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
Joali has only been actively open for about a year. The hardware is incredibly well appointed with very generously sized villas with excellent disposition, automation and quality of all details. It's really a joy to spend time there. We were greeted at our transfer speedboat by the Butler Melih as we were transferring to Joali from another resort. He made the long one hour trip all the way to meet us as he knew the sea was quite harsh that day (following a day of a Typhoon passing) and he wanted to make sure our family was properly supported. Instantly we realized that we would be very well taken care of. From that point on Melih made sure that all details, small and large were immediately anticipated and taken care of. Always with a genuine smile and with true interest in our vacation being the absolute best.
Joali is a very special place where all team-members have been hand-picked and bring genuine kindness and professionalism to their guests. We also did several excursions, seeing Sea Turtles as well as dolphins and truly enjoyed these experiences as well.
Joali is truly beautifully built, with great cuisine and a very private and exclusive feel. As enjoyable for couples as for families. But the thing that really stands out, is how well the Joali-team takes care of their guests. We can't wait to go back!
My husband and I just spent a week at Joali and I’m having difficulty finding words that will do justice to our experience at the resort. To say it was simply amazing seems almost tepid. From the moment we landed in Male after what seemed like endless hours of travel we were able to relax and let go. We were brought to the temporary lounge and I had an opportunity to quickly freshen up before we were escorted to the Sea Plane and our wonderful adventure truly began. Landing at Joali was breathtaking and although I was operating on about 2 hours sleep over the past 24 hours the refreshing welcome drink, the warm welcome and the lovely island tour revived me.
When we reached our Sunset Water Villa I was blown away by the chic space and the unabashed luxury. I turned to my husband and said “Honey, I’m home.” I knew never wanted to leave. The attention to detail, especially the professional flat iron for this humidity challenged woman was particularly lovely.
Everyone who works at Joali was lovely, warm, interesting and interested. We enjoyed hearing about where people were from and getting small glimpses of their lives and cultures. I can’t say enough about the staff. From the people we greeted everyday while cycling to breakfast, the restaurant staff and our incredibly jadugar, Shauzun. You all made our stay memorable and special. The offer of a hair tie on a windy night at Saoke was just a lovely touch. We had a blast learning to make cocktails at Mura Bar and the massage I had last day was incredible. I cried a little when we left.
I can’t wait to return.
My husband and I chose Joali for our honeymoon trip! The water pool villa in this beautiful island was amazing and its services are far more than our expectation, food are delicious and people here are so friendly! The director and our Butler-Yasir are extremely considering and sweet. Thanks Joali for giving us this amazingly wonderful honeymoon, and we are looking forward to meeting you again soon.