Thaa Atoll is actually a shortened version of the atoll’s real name, which is Kolhumadulu Atoll. Thaa is the code for the atoll, and it is easier for foreign tongues to shape, so the Maldives have adopted the nickname in order to provide yet another example of their superlative customer service. COMO Maalifushi is the only resort to be found on this pristine and otherwise untouched atoll, where the close to excellent diving site and good surf is.
Remote by anyone’s standards, COMO Maalifushi is accessible through a one-hour seaplane voyage from the Maldives’ capital, Malé. The atoll is an archipelago of over sixty islands (most uninhabited) which form the world’s largest ring-shaped coral reef, covering an area of over 500 square miles.
COMO Maalifushi Maldives
COMO Maalifushi is a first for the Maldives, with Japanese designer Koichiro Ikebuchi having been brought in to appoint the interiors of the 65 villas, which are divided more or less evenly between land-based villas, suites and garden rooms, and over water villas and suites, with 32 of the former, and 33 of the latter.
All feature raised thatched roofing and yellow balau hardwood construction for elegance, simplicity and strength in surroundings that enhance and display the surroundings as much as they offer privacy and protection to the inhabitants. The overall water buildings all feature private pools and decking that is raised above the lagoon, while the land-based accommodation is tucked away in natural nooks of the islands geography – and yet all are a mere step away from the beach.
The views are stupendous, and you will while away meditative hours simply watching the magnificent calm of the Indian Ocean, stretching away into the distance. But you do not have to be isolated at COMO Maalifushi if you feel like some company or even some pampering. The COMO Shambhala Retreat is a wellness centre offering international standard yoga practises and food that would not be out of place in a five-star Parisian restaurant.
Access to the marine life through diving, snorkelling and fishing is offered and carefully monitored for the guests’ comfort and safety as much as to protect the beautiful surroundings and diverse marine life, which even includes some of the bigger fish like hammerheads and whale sharks. If the surf attracts you, but you have no experience, do not worry – instructors are available to guide you expertly from complete novice to capable and practised expert during the season.
The cuisine is world class, with much emphasis on the oceanic setting of the resort – seafood is wonderfully fresh and proliferates on the menu. Tai is the name of the signature restaurant and features seafood with a Japanese flavour, including a sushi bar that allows guests to eat out on the terrace, enjoying the sights and smells of the island along with their exquisitely flavoured foods. Madi is the alternative restaurant where you can sample some traditional Maldivian dishes, Mediterranean favourites and even Indonesian and Thai-influenced dishes.
For special occasions (such as a beachside proposal, for example) or simply to enjoy some solitude, you can even dine on your own private island. The uninhabited islands are sometimes used for these experiences and they come with a personal butler who manages all the logistics effortlessly. Personal butlers are also available for guests in the exclusive COMO Residence and Villas, and Maalifushi Beach Villas and Water Villas, if you want to indulge in a full service package! For more sociable guests, you can enjoy a healthy menu at the COMO Shambhala Cuisine, or you can enjoy a casual pizza, baked seafood, or even a salad if you are feeling virtuous at the Thila Bar, which is a pool bar and lounge where billiards is available for afters!
The signature COMO customer service is found in all these outlets, and the warmth, discretion and determination that every guest should have a wonderful time will leave you longing to have that gold-star service at home!
Further information at www.comohotels.com
You can read this and many more interesting reports in the Eat & Travel Magazine Winter Edition 2020.