maldives

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, Maldives review: an environmentally friendly heaven on earth

Find out what happened when we visited the stunning resort

Emmy Griffiths

Around 30 minutes into a seaplane journey over dozens of tiny islands dotted across the Indian Ocean, you will land on the island resort of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. Covered in dense plant life, the resort is quite simply a heaven on earth full of relaxation, adventure and delicious food – but also with a true consciousness for protecting the environment and making the Maldivian sea life something to be proud of. We took a visit to the little island to find out more about the truly special resort, and to learn why this is such a beloved place for holidaymakers, honeymooners and families, some of whom come back year after year.

Taking a seaplane to the island

The journey takes around 12 hours in total, as we flew from London to Doha, Qatar before our final journey to Male, the capital of the Maldives. But it's after you land in the mainland that the real fun begins. To reach the island, it is necessary to climb aboard a seaplane with about enough space for 20 people. Over the 30-minute journey, you can either watch the pilots fly the plane right out of the water, or just look outside and enjoy the uniquely stunning views of the blue ocean and islands – but be prepared for a splash landing! Of course, these plane journeys can be devilishly expensive, so make sure you factor the cost into your travels!

Take a seaplane to the island

Location, location, location

Think Maldives accommodation, and your mind immediately goes to the little villas on stilts in the ocean, right? While Coco certainly has a beautiful group of lagoon villas of this very description, there are also plenty of other options for accommodation on the island itself. Holidaymakers can choose whether they would like an oceanfront villa right by the ocean, a beach villa with your own part of the sandy shore at your toes, or deluxe villas with their very own lagoon to sit back and relax in! Not to mention, these villas come with an outdoor bathroom, totally isolated but with a huge stone bath and shower, giving you any excuse to wash away a long time on lying on a sandy beach!

Choose from dozens of villas

Want to stay somewhere even more special? Coco also owns a nearby deserted island, which you can sail to and stay overnight with a dinner just for you. And don't worry, if it gets too lonely, a member of the incredible staff at Coco will come and collect you, they're just a phone call away!

Relaxing in Maldivian style

If lying back on the stunning beaches or taking a dip in the still, warm ocean isn't quite enough for you, why not take a visit to the Coco Spa, where you can relax in their calming Jacuzzi with a local drink of Kurumba tea, or even try a treatment or two! We would recommend the Island Seashell Massage, which is so relaxing you'll be drifting off as they use coconut oil drizzled over seashells to give you a exceptional massage that both relaxes and ease muscle tension. If you want to try something new, you can also climb on board the island's boat for a sunset cruise. If your goal on the island is to relax, trust us, they have got your covered!

Enjoy a drink at sunset at the Beach Bar

Having fun on the resort

If you want to try something new and different during your trip, Coco caters just as much to active explorers as they do sun seekers! During your time on Coco, you can take a trip to a local island for a few hours to learn more about Maldivian culture and try some great local cuisine, or you could stick on your flippers and go Manta Ray searching. Although there are no guarantees, chances are you'll catch a glimpse of one of these stunning, peaceful creatures. During our snorkelling trip, we saw several before travelling back to the island where we were met by a school of spinner dolphins, who swan alongside the boats in their dozens, and even showed off their skills with a few triple flips. This beautiful ocean life is a true display on the importance of keeping the oceans clean, as is the resort's turtle sanctuary.

Go searching for Manta Rays

Meeting sea turtles

Coco hosts a turtle rescue centre for turtles who have been hurt in the wild and need medical attention, and time to rest and recuperate. During our visit, most of the turtles being cared for had been ensnared in fisher's nets and left trapped for days, leaving many of them unfortunately needing their flippers amputated. The staff on the site are delighted to talk you through the turtles' recovery, and you have the opportunity to get up close to these amazing creatures as you learn more about the dangers they face, and how to Olive Ridley Project hopes to change things.

Learn about turtle rehabilitation

Breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions

Unsurprisingly, the resort has a wide variety of dining spots, whether you fancy a quick bite to eat before watching the sunset, or are celebrating an anniversary with no expense spared. Cowrie is the main dining hall for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and has a buffet full of delicious grub, with everything from Maldivian cuisine to Italian to sushi on offer. During our trip, we never tired of watching the chefs prepare our dish of the day in front of us, with the island's tuna being a tasty highlight!

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Enjoy a beach BBQ

Cornus is outdoors under a canopy of leaves, and if you look closely during your dinner, you might be able to spot the odd friendly bat fly overhead. The menu is a delicious fusion of Asian cuisine, with dishes from Indonesia, China, Thailand and Malaysia available. We would recommend the lobster with peppercorn, perfection!

Dine and watch the sunset

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Guests will also be able to opt for the beach BBQ, and once-in-a-lifetime experience of a candlelit dinner on the sandy beaches as the sun goes down, which will make you feel like you are living someone else's life, or like you're the star in your own film. Basically, it is a delightful way to enjoy the island, and your dinner! To relax with a cocktail or two, you can either take a visit to the beach bar, or the lovely Conch bar closer to the villas. The choice is yours! 

Get all the information of staying at this amazing resort here.