The adventure starts when you step off the airplane in the Maldives and make your way out of the airport into arrivals, where endless stalls stand with representatives from countless hotels waiting to greet you and steer you in the right direction for your resort.
But how, with so many to choose from, can you possibly know where to begin?
Well, to save you feeling overwhelmed, Coco Collection has curated three very different island resorts to save you from losing your mind in holiday research.
They have an exclusive private island, they have a pristine, high end luxury resort named Bodu Hithi and finally an exotic, adventurous paradise that I visited, Dhuni Kolhu.
From Velana International Airport next to Male, the capital city, you are escorted to Coco Collection’s private transfer lounge where you can have a drink and a bite to eat (time depending) before boarding the sea plane.
The 30-minute journey towards the island located in the southern waters of Baa Atoll, flying over azure lagoons and curling atolls, is the impeccable introduction to the natural beauty that awaits you.
As you land, you are entering one of the world’s essential havens – a designated UNESCO biosphere reserve and home to incredible marine life and reefs. From this moment on you don’t even need a pair of shoes until you leave.
A wooden decked pathway leads you up the beach towards the huge wooden structure that makes up the reception area, designed to fit perfectly with the wilderness that reigns across the spectacular island.
You will then be taken to either a water villa or an island home. I stayed in the latter, where the bathroom was spread throughout a private garden to one side of the home, surrounded by high walls for discretion.
To the other side is another garden surrounded by greenery and coconut adorned palm trees with a plunge pool and cushioned lounge areas. There are deckchairs here also and, if you follow a secluded pathway towards the seashore you will find two more deckchairs at the edge of the beach.
The island is covered in greenery, with pathways leading you from place to place such as to the turtle sanctuary, the gym and spa, tennis courts or restaurant garden, with all buildings in off-white stone or of wooden structures.
The combination of all these things integrate into offer magnificent luxury with a rustic feel that will appeal to those who want either ultimate relaxation as well as those with an adventurous spirit.
If sun lounging for a week straight isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll be happy to know that Coco Palm offers tailored excursions, adventures and activities.
Things to do
You can go snorkelling with a marine biologist, enabling you to learn all about the different species that live in the waters, such as timid Blacktip reef sharks, while appreciating the stunning beauty of the Maldivian coral reef.
You can even go deep sea diving. Absolute beginners or seasoned divers can find their dive at their PADI certified dive centre. White Tip and Gray Reef sharks, Hawksbill turtles, Dog Tooth Tuna, Napoleon fish, schools of Blue Stripe snappers, Bat fish and Fusilier fish, Barracuda and Eagle and Manta rays have all been spotted at points just 15 minutes off the island.
Wild dolphins also reside very near the island, so morning or evening you can go on a cruise to spot them and they are the show offs that you will hope them to be. Diving in and out of the water, spinning and flipping. At one point on my sunset dolphin cruise, three jumped out and spun through the air in perfect synchronisation.
In the middle of the island is a special spot for the chefs: their very own garden where fresh basil, rosemary, eggplant, Scotch bonnet chilli and a selection of other herbs and vegetables are grown.
Once a week, you can experience a signature Maldivian dinner at the garden, with our chefs taking you through each course as they explain the inspiration behind the exclusive menu. You could also join the island fishing crew to catch your own dinner, which the restaurant will prepare exactly as you like it.
There is an array of water sports you can do, such as riding jet skis, wake boarding, banana rides, catamaran sailing, windsurfing, parasailing and kayaking.
If you want to have some time away from Dhuni Kolhu and experience life in the Maldives you can visit a local island and explore the markets, watch the amazing craftsmanship at work and even have tea with a family.
Hayes & Jarvis (01293 762 456, hayesandjarvis.co.uk) is offering a 7 night holiday to the Indian Ocean from £2,289 per person. The offer includes seven nights for the price of five at the five star Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, in the Maldives on an all-inclusive basis. The offer also includes seaplane transfers and return international flights from London Gatwick with Emirates. Based on departures 10 June 2018. Ring to book.