Megan Whitby, assistant editor
Island sanctuary Hailed as The Maldives’ first pure health retreat, Joali Being is set to open in late 2021, with the property spread across an entire island
new nature-immersive wellbeing retreat is being built on the Maldivian island of Bodufushi. Scheduled to open in late 2021, Joali Being has been conceptualised and designed by Spa Strategy’s Claire Way while uplifting programmes have been created by Gerry Bodeker. The Joali brand is the brainchild of owner and entrepreneur Esin Güral Argat, from Turkish-based Gürallar Group and complements the conglomerate’s mid-range Ali Bey Hotels & Resorts. Joali Being will be a sister site to Joali Maldives which opened in 2019 with a signature ESPA Life spa.
The upcoming 68-villa destination is billed to be the brand’s biggest commitment to wellbeing yet – the spa itself features 39 treatment rooms – and has been designed to go beyond the scope of other tropical wellbeing retreats.
Transformational spaces Way has been working on the project for more than three years. She says the beating heart of Joali Being will be the expansive Areka spa. Aside from the 39 treatment rooms, with equipment by Lemi, there will be a large hydrotherapy hall, including a sensory deprivation room, Russian banya, water therapies, halotherapy suite and a hammam. Guests will also have access to a Sound Therapy Hall and Discovery Sound Path (designed by the Svar Academy, India), fitness offerings and an over-water meditation deck.
Areka will be complemented by Aktar, Joali Being’s dedicated herbology centre. Here, guests will be able to address wellbeing concerns with a resident herbalist who specialises in preparing natural remedies using plants, spices and essential oils. Way describes Joali Being as a stunning location that’s a complete break from everyday life and which is both remote yet accessible. In her opinion, the property will be one-of-a-kind, because the retreat will be the island’s only destination. “There are no distractions, only transformational spaces spread across the island, where everything you do enhances your health,” she says, “the entire location is dedicated to enhancing wellbeing.”
Sense of weightlessness
The resort focuses on the four pillars of mind, skin, microbiome and energy
photo: JOALI being
The retreat’s philosophy is underpinned by four wellbeing pillars – mind, skin, microbiome and energy – and the project has been conceived with a sense of purpose and synergy, so all elements work together to help guests leave feeling healthier and happier, even if they decide not to deeply engage in wellbeing services. Programmes will last between five days and three weeks and consist of a range of scientific therapies, diagnostic