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Reviewed 6 April 2011

Cocoa Island is a well managed, small (33 room) hotel. The staff are wonderful and service is exceptional, especially Mr. Vijay Baskar who manages their one and only restaurant. The food is the best part of the entire stay as it is fresh and the ingredients are flown in from all over the world. The Italian Chef takes great pride in ensuring that you are not disappointed with any of your meals and we certainly weren't. Though we enjoyed our stay, there are a few things that we were not aware of after reading all the superlative reviews on TripAdvisor.

1) It is frightfully expensive so be prepared to spend 50% of your room rate or more per day on meals, excursions etc. as you are their captive audience. The diving is especially expensive if you are a new diver. The introductory dives cost over $200 per person.

2) The beach gets a lot of trash every day that flats in from neighbouring islands. We saw bottles, plastic bags, and other trash that washed onshore and into the waters around the water villas and onto the beaches daily.

3) There is an extremely ugly make-shift house-structure on a floater in the lagoon that has pipes sticking out of it and into the water and scum floating around it. It can be viewed from all the guest rooms and when walking to the reception. It also smells from time to time.

4) There is a sewage smell between rooms 818 and 819 at certain times of the day. Avoid these.

5) The reef has lots of action (numerous resident black tip sharks, sting rays, fish). However, while swimming on the beach, you should expect a black tip shark to pass by (they are as afraid of you as you are of them) but it certainly makes for a freak-out response initially. The other thing to be aware of is that if you are wading through the beach/ lagoon, you have to shuffle as there are numerous sting rays in the water that you don't want to bump into. We didn't wade in the shallow waters but a few other guests did and advised us to shuffle so we didn't step on a ray. We saw a giant (2 metre long) sting ray outside our villa one evening and numerous others all stay. Our room also had 3 lionfish that spent their afternoons near the steps leading from our water villa into the water. These fish are dangerous and it made for very cautious and tentative ventures into and out of the water from our villa. Lastly, the hotel informs guests right away that their reef is home to numerous triggerfish that attack snorklers/ divers when they lay their eggs. Indeed, we bumped into a couple of them and had to change course in a panic. The hotel tells guests about an incident when a guest was bitten by a triggerfish. Though the warning is helpful, they should also advise guests about the rays, sharks and lionfish.

6) You can view 3 other adjacent, inhabited islands from most rooms and a plethora of boats/ yachts/ cruiseships. Though this is not a problem as such, it certainly doesn't lend itself to the deserted island experience/ vista that one can get in so many places in the Maldives. The only drawback of being close to Maldivian civilization is the trash mentioned in point 2 above.

All in all, we enjoyed our time at Cocoa though we are unlikely to go back anytime soon. In the $1000-$1250 price point, there are many other options to choose from and try in the Maldives and we will explore those next

Room Tip: Avoid rooms 818 and 819. Get the Loft Villa.
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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50  Thank KitchieKai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laurent_Sola, General Manager at COMO Cocoa Island, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2012

Dear KitchieKai

Recently being appointed as General Manager of Cocoa Island, I am reviewing all comments related to the property and came to realize that your comments posted in 2009 were unfortunately unanswered.

I understand that after that many years so much can be done to recover from the above mentioned issues but I wanted anyhow to let you know that each and every guest comments counts to us and will be acted upon immediately in case of disappointments.

I apologize your previous stay with us which did not meet your expectations and surely hope you will reconsider visiting us some days so that we may truly showcase the level of service our team is able to deliver.

Until then, I remain at your service. Thank you again for your patronage.

Laurent Sola
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2011

We spent a wonderful week in this great resort. Service was excellent as well as the food. Staff is extremely kind and discrete. Diving center and Spa center are among the best in Maldives. Walking on the beach at sunset is something you will never forget. It was our second time in the island and we are planning to go back again. You can define Cocoa as a "simple luxury" resort.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Giolella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2011

My wife and I just returned from 6 days at Cocoa Island or Makunufushi to give it's local name. All the superlatives on this site could not prepare us for what we found.

This is the perfect desert island in the most incredible blue sea. The waters are rich in marine life and although we snorkelled each day we also saw reef sharks, stingrays and dolphin from our bed on the beach or the steps on the back of our Dhoni. Much is made of the Titan Trigger fish but we were in the water every day and saw only one which swam away from us.

Our room was a Dhoni loft suite. The Dhoni (boat) had glass doors at the rear opening on to a small veranda with steps down into the water. This and the bed being in the loft made the suite large and comfortable with no sense of being in a hotel room. Rooms were serviced twice a day and were spotlessly clean.

Don't expect evening entertainment or lively crowds. This is a place to go with someone special. To enjoy nature at it's best and to be pampered by eager and enthusiastic staff. Food is excellent and offers a clever mix of local and international dishes which seem to satisfy the ethnic mix of the guests

There is no doubt that this is an expensive place to stay but standards are very high. From the moment you emerge from Male's small airport the team look after all your needs.

Good food and very comfortable accommodation in the most beautiful location imaginable. We can't wait to return

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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96  Thank Kevin_Birkett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2011

A wonderful stay, great location and service. A special mention for the food and a very special one for the diving center with a nice staff from the cute instructor (hein Ben ;-)) to the boat staff. The diving and the sealife were wonderful.
If you are looking 4 a place to relax and dive just go there.
The resort also try to respect the environnement as they are now using glass bottles instead of plastic ones.
If you go there (as well as some other places where they don't recycle plastic) please come back home with your plastic wastes to preserve the sea from too much human impact.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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22  Thank 2etoiles2mer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2011

We stayed at Cocoa Island for nine nights in mid December for some much need rest and relaxation. We stayed in a Dhoni Loft Suite which was beautiful and more than enough space, snorkling off the deck into crystal clear waters first thing in the morning was just wonderful. The house reef teaming with fish and coral is just meters away.

All the staff are delightful and helpful and the general manager, Felix does an excellent job in overseeing everything and making sure you are getting the most out of your stay. We particularly enjoyed discovering scuba diving. The dive centre was great, friendly and experienced instructors and the diving excellent. We were blown away by the coral and marine life we saw on our dives and are now hooked!

The spa was fantastic too - we had some wonderful massages. We also took advantage of the daily complimentary yoga. The food is very good and there was always a large selection to choose from - all very fresh and dishes well executed. We opted for half board, however unless you really want to eat a three course dinner every night, I would suggest not taking this option.

The only small niggle was that the noise of the AC units did disturb our sleep, however this would not be enough to put us off going back, no way!!! All round it was an excellent holiday and we were enchanted by Cocoa Island. If you are looking for laid back bare foot understated luxury this is your place.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Hannah76London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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