Cheval Blanc Randheli

When on a family vacation to the Maldives, would you expect anything else from a resort named after a favorite wine?

Mar 17, 2019

By Rasina Uberoi-Bajaj.

This is exactly how I envisioned it. Lounging on my deck, chilled glass of wine in hand, I’m doing little more than absorbing the pristine Noonu Atoll that surrounds me. When news hit that Cheval Blanc, one of the only four wines to receive a Premiere Grand Cru Classe in the St Emillion, Bordeaux region, not to mention a personal favorite, was opening a hotel in the Maldives I began to dream. The best image? A resort in the middle of clear Indian Ocean waters with bottles of Cheval Blanc locked away in Louis Vuitton trunks (Cheval Blanc is owned by LVMH). There was no way we were going to miss out on this.

Courtesy of Cheval Blanc Randheli.

A 55-minute seaplane flight from Male to the Noonu Atoll takes you to the midst of sparkling blue oceans, white beaches and alluring coral reefs. Upon landing at Cheval Blanc Randheli, prepare to be blown away by the hotel’s three islands: the first for the 45 one- and two-bedroom villas; another houses the spa; and the third is set aside for the tennis courts. Enjoy the welcome drinks as you are whisked to your private villa on the water.

Now that you are engulfed in Louis Vuitton perfection, expectations of Cheval Blanc Randheli will never fall short. Expect nothing less than sublimity. Step into your secluded Maison and be astonished by the incredible architecture with high ceilings and a view of the shimmering, turquoise water. Sit on one of the several plush couches and nibble on the crispy meringues that melt in your mouth, dip your spoon in the bowl of gazpacho, or dive into the generous bowl of fruits. We needed time to explore the bathroom, thoughtfully divided into sides for Madame and Monsieur, complete with Cheval Blanc amenities, and a giant bathtub against the window overlooking the ocean. The enormous walk-in closet had several comfortable seating areas. Now, step out to your deck with your very own, private infinity pool, complemented by two in-pool cushions and sunken dining table. Tired of the pool? Jump off your deck in to the beryl waters and climb back up on the steps. Don’t forget to stop and take a photo. We perfected the art of jumping off the deck and having our very patient private butler take mid-air family pix. We knew this picture would serve as our holiday greeting card so this was our main physical exertion for the trip.

Cheval Blanc Randheli’s garden villa offers sweeping views. Courtesy of Cheval Blanc Randheli.

Hungry yet? Hop on to your bicycles and head on over to the White Restaurant for lunch, where they serve just about every cuisine you can think of. Crave pizza, sushi, Indian food, pasta, soup, sandwiches, Thai food, spring rolls, burgers, noodles, hot dogs or rice? They’ve got it.

In the charming white room with large, open windows and doors, with views of the main pool and sea, have a seat wherever you like. Staff is there to please you, and only you. Expect to be treated like royalty. Every food allergy or preference will be noted and e-mailed to the kitchen directly. No more cherry tomatoes in my gazpacho—which I had eight times during four days.

The Main Pool. Courtesy of Cheval Blanc Randheli.

The array and choices of food at the property are endless from a Japanese restaurant that houses an outdoor teppanyaki table to a 9-course exquisite culinary journey at Le 1947, named after Château Cheval Blanc‘s with the three items that the French take most pride in— baguettes, butter and cheese. Fueling with a heavy dose of carbs every morning gave us the energy to lounge around in our villa for a bit before we began our daily ritual of perfecting our deck jumps.

A lobster tart at fine-dining Le 1947. Courtesy oF Cheval Blanc Randheli.

I was astonished at how everything was in arm’s reach. Delicious snacks, which had been personalized for us from attentive staff at the restaurants, were stocked in our rooms. Outside, we were welcomed by a number of super friendly reef sharks. Jumping off our private deck to greet them gave us treasured memories. The Instagram photos and Boomerangs we left with are about as aesthetic as one can imagine. 

chevalblanc.com/randheli/en; villas from US$2,250 plus local taxes.

Sindhorn Midtown

Hotels & Resorts

W Taipei

The splashy W Taipei blends the feel of a relaxing resort with a smooth, urban vibe. In step with the W brand, whimsical art pieces punctuate the hotel, including flying metal shards in the lobby by Japanese artist Sawada.

Hotels & Resorts

Singapore Marriot Hotel

Located in the heart of the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district, Singapore Marriott Hotel is best known for its iconic green pagoda roof at the corner of Scotts Road and Orchard Road.

Culture

Planting for Peace in Vietnam

While its war with America may be long over, Vietnam is still dealing with unexploded ordnance at an all-too-high cost. Now, as Veronica Inveen discovers, there are safe ways any visitor can help out.

Hotels & Resorts

The Grand Reawakening of Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor

A colonial time capsule in Siem Reap offers old-world pomp infused with authentic Cambodian flavor.