This New Luxury Hotel in the Maldives Should Be Top on Your Bucket List
Our column "The Best Room At" offers a glimpse inside some of the most charming, luxurious, and iconic properties around the world.
There’s no shortage of luxury resorts in the Maldives. In fact, it seems that fancy new properties are popping up every few months—so in order for a hotel to stand out from the rest, it has to offer something truly special.
You’ll find that 'something special' at Joali, an uber-luxury resort that opened in October 2018. The concept is decidedly unique to the Maldives: Joali bills itself as the first art-immersive resort in the region, featuring works from established artists and emerging talent, as well as pieces created by the local community.
And while Joali’s art collection is no doubt impressive, there’s so much more that makes the property one of the best in the Maldives. From the moment you step foot onto the sprawling jetty upon arrival, you are instantly transported to a five-star paradise where your every need is anticipated. Each villa has a dedicated butler or “jadugar” (the Maldivian word for “magician”) who looks after you throughout your stay. They’ll make dinner arrangements, deliver snorkeling equipment directly to your room, ensure your coffee bar is stocked with your favorite milk or espresso flavor—without you even having to ask.
Rooms fall into two categories—beach villas and overwater villas—and you can’t go wrong with either. They have vaulted ceilings that are so dramatic, you’ll feel as if you’re staying in a beachfront cathedral, but their vastness is balanced by warm furnishings in neutral tones and cozy nooks for sunbathing or relaxing.
Small details throughout the property make it clear that the hotel spared no expense. Rooms come stocked with high-end hair dryers as well as straightening irons, and two different bathrobes per guest (one in lightweight cotton, and another in plush terrycloth.)
Joali is the kind of place where you can choose to stay busy—or do absolutely nothing. Activities range from cocktail making classes to wine tastings, and scuba diving to sunset cruises. From a culinary standpoint, the property has an impressive number of offerings, with the standouts being Saoke, a Japanese restaurant that rivals Nobu, and Bellinis, an Italian restaurant that serves burrata so fresh you’d think you were in Italy.
Below, Joali’s general manager Steven Phillips offers a glimpse into the best room at the hotel—and a few of the reasons why the hotel has been such a success.
BOOK NOW: Joali Maldives
DESCRIBE THE HOTEL IN A SENTENCE.
JOALI Maldives is the first art-immersive resort in the region, offering a unique experience and unconventional luxury for guests that upholds the resort’s dedication to sustainable glamour.
WHICH ROOM IS THE BEST?
The Four Bedroom Beach Residence.
Our Four Bedroom Beach Residence 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. Guests staying in the residence also have 24-hour access to a personal butler and valet service, buggy and personal driver.
WHAT'S THE AVERAGE NIGHTLY RATE?
The Four Bedroom Beach Residence starts at $22,500 per night.
WHO IS YOUR TYPICAL GUEST?
Our guests are those who appreciate the finer things in life, and at JOALI we didn’t spare any detail in our design, culinary, local excursions, private seaplane lounge or art programming to offer a new approach to the luxury resort experience.
WHAT'S ONE LOCAL RECOMMENDATION YOU ALWAYS GIVE VISITORS?
JOALI is a place where you can do everything or nothing. We see a lot of first-time guests excited to pack their itineraries full of experiences. Our “Joie de Vivre” philosophy, which welcomes guests to celebrate the joy in every passing moment, offers just that – the option to partake in bespoke Maldivian experiences, from snorkeling with manta rays, private sandbank meals and wakeboarding to chartered yacht and Dhoni excursions and meeting with members of local communities. We also encourage guests to interpret that philosophy by taking time to relax and recharge with friends and loved ones. Either way, each guests personal butler, or “Jadugar” will help to plan the perfect trip.
CAN YOU SHARE AN INTERESTING TIDBIT ABOUT THE HOTEL'S HISTORY?
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.
*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors