Beach + Island

Our Favorite Islands

by Bob Payne

The island: Cocoa Island, Maldives

The goods: Some people come to the Maldives for the cultural experience, but that's most likely because they got on the wrong plane, thinking they were going to Madagascar. The real reason to visit the Maldives, where virtually every one of the 90-something resorts is on its own diminutive white-sand island, is to swim, snorkel, or dive in water so clear you'll feel as if you are being held aloft by angels. Cocoa Island is about a quarter mile long, and the only resort has overwater bungalows designed to look like traditional dhoni fishing boats—inspired and elegant. No doubt this is because they were created by Malaysian architect Cheong Yew Kwan, with interiors by Asian fashion trendsetter Christina Ong, the force behind Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos.

Be sure to: Bring a book—and someone guaranteed to distract you from it—as once you're out of the water, there's little else to do except luxuriate in the sand and have spa session after spa session at the island's COMO Shambhala center.

Best beach: Step out and look around. You can't miss it.

Perfect season: November to April, the dry season.

Call it home: Cocoa Island, literally the only address on the island.

Cocoa Island
Tel: 960 664 1818
Dhoni suites from $590

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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