Inside The World’s First Wellness Island

By Bettina Campolucci Bordi

2 weeks ago

Welcome to Joali Being


Bettina Campolucci Bordi takes a trip to Joali Being, a wellness resort in the Maldives.

Read the C&TH Guide To Responsible Tourism

Review: Joali Being, Maldives

Bedroom with canopy bed, pink chaise longue and a view of palm trees outside.

The Maldives has always been on my travel list, but it wasn’t until I was asked to do a collaboration with Joali Being – the first ‘wellbeing island’ of its kind – that I really felt compelled to finally experience it for myself. Having been in the wellness industry for the last 12 years running, as well as hosting my own retreats, I was intrigued to find out what Joali had to offer in this space.

The resort is located on the island of Bodufushi – 45 minutes by seaplane from the capital, Malé. Upon landing, we were greeted (Nine Perfect Strangers style) by a row of welcoming staff who served us a refreshing drink before we were introduced to our dedicated ‘Jadugar’ (the Maldivian word for ‘magician’) who, during the course of our week, would be our point of contact and make things magically appear.

Covering 30 acres, Joali Being has 68 rooms (known as Well Living Spaces): a combination of the overwater villas the Maldives are known for, plus beach villas and three restaurants; a spa; holistic fitness pavilion; a water sports center; vegetable gardens; and a turtle conservation sanctuary.

Spa with raised marble table in the centre.

Joali Being was created by Turkish businesswoman Esin Gural Argat, whose stunning feminine touch and mantra ‘Be brave, think different, do good’ is seen throughout the property. Joali Being is designed around the Four Pillar concept, based on elements necessary for a long and healthy life: skin, mind, energy and microbiome.

The concept also seeps into Joali Being’s food, with menus using ingredients that support each of the prescribed pillars, along with a clearly marked breakdown of calories, fat and protein – making it easy to make decisions based on your goals. The food pillar is where my collaboration with Joali came in, including a multi-course pop-up dinner featuring ingredients from the gardens and celebrating plants, along with workshops for guests, kitchen staff and a local female community from neighbouring islands. One of my dishes included a filled hibiscus flower with aged macadamia nut cheese on a bed of aquafaba mayonnaise. I might even have cooked for a princess or two.

Let’s talk about the rooms and spaces. Each room is perfect for switching off from the tech world: there are no TVs in the bedrooms, no plug sockets by the bed, and there’s no wi-fi in public areas, of which I’m a big fan. Every room features a wellness bar (aka mini bar) filled with healthy snacks and drinks rather than alcohol. High ceilings create harmony with nature, and the island’s wild forest remains untouched, which is rare. Each of the 68 villas have a private pool, outdoor area and access to the beach; this is a dream, and as stunning as you can imagine. Getting around the island is easy, since everyone gets a personalised bicycle to help travel from one activity to the other – which is something my 11 year old daughter loved.

Spa treatment room with a thatched roof

During our stay, I also got to experience body and facial treatments as well as group activities including tea tasting, cryotherapy (my favourite) and daily yoga.

Some of our family favourite activities, meanwhile, included snorkelling cycling around the island and having the opportunity to switch off in between my pop-up preparations and workshops. The best one for me, however, was the perfume-making workshop at the resort’s herbology center, AKTAR. With the help of an aromatherapist, I concocted a beautiful fragrance composed of my favourite scents (orange and sandalwood, amongst others). Other activities include candle making and art in the dedicated art center.

To say that our stay was special is an understatement. Some of my favorite moments were spent chatting to staff, each immersed and genuinely passionate about their area of expertise. I would return in a heartbeat.

BOOK IT

joali.com


How You Could Own Five Holiday Homes For The Price Of One


Thinking of purchasing a holiday home but can’t settle on a location? We know the feeling. But what if you didn’t have to choose? This is the concept underpinning August, a global homeowner network celebrating unique real estate in Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Elevating second-home ownership to a seamless and hassle-free experience, here’s exactly how it works, plus how you can join Europe’s pioneering luxury co-ownership community.

Want to discover more? Request a Brochure from August today

Introducing August, The Better Way To Own Holiday Homes

A large home in the Cotswolds

Cotswolds, Premium Home

How Does It Work?

August facilitates effortless holiday home ownership; with fractional ownership, multiple people can own and enjoy up to five residences across Europe. August finds, buys, designs and renovates all five homes to an exceptional standard across five sought-after European destinations, taking care of all admin and maintenance – and you get to call all of them home for less than the price of one.

It’s the next level in effortless travelling and home-ownership, and members of August’s exclusive community holiday an average of 12 weeks per year. There are five collections to choose from, spanning Europe’s most iconic destinations, including the French Riviera, Tuscany, Mallorca, the Alps and the Cotswolds – all highly-sought regions you’ll want to visit year-round, with easy flight connections. Each home is welcoming, family friendly and features stylish yet timeless interiors curated by experts, charmingly matched to the destination.

Outdoor dining in Provence

Provence, South of France, Signature Collection

Why It Makes Sense

Full Ownership

Not only will you get to holiday in these five gorgeous houses, but every family or individual has collective ownership. This is an equity purchase, with real ownership, transparency and control.

More For Your Money

With shares starting from €365,000, you can part-own over €7,500,000 of prime real estate for a fraction of the cost. Plus, with five destinations at your disposal, you’re not restricted to just one property to call your second home.

Hassle-Free

August takes all of the hassle out of holiday home ownership, managing the purchase, maintenance and management of every home, including everything from housekeeping to gardening, cleaning the pool filter to paying the bills. If you’ve been put off holiday home ownership due to language barriers, unfamiliar legal and administrative processes, a lack of market expertise or simply not being in the area for viewings, August is the perfect antidote, allowing you to simply show up after all the hard work has been done, lie back and enjoy your dream property.

Stylish

With a wealth of experienced interior designers underpinning the collection, your five properties are carefully renovated and designed to expertly blend home comforts with modern technology. Welcome home.

Want to discover more? Request a Brochure from August today

Here Are The Homes You Could Own With August

Ready to take a look at the gorgeous properties already owned by the August community? August has a collection for every lifestyle, including multigenerational properties the whole family can enjoy. You will have the opportunity to own up to five properties grouped into one of four collections. And if you can’t decide which community suits you best, why not join two?

A villa in Tuscany at sunset

How To Join August

Ready to join the August community? Click here to contact the August Advisory team today.