9.5
/10
A must-do experience on any hotel lovers bucket-list
Location
Accommodation
Service & Facilities
Style
Restaurants & Bars

Review of JOALI BEING

JOALI BEING is something very different for the Maldives – the first dedicated and fully nature immersive wellness sanctuary which celebrates the “joy of living”, offering its guests a personalised transformative wellbeing journey to rejuvenated health and happiness. It is an eco-friendly island as well, caring as much for the guest experience as for maintaining the environment it finds itself in. During June to August 2022, for the first time, this previously adults-only resort will open its doors to children aged between six and twelve with a range of age-appropriate activities based on the property’s ethos. 

Located on the secluded island of Bodufushi in Raa Atoll, there are 68 one, two and three-bedroom beach and over water villas, with each of the thirteen room categories, split between beach, water, family and ocean residences, offering spacious living spaces, a private pool, outdoor showers and butler service. The premier accommodation is the unique four-bedroom Wellbeing Ocean Residence, an over water villa with panoramic ocean views, a wellbeing room, gym, aerial yoga facilities and a movement zone. The four dining destinations all follow an earth to table initiative, with traceability for every ingredient, and fresh and locally harvested foods supporting sustainable small farms. Plantae focusses on fresh vegetarian and vegan dishes; Su offers ocean to table pescatarian menus, B’Well is inspired by nature whilst Mojo features international cuisine. 

With wellbeing at its core, based on the four pillars of mind, skin, microbiome and energy, it will come as no surprise that the Spa offers 39 treatment rooms and a whole host of transformational spaces sited across the island, each offering a unique name and concept, including a hydrotherapy hall, a sensory deprivation room, a Russian banya, a sound therapy hall and Aktar, the resort’s herbology centre. There are also, of course, beautifully cascading swimming pools and palm fringed beaches to discover if you can drag yourself away from the peace and tranquillity of your villa. 

Note - JOALI BEING only offers Wi-Fi in your villa. The reason is simple - the resort is all about physical and mental wellbeing and escaping the digital/social-media world - even for a few days - is fabulous for the mind. 

9 / 10
Location

Situated on the secluded island of Bodufushi in the idyllic Raa Atoll in the far northern reaches of the Maldives, JOALI BEING is just a 40-minute shared seaplane ride from Malé International Airport with private charters also being available. The resort also offers its own private airport lounge and private seaplane. 

There are 90 islands comprising Raa Atoll, 17 of which are inhabited including sister property JOALI Maldives, an “art immersive” resort, on neighbouring Muravandhoo Island. JOALI BEING is “nature immersive”. The Atoll is located close to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with access to the manta ray sanctuaries in Baa Atoll itself. 

The area is renowned for sailing and surfing with its unspoilt and relatively underexploited dive sites, much sought after by experienced divers.

9 / 10
Accommodation

The resort is comprised of 68 luxury beach and over water villas, with each of the thirteen room categories offering spacious living spaces with sea views, a private pool, outdoor rain showers and butler or “Jadugar” service. Your Jadugar is a magician – conjuring up amazing experiences and often something from nothing. Every room enjoys customised wellness minibar setups; air-conditioning; Bose sound systems; hairdryers; non-allergenic pillows; safes; tea and coffee making machines; tuned meditative balancing musical instruments; wellbeing games and more with the butlers available to book treatments, organise excursions or simply make dinner reservations. 

By using biophilic design principles, the design of the guest accommodation is intuitive and flowing, evoking harmony and balance. The 87 square metre Ocean Pool Villas are a vision of aquatic colours in the bathrooms from the floor to ceiling screens, to the shimmering ceilings and the classic marble flooring whilst the living space offers calm, neutral hues with contemporary custom furnishings, rattan chairs and are awash with light from floor to ceiling windows. Everything here is cool, calm and collected – from the central stand along bathtubs to the draped netted beds – and the wooden decks with sleek seating and loungers under parasols, outside dining tables, netted hammocks, 33 square metre infinity pools and steps down to the azure blue ocean - symmetry being king.  The Sunset Ocean Pool Villas follow a similar style but are orientated for those sweeping sunset vistas. 

The Grand Ocean Pool Villas and Sunset Grand Ocean Pool Villas are larger at 95 square metres of space to easily accommodate up to three guests. The Two Bedroom Ocean Pool Villas are perfect for two couples sharing and are a mansion afloat at 150 square metres of living space whilst the Grand Two-Bedroom Ocean Pool Villa is larger still at 175 square metres of space. 

The largest over water villa is the Four Bedroom Water Villa offering 503 square metres of space - the ultimate overwater mansion - accommodating up to 10 guests with a maze of rooms and unexpected outdoor spaces. With a 188 square metre infinity pool, the space offers four large bedrooms, a spacious living area, a wellbeing room, a private movement and fitness zones. 

On land, the 95 square metre Beach Pool Villas are set in a tropical landscape with ocean views from the pool deck and direct beach access. Flooded with light, these airy spaces offer indoor / outdoor living with spacious seating areas, outdoor sunken bathtubs and rain showers. The pools are slightly smaller at 25 square metres. The Grand Beach Pool Villas offer toes in the sand luxury at 110 square metres of space and a 35 square metre private pool. The Two-bedroom Beach Pool Villa at 155 square metres of space offers unrestricted access to the beach and is set peacefully within a tropical landscape with the pool just a tempting few steps from the bedroom for early morning dips. It can accommodate up to six people making it ideal for small groups or families. 

There are three larger beach villas and residences starting with the Two-Bedroom Wellbeing Beach Pool Villa at 225 square metres of space accommodating up to six guests; the Two-Bedroom Wellbeing Beach Residence at 275 square metres of space for up to five guests and the Three-Bedroom Wellbeing Beach Residence at 345 square metres of generous living. This latter beach residence, complete with kitchenette for snacking, offers the ultimate in spacious private living for a multi-generational seven-person holiday with an 105 square metre infinity pool and the pristine beach just a step away with the ocean beckoning close by.

10 / 10
Service & Facilities

JOALI BEING has been designed with biophilic principles ensuring that the natural flow of energy is uninterrupted from coast to coast, allowing guests to reconnect with nature to being a journey of rediscovery and renewal around the four pillars of wellbeing – mind, skin, microbiome and energy. 

Combining both modern science and age-old traditional therapies, a dedicated team of naturopaths, therapists and movement experts will work with each guest to design a tailored programme for their stay. 

With Immersion Programmes available for five nights to three weeks, the retreat’s experts will undertake an Intelligent Movement Analysis and an Integrative Health Assessment for every guest, after which they will suggest a custom-made programme to achieve a guest’s goals for their stay at the resort. The plan is that guests will leave with a sense of “weightlessness” and renewal, taking the essence of their Joali Being programme home, to integrate within their day to day lives. 

Joali Being offers a collection of experiences including tailored fitness routines and interactive workshops with Mind & Body, Movement & Meditation Group Classes and Group Learning Activities. These include private cookery classes to aid immunity, nutrition and weight loss, a tour of the Aktar Herbology Workshop & Garden Tour, tea celebrations and Culinary Workshops for up to eight people. There are also Body Rejuvenation Treatments, Mind Health Balance Treatments, Mindful Movement Sessions, Energy Balancing Treatments, Mind & Body Specialised Sessions and Mind & Body Specialised Sessions. 

For summer 2022 during the months of June, July and August, the formerly adults only, JOALI BEING will invite children aged between six to twelve years of age to enjoy the resort with a range of activities designed to promote “The Joy of Wellbing”. The weekly programme will help young guests to connect with nature and to experience the importance of wellbeing in a fun and creative way. Activities will include jungle yoga, nature scavenger hunts, tennis camps, medicine garden and herbology workshops as well as water-based fun such as snorkelling, ghost net bracelet workshops and dolphin cruises. Mini chefs will also be able to show off their cooking skills with a MasterChef style cooking class as well as workshops showing how to make smoothies and “nice-cream”. 

Facilities include The Aktar, the resort’s herbology centre inspired by the healing power of herbs and plants; The Discovery Sound Path, a meditative musical garden which leads to SEDA, a music therapy hall; Kaashi, The Hydrotherapy Hall including a Russian Banya, an Aufguss Sauna and the Sensory Deprivation Room and the over water Ocean Sala housing an antigravity yoga pavilion, a podologist centre and a meditation desk overlooking the ocean.

9 / 10
Style

This is a resort with a difference, combining the worlds of nature with those of wellbeing in every aspect of its operation. 

The architecture complements its natural surroundings yet at the same time references traditional Maldivian forms, with lofty ceilings rising to the rafters. That is where the comparisons stop however as the style offers more flowing signature shapes with the ultra-contemporary interiors inspired by the island’s natural surroundings. This biophilic design in turn pulls inspiration from the very land and seascape themselves whether they are shorelines, sea waves, shells or lush vegetation. The result is a peacefully serene and pleasingly cohesive range of buildings located across the island with a hint of Zaha Hadid about the natural curves. 

Such symmetry is simply stunning and with my personalised tailored wellness programme in hand, I can already feel my stress levels reducing swiftly with an immense sense of peace engulfing me. I finally understand what the resort’s experts are talking about – I return home renewed with a new sense of “weightlessness”, my cares and woes slipping from my shoulders, and a transformed view about wellness and its importance in my everyday life.

10 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

The four dining destinations all follow an earth to table initiative, with traceability for every ingredient, with fresh and locally harvested foods supporting sustainable small farms. Every dish is devised alongside the resort’s nutritionists, combining taste and texture with healthy wellbeing. 

The restaurant space, with its tall domed ceilings is a cathedral to cuisine, combines into an open plan interactive format called Flow which is serviced by three restaurant kitchens – those of Plantae which focusses on vegetarian and vegan cuisine; Su serving pescatarian dishes and B’Well which features a signature JOALI BEING menu. 

The fourth dining venue is Mojo, a relaxed beach hideaway spilling out over beachfront terraces by the MOJO pool, offering international cuisine. 

This being a luxury resort however, bespoke dining arrangements can be made for guests to dine wherever they would like – on a sandbank, on the beach, in the jungle or even in an inviting Turtle Treehouse.

Sustainability

The luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand of JOALI is committed to sustainability with every aspect of their company philosophy founded on the idea of “responsible luxury”. 

At JOALI BEING this is particularly so as this is an eco-resort, sustainability and environmental principles are at the heart of its operation. The island houses one of the Maldives’ three turtle conservation sanctuaries which has been developed in cooperation with Olive Ridley Project. They are also initiating a reef restoration project and a coral nursery.

Long term, the property collaborates with EarthCheck on several long-term initiatives which include a desalination water-bottling plant, a rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling system, a 1750 food waste composter, a glass crusher and recycler, a plant waste shredder for fertilising the island’s gardens and a biological wastewater treatment plant for safe discharge. 

The resort goes out of its way to procure sustainable ingredients like fair trade teas, single-origin coffee beans, TUNA LOCAL and hand-caught lobster.

What We Love

  • Cuisine: No traditional pizza, fries, burgers, bread, chocolate or sweets. BUT the Chef and his Team serves up the best cuisine on any island in any Ocean – washed down with excellent organic wines if you so wish. The tuna tataki and lobster curry are simple divine! Healthy food has never tasted so good. A truly healthy holiday island.
  • Experiences: After a Watsu (hydrotherapy), 180 of the longest seconds of your life in a MINUS 87 degrees Cryotherapy pod, a Banya, a pink Himalayan salt room, a massage and a session with the Herbologist, your life will change for the better. Just imagine the most diverse & best spa facility in the world, spread liberally on a paraside Indian Ocean island and JOALI BEING is probably, nay definitely - it.
  • Architecture: JOALI BEING is “designed” … it’s haute couture for buildings. Everything has exaggerated and purposeful curves and lines. The interior to AREKA (spa) is breathtaking. It’s something out of 2001 Space Odyssey – and behind every door is something special. All the villas are picture-perfect in & out. The odd practicality is cast aside to provide that model look though. 
  • Limited Wi-Fi: Only available in your villa. FANTASTIC!

    Varun Sharma
    Editor-In-Chief
    BusinessClass.com

What They Love

  • Our unique JOALI BEING team: We have experts from all around the world connected and gathered on this island to deliver a unique experience leaving our guests feeling a sense of 'weightlessness'. Our signature activities are centred around the Four Pillars of JOALI BEING: Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy, whether invigorating cryotherapy or Microbiome enhancing tea celebration; our experts surely will take you on a transformational journey.
  • Wellness is the future of travel: We have brought to a secluded island in the Indian Ocean a concept that will redefine the luxury travel scene of the destination.
  • You decide: Here at JOALI BEING, we meet guests where they are and take them where they wish to go. Whether they wish to experience a full Immersion Programme with tailored nutritional menus, sleep schedules, fitness and wellbeing routines or simply enjoy a relaxing time in the Maldives, we have it covered.

    Özgür Cengiz
    General Manager
    JOALI BEING