Coco Privé, Maldives

Coco Privé, Maldives

“No request is too small or too extravagant.” When you’ve been
invited to stay on one of the most exclusive private islands in the
world for what is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience (unless
you’re P-Diddy et al.) you’re naturally going to want to put this
kind of statement (challenge?) to the test. At £40,000 a night, you
really need to make sure paying guests are getting bang for their
buck. But what does £27 a minute look like?

An islet floating in the north Male Atoll of the Maldives, the
Coco Privé experience begins long before you arrive.
Guests are asked in advance about their whims, desires and dreams,
be it your milk preference or favourite wine, pillow softness or
whether you’d like to sleep under the stars (yes please).

Previous visitors – who include Ludacris, Joe Jonas, Sophie
Turner and Kevin Hart alongside various Middle Eastern and European
royalty – have taken to the “anything is possible” ethos with
gusto. A custom-built draft beer counter was set up on the beach
for a guest with a penchant for
brews, while another client requested that a load of
specialist gym equipment be flown in from the US so he could
continue his avant-garde workout routine on holiday, along with
three chefs to cater to a very specific diet. One family
interviewed and vetted over 50 “animators” (a special type of
Eastern European entertainer-cum-nanny, apparently) before flying
two of them to the island to curate bespoke playtime itineraries
(complete several costume changes) for their little darlings;
another demanded that a seaplane be landed in the middle of the
ocean so they could bathe in a particular patch of water.

Following this, requests such as impromptu foam parties,
overwater stages or sandbank black-tie dinners several miles
offshore become a relative doddle for the impeccable, ever-smiling
staff, whose service, we think, is one of the biggest draws of Coco


A master residence of penthouse proportions crowns the house,
complete with a balcony jacuzzi looking out over an endless expanse
of aquamarine. Across the five guest villas dotted among palms and
hibiscus flowers, natural wood, soft tones and sliding glass doors
bring the outside in creating a relaxed pared-down luxury that
could almost be a home away from home. Ostentatiously flash party
pad this is not, though bespoke furniture, beds large enough to
sleep a family, gargantuan bathtubs, showers that massage your back
with warm jets and full-sized Acqua di Parma products are all
excellent props if you can’t resist acting out “Cribs”. Of course,
everything is controlled by iPad, though if you really can’t be
bothered to open the blinds or turn on your television (the rises
out of the end of the floor on demand) you can just call your
24-hour personal butler to do it for you.

What’s for breakfast?

Off the back of an excruciating hangover, we decided that fried
chicken and champagne were appropriate. The less louche can get the
chef to whip up anything from granola to eggs or pancakes – but
you’re more imaginative than that.

How about lunch and dinner?

For those not used to a lavish lifestyle, it turns out that when
faced with infinite choices, people panic and order something
disappointingly pedestrian like a Caesar salad or burger – perhaps
then asking for mayo, ketchup and mustard as an attempt at being
tricky. With this in mind, we recommend following the chef’s lead
and chowing down on the beautiful array of bread, dips, seafood
caught that day, rainbow-coloured salads, barbecue, sushi, steak,
dim sum… not to mention the dessert. The list is infinite, as your
stomach will need to be.

Is there a bar?

Yes, in the main house a gloriously stocked bar is permanently
tended by expert mixologist who will mix you up a devilishly good
tipple at any hour. Needless to say, champagne is on tap.


A dedicated team of personal hosts; 24-hour dining (with all
your meals and snacks prepared by your own private chef); unlimited
beverages including alcohol from the cocktail bar and wine cellar;
unlimited spa treatments from your personal therapist; unlimited
diving (including use of equipment); water sports such as canoeing,
catamaran sailing and windsurfing; private luxury yacht return
transfer from Male airport.

Off the island, staff can arrange swimming with manta rays;
big-game fishing; shark diving; snorkelling with turtles; local
island visits and sunset cruising.

Our favourite bit? The glass
infinity pool
– one of the largest we’ve laid eyes on,
dramatically lit up at night for that mandatory post-dinner

Things I should know

It’s downhill from here. And no matter how much you beg, flatter
or blackmail the staff they will not utter a word about the things
they have seen on this island.

Within a short walk I can find…

Nothing. This really is your own private enclave, with trees and
foliage positioned for ultimate privacy, and a ban on any boats
passing too near the island (no long-lens cameras will be snapping
your topless sunbathing here). Yes, the service and surroundings
are absolutely unrivalled here, it seems that what you are really
paying for at Coco Privé is peace of mind: this is a haven where
you are guaranteed total and utter privacy for the duration of your
stay. For those plagued by the flash of paparazzi bulbs 24/7, you
can’t put a price on that.