Travel fanatic and style maven, Iroshini Chua, travels to paradise and tells us what it’s like
At the arrival jetty of JOALI BEING boasts a soaring and resplendent white structure in the shape of a whirling dervish’s skirt twirling in midair and mimicking the waves of the glittering Indian ocean. Upon its deck were a host of linen-clad staff positioned equidistance from each other, bowing in unison with their hands over their hearts and smiling serenely to welcome us into our transformative journey of “being” to “become”. From here on, I was in the hands of a team of experts from Naturopaths, Ayurvedic doctors, “Sound healers”, Herbologists, chefs to specialist therapists.
JOALI BEING is the first nature immersive wellbeing retreat to focus on one’s self, to self-love if you must, in an idyllic region that has otherwise been eponymous for honeymooners. It is set to flex against the well-being retreat big weights like Thailand’s Chiva-Som or Indonesia’s Como-Shambala. The transformative programmes focus on the 4 pillars: Mind (for mental clarity and relaxation), Energy (for strength and vitality), Skin (for radiance) and Microbiome (for digestive rebalance) where high-tech diagnostics and a mix of modern and ancient treatments are used to achieve a state of “weightlessness”; a feeling of freedom, lightness and joy.
The theme of this place is personalization. From the engraved name tag on your bicycle to herbal tea concoctions to suite your mood to personalized essential oils and treatment programs, it’s all about you, your happiness and your health. You could do as little as you like or as much as you want. For everything else, there is the magical powers of the villa’s dedicated Jadugar (or butler), translated from Dhiveli to mean “skilled magician”.
The well-living spaces
JOALI BEING was built using biophilic design principles to evoke harmony and balance and enhance energy flow of the land. Each of the resulting 68 well-living spaces are of sheer beauty and luxury with a sophisticated feminine touch. Textured ceilings, a soothing colour palette, soft fabrics, private pools, swings and special inclusions like meditative musical instruments, wellbeing games and a customized mini-bar (stocked with energy balls, granola bars and non-alcoholic infusions) makes for a realm of blissful happiness.
My wellness Journey
My wellness consultant Alexandra was already familiar with my lifestyle and goals thanks to our pre-arrival consultation via zoom. On my arrival, she maps out tailored treatments for targeted results mainly around the pillars of Mind (being a medical doctor, I was deprived of relaxation for months prior due to a massive uptick of patients during the pandemic) and Energy (I am always ready for some movement.) Joali Being is home to the mother of all spas that simply cannot be contained in one single structure. The treatment complex extends throughout the island with Areka playing host to diagnostic services, learning programmes and specialized healing treatments. The Four Pillar massage rendered me into a state of utter contentment with the most refined and sophisticated strokes I have ever experienced in my globe-trotting life.
Kaashi-Hydrotherapy Hall was a firm favourite where I experienced a Turkish hammam, Russian Banya, Watsu therapy and breathed in the mineral-rich air within the pink Himalayan salt brick walls of a very pretty salt room. It also contains a tranquil sensory deprivation room for bolder times. Then there is a Seda Sound Therapy Hall, for inner balance restoration through music and vibration, a Discovery Sound Path; an outdoor sound therapy oasis with has a series of gongs and lithophones, meditation decks, Yoga pavilions and Core-Movement and Fitness Spaces; a uber high tech gym that is rumoured to be the largest in the Maldives boasting a state-of -the-art Techno Gym equipment, 3D posture analysis, a cryotherapy chamber, diagnostic rooms, and private training rooms.
After each treatment, the Aktar, the on-site herbology centre that harnesses the healing power of herbs, welcomed us with personalized herb concoctions prepared by the resident herbologist that I sipped cocooned on a swinging egg chair gazing at the foliage before me. Euphoric!
You are what you eat they say. At JJOALI BEING, the menu is packed with nutrient-dense “super foods” expertly curated by the resorts nutritionist. Next to each offering on the menu is the pre-counted calorie, carb, fat and protein content as well as which of the four pillars the item aligns with.
Starting with my Prawn souffle egg with caramelized mushrooms, sundried tomato and spring onion (220Kcals.) for breakfast, it was guilt-free indulging all day long of Mediterranean to Maldivian fare. The open plan, interactive dinning space FLOW is serviced by 3 separate kitchens – Plante offering vegetarian and vegan options, Su, offering ocean to table pescatarian fare and B’Well offering signature items that are of earth to table fare.
MOJO set by the pool (and the ocean) is the sanctuary for long, breezy lunches and sundowners with feet buried in the ivory sands.
We never missed alcohol thanks to the non-alcoholic options that nourish your mind and gut served in sleek martini glasses that were unbelievably delicious too boot, but if you do fancy a tipple, the sommelier is at your dispense. MOJO also houses a massive tea lounge with 80 different types of tea from around the world. The Culinary arts at JOALI BEING offers fresh, locally sourced ingredients that promises traceability and supports small farms and are sustainably sourced. Personalized nutrient sessions and culinary classes are also available on the island.
Marine conservation and sustainability efforts
The well-being at JOALI BEING is not just about self but extends to the environment making the wellness experience complete. It is home to one of the three turtle conservation sanctuaries in the Maldives developed in partnership with Oliver Ridley Project as well as a Reef Restoration project and coral nursery. The long-term sustainability efforts include own glass water bottling plant, rainwater harvester and minimizing waste with the use of bio-waste to make natural fertilizers.
So, who is Joali Being?
JOALI BEING personified is THAT friend that we all aspire to be. The well-heeled, well-dressed, calorie counting, eco-warrior with perfect physique and zen mindset. In other words, the It girl, everyone wants to hang out with and learn a thing or two from.
For more information on Joali Being, see here.