Are your New Year planners filled with a resolution list already? The dawn of a new year is a natural time to plan what you want to do with the next 12 months. Creating your travel resolution list is the perfect way to start dreaming about where and how you want to wander. With global travel gradually opening up, there are all sorts of ways to make 2022 one to remember.
The Maldives is associated most with touristy beaches, wellness retreats, romance, and adventure activities. Joali Being, a brand-new wellness resort and part of the Joali Maldives family, officially opened its doors on November 15 2021. Set on the secluded island of Bodufushi in Raa Atoll, a 40-min seaplane journey away from Male International Airport, the splendid resort features 68 private beach and water villas, along with a robust culinary arts programme, and in-depth immersion programmes tailored to each guest's individual goals.
The accommodation comes in the form of 68 private beach and water villas, each with its own pool and a personal butler or jadugar, which translates into ‘skilled magician’ in Dhivehi. At Joali Being four types of villas are available – Beach, Water, Family, and Ocean. Ranging from one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom, all the homes have beautiful thatched roofs and calming neutral interiors, giving them a distinct modern Maldivian look. Interiors take inspiration from the natural surroundings as a way to enhance the wellbeing experiences at the retreat and feature relaxed, flowing lines that are meant to serve as an extension of the Indian Ocean. The most luxurious of all the accommodation is the incredible four-bedroom overwater villa providing endless ocean views, a wellbeing room and a movement room. Joali prioritizes health and well-being. The wellbeing offerings have been created with Oxford University professor Gerry Bodeker, who is a Harvard-trained expert on traditional and integrative medicine and wellness. The retreat’s aim is for guests to return home feeling renewed, uplifted, inspired and most importantly, with a new sense of ‘weightlessness’. And there is a whole army of naturopaths, therapists, movement specialists and nutritionists on hand to ensure this happens. On arriving, guests are offered a personalized wellness evaluation, and their stay at Joali Being is then catered to the results. Offerings center around four pillars: mind, skin, microbiome, and energy. Strength and vitality, mental clarity and wellbeing, hormone balance, women’s health, digestion and weight rebalancing, restorative sleep, as well as movement and alignment for excellent health and immunity, are all part of the unfolding wellness programmes.
Culinary offerings at Joali Being follow an earth-to-table principle, promising ingredient traceability and offering fresh, locally harvested foods that support small farmers. Each dining option has been expertly curated with the help of the retreat’s nutritionists, offering what are said to be “healthy yet indulgent” dishes. The retreat’s main culinary hub is Flow: an open-plan interactive space with three signature kitchens providing a nourishing selection of dining options for guests. These include ‘Plantae’, offering vegan and vegetarian cuisine; ‘Su’, serving ocean-to-table fare; and ‘B’Well’, which serves the signature Joali Being menu. Mojo is the island’s tropical beach hideaway, located on a triple-layered sundeck, serving as the perfect lunch and sundowner spot by the pool. It is also home to Sai, the retreat’s herbal tea lounge which hosts regular tea ceremonies and learning sessions led by the resident tea sommelier.
Master herbology and cookery
Make your visit to Joali Being a learning experience at the resort’s on-site herbology center, Aktar, inspired by the restorative powers of plants and herbs. Guests can approach the centre to discuss their personal health issues related to the island’s core elements (mind, skin, microbiota, and energy) and work with the resident herbalist to produce natural treatments. Guests are invited to explore the unexpected advantages of herbal teas and even prepare natural body lotions, face masks, and body oils at the centre’s workshops. Moreover, dried herbs, natural oils, and cosmetics are available as merchandise. One can participate in interactive nutritious cooking courses at the Culinary Learning Centre, which has a fully equipped kitchen for aspiring chefs.
Therapies and more
Wellbeing activities take place in a host of breathtaking spaces spread across the island’s picture-perfect landscape. These include the Areka Immersive Wellbeing Center, offering amongst other things, a plethora of scientific and alternative therapies as well as fitness facilities. Areka features 39 treatment rooms and transformational spaces including the Kaashi hydrotherapy hall, which has a rejuvenating sensory deprivation room, a Russian banya, water therapies, a salt inhalation room and a hammam. It also features a dreamy overwater meditation deck called Ocean Sala.
A clean and green space
At Joali Being, visitors’ well-being isn’t the sole priority; the resort is also committed to the well-being of the Raa Atoll and the whole Maldivian archipelago. A turtle conservation refuge, as well as a reef restoration project and coral nursery, is housed inside the resort. Some of the several long-term sustainability initiatives include a desalination water-bottling plant, a rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling system, a glass crusher and recycler, and a plant waste shredder for fertilising. Joali Being, a holistic and beautiful wellness resort with luxury, happiness, and sustainability at its heart is the beginning of a transformative journey. From exhilarating adventure and soulful relaxation to customised nutrition and interactive learning, there’s something for everyone.