It stands to reason that the Cheval Blanc Randheli, the latest resort from luxury conglomerate LVMH (owners of Louis Vuitton, Céline, Dior, etc.), would set the bar high.
The white sands and turquoise waters of the Noonu Atoll, in the northwest Maldives, are the backdrop for 45 one- and two-bedroom villas here.
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, the 45 villas, some over water, others lining the beach, brim with bespoke, artistic details under thatched, cathedral-like, roofs.
In the unspoilt Noonu Atoll, some 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé airport and within easy speed boat reach of some excellent snorkelling and diving spots frequented by spinner dolphins.
When Jean-Michel Gathy designed the hotel, he raised the benchmark the world over for sumptuous, yet tasteful, villas; vast in scale, yet detail driven, where guests are immersed in sensory hedonism.
A dedicated majordomo (butler) looks after you and plans your day, from unpacking your suitcase and ironing crumpled clothes to booking restaurants or diving expeditions to fine-tuning a bath filled with frangipani flowers.
Bicycles come with each villa.
Facilities include yoga and meditation with Master Puneet, to exercise classes in the gym to tennis courts and a boot camp workout on another island.
There is also a golf simulator and water sports from paddleboards to seabobs.
The Dive center runs snorkeling and diving expeditions and dolphin cruises.
The only Guerlain Spa in the Maldives sits across the water on its own island, treatment rooms between the palm trees.
There’s also a Kid’s club with indoor and outdoor activities and a Concept store overflowing with designer brands.