Luxury Hotels


Music & Silence by Rose Tremain is one of Girlahead’s all-time favourite reads. Set in seventeenth-century Denmark, it is based partly around the court orchestra that sits all day long in a pit below the royal rooms, ready to play at a moment’s notice. The sound wafts up through grills in the floorboards. (Another memory of the book is that the ladies of court had their teeth extracted, for vanity for vanity, and replacement ‘teeth’ were held together with string or regal silk and clattered the whole time.)

At JOALI BEING, music is not underground but all around.  Listen to the gentle swish of the Maldivian waves against the sturdy legs holding each villa in place. Occasionally, but not too often, a distant whirring announces a movement of a Twin Otter seaplane, bringing new arrivals or taking away the departed: either transaction, a full management contingent is on hand, to wave in, wave away.

There are xylophones in villas – developed in the ninth century, the percussion instrument is named for the Ancient Greek words ‘tuned wood’. There are also two xylophones set along the resort’s Discovery Sound Path.

This is an absolute brilliant idea and should be an essential for all luxury properties. First, establish a winding path through lush greenery. Then, along the way, set up permanent instruments, with clearly-visible signage. The JOALI BEING path has nine different stopping points. There is an eight-plate metal xylophone, about 1.25 metres wide, and an eight-plate black stone xylophone, twice as wide. There’s also a giant standing octopus, all stainless, that invites spectators/listeners to do just that. Put an ear to one of the tube ends and imagine and/or interpret what you hear, or think you hear.

And bet this one is new-to-you. There’s a Tonalophone, shown above. Listen into the pipes and hear the tuned spectrum of sounds from all around. Learn something every day, says Girlahead.