What We Love
- The property’s own art map for exploring its ever-growing collection
- A bedside iPad that controls in-room lighting, music, and temperature
- Printed kimonos in all guest bathrooms
- Japanese-Peruvian fusion at Saoke, the first restaurant in the Maldives to be designed by award-winning architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu
What To Know
- Guests are paired with their very own jadugar, or personal concierge
- Children up to age six stay free
- The property’s manta ray sculpture, designed by South African artist Porky Hefer, also functions as a cozy eight-person restaurant
- Most villas are furnished with outdoor baths and showers
- Room Service
The Maldives’ premier immersive art hotel is an atelier on an atoll with opulent overwater bungalows
The Raa Atoll, a scuba diver’s utopia in the Maldives home to reef sharks, manta rays, and soft coral gardens, earned a spot on the tourist map in the mid-90s when seaplanes first started shuttling visitors beyond the densely populated capital city of Male. But none of the area’s glamorous resorts quite stack up to Joali, an imaginative 24-acre hideaway designed to mirror ocean waves with exquisite interiors are cocooned in timber, bamboo, and terrazzo. Each of the 73 thatched-roof villas is palatial (even the smallest options are a sprawling 2,500 square feet) and come with private infinity pools and original artwork. However, it’s the detail-driven distractions that make this island escape peerless: take in an Indian Ocean sunrise from the outdoor yoga studio, learn to cook local cuisine at Her Kitchen, cool off at the liquid nitrogen ice cream counter, sip whisky at the beachfront lounge, or indulge in a botanical crash course at the Flower Garden. Afterwards, float away on a dhoni—we recommend stopping at the turtle-feeding station, about a 20-minute ride away—for a truly private slice of paradise.
In the Area
Situated on the Maldivian island of Muravandhoo, Joali is a 45-minute seaplane ride from Male; guests also have the option of taking a scheduled domestic flight to Ifuru, the nearest airport. The property can organize aquatic excursions which range from snorkeling with manta rays to dives with marine biologists, who will guide you through the locale’s vibrant sea beds—though its coral reefs were ravaged by El Nino in 2016, the tropical fish population here still thrives. Since you won’t be leaving the property to dine, take full advantage of its seven eateries, which include a hopping teppanyaki joint and an artisanal confectionary churning out over 60 ice cream flavors and house-made macarons.
How to Get There
A special corner of this beautiful earth. Our first time to the Maldives and to Joali to celebrate our wedding anniversary and with our 6 year old in tow.
We stayed at a luxury beach villa for 6 days rather than overwater villa, which was perfect with our son. The view out on to both the beach and the ocean every day was breathtaking. The private pool was a great size too. We cycled every day and the tricycle for our son was also well utilised.
Apart from the quality and decor of the luxurious villas, the personalised service and friendly warmth of all the team as well as the daily sunsets that set the sky on fire, the real star features for us were the art installations - perfectly curated. This is also what sets the Joali apart from other resorts we were looking at. Even on days it rained, to idle some hours away sitting in the Manta Ray tree house was a privilege.
A special mention also to the Japanese restaurant, Saoke. Every corner was meticulously crafted from the stone and wood lifted from Turkey and Thailand, to the viewing platforms above the shark-infested sea below to the cavernous ceilings above. The food was amongst some of the best Japanese we have tasted.
As it is a relatively new entrant to the market, I hope that as its popularity grows, it does not lose the very special essence that has been created.
We left a little bit of our hearts on this island and we look forward to visiting again one day.
This hotel is insanely gorgeous. The customer service is phenomenal, especially the attention to the details. They went above and beyond for our honeymoon. The housekeeping & turndown Services were great. The spa services were incredible. The restaurants & buffet were delicious. We can’t wait to go back for more and more anniversary
Being regular visitors to the Maldives, we were very excited to visit the newly opened Joali. Believe the reviews, this place is absolute paradise!
We stayed in both a beach and pool villa and have never seen rooms this luxurious in the Maldives, high ceilings, gorgeous furniture and every amenity you can imagine!
We travelled with two children ages 1 and 2 and the team on the island were just fantastic, the pool and ocean access area in the villa were completely fenced off which gave us great peace of mind with the little ones running around. Our butler Eliza was wonderful and the children loved her too, insisting to sit up front and ‘drive’ with her on each trip.
The food is fantastic everywhere, we ate at the Japanese three times! Breakfast is an occasion and the staff can not do enough for you...try the Mayfair cocktail at the pool bar, delicious!
The whole island has a wonderful vibe, with the art installations such as the manta ray tree houses adding to the uniqueness of Joali.
Thank you to the whole team for making our trip so perfect, we’ll be back!
We had a very lovely stay at Joali - it really felt like Paradise - the whole resort, the food, the beach and our luxurious Beach Villa and most of all our Butler Ms Lana, who took more than great care of us and made us feel home away from home! So many thanks from Christiane and Gabriela
Absolutely loved our stay at this relatively new resort , no expense has been spared and every little detail oozes class. The staff are possibly the most friendly and efficient i have ever encountered anywhere in the world , and simply refuse to say 'no' to any request .We stayed in an over water sunset villa which was very spacious , luxuriously appointed and had all the modern touches , all controlled by an Ipad . Breakfast is very good with excellent selection of hot and cold options , lunch we normally took at the Mura bar and particularly enjoyed trying the local reef fish which was always so fresh and delicious , our favourite evening restaurant was Saoke , which has an amazing setting with baby sharks and ray swimming around just feet away from you - the food is also spectacular . My daughter adored the kids club , where the staff were brilliant -they also have movie evenings for the children which she particularly enjoyed . We all cant wait to return as soon as possible - many thanks to the whole Joali team for such a great stay !