Tourism / Maldives

Step inside one of the world’s most lavish and exclusive resorts

Hoteliers at LVMH have built a resort that is redefining what an exclusive, high-end holiday experience in the Maldives means

Step inside one of the world’s most lavish and exclusive resorts

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Owner's Villa

The Maldives is synonymous with high-end luxury and superlative holiday experiences. A rich blend of exotic destinations and exclusive accommodation has tempted travelers to its deluxe resorts for years. Now the Cheval Blanc Randheli resort, located on the unspoiled Noonu atoll, built and designed by a division of the luxury fashion empire LVMH, is raising that standard to the next level.

Cheval Blanc is reachable by a short 40-minute panoramic flight in the company’s specially customized seaplane, featuring leather interiors and high-tech equipment. The ultra-luxurious resort consists of 45 villas and the new Owner´s villa with lofty cathedral-style ceilings, designed by renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy. Coconut thatch is blended with teak, oak, cinnamon wood and stone, creating an airy and contemporary atmosphere with a hint of the exotic. State-of-the-art gadgets complement the luxurious furnishings; indeed everything in the villa, including the curtains is controlled by an iPad.

It is fortunate we cannot control the sun; otherwise we would get staff trained for raising and setting it on demand.

The natural charms of the island: powder-soft beaches of white sand, breathtaking turquoise lagoons, the temperature of bath water and ancient coral reefs, all enhance Cheval Blanc’s lavish solitude. After all, the Maldives is a place where revelling in opulence and seclusion is encouraged. LVMH Hotel Management has designed a magnificent property, that does just this.

The main bar is constructed from white marble and the resort’s five restaurants include Le 1947, with its nine-course French contemporary fine dining experience; the Dyptique, a Japanese and East Asian dining room, and the White restaurant, with its famous al fresco grilled lobster.

The ultimate extravagance on an island of such sheer indulgence is the Owner’s Villa, where up to eight guests can stay on their own private island adjacent to the resort.

Average daily temperatures of 30ºC and still, crystal-clear water offer perfect conditions for watersports and snorkeling. The vibrant reefs by the villas are one of the biggest draws. There are more than 2,000 species of fish, including parrot fish, anemone fish, butterfly fish and napoleon wrasse – but the manta rays and whale sharks are the real showstoppers.

Powder-soft beaches of white sand, and turquoise lagoons and the temperature of bath water enhance the resort’s solitude.

It is the second property in the LVMH Hotel Management group, following the opening of a hotel at the ski resort of Courchevel, France.

Swapping snow for sparkling white sand, Cheval Blanc opened on the island of Randheli in 2013. This magic formula of uncompromised indulgence and unforgettable natural beauty was quickly found and another tropical Cheval Blanc hotel opened in St Barth earlier this year.

For over 42 years, the tourism industry has adapted to cater to the demands of high-end clients. In fact, the Maldives’ finest resorts are renowned for delivering anything their guests desire – no matter how extravagant.

As we enjoyed the best sunset views, a few clouds gathered. A member of the hotel’s staff joked, “It’s actually fortunate we can’t control the sun; otherwise we would have to get our staff trained for raising and setting it on demand.” When it comes to a guest’s complete satisfaction at Randheli, nothing is too extravagant.