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“Words can't describe how perfect this place is ...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cocoa Island by COMO

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Cocoa Island by COMO
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Cocoa Island   |  
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Twin-centre Maldives Stay
jajorden
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Words can't describe how perfect this place is ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

... But I'll try!

Accommodations:
-Rarely do resorts live up to the pictures but in this case, it exceeded the photos. We went with the "basic" Dhoni Suite and it was amazing. Honestly, I somewhat wish we could have seen the other room options but I don't think its necessary nor worth the premium to pay for the higher class rooms ... maybe I'd think differently if I stayed in one
-33 villas is a wonderful number ... you'll see people from time to time but many of these Maldives resorts have far too many villas and I think that would detract from the experience
-The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was very large and well laid out. The aircon was very good and while it never got cold, it was always very comfortable and we found that leaving the bathroom door open helped cool the overall unit down (as there was a 2nd air con in that room)
-The suite felt very private when sitting on the back deck - we'd see an occasional snorkeller come by but overall, you don't feel there are much more than 10 people on the island with the exception of during dinner.

Island:
-It takes 10 minutes to do a full circle (walking) around the island ... and that is awesome
-Enjoy the lagoon with all of the 1m (harmless) reef sharks and look out for the beautiful rays in the evenings.

Food:
-I expected high prices and above average food - nothing special given the difficulty. I was wrong ... I can't rave enough about the quality of the food. Yes it is expensive - $100 usd for a burger, chicken wrap, and 2-3 beers - but also not unlike what you'd pay at a Four Seasons in Hawaii for instance. We've lived in Singapore for a couple years and the prices were only marginally higher and given how great the food was, totally worth the price.
-We enjoyed the Saturday night "Thali" Indian dinner and especially appreciated the flexibility as we swapped a seafood (which we don't like) curry for a chicken curry. We also did a candlelit dinner - private on the beach - which I'd certainly recommend at least one night.
-One quick sell: the eggs benedict (homemade english muffin, arugula, prosciutto di parma, poached egg, hollandaise) .... the best I've ever had. Thankfully I ordered it the 1st day and never veered away from it for the rest of our stay. The rest of the breakfast spread was wonderful with homemade freshly-baked pastries and excellent cut fruit. Coffee was great as well.
-Note that there is "only" one restaurant but we never struggled to get a great table and its a wonderfully designed open air restaurant (they can close the doors if needed but unless its raining, everything was open and wonderfully breezy. Room service is an option as well which we did a couple times and loved the selection with similar high quality food.

Service:
-With only 33 villas, the whole island rarely has 70 guests but employs 170 people to care for everyone. The service is excellent: friendly, genuine, professional, but not overly stuffy. Given how many employees we talked to that had been there for upwards of 10 years, it is clear that they are well treated and enjoy working there ... huge props to the management for creating this type of culture.
-The GM, Laurent, was a wonderful guy and we had a nice talk about Asia while heading out for a dive (I think he was with his daughter or gf's daughter) ... very professional and welcoming and runs a phenomenal resort with memorable service. Also, we enjoyed the other managers and waiters ... even our houseboy who somehow kept our villa sand-free always wore a smile

Spa:
-Get some treatments, please! We do massages about once a month and these were some of our best ever. We did the Como Shambala massage and despite being ~$200 incl tax/tip, we felt it was well worth it and did three sessions over our four days.

Dives:
-Great snorkelling within 100 meters of the island with several coral gardens and walls off the back of the villas. Watch the tides as you can get somewhat caught on low tide
-I did one scuba dive and it was also a favorite ... great crew and we dropped right onto a spot with 2.5m manta rays circling a rock ... we watched them for 20+ minutes and its something I'll never forget. Prices are high - I think $110++ per dive - but the gear was good, service was great (Lina, I think is her name, is a great manager and very helpful/friendly), and the dive sites are 20-30 mins away so you can do your intervals on the beach.

Overall:
-We spent some time thinking about it and Cocoa Island may be the best place we've ever been ... that being said, it's something to consider if its worth the premium vs many other places throughout SE Asia where one can enjoy a similar world class experience for 30-50% less. If that doesn't matter to you, then clearly you won't be disappointed. It was a honeymoon for us and we have no issues with what we spent and would recommend it for a special event. This place even beat an Aman I've stayed at which is no easy feat.

Part of me wants to rush back next year but another part of me knows there are many other resorts to be explored - if I had to guess, we'll be back in the next few years and I'm already looking forward to it.

Room Tip: I can't imagine there is a bad room ... we did the entry-level Dhoni Suite and it was outstandin...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Dear jajorden
I want to thank you for the amazing review you have just posted!
It is such a pleasure to read your very detailed feedback on each and every aspect of our service offers.
From our room features to the quality of our culinary team, from our amazing underwater world to our Como Shambala retreat, your comments will inspire us to continue our effort for service excellence.
I am also ever so pleased to have had the chance to join you on this particular dive surrounded by mantas! What a thrill!
I remain at your service at anytime and truly look forward to your return to our unique beautiful island.
Encore merci!
Laurent
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
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London
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

I've never before written a review while still at a hotel, but it seems the right time. We are currently sat in the bar, having drinks - it's happy hour.  I'm having a Cosmopolitan. On the way here from our room we got caught in a rainstorm. Someone rushed over and gave us an umbrella, but the wind was so strong it whipped inside out. Now we are warm and dry, the rain has stopped and the sun is setting. The lights are dimmed and the setting sun is casting a warm glow on the walls. A French couple are playing dominos. Two other couples are also having drinks. This is the most people I have seen all day. It's perfect.

We are biding our time until dinner - a seafood barbecue with locally caught fish. The food has been exceptional. I love being active, but there is something very seductive about doing little - reading books, going for a swim, having a massage, taking a walk round the island, eating. It's all so different from normal life.

This is the second visit we have made to Cocoa Island. My memories of last time were so good I was worried that after six years it couldn't hope to have kept up the incredibly high standards. There was no need to worry. Everything was just as it was and, in some respects, even better.

I am loving every minute of my time here. We are being looked after so well. The hotel is so small that everyone seems to know your name, nothing is too much trouble and everything is done with a smile. I really can't find anything that I would change, except one thing - it won't be six more years before we're back.

Thank you Laurent, and your team, for making our holiday truly wonderful.

Until next time.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear Londontripadviser
As a matter of fact, replying to a review whilst our esteemed guests are still enjoying their holidays with us, is also a first time for me!
I am ever so glad you made it safely for dinner last night after the late afternoon rainstorm and enjoyed some of our daily caught seafood:)

I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful comments you have just shared and I am pleased to know you are enjoying the tranquility of our beautiful island and the care of our team.

I truly hope we will not have to wait another 6 years to have you back with us and wish you a fantastic time for the remaining of your vacation on Cocoa!

Encore merci
Laurent
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

Cocoa Island is one of the most amazing places on this planet. With its pristine turquoise waters on top of the house reef, white sandy beaches like the pictures that make you want to take a holiday and the amazing overwater dhoni's and suites.

My wife and I choose Cocoa Island as our honeymoon destination earlier this year not only because if the fantastic feedback on trip advisor but also because it was so picturesque.

I sit here now having left Cocoa Island just a couple of days ago and I feel lost without my sun deck and friendly faces of the staff.

We stayed at Cocoa for 7 nights in the Dhoni Loft. It was huge, we had so much room and our own sun deck, an amazing bedroom on the second level and a lounge to get away from the hot sun. We lost track of time and days while on Cocoa Island because it was so relaxing and everyday we were doing different things.

Snorkling, spa treatments, sun baking, fish feeding, yoga ect... there is heaps to do :D

The staff at Cocoa are amazing, Shadul who greeted us at the airport and showed us around the resort was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Gustini the assistant manager who we kept bumping into around the island was very kind and polite, she helped us with our departure transfer due to a last minute change. Chris the food and beverage manager was great and really looked after us while dinning. (Compliments to the chefs as all the food was amazing), Also one last thank you to Aruna our personal cocktail maker (haha) he was fantastic to chat with and made our cocktail hours fun and enjoyable.

Thank you for a wonderful Honeymoon Cocoa Island - Wishing we were back there already.
Mr and Mrs Phillips.

Room Tip: 823, it is right in the middle of the dhoni lofts and has a nice flat sandy area at the bottom of th...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear David P
Greetings from sunny Cocoa!

Thank you for taking the time to share those wonderful comments on your recent stay with us. I am surely glad to hear your holiday was memorable and that each and every one of our team members meet your service expectations.

I am also pleased you have enjoyed our various activities and I will pass on your praise to our team immediately.

My team and I look forward to welcoming you back to Cocoa Island very soon!

Laurent Sola
General Manager
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Many thanks to my wife, she arranged this family trip. We just finished this trip no... i should call it life journey yesterday.

Nice staff
Thanks to Chef Sam who prepared for us the special foods, cake and baby foods. No more words for great service and fantastic foods.

Fabulous and amazing views
Best out of best
Laying at ur balcony or jump to the sea, do whatever u like.

From Liang and family

Stayed October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Dear Lin M
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this wonderful review on our hotel. I am ever so glad to hear you have enjoyed all the wonderful things Cocoa Island has to offer!

Your comments and words of encouragement will inspire us to continue our effort for service excellence.
I certainly hope that Cocoa Island have contributed to some fond memories that you and your family can hold dearly to and I thank you for your support of Cocoa Island.

My team and I look forward to welcoming you back to Cocoa Island very soon!

Best Regards

Laurent Sola
General Manager
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

WARNING - This will make you forever compare other hotels and resorts to this. I recently went to Boracay in the Philippines and caught myself saying "it was nice but it wasn't Maldives nice"!!!

This has got to be one of the ultimate hotels to stay at. I spent 5 nights in May with a friend and it was a beautiful and relaxing trip. The views are amazing as is the scuba diving and snorkeling.
It wasn't a cheap trip but from the moment you step off the boat you understand why it's priced the way it is and how it's worth it. I cannot recommend this place enough.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 23, 2013
Dear James695
“Merci 1000 fois” for the wonderful comments!!

I cannot start to thank you enough for the wonderful review you have just written.

I am very glad to hear you have enjoyed your holidays on our beautiful island and surely hope we will have the chance to welcoming you back here sometime soon.
All your comments and words of encouragement will inspire us to continue our effort for service excellence.

My team and I look forward to welcoming you back to Cocoa Island by Como this year!

Encore Merci!

Laurent Sola
General Manager
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Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

We love EVERYTHING about Coca Island by COMO - the total privacy and the simple, understated, yet luxurious feel it offers. We stayed in the Loft Villa for 5 nights and, luck us, there was no rains at all during our stay. The island itself was beyond wonderful...and it was only half an hour away on speedboat from the Male airport! The Loft, set over-water, had a great deck with stairs that went straight into the crystal clear water.. this was where spent most of our days lazing around and swimming. We also saw some turtles, rays, lion fish and reef sharks just from the walkways between our villa and the island! The beach around the island was wonderful, clean white sand everywhere and the oh-so-amazing sand bank.. The food was also delightful. Enough variety (all delicious, especially the pastas on dinner menu) that you wouldn't get bored eating here for weeks (a major factor for us for choosing this resort) And where else could you find the restaurant staff giving you diving tips?! Dive shop was well equipped and had knowledgeable staff. Most of all, we would like to thank Mr.Sola and all of his staff that made our stay very comfortable and special with their perfect 5-star, discreet service. We will definitely be back for more!

Room Tip: All rooms are over-water
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 23, 2013
Dear upsofast
Greetings from beautiful Cocoa!
“Merci” for the kind words. It has been a real pleasure to have you with us and I am extremely happy to read your review today.
My team and I remain at your service at anytime and we all look forward to having you back on our magical island very soon!
A très bientôt
Laurent
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Epsom, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

If you think cocoa island looks like paradise on the website, then you would be correct; however, no pictures can quite capture the beauty of the place - seeing is believing.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to visit cocoa islands then you are in for a real treat.

We stayed in a loft villa for 4 nights and the experience from start to finish of our short stay was amazing.

The villa was first class, with private terrace panoramic views of the ocean, it was of excellent build and finish quality, and had direct access to the sea for a swim before breakfast.

The food was excellent and they change the menu on a daily basis - the chef is extremely talented and the service from the staff was of the highest order - we put in a few requests 'off menu' and they were happy to oblige. (note: there is only one restaurant on the island, so this is the source of all your meals).

The additional services were also run with professionalism and to a high standard - we particularly enjoyed our catamaran trip and guided snorkelling.

On the money front; you get what you pay for - you get one of the most exclusive and heavenly places on earth. you pay for this privilege. For example, the restaurant is no different to a Michelin star restaurant in a major city.

Cocoa island is the type of place where you forget all of life's problems, a place to relax and de-stress - don't pack anything stuffy or formal!!!

A 'watch-out' for anyone booking through a travel agent or booking site - before booking i wasn't informed that there would be a speedboat transfer fee of $250 per person to get to and from the island - with hindsight, i'm not totally sure how i thought i was going to get to an island in the middle of the indian ocean... but it would have been nice to know this upfront.

I really can't think of anything negative to say - I had an amazing time and would certainly return, and have been checking my calendar on my first day back to see when this is at all possible. We just loved it.

Room Tip: all the rooms are amazing; however, i felt the extra for the loft villa was definitely worth it...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at Cocoa Island by COMO, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Neil S
Thank you for taking the time to share those wonderful comments on your recent stay with us and for registering especially for us!!. I am surely glad to hear your holiday was memorable and that each and every one of our team members meet your service expectations.

I am also pleased you have enjoyed our various food and beverage offers as well as your catamaran trip and the snorkeling..

Your comments and words of encouragement will inspire us to continue our effort for service excellence. Thank you again for your patronage.

My team and I look forward to welcoming you back to Cocoa Island very soon!

Laurent Sola
General Manager
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Additional Information about Cocoa Island by COMO

Also Known As:
Cocoa Island Hotel South Male Atoll
Cocoa Island Hotel
Cocoa Island Maldives
Cocoa Island
Hotel Cocoa Island
Cocoa Island By COMO Maldives/South Male Atoll
Address: Cocoa Island
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > South Male Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in South Male Atoll
#1 Romantic Hotel in South Male Atoll
#1 On the Beach Hotel in South Male Atoll
#1 Luxury Hotel in South Male Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Cocoa Island by COMO 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cocoa Island by COMO is a private island in the Maldives and offers measured simplicity in its design. Wrapped in white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, Cocoa Island is in close proximity to some of the best dive sites in the world. The tranquil setting is enhanced by the understated elegance of Cocoa Island’s 27 rooms, which resemble local dhoni fishing boats and feature direct access to the shallow lagoon. Ufaa, the resort’s restaurant, serves fresh local produce and seafood cooked in the Keralan style, while Faru bar overlooks the pristine infinity-edge pool. Cocoa Island’s spa, COMO Shambhala Retreat, offers rebalancing treatments, including Ayurveda, reflexology and a range of recuperative massages and facials. ... more   less 
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