The Noonu Atoll in the Maldives, surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters, is the site of the new Cheval Blanc Randheli Hotel, an exclusive new property from the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy fashion group. Only the second Cheval Blanc in the world, this hotel joins its “sister” Cheval Blanc Courchevel — Europe’s most upscale ski resort, known for its Hollywood stars and jet-setters the world over — in offering the ultimate in “couture” accommodations to the most discriminating travelers. “Star” treatment starts at the airport at Malé: guests are escorted by a chauffeur to the Cheval Blanc seaplane, customized with designer interiors. Exclusivity soon becomes intimacy: a mere 45 villas blend contemporary style with traditional Maldivian craftsmanship: sleek, modern furniture and appointments covered with thatched roofs and bathed in tropical sunshine.
“Soaring” is the way you feel with one step inside this space: entries are 7 meters (over 21 feet) high! Look up and you see traditional wood ceilings; look down and you see a 12.5-meter private swimming pool with infinity edge that extends to the open-air spaces around you. Colors are the hues of sun and sand: golden yellow and soothing cream, complemented by dark woven wicker and dove-gray bed frames and shelving. Hungry? No problem: you can enjoy dining in one of the resort’s four restaurants, offering seafood fare as well as Japanese, Iberian, French and other international cuisines. In reality, though, you won’t “hunger” for much at this sumptuous place: its staff aims to provide the complete pampering experience and meet your every need almost before you ask.