Como Cocoa Island, the Maldivian private island resort in South Malé Atoll, will reopen to guests on January 9th after a substantial renovation.
Work included a renewed focus on the holistic wellness ethic that sits at the heart of the founder’s vision.
“The moment I first encountered Cocoa, something about its spirit snagged me,” said Christina Ong, owner of Como Hotels & Resorts:
“When I walked to the end of the island, and looked back along its sandbank, it felt so graceful and healing - an effect I wanted to amplify for every guest when I first created the resort in 2002.”
The island had previously belonged to a German photographer called Eric Klemm.
Since the 1970s, Klemm had let the palms grow and the wild hibiscus was thriving.
The resort’s 2019 renovation emphasises the island’s natural elegance, while giving guests even more space and time to focus on their wellbeing.
A third of the private island is occupied by Como Shambhala Retreat.
Facilities are spread out to maximise feelings of privacy and quiet, with hammocks and swings strung from trees.
There are only four treatment rooms, two of which have been expanded to accommodate couples.
The size of each treatment room, and its positioning among the palms, not only give a profound feeling of indulgence but allow therapists to fulfil the retreat’s full- and half-day multi-treatment paths without moving guests from one room to another.
A new Pilates studio has been added.
The yoga studio, which sits in an elevated position to take in the 360-degree lagoon views, is open-sided to allow for the natural flow of sea breezes.
The hydrotherapy pool is now among the most significant such facilities in the Maldives, and is used for specialised water-based treatments, including joint-mobilising massage and injury free exercise.
“The Maldives have become a highly competitive market,” said Olivier Jolivet, chief executive of the Como Group.
“Luxury hotel companies keep raising the ante, from building ‘reclaimed islands’, to tunnelling out underwater wine cellars.
“Sometimes we forget that nature is powerful, and simplicity has a very important role to play in modern luxury.
“Como Cocoa Island is like a jewel in the Como Group portfolio: it has a unique soul, which we strive to match with the grace and passion of our staff.”