An immersive wellness retreat in paradise

Whether you need help destressing or a wellness overhaul, a visit to JOALI BEING is in order. Opened in November 2021, the Maldives resort goes beyond spa services — it is a temple of well-being.

Your wellness journey begins even before you step foot on the tucked-away Bodufushi island with a pre-arrival consultation. Later, you’ll undergo an integrative health assessment and movement analysis at the resort. A team of naturopaths, therapists and movement experts use the results to determine which of the pillars — mind, microbiome, skin or energy — would best suit your needs and craft a multi-day immersion program around it. Your tailored program could include one-on-one fitness activities, group classes and nutritious meals.

But this isn’t all work and no play. Get pampered with treatments at the soothing spa (some are included in the program); stroll the interactive sound path (which is dotted with large instruments that look like art installations) that winds through the forest; join snorkeling excursions; embark on a sunset cruise; try a tea tasting; take workshops to make tiger balm, natural perfume or aloe vera face masks; and swim in a sprawling pool or the crystal-clear ocean surrounding you. And at the end of the day, you’ll retreat to a tranquil, luxurious villa.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Whether you stay in the 33 beach villas or 35 overwater villas, you’ll enjoy spacious accommodations bathed in gray and turquoise, an outdoor pool with a swinging chair or sofa nearby, and a jadugar (“skilled magician” in Dhivehi, it’s a butler) who will do everything from shuttling you to appointments via golf cart to arranging your activities.
  • Sitting in the middle of the luxury resort is Areka. The wellness center houses the men’s and women’s locker rooms and hydrotherapy areas; Kaashi, a facility with a Russian banya, an aufguss sauna, a Turkish hammam, a Watsu pool and a halotherapy room; 36 treatment rooms, each with its own bathroom; and more. Whether you get the Four Pillars Energy Balancing Massage that comes with every immersion program or one of the more specialized offerings like the abhyanga oil massage, the expert therapists will zap the tension from your body. After your treatment, you’ll head to Aktar, the standalone herbology center in Areka. The bright, welcoming space is a hidden gem — the knowledgeable herbologist will prepare a flavorful herbal tea to cure what ails you along with a treat.
  • While healthy options fill the menu at the two hotel restaurants, don’t expect bland diet food. For breakfast, there’s eggs Benedict with a lighter hollandaise sauce and bread, and akuri, Parsi-style spicy scrambled eggs hiding under a pyramid of dosa. Dinner brings dishes like lobster curry or slow-poached Sri Lankan prawns. And there’s an artful dessert finale like crème muscovado (a hazelnut dacquoise with mango-passionfruit gel and citrus sorbet). Of course, there are also Kréols (sparkling probiotic drinks), kombuchas, juices, mocktails and a few low-alcohol cocktails to accompany your fare. The menu indicates which dish falls under which pillar, along with calorie, carb, protein and fat information.
  • The immersion programs cater to you, whether you’re new to wellness or a well-versed practitioner. The programs take a holistic approach to your health, and the multi-pronged approach is effective in reevaluating all aspects of your routine.
  • From the moment you pull up to the stunning Gate of Zero, the white sculptural arrival jetty by Seçkin Pirim (the undulating layers were inspired by the flowing skirts of whirling dervishes), the architecture makes a statement. The spa is a wellness temple, with soaring cathedral-like ceilings and stones that let you walk on water. And a turtle-shaped treehouse serves as a private dining space. The boutique hotel was constructed using biophilic principles, so nature figures prominently in the design.

Things to Know

  • For the most impact, it’s best to partake in the immersion program, whose itineraries range from five days to three weeks. However, you can opt to forgo the program and select services à la carte at the wellness resort.
  • Every villa comes with teal Electra bikes so that you can pedal around the island. It’s especially helpful for the overwater villas, which are a bit farther away from the rest of the resort. A nice personalized touch: the bicycle comes with a carved wooden plate bearing your name.

Fitness classes
Outdoor pool
Getting There
Bodufushi Island, Raa Atoll, Maldives
NeighborhoodRaa Atoll
Additional Details
After arriving at one of the airports, you will need to take a seaplane or boat to the resort.
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