Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature

Travel to The Island in the Maldives with Catherine Cooper

  • Submitted: 11th October 2023

The Island – Catherine Cooper – Maldives

It’s clearly Autumn and the cold weather and dark night are drawing in so what better time than now for a holiday in the Maldives?

Catherine Cooper is your guide………..

BookTrail locations in The Island

Travel to The Island in the Maldives with Catherine Cooper

BookTrail locations in The Island

The Island is my fourth ‘destination thriller’ and with all of my books so far featuring luxurious settings – a high-end ski chalet, a French chateau and a huge cruise ship moored in the Caribbean – for this one, I wanted things to be off the scale in terms of what was on offer for its visitors. And I couldn’t think of anywhere which would be a better fit than the Maldives.

As a travel writer I had often included Maldivian resorts in features I was writing for various papers so I knew all about the clear blue sea, the incredible marine life, the underwater restaurants, incredible spas and stunning beaches – but I’d never actually been.

BookTrail locations in The Island

Huvafen Fushi

Huvafen Fushi (c) Catherine Cooper

BookTrail locations in The Island

catherine cooper

catherine cooper

While I was writing The Island, I was lucky enough to go on a press trip to visit Huvafen Fushi, a small ultra-luxe Maldivian resort made up of beach and over-water villas, a short speedboat ride from the Maldives capital, Male. And while in some ways it was exactly as I expected and hoped a resort in the Maldives would be, it was also, somehow, so much more.

Even as I stepped off the plane, I was whisked away from the hub of the hectic airport to an air-conditioned, calm room where check in to the hotel was arranged before being taken I was taken to private speedboat which whizzed me to the island while I sipped chilled coconut water.

On arrival, I was served champagne (of course) before being taken to my villa on a golf buggy by Yoonus, my personal butler for my stay, who was there to arrange anything I might want during my stay – no need to call reception or room service – he would do it all.

BookTrail locations in The Island

Bath of your dreams (c) Catherine Cooper

Bath of your dreams (c) Catherine Cooper

BookTrail locations in The Island

The villas in The Island are inspired by the one I stayed in here – as well as the enormous bedroom, dressing room and the bathroom of dreams, outside on the terrace was my own plunge pool, a large, shaded day bed where I actually wrote some of the book, and steps down to the sea. Yoonus kindly took the time to show me the largest villa in the resort which had a huge living room with viewing window in the floor so you could watch fish swim by, an indoor/outdoor pool, separate jacuzzi and a dining area with full kitchen. Claire’s villa was very loosely modelled on this.

Travel to the island with Catherine Cooper

Room which inspired the resort (c) Catherine Cooper

BookTrail locations in The Island

The two things which I hadn’t really fully appreciated before my trip were the level of service and the privacy. The villas at Huvafen Fushi were arranged (as in The Island) so that if you chose not to, you could spend your entire week without seeing anyone or anyone seeing you (except perhaps a passing swimmer or boat if you were on your terrace). This was especially true of the largest villa which was at the end of a wooden walkway, all on its own, and had all you need to be entirely self-sufficient, should you want to. Which, for my purposes, was perfect when it came to getting up to the dastardly deeds going on in The Island without being overlooked.

And when it comes to service…the staff seemed to be constantly in touch with each other – Yoonus knew my schedule and would let housekeeping know when I was out of the villa so they could come in and clean, and might arrive with a buggy as a I finished dinner to see if I wanted a lift back. They also did all this with the perfect balance of politeness and friendliness so it never felt overwhelming – it was quite an art.

BookTrail locations in The Island

Travel to the island with Catherine Cooper

The resort (c) Catherine Cooper

BookTrail locations in The Island

Huvafen Fushi is the only resort in the Maldives with an underwater spa – I descended eight metres under the water into a treatment room for a blissful massage while colourful fish swam outside the window. For The Island, this became an underwater restaurant – there are several on other islands.

I am not a diver but I had a brilliant snorkelling trip with resident marine biologist Hamid who was extremely patient with all my questions about poisonous sea creatures – and we swam with sharks! He assured me they were not dangerous. The diving is reputably amazing, and dive master Antonina cheerfully talked me through how a character might cause a diving ‘accident.’

Travel to the island with Catherine Cooper

Real or a statue? (c) Catherine Cooper

BookTrail locations in The Island

It probably goes without saying that the food was incredible and the scenery so stunning it simply barely looked real – palm trees set against a perfect sea and sky, wooden walkways and villas made of natural materials but most of all, so much space and calm. Magical.

 

Wow Catherine. I so want, no NEED, to go there now!

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass:The Island

Twitter: @catherinecooper

 

 

Back to Authorsonlocation

Featured Book

A Poisoner’s Tale

1651: Inspired by the true story of Giulia Tofana: The Angel of Death with a Vial of Vengeance

Read more