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Barefoot Luxury at Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu
In the heart of the Baa Atoll a 30-minute scenic seaplane transfer from Malé, this barefoot oasis of family-run, authentically Maldivian boutique charm is eco-friendly to boot. With its thatched-roof beach and overwater villas and its rustic and organic yet elegant feel, it’s a place to truly get away from it all amidst incredible wildlife including manta rays and lesser frigate birds.
There’s a PADI dive centre and snorkelling – including guided tours with a marine biologist – to allow you to get up close and personal with the local marine life, along with other water sports such as catamaran sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing, with tuition where required. There are also thrilling excursions including sailing safaris, fishing trips, private sunset cruises and dolphin-watching trips.
Perhaps best of all, the island is a nesting site for endangered green sea turtles and has its own turtle rescue centre, where you can join the marine biologist and resident vet releasing hatchlings into the ocean in season.
Situated in a UNESCO biosphere reserve, this resort hosts unique curated experiences including private picnics or barbecues on its own deserted island of Embudhoo, a 15-minute boat ride away. You can even spend a night in the island’s traditional beach hut.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu also has strong links with neighbouring islands and guests can take a boat trip to visit local artisans on Thulhaadhoo, famed for its lacquerwork – a way of really getting under the skin of this destination as well as supporting regional communities.
Among Coco’s other sustainable initiatives are a kitchen garden that provides herbs, fruits and vegetables for the restaurants and bars and for the private dining, which included candlelit dinners for two, sunrise breakfasts on the beach, Maldivian afternoon teas and in-villa barbecues.
At mealtimes and between, chose from the hidden-away Cornus Restaurant for island flavours and barbecued fish and meats with Thai influences, Cowrie Restaurant with its thatched roof and live cooking stations, the stylish, toes-in-the-sand Conch Bar for creative cocktails, beers, wines and light bites and snacks into the small hours, and the Beach Bar with its all-day island-inspired cocktails and mocktails with sunset views. You can also sign up for Maldivian cookery classes and take some new culinary skills home with you as a lasting legacy of your time in paradise.
This is a relatively intimate resort of just 98 villas, all decorated in warm woods and other tactile natural materials and with a restful palette of natural hues. The overwater lagoon villas all have four-poster beds and private splash pools, while the beachfront and oceanfront villas (some of which are sunset-facing) have their own terrace and garden, and some have four-posters, open-air bathrooms with sunken tubs and private plunge pools.
When it comes to pampering, you can choose between the sleek spa with its five treatment rooms and the in-room therapies performed in your own villa. Whichever you choose, tempting options to rejuvenate body and mind include spice baths and Ayurvedic treatments. There’s also the chance to book a private sunrise yoga session on the beach for those who want to get up and greet the day in this sensational part of the world.
For more information or to book your barefoot luxury stay in the Maldives, get in touch today. You’ll benefit from full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.
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The Mediterranean islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino may be small but they pack a serious cultural punch to add to their allure as a beach destination. This archipelago is drenched in history, and as well as its Roman ruins, medieval castles, walled cities and atmospheric forts you’ll find a whole array of festivals and other events to join in with – ones that will help you truly get under the skin of this compelling country