Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu review – honeymoon inspiration
It was the night before my other half and I were due to jet-off for a trip to a paradise island in the Indian Ocean. So why on earth was I in tears?
There was no forgotten passport or last-minute foreign currency crisis.
I was blubbing with happiness as we enjoyed a meal together at a Manchester airport hotel the night before departure.
The day before I had married my wonderful husband, James, and enjoyed the most perfect weekend of celebrations surrounded by our fantastic friends and family.
And in the morning, the new Mr and Mrs McMath were heading away for a honeymoon at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives.
We couldn’t wait to get married life off to a relaxing start after organising a wedding, moving house twice and starting new jobs in the 12 months before.
And the pampering began before we had even arrived at our five-star destination – a member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World club.
We were flying business class with Emirates and, as such, were whisked through to one of the comfortable lounge areas to enjoy complimentary drinks, sandwiches and snacks while we waited to board.
On the plane, we settled into our huge, comfortable seats and supped a glass of cool Champagne, toasting ourselves on what a good decision it had been to upgrade.
Before we knew it, we were on our way for our seven-hour flight to Dubai where we had to change before another five-hour stint to Male, the capital of the Maldives.
On touching down in Male, we headed for our final flight, this time on a Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane – perhaps the only airline operator in the world whose pilots wear flip-flops.
The sea plane, while noisy, gave us a great chance to see from the air some of the hundreds of islands that make up the nation.
We made a smooth landing next to a jetty where a traditional Maldivian boat – a dhuni – arrived to ferry us on to the island and our home for the next 10 days.
With the powder-soft sand beneath our feet, we surveyed our new surroundings.
There were spotless white beaches surrounded by a crystal clear lagoon, which gave way to deeper blue sea.
The buildings complemented the natural beauty of the island and we could hardly contain our excitement as we enjoyed a fruit cocktail before being taken to our deluxe beach villa with its huge double bed and vast outdoor bathroom.
We had our own private beach, garden, plunge pool and terrace on which to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets.
From there, well, it was pure pleasure all the way. Our days started with a leisurely buffet breakfast eaten in the main Cowrie restaurant where there was a huge choice of everything.
We were on a breakfast-only stay which gave us a chance to enjoy eating the island’s delicious food at the Thai restaurant the Cornus, as well as the Conch bar and the Cowrie.
We settled into a routine that saw us retreat to the beach after breakfast to read, chat and swim or snorkel in the sea and maybe take a walk around the entire island, which took about 15 minutes.
Then it was on to the Conch bar for lunch were there was an international flavour of choices.
After that, it was back to the villa to change for our evening meal. We tried all the dining options during our stay and the food was always excellent.
We also enjoyed special treats such as a massage in the island’s spa and a dolphin-watching trip. But our favourite excursion was a private cinema screening under the clear night sky.
We relaxed on loungers and were served champagne, popcorn and ice-cream while we settled down to watch a movie.
There were many other excursions we could have tried, but we were happy just spending time together.
It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but one I hope to share with my husband again later in our married life.