The Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort opened its doors to guests only a couple of years ago, and during my visit to the resort, I recall saying to myself back then that this has got to be one of the best Mercure properties in the world.
It’s location allows for a great level of privacy. In fact, the hotel is located on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll Kooddoo Island, over 200 nautical miles to the south of Male. This means that you’ll have to catch a domestic flight upon arriving in Male just to get to the hotel. Given this additional domestic sector that you’ll have to take, it is strongly advisable to coordinate your arriving international flight with the property, so that they can arrange for the best domestic connection for you. Note that if you arrive into Male late in the night, you may have to stay one night in Male before catching the domestic flight to Kooddoo Island the following day.
Thankfully for me, I managed to catch the last domestic flight from Male to Kooddoo Island despite arriving into Male pretty late into the evening.
The hotel staff will meet you upon your arrival in Kooddoo Island, where you’ll be transported to the resort grounds. Given my late arrival, my documents were processed efficiently and I was given a lift to my overwater villa by means of a buggy. For city dwellers, you’ll need to get accustomed to the vastness of the ocean as you stare out from your overwater villa, where everything will be pitch black at night.
But things are different during the day. The resort comes to life with the reef below teeming with sea life, from fish to turtles to the occasional reef shark.
The overwater villas are pretty spacious. With the rough octagonal layout, you’ll get to enjoy sweeping views of the Indian Ocean.
The villas were designed with a nautical theme in mind, for the inspired traveller. Charging ports and reading lights are well within reach from the bed as well.
In the front of the villa, you’ll find a couple of armchairs arranged around a coffee table that sits right on top of reinforced glass, where you can peer beneath your overwater villa to catch a glimpse of the sea life below.
Some welcome amenities were sent to my room ahead of my arrival, which was a nice touch.
At the other end of the room, you’ll find a work desk, but no one should ever be doing work in the Maldives!
The overwater villa felt very roomy given the roof that tapers all the way to the apex.
Out on the deck, the ocean is your backyard. A mounted ladder gives you direct access to the reef, and as a safety precaution, you’ll be briefed on the safe zone where you can snorkel without getting into any trouble at all.
Instead of staying cooped up in the villa, it might do you some good to just laze on the deck chairs and work on your tan.
The overwater villa as an indoor bathroom with double vanity, as well as an outdoor shower, perfect for those who wish to rinse down after a swim in the ocean.
You’ll also find a minibar and extra towels, as well as an in-room safe, within your villa.
The layout of the entire resort allows guests with maximum privacy, with the overwater villas stretching some distance from the island, where most of the common facilities are located.
Perhaps the key highlight would have to be the infinity pool that overlooks the ocean.
There are deck chairs all around the pool, and it never got crowded at all during my entire stay.
There are other facilities that guests can make use of as well. As these are quite sparsely situated around the resort grounds, you can request for a buggy to get you to wherever you need to be.
Some of the amenities include tennis ball and volleyball courts, as well as a fully equipped fitness centre.
If you wish, you can also make a trip to the dive centre, where they’ll provide you with more information on the water activities available. For guests who wish to snorkel from their overwater villas, you can obtain some snorkelling equipment from here too.
If you’re looking for something to eat, you can always drop by Alita and Vistas, both of which serve up international food and a wide range of beverages as well.
They also bring dining with a view to a whole new level.
The poolside bar serves light bites to go with your refreshing beverage, a perfect accompaniment to go with your afternoon dip in the pool.
Breakfast is served daily at Alita, and there’s ample indoor and outdoor seating available for guests.
I found the food and beverage options above average, but in reality you don’t have much of a choice as you can’t leave the island as and when you like to get stuff from elsewhere.
Of course the fun doesn’t stop when the sun begins to set. As you head out for dinner, you’ll enjoy the calm atmosphere as you stroll around the resort grounds, lit only by dim floor lighting.
You can even enjoy some drinks by the pool right after your dinner if you so wish.
On the day of my departure, my domestic connection to Male was scheduled late in the day, so even after checking out of my overwater villa, the staff actually offered me another private villa, one of several that were specially reserved for guests with late departures.
The villa isn’t a shared facility, so you’ll have an entire one for yourself. You won’t find a bed in it, but there are sofas, a television, and a private infinity pool! So you can continue to enjoy the Maldivian experience even after checking out of your overwater villa while waiting for your flight out.
Overall, the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort offers great privacy given the overall layout of the resort, and its secluded location on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. Yes, it might be a bit of a hassle with the additional domestic connection, but its definitely worth it! Most importantly, the staff made sure I felt very much at home by making sure that everything was well taken care of, from arrival to departure. That’s why I truly believe that this has got to be one of the best Mercure properties in the world!