Joali Being, The Maldives’ First Nature-immersive Wellbeing Island Retreat

Antonia Black

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Nestled on the secluded island of Bodufushi in Raa Atoll, amid crystalline lagoons, pristine beaches and lush coconut palms is JOALI BEING, the Maldives’ first nature-immersive wellbeing island retreat, just a 40-minute seaplane journey from Malé International Airport.

Having opened in November 2021, we felt extremely fortunate to have visited the island so soon after launch – it comes as no surprise that the unique concept is already attracting a great following. From the moment we stepped onto the Gate of Zero arrival jetty, we felt instantly relaxed and ready to engage with the island’s offering. And what a treat it was.

There was so much that we loved about JOALI Being, starting with the fabulous villas. We were completely in awe of our Sunset Grand Ocean Pool Villa, a beautifully appointed and wonderfully calming space in which to relax. The villas were all palatial, and the attention to detail was fantastic, from the wellbeing/health-focussed coffee table books to the organic tea bar, and the purposeful moving of the bedside plugs – a small but powerful touch.

The transformative wellbeing spaces throughout the island are truly outstanding, and I loved how creative offerings are woven around the resort’s four key pillars: Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy. From Areka, and the Himalayan Salt Room, Turkish Hammam, and Watsu pool, to the Herbology room, plus state-of-the-art Gym and all the incredible equipment, there is just much on offer to do here so we recommend allowing plenty of time to experience it all.

We found our wellness consultations fascinating and the spa treatments were gorgeous. I was lucky enough to have been able to participate in both an Aerial Yoga and Pilates session, both of which I enjoyed, and it was fascinating to learn more about Sound Healing – it is clearly incredibly special.

The culinary options were nothing short of exceptional. I must admit I was a little apprehensive in advance about the cuisine, but the earth-to-table concept at FLOW was extraordinary and some of the best food I have had in the Maldives.

Joali being restaurant

The open plan dining space at FLOW was beautiful – an immensely calming environment in which to eat, and I loved the three signature kitchens. Everything was so balanced and delicious – the Wagyu beef was unbelievable, as too the salmon ceviche with coconut milk, avocado and pomegranate. I also wanted to take some of those gorgeous wholegrain chocolate croissants home with me – heaven!

We were so well looked after throughout our stay, with a particular highlight being our ‘Jadugar’ or butler, Saffa, and all the smiley therapists at Areka, CJ at FLOW, Tamara in the Herbology room.

We absolutely loved our visit to JOALI Being, it is an immensely powerful place. I now completely understand how a nature-immersive wellbeing resort can transform lives and cannot wait to see how the island develops.