You are only alive if you have the ‘Joie De Vivre’ – JOALI
What Denotes Luxury?
The Maldives, those tiny one thousand, one hundred and ninety islands that spread out across the Indian ocean that is home to one of the most beautiful crystal clear waters and colourful marine life, has travelers, from across the world fall in love over and over again. Today, 55% of travelers who return to the Maldives, return with the intention of exploring new islands, new hotels, which makes it one of the most challenging and competitive industry destination. So how does one brand secure your return?
Luxury hotels in Maldives are a dime in dozen, so in order to stand out, you must set yourself apart, I mean truly apart and nothing like an outdoor cinema or a 24 hour ice-cream stand or four- poster beds.
Traditionally, a luxury denotes something that is enjoyed by certain people and not by others. It speaks of the It speaks of the privilege and exclusivity enjoyed by an elite and unattainable few. I find this concept to be incredibly boring. I know I am not the only one.
The new meaning of luxury is about story telling. It is the enjoyment of the best on life, the experience of beauty, art and humanity at their deepest and most inspiring way. Luxury could be a song, a book you always intended on finishing, feeling a moment of peace and love, that perfect coconut water by the pool or that blazing purple sunset or even a culinary experience.
Partly the reason, why I believe, JOALI, which opened in October 1st2018, is the Marry Poppins of hotels in the Maldives. JOALI is the first resort under the Turkish serial entrepreneur Esin Güral Argat, from Turkish-based Gürallar Group with Steven Phillips, the appointed General Manager, no stranger to the hospitality scene in Maldives and has a reputable equissental taste for luxury.
The 73-villa property that has been built with designs offering a visual experience unlike any other island in Maldives. Joali is a floating art gallery island. Around the resort, a collection of incredible artwork by 13 international artists such as Micha Khan, Nacho Carbonell’s and Porky Hefer who recently partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at Art Basel, has his signature passion for the local wildlife displayed as a Manta Ray display suspended in the trees, woven in-situ from natural materials.
And that is just the beginning of the story for JOALI.
What you need to know about getting to JOALI: It’s a 40 minute sea plane from Male Airport to Joali. Muravandhoo island in the Raa Atoll located in the northern Maldives. One of the largest and deepest atolls in the world. It’s worth noting that they only depart in daylight hours and before 3 p.m. local time. If your international flight arrives later than this then you will need to stay overnight on the main island of Huhule. If the budget allows, then you can also arrange for a private charter by seaplane. The reservation team will also be able to make all the arrangements for you. It’s also worth noting that the overnight flight is always the best option in order for you to make use of your day on the Island. Our flight arrived at 7:30 am and we waited 2 hours in JOALI’s beautiful and comfortable lounge till our seaplane departed at 10:30 am. We were on the island by 11:30 am.
Another option is to take a domestic flight to rom Male International Airport to Ifuru Airport, Which takes approximately 35 minutes. From there you can hop on a speedboat for a 15- 20 minutes ride to the resort.
What I Loved
- The Cuisine that by Ashley Goddard and his incredible team alongside Taylor
- Breakfast at Vandhoo – The staff always remembered my regular breakfast meal and had it ready instantly without having to take down the order
- The transparent kayak and pedalo, my daughter loved seeing the marine life through a glass
- The villas. All of them, from the overwater to the beach villa. Mostly, the amenities in the villa
- The phone to our incredible butler. He is a phone call away!
- Beautiful pieces of art are located around the island and even underwater. It’s well worth exploring the art. A visit to the Art studio & Gallery allows guests to appreciate local and international talents.
- The Vegan and Gluten Free Options
What You Need to Know
- Make sure you take the overnight flight to reach in the morning in order to make use of your full day
- Drones are not allowed unless you obtain permission before arrival
- Take a Art Tour around the island!!! Joali is the first of its’ kind!
- Pack sunblock!
- All over water villas have their own private pool
- JOALI will soon have their own private plane
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Room Service
- Vandhoo offers dining experiences from South East Asia,China, Mediterranean cuisine and Levant cuisine. At breakfast, Vandhoo has a la carte menu and a creative selection of buffet style options carefully curated to suit all your needs.
- Her Kitchen is dedicated for those who want to make their own meal and also offer cooking classes.
- Saoke serves Japanese and was done by architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo-based Studio Glitt and perched over the water. It is one of the most impressive restaurant design I have ever seen with a succulent menu!
- Bellinis Fine dining Italian with some of the best wine in the world! I even found Lebanese wine!
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