Here at the Inspiring Travel Company we endeavour to bring our valued clients the best of the best; inspiring them with a portfolio of hotels and resorts the world over that includes the latest openings alongside timeless favourites. One of our most recent additions to our luxury Maldives hotel collection is Joali, located on Muravandhoo island in the Raa Atoll. We sent Senior Product & Marketing Manager Zoe to the Indian Ocean to discover more…
“I was recently lucky enough to be invited to see a new resort in the Maldives before it was even open to guests. Joali is a perfectly small island in the Raa Atoll in the Maldives, a 45 minute seaplane ride from the international airport. Surrounded by a couple of local, mostly uninhabited islands, the resort has the rarity of not being overlooked by another resort, and the tranquillity that comes with the lack of boat or seaplane noise.
There are many hotels that boast money is no issue when they’re under construction, but here you could feel the quality of absolutely everything; from the wood used, to the thickness of the slippers, the different choices in dressing gowns to the added extras in the room such as hair straighteners.
While I was there I was lucky enough to see the overwater Japanese restaurant Soake being completed, with workmen hand sawing the materials to the exact measurements needed to create the masterpiece on the ceiling and setting up the hand-cut metal lampshades, along with climbing onto the roof to finish the thatching. No detail was overlooked.
There are now many resorts in the Maldives and while it’s hard to find something to stand out from all the others, there were many elements of my stay which meant that Joali does, in my view, stand out from the crowd:
• Service – obviously you would expect this to be high in a 5-star resort in the Maldives, however with the staff coming from other top resorts in the Maldives I found them to be hugely experienced, knowing when to give the white-gloved professional service, and when to be more relaxed and personable. The GM here, Steven Phillips, opened Constance Halaveli and has most recently been at Gili Lankanfushi for over three years, and you can tell he has the respect of all the staff, having brought with him his many years’ experience and knowledge to the resort.
• Food & Beverage – I have been very lucky in where I have dined during my years in travel, but I can honestly say that the food I had at Joali was THE best. Italian chefs cook for the Italian restaurant and Japanese chefs for the Japanese restaurant, so you can tell the dishes are all authentic. There wasn’t a bolognaise or a pizza on our Italian menu, it was all ‘Nonna-approved ravioli’ and homemade limoncello. A particular highlight was sampling seven different sakes from Japan at Saoke, from the normal to a very sweet plum sake, along with the most tender Kobe beef.
• Technology – staying in a hotel room is always great until you have to work out how to turn the lights off! And in my experience there is always one that you just can’t find the switch for! At Joali you have a bedside tablet where you can turn off all the lights or just some, alter your air conditioning temperature, change the television channel, or set up your Bluetooth so you can have your music playing around the villa. Waking up and simply pressing a “button” on the tablet in the morning to open the black-out curtains is definitely the best way to wake…particularly if you’re suffering from jet lag!
• Large groups/families – the Maldives was previously considered the honeymoon destination of choice, and although it’s still perfect for this, there are more families and groups of couples travelling here than ever before. Joali has ideal accommodation choices for this, allowing you to have your privacy in a one-bedroom beach villa, but with the option of connecting your villa through a gate in the ‘garden’. Or there are two and four-bedroom beach villas, as well as a three-bedroom water villa.
Joali is a fantastic addition to the Maldives, and to our portfolio, for anyone that wants a top-end 5-star property with a relaxed atmosphere, amazing food and great service. To look out from your villa at night and see nothing but an expanse of Indian Ocean and clear sky as far as the eye can see is very special indeed.
Book your Joali Maldives luxury holiday with one of our Travel Specialists today.