Believe it or not my lovely new hubby was not immediately sold when I first floated the idea of honeymooning in the Maldives.
“But what is there to do in the Maldives?” he innocently asked.
Aside from the fact that after all the prep and stress of hosting a destination wedding my ideal honeymoon involved doing a lot of nothing, his assumption actually turned out to be very wrong. During our 4 days at Coco Bodu Hithi we hardly stopped as we flitted from pool to spa to ocean to dinner – wrapped up in this very best kind of busy. So taken with the marine life was Justin that I often had to lure him out of the water with the promise of food. ( The fish are pretty much all he’s talked about since we got back to Sydney!)
So for any couples considering a romantic escape to the Maldives I thought I would round up our favourite experiences. There’s a whole host of activities you can book at your resort but these were the ones that worked perfectly for us honeymooners.
The house reef at Coco Bodu Hithi is absolutely incredible. The first day we stuck our snorkels underwater just outside our villa we both immediately popped our heads back up again to exclaim ‘wow’. To put the variety and colour of marine life into context I can tell you that during our time in Thailand we travelled for 90 minutes by speedboat from the mainland to snorkel at the remote Surin Islands. It was a fantastic experience but one that was wholly matched by the reef a mere stroke from our accommodation in the Maldives.
We hired snorkel gear from the resort our very first morning and used them several times a day as we checked out different parts of the reef that surrounds the island. Highlights included spotting Oriental Sweetlips, Black-footed Anemone Fish, Magnificent Sea Anemones and one of the local Hawksbill Sea Turtles, Nikolaj.
Some days you didn’t even need to be in the water to spot reef sharks and manta rays as they floated past the restaurants. We also took part in a guided snorkel with the resort’s marine biologist Lisa, who taught us about the ocean and marine life in this region and arranged our encounter with Nikolaj.
If snorkelling was Justin’s favourite activity then visiting the spa was definitely mine. From the moment I saw the overwater treatment rooms with outdoor jacuzzis at Coco Spa I felt incredibly indulged and that feeling continued as we experienced 2 different couples massages during our stay.
Our first massage was a Balinese influenced oil massage, which eased out the kinks from the flight over, but the second package we treated ourselves to was a special honeymooners offer, which I can only describe as 2 hours of complete bliss. My treatment involved a full body coconut polish (surprisingly comforting on my slightly sunburned skin) followed by a facial and finished with a Coco Fusion Massage. Justin, meanwhile, had the fusion massage and facial (his first facial, verdict: a winner) and a foot reflexology session, which basically converted this spa-shy man into a complete fan. The treatment rooms overlooked the turquoise ocean and as we were handed a fresh coconut drink and stick of dark chocolate to end the treatment we both agreed it was the most mellow we had felt in years.
So here’s an activity I didn’t expect to be putting on this list but hear me out! Experiencing the Maldivian traditional hand-line fishing is something that guests of the resort can book at any time of day. Our hosts suggested we try it one overcast afternoon and I agreed, thinking it would be something fun for Justin to do whilst I watched.
No sooner had I been handed the line, however, when I suddenly felt most eager to feel a tug. Several times during the excursion, which Justin and I had all to ourselves, I felt sure I was going to reel something big in only to lose it at the last minute. Our captain was more successful though and kindly let me reel in a snapper he had hooked so I felt some form of satisfaction. He also came very close to catching a barracuda, the big fish of these waters, but the beast hopped off the hook as soon as I held the line. Better luck next time!
It’s wonderful to get out on the water in the Maldives as the reef-sheltered bays are so calm and clear. Our first evening in the Maldives saw Justin and I climb onto the roof of a traditional Dhoni and sink into beanbags as we were served delicate canapés and a glass of bubbly.
We were just 1 of 2 couples on this sunset cruise and although the evening was a little cloudy it was fantastic to see the resort from the water, having arrived in the dark the night before. The boat gently circles the island, serving cold drinks and pink skies, before depositing you back to the hotel in time for dinner.
This is something I was incredibly keen to experience in the Maldives but sadly it was the wrong time of the year for the sandbanks in this region. For those that haven’t heard of it, a sandbank is those remote islands of pure white sand you see on Pinterest that the hotel can arrange to sail you to for a private picnic lunch or dinner.
Although I was disappointed not to get to visit one (this time!) I did appreciate the honesty of our butler, Mohan, who said it wouldn’t be idyllic at this time of year due to the tide patterns. At least this way we have something fantastic saved for our next Maldives visit.
We did enjoy a number of fantastic dining experiences though, my favourite of which was on the terrace of our villa. Mohan, our helpful Lifestyle Host, came to our villa to take our order one morning and then served up a veritable breakfast feast on our private terrace overlooking the water.
It was sublime to slowly enjoy our coffee, pastries (and the rest!) at our leisure in complete privacy and then follow it up with a dip in the plunge pool to cool off afterwards. If we’d stayed longer I’d definitely have done this a few times.
We also enjoyed a wonderful meal at the resort’s Aqua Restaurant, which has private pavilions over the water at the opposite end of the island from our villa. Here we caught the last purple rays of the sun as we sampled the local seafood and Asian-inspired dishes.
Most nights we found ourselves wanting to return to our villa and simply watch the stars but one night during our stay the hotel held their outdoor cinema in the sand at Latitude Beach. The set up itself looked like a scene out of a movie as couples snuggled in low couches, candles flickered and wait staff served cocktails directly to the sandy seats. I can’t even remember what the movie was because I was so taken by the backdrop – the night sky, the ocean, the moonlight. For ultimate romance the hotel can arrange a private moonlight cinema experience – I can only imagine how special that would be.
The last night of our stay we came back to the villa to find a wonderful surprise in the bathroom. Housekeeping had filled the sunken marble bathtub with bubbles and petals and left a beautiful message on the bed too.
We threw open the doors to let in the night air, which mingled with the incense the housekeeper had lit, and had a long soak whilst listening to the ocean. I believe they call this honeymoon heaven!
All activities mentioned above can be booked via the team at Coco Bodu Hithi – either at reception or via your Lifestyle Host if staying in a Coco Residence. Check out the weekly newsletter for timetables, pricing and special offers.
I was a guest of Coco Collection although we arranged and paid for some of the activities mentioned above – including that incredible honeymooners spa package. For more information about Coco Bodu Hithi check out my previous post or visit their website.
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