Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Travel: Cocoa Island by COMO, Maldives (Day 5)

Our flight home was scheduled for midnight out of Male, so I didn't know how they would accommodate our late check-out. We were told that they would put us down for late check-out, but would not be able to confirm until closer to the date of our departure. They scheduled our speedboat transfer back to the hotel for 8:30pm.

At dinner on our last night, we were informed that the guests staying in our suite after us had requested early check-in, so we would not be able to stay in our room for late check-out. They said, we could either choose to stay in our room until normal check out (12pm) and make use of the day lounge for the rest of the day, or move out of our room early morning of our last day and use another suite until 8pm. We decided on the latter, and were moved to a One Bedroom Villa.

Here are pictures of the larger One Bedroom Villa which we used from 7am until 8pm. To be perfectly honest, we both preferred our original room because it felt cozier, and was already plenty spacious for the two of us! But I'm sure if we stayed in this suite from the start, it would have felt better than the Dhoni Suite ;)

Our temporary day use suite - One Bedroom Villa

Bigger room!

Sleeping area - I didn't like the lower ceiling in this area

Larger sitting area

Just one lounge chair, but twice as wide!

Wide open "backyard"

Much larger deck

Extremely large bathroom with double sinks

Forgot to take pictures of the shower in this room too! It's twice as large.

This suite has an outdoor shower as well. The entrance is off the door in the bathroom. We didn't try it though.

There were a lot of little black tip reef shark over here on our last day. They are so cute!

Reef shark

Since it was the last day, I decided to get a photo with Bird.

Me and Bird :D

We also decided to take a walk down the sandbar:

So serene

Soft soft sand

I don't think I've ever been this happy in NJ...

Cory is also happy!

Another hermit crab stranded on my flip flop

Another manta ray spotted!


We wanted to take these shells and dead coral home with us as souveniers, but I read online that you're not supposed to take these things from the Maldives, so I threw them back into the water from our back deck. But we have the photo!

It took 60 shots to get this picture just right!

The restaurant was able to accommodate us an hour early for dinner, so we could be on our speedboat at 8:30 back to the airport! They really make every effort with you here, it's just wonderful.

OK! Let's do a roundup of Cocoa Island, shall we?

  • Private, secluded location
  • Exemplary service (friendly, but not overbearing, and not snobby at all)
  • Beautiful rooms that felt more like a well-decorated luxury home, rather than a hotel
  • Extremely comfortable beds, day-bed and loungers
  • Extra late check-out with no extra cost
  • Amazing breakfast (included in room rate)
  • Terrific dive shop (although for the level of this resort, they should really have dry snorkels)
  • Daily special events (fish feeding, live music at dinner, etc.)
  • Fresh fruit (changed daily), Nespresso machine, and safe
  • Flip flops and straw purse available for use
  • Free, reliable wifi throughout the island
  • Fish and other creatures frequently visible from the dock around the rooms!

  • The restaurant, Ufaa, is a bit expensive, and I did not understand why they charged for still water when it was free in our rooms
  • Shower stall grout needed a good scrubbing
  • Housekeeping comes really late in the day
  • it might have been better for us to call reception and ask them for earlier housekeeping
  • Price (being presented with the final bill at checkout is so shocking, I've blanked it out of my memory, but I think it was worth it. Probably.)

Bottom Line: I am so, so, SO happy we ended our honeymoon in Cocoa Island. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Although the price is very high, you definitely get what you pay for, and if you go during the low season, it's not too terrible (just don't think of going during Christmas to New Year, though! Their prices are astronomical during those two weeks!) The food at Ufaa is surprisingly very, very good, and the service is just perfect. I have such incredible memories from our stay here, and I hope we can come back again soon!

The End

Our flight home was uneventful, but terrible, because we had to fly back in Economy. 12 hours from Male to Istanbul, a couple hours layover with very strict security, and then another 8 hours back to JFK. The two teenagers sitting behind us were so irritating -- I can't write about them without getting annoyed all over again, but I know Cory was on the verge of snapping. Our checked luggage was about half hour delayed, due to the wonderful incompetency of ground staff at JFK. Very Important Passengers were lashing out very rudely to the woman who was only the messenger. :( This was then followed by about 3 hours of public transportation back home via MTA and NJ Transit. This is the kind of warm welcome home after coming back from the Maldives that makes you hate Real Life (TM). I won't write any more about the journey home, but suffice to say, we've been back for over 2 months, and are still suffering from Cocoa Island Withdrawal Symptoms.

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