The 10 must visit vacation destinations for 2020

Joali Maldives
An island take on innovation and art


“One of a kind” is a phrase too freely thrown around in relation to new Maldives resorts, but the 2018-opened Joali Maldives genuinely stands out for its originality and flair. The attention to detail that has gone into creating Joali is astounding. The visionary architects at Autoban can be credited with the resort’s fairytale finished look.


The elegant villas take inspiration from across Asia, with elements such as large teak panels and terrazzo flooring highlighting the spaces. The villas evoke a sense of luxury and refinement while also being homely. Likewise, the impeccable service is warm rather than overly servile.


Another impressive feature of the Maldivian resort: One thousand of the island’s trees were carefully preserved throughout the entire construction phase.The landscaping is so subtle that it gives the impression of a wild island yet the exotic flowers and vegetation have been gently teased into place. And, of course, an added bonus to preserving so many trees is that they help to keep the island cool.


The name “Joali” not only (and rather appropriately) sounds like jolie (the French word for pretty) but it means “chair” in the local Dhivehi language. And as such, there are several chair-shaped sculptures dotted around the beautiful island. But the interpretation goes even deeper than that. A joali is a quintessentially Maldivian type of chair for relaxing; everyone has one outside their home in the remote island communities. Therefore, the connotations of homeliness and hospitality run deep throughout Joali.


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