treated ourselves to a couples Balinese-inspired massage and any knots from the journey over were worked out during that dreamy hour.
To end our first day in the Maldives, the resort recommended we get off the island and see sunset from the water. Sitting in beanbags on the top deck of a traditional Maldivian Dhoni we circled the resort, watching the sky turn pink and toasted to our first perfect day in paradise.
Embracing the indulgence of the situation, we arrange for the butler to deliver our breakfast to the villa. Mohan arrives with a giant smile and even bigger tray of pastries, fruit, pancakes, eggs and bacon. He arranges the feast on our private deck and leaves us to soak up the food and the ever-beautiful view of the Indian Ocean.
After a dip in the pool and some time lazing around the villa we head to the resort’s pier where a boat and 3 man crew are waiting to take the 2 of us fishing. We are taught the traditional Maldivian technique of hand line fishing and we catch … absolutely nothing! At one stage the captain hands me a line which he has already caught a giant barracuda on and I even lose that. Eventually he catches a red snapper (a good catch I’m told) and together we reel it in so I can share some of the glory!
That afternoon we head to the main pool. As all accommodation at the resort has a private pool the eye watering infinity pool is gloriously empty! We order cocktails, which I’m secretly chuffed to note match the decor, and enjoy an afternoon of poolside relaxation.
Dinner that evening is a BBQ on the beach, our bare feet burying into the sand as we sample the local seafood, Asian-influenced salads and a trio of tempting cakes with ice cream.
On our last full day in the resort we join the hotel’s marine biologist, Lisa, for a guided snorkel. In Lisa’s office she helps us identify some of the fish we’ve already seen, the Oriental Sweetlips is my favourite, and explains what we’ll be up to over the next hour. By speedboat we are taken to a nearby feeding station frequented by manta rays. We’re out of luck today but next we head to the edge of the house reef and see a fantastic array of marine life including sea anemones, starfish and other local marine life that Lisa introduces to us. Towards the end of the guided snorkel we get to meet one of the local hawksbill sea turtles. This one is an inquisitive young turtle and we are hopeful we might get to name it – an honour that is bestowed on guests who spot turtles not yet on the conservation register. After later checking the database Lisa tells us that this turtle was in fact named in Jan 2016, but we were happy to meet Nikolaj anyway.
For our last night (gutted to be leaving already) we have dinner on a private pavilion overlooking the water at Aqua Restaurant. The Asian-influenced menu tempts us with noodle and curry dishes that remind us of our wedding in Thailand. The highlight for me though is a ginger Crème brûlée that I will forever be trying to recreate at home.
Departure day. Mohan arrives to collect our luggage and has a buggy ready to take us to the pier. Only because I fear it may upset him, we leave politely rather than kicking and screaming. Situated in the North Male Atoll, Coco Bodu Hithi is only 40 minutes by speedboat from Male airport. We’re handed a cold towel and water for our journey and before we know it we’re back in the departure lounge staring wistfully out the window at the turquoise lagoons and dazzling white islands.
Things to know about travelling to the Maldives:
Transfers to resorts are by seaplane or speedboat. Seaplanes can’t fly in the dark so check the arrangements for your resort before booking flights to Male, you may need to arrange a hotel near the airport before transferring to the islands.
It’s totally fine to go barefoot for dinner but men will need smart shorts/trousers and tops with sleeves for dinner.
Most resorts operate in USD and tips are best given in USD too. There is no way to change local currency into dollars in the resorts – so we discovered!
Tempted by a trip to the Maldives? Search with no service fees, for the cheapest flights, and find the best deals on hotels as well as car hire on Skyscanner Australia now.
About The Author
Jayne Gorman is a sun-loving freelance travel writer and blogger based in Sydney, Australia. Keep up to date with Jayne’s travels on her blog Girl Tweets World.