A MALDIVIAN ECO PARADISE
A Maldivian Eco Paradise - Luxury Travel Magazine
A Maldivian Eco Paradise
|By: Luxury Travel Magazine, Issue 46 – Autumn 11|
|COCO PALM DHUNI KOLHU IS AS COMMITTED TO THE ENVIRONMENT AS IT IS TO OFFERING GUESTS AN ULTRA-LUXURIOUS RESORT STAY. LUXURY TRAVEL MAGAZINE REPORTS.|
|A wave of panic washes over us. What on earth would we do stranded on a desert island? Admittedly, it’s not really a life or death situation. Reclining on sun lounges, under a canopy of thick vegetation that provides shade from the scorching Maldivian sun, we peek into the giant picnic basket stocked with all the essentials. Champagne, juice, water and a generous portion of tasty treats on offer certainly wouldn’t see us starve. |
Crystal clear turquoise water laps at our feet and behind us is a rustic sand-floor hut housing a queen-sized bed with metres of mosquito netting draped dreamily from the ceiling. There’s even an outdoor shower and toilet to complete the picture. Privacy doesn’t matter, as we are the only ones on the island for the duration of our stay. I have a hunch we’ll be okay as we settle in for an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing.
Guests at nearby Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu resort can take part in this Robinson Crusoe-style eco adventure on your own private island, for an afternoon or an overnight stay. During an overnight stay, a private chef from the resort, will even travel over by a traditional boat, called a dhoni, to create a magnificent five-star feast for you and your loved one before leaving you to enjoy a romantic meal under the stars. It is all part of the resort’s plan to encourage people to turn off from technology and tune into nature.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu – one of three Maldivian luxury escapes in the Coco Palm Resort Collection - has recently stepped up its eco initiatives and was awarded the second highest level of eco achievement by Earthcheck, the tourism industry’s largest environmental management system.
Waste management, recycling everything on the island, a coral reef rejuvenation program and water treatment are just some of the initiatives being undertaken. But while Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu obviously takes its eco commitment seriously, it does so without compromising on luxury for guests who flock to the island to recharge each year. Last year, its commitment to luxury was recognized at the World Travel Awards when it won the Maldives Leading Resort category.
The feel good factor the resort generates is why it’s not unusual to meet repeat guests who call the resort home for a few weeks every year. General Manager Raffaele Solferino talks of a guest who has visited 18 times with no sign of stopping his twice-yearly retreats.
The resort is on a private island of the same name (Dhuni Kolhu) which is on the Baa Atoll, just a 25-minute seaplane journey away from the country’s capital of Male. It is a world away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
On the island, you won’t find any televisions or Internet in any of the 98-thatched roof villas nestled privately in the lush tropical landscape or on stilts over the lagoon. There isn’t a pool either but you don’t need one with a stunning lagoon and world-class snorkeling action revealing a kaleidoscope of color all around you. Meandering along the sandy pathways thick with wild, untouched indigenous vegetation, is like walking in your own air-conditioned bubble. And taking away technology hasn’t meant scrimping on luxury with beach villas all featuring soaring conical thatched roofs, four poster beds made for romance, curved unevenly plastered walls, cooling terracotta tiled floors and private, open-air bathrooms so you can shower under a night sky. At 87 square metres the villas aren’t large but perfectly built for two.
Deluxe beach villas go one better with a sunken bath and private freshwater plunge pool on the outdoor terrace. The all-timber water villas sneak in a few extra indulgences such as Jacuzzi bathroom and plunge pools on large sundecks. If you really want to up the luxury quota, book yourself into one of only two top of the line super spacious and private sunset villas with splash pools and decks facing directly out to the horizon. Sunset cocktails have never tasted so good.
The resort’s common areas are architecturally more impressive than most with large tent-like thatched pavilions for reception, restaurant and bar areas. You won’t be bored with the menu either with plenty of dining options on offer from traditional Maldivian feasts to European, American and even Thai cuisine. Try the seafood barbeque under the stars. At sunset you’ll have to grab your spot early at the waterside Conch Bar where colorful tropical cocktails are the key to enjoying the sunset view from your reclining beach chair. Guests that need a little more holiday action can go dolphin watching, sunset fishing, diving or even take a trip to a nearby local island village.
With palm-fringed icing sugar beaches and brilliant azure ocean as your backdrop, you can’t really go wrong doing as little or as much as you like – all while keeping your eco conscience clear.
|Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu|
Ph: +960 660 0011
|Rates: A Beach Villa starts from US$414 (about A$404) per villa per night. A Sunset Lagoon Villa starts from US$1,215 (about A$1,209) per villa per night.|
|Malaysia Airlines flies to the Maldivian capital Male via Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth with return fares starting from A$1,264 for economy and A$4,160 for business class.|
From Male, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is accessed by a 30-minute seaplane flight, and return transfers can be booked directly through the property and start at US$320 (about A$317).
|When To Go|
|The Maldives has a dry and wet season, however the temperatures vary only slightly, so you can visit all year round. With two distinct monsoon seasons, increased rainfall is experienced from July to August and November to March. |