Maldive: Cocoa Island by COMO, Maldives

A Nirvana For Exotic Souls

seeking the pleasures of luxurious seclusion in spectacular makunufushi.

The Maldives are a tropical jewel that exotically emerge from the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. On the easternmost South Malé atoll, known locally as Makunufushi, Cocoa Island by COMO presents the promise of nirvana with 33 spectacular overwater villas, a bio-diverse reef and exquisite cuisine. Recover your wellness with open-air yoga at the pavilion and discover the calming spirit of holistic, Asian-inspired treatments, including Ayurveda at the Como Shambhala Retreat.

At this spectacular award-winning villa, wooden walkways lead out to the idyllic properties (uniquely inspired by the traditional Dhoni boats — the gently curving wooden vessels used by local fishermen) that spread across the shallow, crystal lagoon. The exterior New Zealand pine and Kajan thatched roofs complement the natural interiors, which combine native elements and contemporary features with the subtlest nod towards local rustic aesthetics, reflecting the archipelago’s serene soul.

The warm Maldivian sea is literally a doorstep away from every room, each of which has its own private terrace. Slip into the warm sea from your open deck, or put on diving gear at the fully equipped on-site PADI scuba centre for a chance to see dolphins, turtles, manta rays, tuna, colourful corals and much more. Whether you begin the day diving into the lagoon from your private deck, or savouring a beach breakfast, days on Cocoa Island are delightfully unhurried.

Revel in the enchanting fusion of South Indian cuisine with European influences, with the highlight of locally caught fresh seafood at Ufaa (which means “happy” in Maldivian). The New Zealand-born Executive Chef Shane Avant draws his inspiration from the Malabar Coast’s rich gourmet heritage and local seafood. He heartily invents modern interpretations of Southeast Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. Favourites include tuna tartare with pomegranate dressing and masala-spiced whole lobster. With the organic COMO Shambhala Cuisine, health-conscious alternatives are always available at every meal. Three times a week, the restaurant offers a special set Indian, Thai and seafood barbeque dinner menu. Upon request, guests can also enjoy several private dining experiences in stunning locations across Cocoa Island. One such delight is the Sandbank Sunrise Breakfast where guests will be able to witness the first rays of morning sunlight on Cocoa Island over a gourmet breakfast selection served with a bottle of champagne. Sit back, relax and enjoy the pristine white sand and turquoise waters on your very own sandbank.

Unwind at the Faru bar by the infinity pool, while the artful bartenders put together refreshing cocktails and mocktails. A wide selection of fine wines and classic cigars are available alongside some easy beats at sunset.

Complete rejuvenation
The COMO Shambhala Retreat offers a wide choice of massage therapies that include Taksu Balinese massage and Thai massage, which is sometimes known as passive yoga. Apart from the nurturing COMO Shambhala Massage, which uses signature blended massage oils to completely calm the body and mind, indulge in Taksu massage, which is a strong and invigorating massage that increases blood circulation that helps release deeply held patterns of stress, leaving a feeling of being deeply nourished and at peace, aware, playful and harmonious with your natural state of being.
Rebalance mind, body and soul with all-natural treatments with Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian holistic healthcare. There are four different treatments at the COMO Shambhala Retreat:

A rhythmic Ayurvedic massage that uses specific herbal oils to stimulate the circulation of blood, lymph and prana (energy).

A deeply calming treatment where a steady stream of herbal oil is gently poured over the forehead and ajna (eyebrow) chakra.

A rejuvenating therapy that counteracts stress and calms the mind in which typical Ayurvedic special warm herbal oil is used to massage the entire body.

Abhyanga and Shirodhara
A combination of Abhyanga and Shirodhara to relieve shoulder and neck tension, this paired therapy begins with Abhyanga, a rhythmic massage that uses herbal oils to stimulate the circulation of blood, lymph and prana (energy). This is followed by Shirohara, during which a steady stream of oil is gently poured over the forehead to improve clarity of mind.

Cocoa Island by COMO also offers tutelage in the deep yoga breathing technique known as pranayama. With private guided sessions, guests looking for meditation in the Maldives can learn the healing powers of this traditional practice. Yoga enthusiasts can also enjoy yoga and feel as one with nature at the open-air pavilion.

Giving back to nature: Coral Propagation Project
Guests at this luxurious nirvana can learn about and get involved in helping to protect the surrounding underwater environment. Through the resort’s Coral Propagation Project, you can contribute to the reef’s regeneration through sponsoring a frame – these encourage the growth of new coral and, for the locals who build them, provide an alternative livelihood. Plant the frame in situ, view its progress online and return to check up on the coral growth on a guided snorkelling tour on your next visit.