As you step from your seaplane on to the thatched arrivals jetty, you’ll realise this is Maldives luxury re-imagined, as the pink linen-clad staff offer a royal welcome. The 73 beach and overwater villas that stretch away to nothing at the outreach of the boardwalk reinforce the feeling this is deeply special. And the end-of-the-pier Private Ocean Residence can accommodate your big party with regal privacy… and two infinity pools.
An international coalition of Turkish and Japanese designers planned the accommodation to be simultaneously pampering and sleek. We love the interiors with their lofty roofs and soothing mix of locally-sourced bamboo, hard-carved wooden panelling and cool marble floors. A copper-covered private bar features in every one, plus steps down to the white sand and lapping aquamarine sea.
There’s an excellent art map to guide you around the many and various art installations dotted around the main island. The Joali team invited art curators Zeynep Ercan and Asliala Onur from Istanbul to co commission pieces from more than a dozen artists, with appeal to everyone from connoisseurs to the most expressive of junior minds. The huge Heron Head and Manta Ray sculptures by Cape Town Porky Hefer stop you in your tracks. Other stand-out artists contributing pieces include London’s Glithero, Israel’s Peled Zemer, and the Gaudi-influenced Misha Kahn from New York. Many pieces are actually on sale, so it you fall in love with one you can stick a red dot on it and have it shipped home. In true gallery style, though, that’s only when its exhibition time is over.
If you’re taking your whole family there’s masses to stimulate, and a permanent art studio is open so that inspiration can become an artwork of your own. That’s a great counter-balance to the many water sports on offer – water-skiing, snorkelling, wake-boarding, yacht charters, and boat trips for island-hopping or diving.
The Japanese Saoke restaurant, with its mouth-watering teppanyaki and sushi, carries dreamy feelings into the evening with its sunken seating, free-flowing water channels, mysterious lighting and amazing Jenga-like ceiling.
We think this incredibly beautiful place reinvents the Maldives for a whole new generation of luxury travellers. Just pop a paintbrush in with that toothbrush…
At A Glance…
- Joali is a new art immersive property in the Maldives, located on Muravandhoo island on the Raa Atoll. Joali is one of the first and only hotels in the Maldives to be immersed in art, with interactive and experiential pieces featured throughout the island.
- The resort is made up of 73 one to four bedroom villas and residences, all come with a Joali butler and infinity pool.
- There are four restaurants at Joali offering tastes and flavours from all over the globe.
Why 360 Loves It…
- Located in one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world, Joali is surrounded by blue waters perfect for marine water sports including water skiing, wakeboarding, diving and snorkelling.
- Joali Spa by ESPA offers tailor-made treatments offering you the ultimate spa experience.
- Our favourite accommodation at Joali has got to be the Private Ocean Residence – featuring three bedrooms, two living rooms, two infinity pools as well as a boat for transfers to the spa and restaurants.