Luxury Hotels


Weather can turn from black to blue in the course of a day, or less. One’s good luck can turn, the right way or the wrong way. On vital days in life One wakes up not knowing if One will win the lottery that day, or get a contract, or meet the love of life. That’s one of the great joys of waking up, to a new dawn. What does the day hold?  The statement is particularly relevant when waking up at JOALI in The Maldives. The mattresses are so outstanding it’s tempting to stay a-bed all-day.

But up One must, and Girlahead was bowled over yesterday by the breakfast. There are two buffets. One is a glass-walled air-conditioned space, holding such amazements as pink and blue milks, the brand’s colours, as well as a range of white milks. Cold cuts? Yummy-looking smoked salmon among the clearly labelled cold cuts. A full range of Middle Eastern dishes, and salads, and at least 30 different nuts. And a fruit butcher, see above (see also a Youtube video). There’s also an ambient room, with dozens of breads. And things.

The hours passed. Yes, it was still raining, buckets and buckets. The sand tracks to the gym turned momentarily to rivers. Girlahead gave up. But then the sun shone and it was time to head for the speedboat for the 15-minute ride to JOALI’s sister resort, JOALI BEING.

Saturday’s Girlahead is always food-oriented. Last night’s dinner, at Flow at JOALI BEING, was outside on one of a range of tiered terraces that were so magically lit it was impossible to see how many other diners there were. Classical music with a metallic bent soothed the anxiety of choosing between Richard Siahaan’s plant-based, seafood or carnivore menus – inside, there are three adjacent open kitchens, painted green, blue and red. Mix and match. A plant-based appetizer was a well, I tried it: fermented ‘salad’, which turned out to be a red soup hiding under a koji and finger millet sail covering lacto-fermented veggies (190 calories, 33g carbs, 6g protein, 5g fat). The entire JOALI BEING credo is based on four pillars, mind, microbiome (the gut), skin and energy. Which pillar was this dish?

The meal thereafter soared. The red kitchen produced a stupendous chargrilled Sher wagyu ribeye MB8, with a single standing broccolini and a smudge of roast cauliflower purée (320 calorie etc) – no need for the wood handled Robert Welch steak knife. Dessert, which is cross-kitchen, came up with a taste sensation of all time – JOALI BEING’s own 100% chocolate heaven, a ball of vegan chocolate mousse with sails (again!) of chocolate crunch and one each miniscule blackberry, raspberry and strawberry. Who cared about the additional 230 calories – there were more, anyway, in the perfectly chilled glass of Kanonkop Kadette 2022 Pinotage Rosé. A perfect accompaniment….

To the end of a perfect day.  The weather had turned from black to blue. The food experiences changed, and both were magically magnificent…