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JOALI Maldives Review

Nestled in the northern reaches of the Maldives’ Raa Atoll, JOALI Maldives offers an extraordinary experience for guests seeking a blend of indulgence, creativity, and adventure. The resort is surrounded by dazzling ivory sands, turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. A deep ridge encircles the atoll’s shallower plateaus, creating a uniquely favourable habitat for corals and marine life to thrive. JOALI’s commitment to sustainability and female empowerment underpins its operations, making it not just a luxurious retreat but also a responsible one.

Villas and Residences: Sustainable Glamour

JOALI Maldives features 73 luxurious villas and residences, each meticulously designed to blend seamlessly with the island’s natural beauty. They redefine sustainable glamour, combining modern aesthetics with traditional Maldivian craftsmanship and artwork. Guests can choose from beachfront villas, overwater villas, and exclusive residences.

The beach villas, where we stayed,  offer direct access to pristine sands and are enveloped by lush tropical gardens. These villas provide spacious living areas, a large private pool and expansive outdoor decks with covered outdoor seating areas where you can relax in comfort in the shade.   There’s also an outdoor shower and bath in the very private grounds.  We loved whiling away hours in the pool and on our own stretch of beach watching cute Flying Fox bats fly around and dine on fruit on the trees in front of our villa and listening to the haunting calls of the native Koels – members of the cuckoo family which look like rather large blackbirds.   Maldives resorts often have a type of water hen too – you’ll often hear them squabbling loudly with each other and running around with their chicks which look like tiny black balls of fluff.

Inside, the multi-room villas are large – but still feel welcoming, they have a lounge area, bedroom, dressing room and bathroom.  The décor is a harmonious blend of contemporary design and local influences, featuring hand-carved wooden furnishings, artisanal textiles, and bespoke artworks.   Every little detail is considered and there is a real feel of opulence and luxury.    We appreciated little touches like a pretty box for each guest containing a thoughtful range of grooming and beauty items, and the delicious treats delivered each evening at turndown – the real rose petal crammed Turkish Delight style squares were amazing!

The overwater villas, suspended above the crystal-clear lagoon, provide an intimate connection with the ocean. Glass panels in the floors offer glimpses of the vibrant marine life below, while the private infinity pools and overwater hammocks allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the tranquil surroundings. These villas also include luxurious amenities such as deep soaking tubs, rain showers, and spacious walk-in wardrobes.

For larger groups or families, the residences offer multiple bedrooms, expansive living spaces, and private pools, ensuring ample space and privacy. Each residence is a sanctuary of comfort and elegance, with dedicated Jadugar (private butler) service to cater to every need. From arranging gourmet breakfasts in bed to planning bespoke excursions, the Jadugar ensures that every aspect of the stay is tailored to the guest’s preferences.

Culinary Arts: A Gastronomic Journey


Dining at JOALI Maldives is an exquisite journey through diverse culinary landscapes. The resort boasts several dining venues, each offering a unique gastronomic experience in spectacular settings.

Vandhoo, the main restaurant, serves a variety of international cuisines with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The breakfast buffet is a lavish affair, featuring an array of pastries, tropical fruits, and made-to-order dishes. For lunch and dinner, the menu offers a fusion of flavours, from Mediterranean to Asian, ensuring a delightful culinary adventure.


For those seeking a taste of Japan, Saoke offers a menu of contemporary Japanese dishes, crafted with precision and flair. The restaurant, designed by renowned architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu, is perched over the water and features a serene setting with stunning ocean views. The menu includes an array of sushi, sashimi, and robata grill specialties, complemented by an extensive sake selection.   Our visit here was a real highlight of our stay – the hospitality, food, location over the ocean and design were all excellent.  For added drama, whilst we were dining, lightning from a sizable thunderstorm out to sea illuminated the sky with hundreds of brilliant flashes.


Bellinis brings a slice of Italy to the Maldives, offering authentic Italian cuisine and an impressive wine list. The restaurant’s rustic charm and beachside location make it a perfect spot for a relaxed yet refined dining experience. Signature dishes include handmade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and classic Italian desserts, all prepared with the finest ingredients.


For a more casual option, Mura Bar serves light bites and refreshing cocktails by the pool. The bar’s laid-back atmosphere is ideal for lounging in the sun, while the menu features a variety of snacks, salads, and grilled dishes. In the evening, Mura Bar transforms into a vibrant social hub, with live music and themed events.


For those with a sweet tooth, Lajoie is a must-visit. This artisanal chocolate and ice cream studio offers a selection of handcrafted chocolates, gourmet ice creams, and decadent pastries. Guests can indulge in a variety of treats, from classic favourites to innovative flavour combinations, all made with the finest ingredients – we certainly made best use of this!


We also loved our special dining experience of a luxury breakfast high in the tree canopy in a Manta Ray shaped seating area reached by a winding vertical staircase.  The views out to the ocean were wonderful.

You can also learn how to create some of the amazing dishes you can find at the restaurants.  We experienced a bespoke cooking class where we were taught how to create dishes like fabulous mango sticky rice, Pad Thai and Maldivian Fish Curry – and thoroughly enjoyed tasting them for lunch after.



Wellness: A Transformative Experience

JOALI Maldives takes wellness to new heights with its comprehensive wellbeing programmes. The JOALI Spa by ESPA offers a range of treatments designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. The spa is set within lush gardens, providing a tranquil sanctuary for relaxation and healing. Treatment rooms are designed to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the serene environment.

The spa menu includes traditional massages and facials, as well as innovative therapies that incorporate local ingredients and techniques. Signature treatments include the Maldivian healing massage, which uses coconut oil and warm seashells to relieve tension and promote relaxation. The spa also offers personalised wellness consultations, where guests can receive tailored advice on nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness.

In addition to the spa, JOALI Maldives offers a variety of wellness activities, including yoga and meditation sessions, fitness classes, and outdoor activities. The resort’s fitness centre is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, and personal trainers are available to assist guests with their fitness goals. For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, the resort offers guided nature walks and outdoor yoga sessions, allowing guests to fully appreciate the island’s natural beauty.

The Art of Living: JOALI’s Artistic Flair

What sets JOALI Maldives apart is its dedication to art. The resort is a living gallery, with artworks and installations scattered throughout the island. Each piece is thoughtfully curated to enhance the natural beauty of the surroundings and inspire a sense of wonder. The resort’s art collection includes works by both local and international artists, showcasing a diverse range of styles and mediums.

Guests can embark on an art tour, guided by the resort’s art curator, to discover the stories behind each creation and meet the artists who brought them to life. The tour provides a unique insight into the creative process and the inspirations behind the artworks. In addition to the art tour, the resort offers interactive workshops at the Art Studio, where guests can explore their creativity and learn new skills. From painting and sculpture to traditional Maldivian crafts, these workshops provide a unique opportunity to engage with art in a hands-on way.

Joys of JOALI: Exhilarating Experiences

JOALI Maldives offers a myriad of joyful experiences designed to exhilarate the spirit. Dreamy seascapes extend as far as the eye can see, with palm-fringed sands meeting tranquil lagoons. Guests can explore kaleidoscopic coral reefs teeming with life and colour, creating unforgettable memories both above and below the waves.

Water enthusiasts can enjoy snorkelling and diving excursions, embark on deep-sea fishing trips, or partake in a variety of water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. The resort’s marine biologists offer guided tours and educational programmes, allowing guests to learn about the local marine life and conservation efforts.

For those seeking cultural immersion, JOALI offers excursions to nearby local islands, where guests can experience traditional Maldivian life. Romantic experiences include sunset cruises, private beach dinners, and bespoke photo shoots, ensuring that every moment is memorable.

JOALI BEING: A Wellbeing Sanctuary


In November 2021, JOALI expanded its offerings with the opening of JOALI BEING, the first wellbeing island of its kind in the Maldives. Located on Bodufushi Island, JOALI BEING is dedicated to holistic wellness, blending ancient wisdom with modern science to create transformative experiences.


The island’s design and amenities are tailored to promote a sense of “weightlessness,” a state of joy, freedom, and lightness. Guests can participate in bespoke wellbeing programmes that focus on areas such as stress management, nutrition, fitness, and sleep. With expert practitioners and cutting-edge facilities, JOALI BEING offers a comprehensive approach to wellbeing that is both luxurious and effective.


Sustainability and Social Responsibility


JOALI Maldives and JOALI BEING are committed to sustainability and social responsibility. The resorts have implemented various initiatives to minimise their environmental impact, including energy-efficient practices, waste reduction programmes, and the use of sustainable materials. JOALI also supports local communities through various initiatives, such as education and empowerment programmes, ensuring that the benefits of tourism are shared with the local population.

JOALI Maldives offers a luxury experience that goes beyond the ordinary. With its blend of artistic flair, culinary excellence, and holistic wellness, the resort provides a unique and transformative journey for every guest. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deep connection with nature and art, JOALI Maldives is a destination where dreams come to life. Join us in this spectacular corner of the world and script your own JOALI story, filled with joy, wonder, and unforgettable memories.    We found it to be a truly special luxury resort with exceptional service, so much to enjoy, and a uniquely warm and welcoming atmosphere.



Fact Box



Muravandhoo Island, Raa Atoll, Maldives

Reservations Team is available 24 hours daily

Phone +960 658 4444



By Lisa Curtiss


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