Cheval Blanc Randheli

Avant-garde elegance and French finesse

When it opened in 2013, Cheval Blanc Randheli was Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s second hotel venture after establishing the renowned Cheval Blanc Courchevel in France. While an alpine retreat is the antithesis of a Maldivian island, LVMH has succeeded in creating a distinctive tropical property that sits harmoniously in its exotic surroundings.

Elegant, chic and with a touch of the avant-garde, Randheli’s architecture is breathtaking, yet paradoxically, appears to melt into the island. Maldivian coconut thatches and screens of natural materials soften the sharp lines, while whitewashed villa walls bounce the brilliant sunlight around the lagoon.

Belgian architect Jean-Michel Gathy was commissioned to use Randheli island as his blank canvas. Based in Malaysia, Gathy melds quality European craftsmanship with an Asian understanding of design, space and hospitality. He evokes luxury through scale and vistas, using fluid layers and a fondness for extravagance, notably in the cathedral-like villa ceilings at Randheli.

This opulent oasis oozes sophistication and style. It also has a distinctly French feel, right from the moment the majordomo (butler)bids you bonjour on arrival at the maison, following a 40-minute flight on the Randheli private seaplane (which is customized in Cheval Blanc’s taupe and Randheli’s “pop yellow”). And you’ll find French influence in the spa (with pampering from Guerlain) and the hotel’s signature restaurant.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The stunning spa is set upon an island of its own (only a handful of resorts in the Maldives offer this luxury) and you’re transported there by a traditional Maldivian dhoni boats. Guerlain has created a bespoke array of treatments, including a one-hour Radiance facial with a mask.
  • Scent design is considered a luxury amenity for the most upscale establishments, and Cheval Blanc Randheli's signature fragrance was created by head nose at Dior, François Demachy. The aroma of cardamom, rose and driftwood captures the seductive beauty of this South Asian island (the rose is the national flower of the Maldives).
  • The water villas’ sundecks are among the largest in the Maldives, comprising of a private freshwater plunge pool, a sala and at least two sunbathing areas.
  • Pristine Noonu Atoll has an abundance of unspoiled dive spots. Explore The Dometo see schooling jacks, butterflyfish and fusiliers.
  • Try a unique yoga ritual inspired by freedivers (who are renowned for their superb breath control). It was created in consultation with Randheli's dive center team.

Things to Know

  • The dress code at Cheval Blanc Randheli isn’t barefoot casual, so shoes and resort-chic attire is required. However, you may want to bring something extra special to wear to dinner atLe 1947.
  • If you’re seeking seclusion, the Spa Bar is a quiet enclave on the spa island where fewer guests can be found than at the other venues. Rather like the treatment rooms, it’s a breezy, white pavilion overlooking the water.
  • The Maldives hotel has a team of “alchemists” who will specially design experiences and excursions according to your preferences in topics such as astronomy.

The Rooms

  • All of the spacious villas have lofty ceilings and multiple screens and separations between areas, which conjures up a sense of space. They are also large enough to include living and powder rooms.
  • Natural materials inside the villas from across Asia, like bamboo, teak, reclaimed coral and mother-of-pearl, enhance the fluidity between indoors and outdoors. It also forms a connection between the very contemporary structures and the natural elements of the island and lagoon surrounding it.
  • The natural tones are balanced by small splashes of Randheli’s signature yellow and colorful artwork, including a series of 46 dots spread across the walls in each villa by French artist Vincent Beaurin.
  • The 14 one- or two-bedroom Garden Villas sit on the edge of a lagoon, with a sundeck suspended over the water, too. This creates the sense of living in a water villa while being island-based.
  • Arrive in style and dock at the private berth belonging to the incredible four-bedroom Owner’s Villa. Its lavish facilities include its own spa and an enormous freshwater pool.

The Restaurants

  • Named after Château Cheval Blanc’s acclaimed vintage, Le 1947 is the marquee restaurant. Set in a beautiful tropical garden, it serves French cuisine with a hint of inspiration from Asia (such as the Maldivian tuna tartare).
  • Take a seat at Diptyque for superb sashimi and a thrilling teppanyaki show delivered with flair at the chef’s table.
  • The White is an indoor-outdoor venue for breakfast as well as casual brasserie-style cuisine with Indian Ocean influences, such as seafood crepes and Maldivian chicken curry.
  • Over-water restaurant and bar Deelani really comes to life at night. The seafood menu is inspired by the Italian Riviera (try the divine pasta with clams and calamari).

Getting There
Noonu Atoll, Maldives
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