randheli: cheval blanc resort opening

© cheval blanc

our idea of a perfect getaway is a sun-drenched island, far away from the usual hustle and bustle. ideally, it's equipped with the comforts of home and more, and a little sex appeal doesn't hurt. there's a new exclusive resort in the indian ocean that ticks all our boxes, and it's called cheval blanc randheli. located on randheli island - in the northern maldives, this five-star getaway is part of the hospitality division of french luxury conglomerate lvmh. it's all about the good life at cheval blanc randheli, and the sense of exclusivity kicks right in when you hop onto the resort's private plane at male airport for your transfer flight and are presented a handy kit containing maison espadrilles, towels, amenities and bottles of island chic scented water.

the property has been designed by denniston, a renowned kuala lumpur-based architecture practice specialized in high-end hospitality venues, each villa has a contemporary lofty construction and style that naturally blends in the landscape and vegetation. the high ceilings are framed by seven-metre-high, hand-crafted doors that deliver a strong sense of openness while large glass doors opening fully onto the idyllic landscape. natural materials are used and combined with bespoke artwork and furniture pieces to create a homey setting with all the modern amenities you'd expect from a place like this. there are only 45 villas on the island, divided into three categories: the garden villas are unique in the maldives, combining both overwater stilt architecture with a private tropical garden space.

inside, a living room, bedroom with a walk-in closet and large bathroom succeed each other, while a second bedroom is also available. the garden side of the villa is furnished with comfortable ottomans, chairs and a hammock that blend in with the tropical vegetation, while facing the lagoon, an infinity pool and a fully furnished patio is situated. connected to land by a wooden pontoon, the water villas are situated right on the water, and feature a living room, a bedroom with walk-in closet, and a bathroom. this villa comes with two terraces, one featuring an outside pool and dining table with sunken benches, and a second one furnished with comfortable armchairs. last but certainly not least there are the island villas, set amidst a luscious garden with an outdoor dining pergola and a 12.5-metre-long private infinity pool.

monumental doors allow to break the space up into a living room, a sumptuous bedroom with its dedicated walk-in closet and an oversized in and outdoor bathroom. larger parties are able to book a two-bedroom island villa which features a second bedroom across the pool with a separate entrance, a bedroom, a walk-in closet and a spacious bathroom. the splendour of the cheval blanc randheli has a service level to match. each villa has a dedicated majordome, your first point of call, and who closely collaborates with a team of alchemists to arrange tailor-made activities throughout your stay. we're talking unique experiences such as private butler snorkeling and diving, moon-lit yoga and desert island adventures.

for those seeking a more relaxing experience there's the cheval blanc spa. occupying six villas overlooking the lagoon, the luxury spa offers a specially developed menu of exclusive treatments by guerlain. and while the grown-ups are being pampered or entertained, kids and teens are taken care of at le carrousel and le paddock, two facilities that offer special programs and games. a stay at the resort is also about exceptional wining and dining, and it shouldn't surprise you that cheval blanc randheli offers plenty of tempting options. the most prominent culinary spot on the island is le 1947, named after chateau cheval blanc's most prized vintage wine. amidst an elegant, understated setting opening onto a garden, refined french cuisine is served that's inspired by local flavours.

the restaurant has its own bar and cigar lounge. the white is a brasserie-style restaurant and bar with a sleek, contemporary setting. it has a shaded terrace and and garden, while one side also looks onto the ocean. it's open from breakfast to dinner and features simple gourmet cuisine. the white bar is situated near the resort's main pool and serves light dishes and drinks. other dining places are the diptyique, which serves both japanese and spanish dishes, all prepared on the spot and offering a visual spectacle, and the deelani where local seafood and italian delicacies can be savoured in an al fresco setting. there may be one big downside to a place as idyllic as the cheval blanc randheli, and that's you not wanting to check out...ever again. location: randheli island [noonu atoll].

© cheval blanc