TEXT: Sari Kusumaningrum; PHOTOS: Joali Maldives; ADDITIONAL PHOTOS: Sari Kusumaningrum
At the end of last year, I had the opportunity to sense the life between the palm trees, sand covered feet and shimmering water. Located on its own private island in the Raa Atoll, Joali Maldives offers unconventional luxury through the lens of the resort’s “Joy of Living” philosophy, which welcomes guests to celebrate the joy in every passing moment.
My exotic journey to Joali began shortly after arrival at the Male airport where I was invited to relax in a private lounge before taking a 45-minute seaplane to the resort. On this trip, I experienced a new kind of sustainable glamour and a dedication to immersive art that has never before been seen in the Maldives, in addition to elegant overwater and beach villas, including two, three and four-bedroom residences, facilities and four innovative restaurant concepts with a distinct focus on design.
Joali seeks to create unique and unforgettable experiences for the most discerning and well-travelled guest, curating the finest in architecture, art and design while always delivering exceptional locations, outstanding hospitality and personalised service.
DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE
Joali Maldives is teeming with life, surrounded by tranquil lagoons, pristine white-sand beaches and a lush landscape of coconut palms. Internationally-renowned design studio, Autoban, architecture and design studio, Atolye4n, and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt were appointed to lead the overall design and architectural ingenuity throughout the 24-acre resort from an inviting Maldivian entrance featuring artisan wood to encompassing the feminine spirit of the property through natural, subtle colours and smooth transitions that blend with the island’s spirit and culture. The resort’s sustainability story begins with its master plan and layout, which preserved over 1,000 trees during the construction process.
LUXURY BEACH AND WATER VILLAS
Each of the villas was inspired by different stories and designed to set guests on a rich sensory experience. It features a private infinity pool, butler service, artisanal amenities, curated in-villa libraries, thoughtful design and handpicked art. Stand out accommodations include the Four Bedroom Beach Residence that boasts over 5,000 square feet across four exquisite bedrooms nestled in a private beach enclave, offering guests sunrise and sunset views. The extravagant accommodations include indoor and outdoor living space, private infinity pool, spa cabana and sauna, curated library and guest quarters.
Joali offers four innovative restaurant concepts designed to take guests on a culinary journey. Her Kitchen is a personalised culinary experience for guests to learn and enjoy delicious meals. Vandhoo Restaurant offers a specially designed dining experience encompassing South East Asian, Chinese, Mediterranean, Levant cuisines. World-renowned restaurant architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu designed a distinctly Japanese restaurant with a lounge that offers the most incredible views. Those who seek this pearl from the Mediterranean shall find an Italian fine dining experience that offers a piece of Italy right in the Maldives.
ACTIVITIES AND WELLBEING
From yachting to meeting the enigmatic manta rays and majestic whales every excursion is an adventure. Guests can visit the local island to discover what Joali Maldives has to offer. For those who enjoy water sports, from water skiing to hiring a speedboat is an option for those who want to add a little excitement to their island life. Enjoy the lush, unending colours of emerald and turquoise while parasailing or wakeboarding. Guests can also dive and snorkel to discover the vibrant corals of the island and the world under the sea with a marine biologist.
Created with globally renowned Spa experts ESPA and delivered by the talented team, Joali Spa journey chars a holistic path, caring for the guests' entire wellbeing. At Joali, fitness is a mindset and working out is much more enjoyable in the Maldives. With its breathtaking views overlooking the crystal clear ocean and lush green foliage, the fitness centre on the second floor offers an indoor workout experience at the heart of nature.
ART IMMERSIVE HOTEL
As one of the first immersive art resorts in the Maldives, Joali is surrounded by interactive and experiential artistic pieces that incorporate surrounding nature and celebrate young designers, including Misha Khan, Nacho Carbonell, Porky Hefer, London-based Studio Glithero, Zemer Peled, Chris Wolston, Doug Johnston, Ardmore and more. Guests can explore the resort’s extensive art collection with an exclusive art map which spotlights areas of interest including those works created in collaboration with local artisans to support the Maldivian community. Whimsical work is also featured at the Art Studio & Gallery, which invites international guest artists to exhibit throughout the year. Eye-catching art and true relaxation are also delivered in the resort’s Living Room, where guests can decompress in comfort while reading one of the over 1,000 books available.