In the spirit of World Oceans Day, the Maldives established a record number of protected marine areas last week in what many consider to be the most spectacular atoll in the Maldives, Baa. The map above links through to the UNESCO map of the areas.
The first 5 areas are in a string right across the centre of the atoll, and at the eastern edge is Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. In fact, Dhuni Kolhu is right next to Hanifaru Reef, the closest any resort is to a protected area.
Speaking of French beauty and fashion lately, if you are looking for a different sort of ‘natural beauty’ or ‘stunning scenery’, then Coco Palm Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is the place to go from 11-18th November when they are hosting the Miss France 2011 contestants for a range of activities and photo shoots.
PS. I think it is intriguing that the Soneva resorts (Fushi and Gili) and the Coco Palm resorts (Bodu Hithi and Dhuni Kolhu) seem to be vying for the title of most cool events (check out the ‘Events’ section of the ‘Best Of’ page).
With such direct and high profile self-interest, the Maldives have not only been leading the calls for environmental action, but have been leading the way with their own actions. I have covered many of these pioneering initiatives recently (Eco-Friendly Villas, Nature Conservation, Eco-Friendly Resort, Reefscaping, Marine Protected Reserve). Yesterday, 27th March, marked ’60 Earth Hour’ – “global event organized by WWF (World Wildlife Fund), inviting individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off their non-essential lighting and power for one hour, to show their support for action on climate change.”
Not only did Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu mark the hour by switching off all lights, but they actually switched off all the islands generators and power. They further celebrated the occasion with tree planting that brought together the resort staff and the guests.
Many people think of a trip to the Maldives as a holiday *of* a lifetime, but now Coco Bodu Hithi are offering a trip *for* a lifetime.
“Would you like to win your holiday for a lifetime? Win a fabulous two week holiday on Coco Palm Bodu Hithi….EVERY YEAR…for a lifetime!!! The prize includes a stay for 2 persons at our Club Coco Palm on Coco Bodu Hithi for 2 weeks (14 nights) on half board, including airport transfers with a speedboat. Simply take part in our competition game and collect 10 “Coco Coins”. If you collect 10 “Coco Coins” you have a very good chance to win this fabulous prize. You can enter the competition at any point in time! Browse through our new website in the time period between January 25th and March 4th, 2010 and search for hidden suitcases. You will find a new suitcase every day from Mondays to Thursdays, somewhere on our English website. Simply click onto the suitcase and remember the item that is hidden in the suitcase. Every found item equals 1 “Coco Coin”. Repeat looking for hidden suitcases until March 4th and collect 10 “Coco Coins” in total. The last hidden suitcase will give you the chance to put your 10 collected “Coco Coins” into the competition draw, by filling out the provided form.”
I’ve looked several time through the website in the past few days and I couldn’t find a single suitcase, but maybe you all be more eagle eyed.
One of the most memorable and distinctive excursion that one can do on a Maldives visit is the deserted island experience. Various resorts offer day trips, picnic visits, BBQs, snorkelling outings and a range of other day excursions to local even tinier, even more remote uninhabited islands. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu has one of the best arrays of excursions that I have seen from ‘Magical Mornings’ to ‘Island Afternoons’. But they don’t stop at sunset, and the most distinctive trip is their ‘Overnight on a Desert Island’ excursion…
“A once in a lifetime experience…Spend one night together on a deserted Maldivian Island, Robinson Crusoe style. Your experience begins with Romantic Red Sunset journey by Dhoni as you sip a cool glass of Sparkling Wine…Your own private Chef attentively prepared Fresh Seafood and the choicest cuts of meat tenderly barbecued to the savoured under the stars as the moonlight reflects from the silver sea. The exotic choice of Maldivian Lobster, Tiger Prawns, Sirloin Steak, Lamb Chops, and fresh Reef Fish from the Lagoon will leave you spoilt for choice. After Dinner stroll around the beach to your Rustic Beach Hut which has been carefully prepared for you. This accommodation follows a traditional beach hut style yet still provides some of the comforts of home. In the morning your private butler will deliver your breakfast to enjoy on the beach of your Island before returning to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. This is a Uniquely Coco Experience that will live on long after your vacation is over.”
My wife and I visited this desert island for an afternoon picnic and private snorkelling excursion when we visited Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and had a truly memorable afternoon in idyllic and romantic remoteness. An absolutely top activity.
Many of the resorts hold special ‘beach dinners’ which sometimes are just part of the normal agenda and sometimes incur a supplement charge. Do not miss these. Not only is there usually a distinctive buffet of locally caught seafood and local dishes (or whatever the theme is), but also the pleasure of eating by candle-light with your bare feet in the warm sand and the ocean gently lapping the shore a few feet away is one of the most idyllic dining experiences.
But you don’t have to wait until ‘beach buffet’ night. Most of the restaurants are right beside the beach, but often their tables are under an enclosure. Often the enclosure is not much more than a thatched roof. We always ask if we can have our table moved from the electric light lit enclosed area onto the beach itself closer to the water and under the countless stars. Sometimes the wait staff get a little thrown off balance by the request, but in general the people there are so service oriented, so relaxed and friendly, they are willing to accommodate. It is a small adjustment that transforms each evening’s dinner from delightful to divine.
(The picture above is our family at the Coco Palm beach restaurant nestled in the palm trees during the day to protect against the sun, but where we moved our tables out to the water’s edge in the background at night).