Coco Collection wins Indian Ocean’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand at the World Travel Awards 2017

Coco Collection is thrilled to have been awarded Indian Ocean’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand at the 2017 World Travel Awards. Established in 1993, these prestigious accolades celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality. Today, the World Travel Awards is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. At the Indian Ocean gala ceremony held on 08th July, the award was accepted by Mr. Shabeer Ahmed, Founder, Managing Director and Chairman of Coco Collection.

Three islands comprise the Coco Collection brand. Coco Privé Private Island offers guests the chance to escape to an entirely private island. Creating a sense of intimacy and ownership, this 1.4-hectare island is dedicated to one booking at a time, where every guest is given a completely individual tailored experience. Coco Bodu Hithi translates island life into contemporary sophistication. The resort is a chic retreat where you reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and the wonder of the natural world. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is dedicated to the inspiring beauty and natural wonder of the Maldives. Here, environmentally-conscious touches are woven into luxurious natural surroundings and initiatives contribute to the environmental and social sustainability of Maldives.

Coco Collection has built a strong reputation as a luxury brand offering stylish and sophisticated escapes, and this win is another step in strengthening the position as a leading boutique luxury brand in the Maldives and the region.

About Coco Collection

Coco Collection is a prestigious hotel group, and a subsidiary of Sunland Hotels. Since opening the flagship hotel in July 2007, the company has continued to grow and develop its reputation as a trailblazer in stylish, sophisticated yet sustainable hospitality.

Coco Collection’s portfolio comprises three distinct brands, Coco Resorts: Hotels: Retreats, Coco Privé and Coco Palm. The Coco Resorts: Hotels: Retreats includes the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi; Coco Palm features the environmentally conscious escape Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu; and Coco Privé consists of the private and exclusive Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island. Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are both Preferred Boutique Hotels, members of the global Preferred Hotel Group Association.

Coco Collection appoints Group General Manager and Head of Sales and Marketing

Coco Collection, the iconic Maldivian luxury hospitality brand, is pleased to announce the appointment of Antony Paton as the Group General Manager and Andrew Ashmore as the Head of Sales and Marketing.

As Group General Manager, Antony Paton will oversee the operations of all three properties in the portfolio. With 40 years of experience, knowledge and background of the travel and hospitality industry, Paton’s recent role as General Manager of Galle Face Hotel in Sri Lanka saw him lead a $30m restoration and re-launch of the hotel in 2015.

He has a deep understanding of the Maldives and the luxury market with the successful opening of Six Senses Laamu in 2011, and as the Managing Director of Operations at the Soneva resorts after that. His time with Soneva saw him lead the operations for Soneva Fushi, former Soneva Gili in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. With past experience of having served the royal family of Jordan, their majesties King Hussein and Queen Noor, Antony is well accustomed to anticipate the needs of individuals who lead high powered lifestyles.

With over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Andrew Ashmore brings a wealth of experience in sales and marketing to his new role at Coco Collection. Most recently, he served as Chief Marketing Officer of Hashoo Hotels, Pakistan’s largest hotel chain. During Ashmore’s time there, he was overseeing all the marketing operations of the hotel group and was responsible in developing their vision and strategy in an environment that was challenging for tourism and hospitality. Prior to that, a prominent period of his career was with the renowned Hyatt group. With a Hyatt career that began in 1985, Ashmore’s last role was as Vice President of Global and Operational Sales for Hyatt hotels across EAME and India saw his strategic role in handling and managing over 350 key global sales accounts across the region from 2011 to 2013.

“I am very pleased to extend a very warm welcome to both Antony Paton and Andrew Ashmore who joins the dynamic team at Coco Collection. Paton will be leading the teams to reinforce personalized service and to deliver a consistent brand experience to all guests of the properties within the collection. Together with the experienced team at the corporate office, Ashmore is devising a strategy to boost our sales and marketing efforts, and to strengthen Coco Collection’s image among the luxury market. With Paton and Ashmore at the helm of the teams, we are looking forward to a very successful year ahead!” comments Shabeer Ahmed, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Sunland Hotels and Coco Collection.

Review — At Coco Bodu Hithi it’s pure indulgence all the way

Review — “May I help you unpack Madam?” asks Mahon my handsome private butler from Chennai, India. I hold up my daypack and flippers, that’s all I’ve brought. “Should I open the champagne for you?” he says pointing to a bottle of Taittinger chilling in an ice bucket in the living room of my overwater residence. I check my watch. It’s 11:30 am, but hey why not, I’ve got nothing else to do other than cool down in my private infinity plunge pool on the spacious split-level deck or maybe slip on the flippers and check out the fine house reef right outside my villa. But before I do anything that adventurous I check out the villa itself, which is the size of a small house. There’s an extensive pillow menu on my bedside table, yes, a pillow menu, the curtains in front of my oversized bed can be controlled by remote control and, on request, Mahon will fill the massive bathtub that overlooks the turquoise lagoon with a luxurious bath, to go with the French bubbles I am about to taste.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Mahon, Private Butler, Coco Bodu Hithi. Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

Coco Bodu Hithi in the North Malé atoll, a 40 minute speedboat ride from the airport, is your classic Maldivian luxury resort. Only, it just got better. In May of this year, the Escape Water Residences were re-launched as the new Coco Residences with a private butler service who completes your check-in and check-out in the villa and will discreetly look after you throughout your stay. This is all about making you experience all-out luxury.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

The residences are located on their own oval shaped over-water pier, away from the rest of the resort, but close to Stars, the restaurant, library and bar reserved for guests of Coco Residences, who are entitled to complimentary tea, coffee and desserts served on this private deck in the late afternoon, and complimentary spa treatments and yoga sessions.

Before I am tempted to pour myself another glass of French champagne, I make my way to the overwater spa, which sits on its own pier adjacent to Coco Residences in a small cluster that includes the over-water gym and yoga space.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

I ask Po, my masseuse from Thailand, to throw a few traditional Thai stretches into my Balinese oil massage, because I know my body will love it. “You very tense,” she says. I know. It’s from too much sitting, and too much working. Po smiles. She’s seen it all before. Her nimble hands work magic on my body. She kneads, pummels and, I’ve asked for it, cracks my body until my bones feel like soft jelly. My mind, lulled by the sound and sight of lapping waves underneath my massage table, has surrendered to a state of peaceful bliss. It’s taken one hour, and I am miles away from work.

Coco Spa, Coco Bodu Hithi.jpg
Coco Spa, Coco Bodu Hithi

From Coco Spa it’s a few steps and you are inside the cooling jungle. Mahon appears out of nowhere in a buggy offering me a lift, but I feel so re-energised after the best massage I’ve had in a long time, I want to take it all in on my own time and on foot. And quite frankly, it feels just a little overindulgent to have my private butler chauffeur me around an island that is about 400 meters long and 300 meters wide.

There are 100 villas on Bodu Hithi Island, but you wouldn’t know it as the Island Villas are discreetly hidden by the vegetation and the Water Villas, which come in 3 distinct categories, are little islands on stilts onto themselves.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

The lobby, a sand floored building with thatched roof oozing island vibe, is crowded with Chinese tourists busy checking out of their Water Villas and into their Island Villas or vice versa. “It’s how they choose to experience the resorts,” says office manager Frank Jerusalem. “Europeans would protest if you’d ask them to pack their bags halfway through their holiday to move to another villa. But the Chinese get so excited, they want to experience everything.” He’s showing me through an Island Villa, which has two distinct outdoor areas. The one facing the kingsized bed, has a private pool and daybed, the other, facing the sunken living area, is a private deck fringed by tropical vegetation. You can just glimpse the ocean through it, the beach is meters away via a private jungle path. I am ready to pack my bags. It’s love at first sight. Next time, I’ll have to do as the Chinese do and try several room categories.

And for such a small island there are an astonishing seven bars and restaurants. I sip a mango daiquiri sundowner in the Latitude cocktail bar by the infinity pool before I make my way across to Aqua, which as the name suggests, is an over-water restaurant that serves modern Asian seafood. The tuna tartare is a spicy surprise and the grilled catch of the day melts in my mouth.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

On the jungle path, just outside the restaurant sits Mahon in his buggy, waiting to take me home. I have no idea how he knew I was dining here, but I am grateful for the lift. Did I say it felt overindulgent to be chauffeured around such a small island? Well, I take it back.

The next day, I go from private butler to private snorkel guide. Jesse is a twenty-something Marine Biology student from Jersey on his second internship at Coco Bodu Hithi. He just loves it here. And what’s not to love. The speedboat takes us to Turtle Point, 5 minutes away. The coral here is amongst the best I’ve seen in the Malé atoll and there are plenty of fish. Jesse has brought the super-sized underwater camera, just in case we see a turtle.

For the past two years the resort has run a turtle identification project, led by the resident marine biologist Chiara Fumagalli, who is in charge of all the marine biology centres of Coco Collection. Over 150 hawksbill turtles and one green sea turtle have been identified so far through the distinctive scale patterns on both sides of their heads, the equivalent a human fingerprint. Guests are encouraged to participate by taking photographs of both sides of the head and reporting sightings. And if a guest finds a new turtle, they have the honor of naming it. The Marine Biology Centre at Bodu Hithi will keep guests updated with photos, creating memories that last forever.

On this occasion we don’t see any turtles but that’s ok, I’ve seen plenty. Instead we see two spotted eagle rays gliding gently through the water. We swim alongside them for what feels like an eternity. Jesse is excited. That was a very exclusive encounter he says.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz
Coco Bodu Hithi
Dhoni, Coco Bodu Hithi. Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

What can I say, Bodu Hithi does exclusive luxury all the way.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Photo credit: Kerstin Pilz

Coco Collection’s Wellness Retreat with Dave Catudal

Refresh your senses and get back to a healthy lifestyle at the wellness retreat to be held at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu from 10 – 15 August and at Coco Bodu Hithi from 18 – 23 August 2015. These five or seven day retreats are designed by Dave Catudal, Director of Weight Loss Retreats and Fitness Boot Camps at Lifestyle Health Retreats, with the objective of helping guests improve their mind and physique through nutrition, positive thinking and a balanced lifestyle.

Dave Catudal, Health and Wellness Director and Nutrition and Fitness Coach at PurelyB
Dave Catudal, Health and Wellness Director and Nutrition and Fitness Coach at PurelyB

Having worked together with Hollywood celebrities, top models and professional athletes, Dave is also the Health and Wellness Director as well as the Nutrition and Fitness Coach at PurelyB, a one stop destination for everything healthy and natural. In 2014, Dave emerged as a published author with “The Physique Transformation Book”, a series of educational guidebooks covering the essentials of all the key elements of health, fitness, detox and nutrition.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Coco Bodu Hithi

At Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Bodu Hithi, guests can rejuvenate with classes aimed for abs and core conditioning of the body along with private wellness consultations to understand body types and corresponding fitness routines. Furthermore, the retreat includes different lifestyle health workshops raising awareness on health transformation diets, eating right for your body type, essentials of the modern day detox diets and anti-aging and hormone optimization diets. With the 5 day retreat at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu starting from USD 2,528 in a Beach Villa, guests of Coco Bodu Hithi can also experience the retreat starting from USD 3,158 in an Island Villa.

Sunset Beach Villas, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Sunset Beach Villas

A High Intensity Interval Training session will also provide guests with metabolic fat-loss challenges followed by ocean fitness activities such as athletic body warm up routines, kayaking and swimming exercises. Additionally, with a resident Yogi, guests can enjoy balancing morning and sunset yoga sessions to improve core strength. At Coco Bodu Hithi, guests can indulge in superfood protein smoothie classes, an ideal addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

“The Maldives is the ideal place for a wellness retreat! When it comes to the health of our bodies, we must also exercise the health of the mind. I can’t think of a more ideal location to experience a holistic wellness retreat than the Maldives. Guests will return home with a lighter, leaner and more healthy body, and a more balanced and peaceful mind,” Dave commented.

Visit www.cocoboduhithi.com and www.cocopalm.com for more information on the packages available to embark on a healthy journey for a better living.

General Manager Sandrine Kaiser embraces the Coco Palm way of life

The Coco family is comprised of talented professionals within the hospitality industry and each member brings years of experience which they contribute to their dedicated roles. This month, Coco Collection introduces Sandrine Kaiser as the General Manager of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.

A French-German citizen with a world of experience up her sleeve, Sandrine’s most recent role as General Manager was at Trezzini Palace Hotel in St. Petersburg where she worked alongside her team in Russia for the pre opening. Prior to that, she was the Resident Manager of Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar, in charge of all the operations and purchasing of the 25 bungalow lodge. With regards to experience in the Maldivian hospitality scene, Sandrine played a prominent role in the Executive Committee involved in the pre-opening of Zitahli Resort & Spa in 2008 and has a vast knowledge of international properties such as the renowned Fregate Island in the Seychelles, where she was the Front Office Manager.

Aerial view, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Aerial view, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Embodying the Dhuni Kolhu way of life, Sandrine plans to increase environmental awareness programs among all guests and associates on the island and has given a further push to enforce some initiatives such as reducing the use of plastic straws. Additionally, she has taken a personal interest in the guest experiences on the island and plans to revamp the portfolio with more options, especially in terms of private dining and water sports. “It is also a high priority for me to review the guest loyalty benefits to ensure the ultimate comfort and pleasure for those visiting Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu for the second or even the 38th time!”, comments Sandrine Kaiser regarding her plans for the resort.

Fluent in German, French and Italian, Sandrine is a multilingual who also speaks Russian and Spanish. Her time in Maldives has enabled her to appreciate the natural beauty of these fragile islands and she fits in perfectly with the sunny side of life. Having obtained her Open Water level 1 PADI license in 2009, she is also a fan of the rich marine life of Maldives.

Sunset Lagoon Villas, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Sunset Lagoon Villas, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

With Sandrine at the helm of the resorts with a committed team on hand; Coco Collection is well on the way to revamping guest experiences to become the leading luxury boutique hotel brand in the region.

Coco Collection holds Savour 2015

For food fanatics from around the world enjoying their luxurious stay at Coco Bodu Hithi in Maldives, Savour 2015 was a very literal taste of the good life. The event hosted by Coco Collection from 21st March to 3rd April saw Michelin Starred Chefs Frédéric Doucet, Nigel Haworth, Aktar Islam, Andrew Pern as well as Food & Beverage Specialist, Rogers Benham, who took turns to demonstrate master classes showcasing some of their signature dishes.

Soft shell crab, caraway tempura, south Indian tomato chutney, Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Soft shell crab, caraway tempura, south Indian tomato chutney, Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Tandoori, lamb cutlet, Chachumber salad, Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Tandoori, lamb cutlet, Chachumber salad, Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Mackerel, palm sugar and chili, Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Mackerel, palm sugar and chili, Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Chef Aktar Islam preparing a dish, Savour 2015
Chef Aktar Islam preparing a dish, Savour 2015
Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015
Chef Aktar Islam, Savour 2015

This was the first time such a sophisticated culinary event was held in the Maldives at such a grand scale and according to Coco Collection this event, which received overwhelming support, is going to become an annual event.

Chef Andrew Pern preparing Dressed King Crab with Green Herb Mayonnaise,Tomato & Basil Salad,Paramesan Crips, Bloody Mary Dressing, Savour 2015
Chef Andrew Pern preparing Dressed King Crab with Green Herb Mayonnaise,Tomato & Basil Salad,Paramesan Crips, Bloody Mary Dressing, Savour 2015
Breast of Duck with Candied Fennel, Cottage Cheese, Roast Peach, Yorkshire Relish, Chef Andrew Pern, Savour 2015
Breast of Duck with Candied Fennel, Cottage Cheese, Roast Peach, Yorkshire Relish, Chef Andrew Pern, Savour 2015

For the world renowned chefs and mixologist, most of whom are first timers in Maldives, it was love at first sight. The little paradise on earth is on the bucket lists of most people who dream of spending at least a few days enjoying the dreamy islands surrounded by white sandy beaches and vast turquoise lagoons. When asked about his experience in the Maldives, Chef Akhtar Islam remarked, “Since I landed here, I am in love and lost in Maldives!”-a view shared by the other chefs and mixologist as well. Thus the stunning island of Coco Bodu Hithi, which has a romantic and timeless charm, was the perfect setting for this amazing culinary experience. The master classes, dinners and cocktail parties were held at the 7 scenic indoor and outdoor restaurants and bars of the resort.

Chef Nigel Haworth preparing a dish, Savour 2015
Chef Nigel Haworth preparing a dish, Savour 2015
Warm Lobster Salad, Basil, Citrus, Champagne Dressing, Chef Nigel Haworth, Savour 2015
Warm Lobster Salad, Basil, Citrus, Champagne Dressing, Chef Nigel Haworth, Savour 2015
Chef Nigel Haworth, Savour 2015
Chef Nigel Haworth, Savour 2015

Prior to the event the General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi, Georgiou Papazoglou said, “Coco Bodu Hithi has always been a haven for food aficionados and Savour 2015 offers an impressive lineup for our guests to indulge in world-class dining experiences throughout their stay. Holding true to our promise to offer an inspirational stay, this culinary journey will create moments to treasure for a lifetime.”

Overwater Villas, Coco Bodu Hithi
Overwater Villas, Coco Bodu Hithi

Savour 2015 was indeed a unique and rare experience for guests who not only got to taste delectable cuisines but interact with the world renowned chefs and learn some of their signature creations. Guests at Coco Bodu Hithi who were lucky enough to experience the culinary event were doubly sated. They enjoyed world-class food at one of the most luxurious and picturesque resorts in the beautiful Maldives.

Coco Bodu Hithi reveals the Trendsetting Coco Residences

Welcoming the latest trends in experience-led travel, the luxury boutique hotel brand Coco Collection is delighted to introduce Coco Residences at Coco Bodu Hithi, re-launching in May 2015 with signature privileges. Perched on stilts over the crystalline lagoon, previously known as Escape Water Residences, the Coco Residences will redefine luxury through tailored experiences, courtesy of dedicated Lifestyle Hosts trained to blend lavish comforts with boundless surprises.

Overwater Villas, Coco Bodu Hithi
Overwater Villas, Coco Bodu Hithi

The spaciously comfortable Coco Residences feature high ceilings and large windows that provide stunning natural light, highlighting the exquisite interior with amenities such as a luxurious pillow menu to choose from and a private wine cellar to explore. At the alfresco terrace area, split-level with steps leading into the lagoon with abundant marine life among the house reef for snorkelling enthusiasts, guests can indulge in the luxurious comforts of their private infinity plunge pool.

Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi
Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi

These Residences will be launched with dedicated events to discover the Bodu Hithi life among the company of other Residence guests. Sophisticated and stylish, STARS Bar will offers daily high tea, Apéritifs, Canapés and weekly Sundowner Cocktails overlooking the infinite Indian Ocean, to revel in classical moments. Over at the award-winning Coco Spa perched over-water, dedicated daily yoga and fitness sessions will be designed to explore wellbeing as a way of life. The Coco Residences are located over the pristine lagoon for seclusion, but close by is the white sandy beach lining the eastern shores of the island, where Lifestyle Hosts can arrange a special corner for guests to bask in the warm sun.

Island Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi
Island Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi

While Coco Residence is the perfect haven for the discerning travellers looking for ultimate seclusion, it is also for those seeking timeless experiences to blend with their way of life. Rekindle the romance and indulge in romantic date nights with a Cruise for two under the light of the full moon. Refresh the senses in the soothing environment of Bodu Hithi, detoxify and meditate on calming platforms, whether on a pristine sandbank or a deck overlooking the sun bidding farewell. Reconnect with nature and explore the underwater gardens of Bodu Hithi with the Marine Biologist, ready to take you on an unforgettable journey of colors and discover the story of the Resident Sea Turtles.

Latitude Bar, Coco Bodu Hithi
Latitude Bar, Coco Bodu Hithi

“The Coco Residences will bring a new element to timeless experiences; with our devoted Lifestyle Hosts crafting tailor-made Coco Experiences for guests. Combine that with the surprising touches during their stay at these Residences and our guests will have moments to treasure for a lifetime.” comments Georgios Papazoglou, General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi.

Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi
Private Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi

A sanctuary within Coco Bodu Hithi, the Coco Residences are en route to delivering the epitome of luxury, exclusively for the privileged few.

Coco Collection Presents ‘Savour 2015’ At Coco Bodu Hithi

Coco Collection looks forward to welcome a gathering of Michelin Starred Chefs as well as an expert Mixologist to the sophisticated culinary scene at Coco Bodu Hithi. Guests can look forward to experience the exclusive opportunity to indulge in award-winning creations by Chefs Frédéric Doucet, Nigel Haworth, Aktar Islam, Andrew Pern as well as Food & Beverage Specialist, Rogers Benham.

Coco Bodu Hithi dining

To the delight of food connoisseurs, these experts will take turns to demonstrate Master Classes showcasing some of their signature dishes, allowing guests of Coco Bodu Hithi to interact with the Chefs and Mixologist at the eclectic dining venues of Coco Bodu Hithi. Furthermore, guests can experience Michelin Star Dining with these Chefs at the helm of the kitchen at Coco Bodu Hithi, serving exclusive dinners inspired by fresh ingredients.

For USD 2,345 per person, enjoy 7 nights on Half Board meal plan at a spaciously luxurious Island Villa, a dinner at one of the specialty restaurants of Coco Bodu Hithi, with an exclusive menu by one of the Michelin starred Chefs, a Master Class with these Chefs demonstrating a signature dish, a Wine Tasting session with the Mixologist and a choice of either a Cocktail class, Japanese cooking class, Maldivian cooking class or Pastry lessons by the Resident Chefs at Coco Bodu Hithi. Additionally, guests will enjoy a 10% discount on all wines during the stay and have the opportunity to upgrade to an Escape Water Villa or Escape Water Residence for USD 300.

“Coco Bodu Hithi has always been a haven for food aficionados and ‘Savour 2015‘ offers an impressive lineup for our guests to indulge in world-class dining experiences throughout their stay. Holding true to our promise to offer an inspirational stay, this culinary journey will create moments to treasure for a lifetime!” comments Georgios Papazoglou, General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi.

MORE ABOUT THE CHEFS AND MIXOLOGIST:

Preluding this exclusive event in February is Chef Frédéric Doucet. Aromas, flavours and wholesome ingredients from the Charolais countryside make up the fine creative cuisine crafted by Frédéric and his devoted staff at Restaurant Frédéric Doucet. Apart from one Michelin star, Frédéric‘s gourmet restaurant received 3 Gault & Millau toques and 15/20 in the Guide Champérard. Mentored by the infamous Paul Bocuse and having worked alongside Chefs Michel Troisgros and Alain Ducasse, he brings eclectic approaches to cuisine.

Chef Patron at Restaurant Frédéric Doucet, One Michelin Star
Chef Patron at Restaurant Frédéric Doucet, One Michelin Star

In March, Coco Bodu Hithi will host Nigel Haworth, chef patron at Michelin-starred restaurant and country-house hotel Northcote in Langho, Blackburn. Renowned for his seasonal, British food — long before they became buzzwords — today Nigel celebrates an Egon Ronay Chef of the Year Award and a Michelin star that has been retained since 1985. Since winning Great British Menu in 2009 with his now-legendary Lancashire Hot Pot, Nigel continues to make regular appearances on television – returning to GBM in 2012 to mentor a new generation of young chefs – and frequently showcases new dishes to James Martin on Saturday Kitchen.

Nigel Haworth, Chef Patron at Northcote, One Michelin Star
Nigel Haworth, Chef Patron at Northcote, One Michelin Star

Joining Nigel is Birmingham born and bred, Aktar Islam. The Winner of Great British Menu 2011, Aktar‘s exposure to British cuisine and the strong influence from his culture are what have shaped his unique style. Aktar‘s passion for creating modern South Asian cuisine has ensured his meteoric rise as one of the most talented Chefs in the UK. With notable TV appearances, he has secured a reputation as an entertaining and engaging television Chef with recognition by Buckingham Palace for his contribution to the British hospitality industry.

Chef Patron at Lasan, Gordon Ramsay’s Best Local Restaurant 2009
Aktar Islam, Chef Patron at Lasan, Gordon Ramsay’s Best Local Restaurant 2009

Andrew Pern, Chef Patron at The Star in North Yorkshire, will also be joining the lineup at Coco Bodu Hithi. A talented self-taught Chef whose hearty northern dishes have been influenced by the likes of Paul Heathcote and Raymond Blanc, Andrew has a reputation as a gastropub pioneer and his dedication to local, seasonal produce has had a huge influence on the industry. Having regained their Michelin Star status in 2015, The Star was also voted 19th in the National Restaurant Awards Top 100 UK Restaurants.

Chef Patron at The Star, One Michelin Star
Andrew Pern, Chef Patron at The Star, One Michelin Star

Completing the roundup is Rogers Benham, a Food & Beverage Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. Having worked for some of the worlds most renowned hoteliers among which are Four Seasons, The Savoy Group and Starwood Hotels, Rogers has also trained and worked alongside creative restaurateurs. He will bring his worldly expertise to the culinary scene at Coco Bodu Hithi, with interactive cocktail classes and wine tastings for guests to enjoy the art of Mixology.

Rogers Benham, Food & Beverage Specialist, Mixologist
Rogers Benham, Food & Beverage Specialist, Mixologist

Coco Collection Partners With Olive Ridley Project

Coco Collection is pleased to announce the official partnership with the Olive Ridley Project to setup turtle rescue centers and jointly reduce the effect of ghost nets on marine life. During a ceremony held at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu on 18th January, guests and associates joined Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project and Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins, the Project Scientist of the Olive Ridley Project as well as Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s Resident Marine Biologist, to officially kick off this partnership.

This partnership will see the construction of the first Olive Ridley Project Turtle Rescue Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu with a dedicated team member of the Project at the Center to oversee the operations. Guests of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu will be able to support the project and donate funds for the construction of this Center by purchasing a signature Olive Ridley Turtle toy available for USD 28, or by direct donations either at time of booking or on the resort. Proceeds will go towards the construction phase of the project, and once the center is established, educational presentations, tailored snorkeling sessions and ghost net research excursions will be available as guest experiences. Similar initiatives will take place at Coco Bodu Hithi in a later stage of this collaboration.

“Since its establishment in 2013, the Olive Ridley Project has been working actively with dedicated individuals who are keen to support the project by removing ghost nets that have been abandoned or lost in the ocean, continuing to entangle vulnerable marine animals. Coco Collection has been on board with us from the beginning and today, we are extremely happy to sign this partnership, declaring Coco Collection as the official Olive Ridley Project Partner for Turtle Rescue Centers in Maldives. This is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and I would like to thank all the guests and associates of Coco Collection for their continuous support and passion.” comments Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project.

Chiara Fumagalli, Resident Marine Biologist
Chiara Fumagalli, Resident Marine Biologist

From 16th – 21st January, Martin was accompanied by Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu where they joined Chiara Fumagalli for interactive guest presentations and excursions. With the overwhelming support of the associates, Martin & Jillian also conducted trainings on how to safely remove ghost nets from entangled marine life.

“I am beyond excited that Coco Collection is now an official partner of the Olive Ridley Project! With the continuous support of our eager guests and hardworking associates, this is a great opportunity for us to get more exposure for the detrimental effects of ghost nets on marine life and continue raising awareness to actively fight against it. We have received tremendous support from both guests and associates who have donated to the cause by purchasing the turtle toys and I am positively looking forward for the next step in this journey.” comments Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s resident Marine Biologist.

Keeping in line with its brand promise to care for the environment and recognize the need for sustainability, Coco Collection is proud to enrich their support for the Olive Ridley Project with this partnership.

About Olive Ridley Project 

The Olive Ridley Project was set up by a group of Marine biologists situated within the Maldives working towards preventing entanglement of Olive Ridley’s and other marine organisms. Apart from actively removing nets and helping any entangled marine life, the Olive Ridley Project compiles data identifying types of nets, fishing methods being used, and entanglements in order to figure out why so many nets are drifting in the Indian Ocean. With an aim to educate school children, local communities and all those whose depend on the Indian Ocean about the detrimental effects of ghost nets, the Olive Ridley Project hopes to work together with dedicated individuals to protect this ecologically important area. www.oliveridleyproject.org

Coco Collection Unveils The Lucky Winner Of 5 nights At Coco Bodu Hithi

With the festive season approaching fast, even in the warm tropics of Maldives, Coco Collection announces the lucky winner of the online contest, “Win a luxury stay for 5 nights at Coco Bodu Hithi”. Launched on 01st October 2014 to celebrate the re-vamp of the corporate websites, this contest asked eager entrants to familiarize themselves with the Coco Collection brand and individual properties and then submit their responses to related questions.

Congratulations to Gillian Lowes who won the lucky draw for the luxurious prize! Gillian Lowes, along with a companion, will receive 5 night’s complimentary accommodation in a secluded Escape Water Residence to explore the romantic and timeless charm of Coco Bodu Hithi.

Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi
Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi

“As an exciting contest attracting strong participation from our online community, this was an incredible opportunity for our audience to get some insight on Coco Collection as a luxury boutique hotel brand. I am delighted to congratulate Gillian on the opportunity to experience the raw beauty and warm hospitality of our chic resort, Coco Bodu Hithi. Gillian will be experiencing the seclusion of one of our Escape Water Residences, which in 2015 will see the introduction of privileged benefits such as private butler services to enhance the experience for discerning travelers.” comments Shafa Shabeer, Coco Collection’s Director of Marketing. “I thank each and every one of our participants for entering the contest and look forward to the New Year as our team prepares to roll out more surprises for guests to Rediscover Life’s Beauty.”

Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi
Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi

With the joyous announcement of this Coco Gift, Coco Collection is delighted to start the festive season off with a bang. To rekindle the merry spirits this Christmas, Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are channeling the state of ‘Ufaa’, a Dhivehi word that translates to ‘Happiness’. Some of the festive program highlights at the Coco Collection resorts will be the Christmas tradition of opening the Gingerbread Village at Air Restaurant at Coco Bodu Hithi, while Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu invites guests to join the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. With a signature tropical ornament designed around the elements of ‘Ufaa’ that guests can expect to encounter around the resorts and Coco Collection’s online platforms, the moments spent with Coco Collection will be a celebration of a joyous Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Starting off the festivities with good vibes, Coco Collection is excited to offer guests unforgettable moments, and 2015 will be the beginning of new experiences to recognize the evolving needs of the discerning traveler.