AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIP TO THE MALDIVES WITH COCO COLLECTION
A couple of weeks ago, I ventured out for an experience I knew would be an unforgettable one – the Maldives. The destination had been on our bucket list for years, but to be completely honest, it always seemed like one of those places that felt intimidating and hard to know how to navigate. From which airline to fly, where to stay, and how to get around while there, it all just felt like a big question mark. However, a couple of months ago, our friends from Zapwater reached out about hosting an influencer trip to Coco Collection and the timing felt perfect. Not to mention the fact that when Zapwater plans a trip – they get it right. Not only have their team members traveled to the destinations to know the lay of the land, they make the process so easy. As an influencer, this is always SO helpful to be able to go, see what that process entails, and then be able to come back and share it with you from start to finish, allowing all of us to understand that it’s really not as difficult as you may think. This trip was my 4th trip with Zapwater and I’m so grateful for each and every experience they’ve invited me on – and this trip was no different.
For starters, we flew Emirates to and from the Maldives. My route was Greenville to New York (United Airlines, separate from the longer legs of the trip), New York to Dubai, and Dubai to Malè, the capital of the Maldives and where you’ll want to fly into when you visit. The NYC to Dubai leg is about 15 hours and the Dubai to Malè flight is around 5. Yes – it’s far, but so worth it. I flew in Comfort, not Business or First Class, and honestly, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it was. I’ll be sharing an additional post soon on what I packed for the long flights, but trust me, you can do it! Another detail that felt intimating to me was the language barrier. I was so relieved to find out that not only was English extremely prevalent throughout all airports while traveling, but everyone I came in contact with in the Maldives spoke amazing English. It’s their second language, so it was completely a non-issue. Once we landed in Malè, our first destination, Coco Bodu Hithi was only a 30 minute boat ride away. Since you’re landing on an island, the boat is right there at the airport for you, ready to go. Even if I was not with the other girls or Zapwater team, I would’ve easily navigated my way through the airport and onto the boat. Coco Collection makes sure that process is seamless and it was so helpful. Thirty minutes later, we arrived to a dock full of staff members waving and welcoming us to paradise.
The first four days of our trip were spent at Coco Bodu Hithi, one of the two Coco Collection resorts. From the moment we walked onto the property, the resort met every single expectation I had for the Maldives. There’s an island side of the property, with rooms that walk out into lush greens and sandy trails, and feel like a you’re in the middle of the jungle. It’s the perfect pathway to their over-water bungalows that we were so fortunate to stay in for a few days! When I saw the boardwalk to our rooms, I literally had chills. Again, it was everything I could’ve wanted and more. The bungalows were huge – a living room, spacious bedroom, plenty of closet space, a huge bathroom with a marble tub, an indoor and outdoor shower, and the best part of all, a deck (or back porch as my southern-self called it, the girls really got a kick out of that) leading straight to the ocean. Hands down my favorite part of the entire trip was waking up each morning and having my coffee outside. The views were insanely beautiful, the cabana was comfortable, the water was clear, and the pool was just waiting on me. It was the perfect place to have a little quiet time each morning before the day began. Since I was trying to adjust to the time difference, I woke up every morning right before sunrise – there’s no way I wanted to miss it. Magical, people, pure magic. Those moments alone were worth the entire trip!
Throughout our week at Bodu Hithi we made the most of our time! We tried all of their restaurants (the food was incredible by the way!), went snorkeling, experienced the spa, and took a boat out for a sunset cruise. The resort offers so many amazing experiences while you’re there and they take care of everything. I’ve never been anywhere that had the standard of customer service that Bodu Hithi had. Their entire staff was so friendly and so on top of it. From the wait staff to the concierges, we didn’t even have to ask for most things before they knew we needed it. The staff truly dedicates their lives to making sure their guests have the best possible experience and it shows. Let me just wrap this up by saying Bodu Hithi is worth every minute of travel + every penny spent. It’s incredible, seriously.
After leaving Bodu Hithi, we took the speedboat back to the airport, this time to hop on a Sea Plane. I was actually very excited about this part, simply because I’ve never landed on the water before (yes, typically that’s a good thing). The process of the Sea Plane really wasn’t difficult either! A bus shuttled us from the Malè airport to the smaller side of the airport and we hung out in the Coco Collection Lounge until it was time for us to depart. You have a boarding pass and everything, just like a normal plane. Our flight was only 35 minutes and it was such a fun experience!
Next up, the Sea Plane took us right to their second location, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. From the stunning views to the kind staff, so much of the amenities are the same, however, this time we stayed on the island. The rooms felt like glamping and it was island living and it’s finest. At this resort, the shower + bathrooms are outside, but you have your own secluded little villa that’s fully private. The room is very spacious and each hut has it’s own pathway directly to the ocean from the porch! The island is a bit smaller, so walking to the restaurants, spa, and dock to board a boat is super convenient. If you’re looking for a week away to live outdoors, not worry about getting all dressed up each day, and embracing nature – this is the resort for you! The food was amazing, mostly buffet style, and the little conch bar is so charming! We were having dinner there on our last night and it started to rain (the one and only time we had rainy weather) and it was so quaint and cozy. Not a bad place to be stuck in a rain storm, let me tell you! Although we only had about 36 hours (two nights and a day and a half) at this property, we also made the most of our time there. We explored a nearby island (about a 20 minute boat ride away) called Thulhadhoo and it was so amazing to see. We got to see the local school, a couple of shops, and even the inside of a local’s home who so kindly invited us in. Other than that, we took a dolphin cruise (since the water is so clear, it’s so cool to see all of the wildlife each day) around the island and had a beautiful dinner on the beach. It was a different experience than Bodu Hithi in some ways, which was so nice + refreshing to see both types of properties in the Maldives.
After a couple of nights, it was time to head home! I traveled through the same places/airports on the way back and again, the trip was totally worth the travel time. Emirates was not a partner on this trip, however, calling them for information or to make changes was always very easy. If you feel like you need assistance with booking flights in order to make it to the Maldives, I’m sure they would be happy to help! Although I felt sleep deprived once I returned home, it wasn’t very hard to get back on EST time. However, I’m not sure my body even adjusted to the Maldives time change, as I didn’t get a ton of sleep while we were there! I always have the mentality of ‘I’ll sleep later’ on trips – there’s too much to see and do and I don’t want to miss a thing!
If the Maldives has been on your bucket list, just get there. I can’t recommend Coco Collection enough. I’ve said this before, but both resorts lived up to my expectation of what I imagined the Maldives to be, and in a lot of ways, exceeded them. Thank you to our Zapwater family for always being the most gracious host and Coco Collection for trusting us to represent the beautiful, family focused brand you’ve built. I have new friends and forever memories and I can’t thank you enough!
If you have other questions, feel free to let me know below and I’m happy to answer anything! Thanks so much for stopping by, X.
P.S. – If you want any of the outfit details from these images, find them on my sidebar and click the specific image to shop!