This Cheval Blanc Randheli Review is from our recent stay at the resort, during our third visit to the Maldives. I shared some early photos of the resort in my post, Wow! Style and Substance: Can You Guess the Resort?. If you want to stay at the best luxury resort in the Maldives and money is no object, this is it.
TravelSort clients may book Cheval Blanc Randheli with these Virtuoso benefits:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Full Breakfast daily for up to two in-room guests
- $150 USD Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay in any of the resort's restaurants, bars or for room service, i.e. "Carte Blanche" (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Cheval Blanc Randheli Location and Check-In
Cheval Blanc Randheli is located on Noonu Atoll, about a 45 minute seaplane ride from Male, and you can either take a regular seaplane, or Cheval Blanc Randheli's own private seaplane, which seats up to 9 people and a more comfortable experience, although also of course more expensive. Before and after the seaplane, you can comfortably wait in the Cheval Blanc Randheli Seaplane Lounge in Male. Here's what the Cheval Blanc Randheli private seaplane looks like:
Here's a glimpse of the island from our seaplane:
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by smiling staff that also looked as though they could have stepped out of a Vogue magazine cover, in stylish Cheval Blanc attire, introduced to our Majordome (personal assistant), and whisked off by buggy to our Water Villa.
Here's a view from the resort toward The Deelani Restaurant and arrival jetty:
Only later, on our way to dinner that evening, did I see part of the reception area lounge:
Cheval Blanc Randheli Villa Types and Water Villa
There are 3 main types of villas at Cheval Blanc Randheli: Water Villas on stilts with views of the lagoon or the Indian Ocean, Garden Water Villas, which open onto the lagoon and also have a lush garden in back, and Island Villas, which are on the beach. All villa types have their own private infinity pool. There's also the 4 Bedroom Owner's Villa on its own private island, with its own spa, 80 feet long infinity pool, and full kitchen facilities since normally those who stay here use the services of a private chef.
We stayed in a Water Villa, which from the outside looks relatively modest:
Inside, however, we were captivated by the soaring ceilings and beautiful design. It's easy to keep the segments open between the living room and bedroom during the day, but close them in the evening if, as we did, you have a child on an extra bed in the living room.
Cheval Blanc Randheli may be the only luxury resort in the Maldives where the Water Villa is the "entry level" accommodation, and is over 2500 square feet, with a private 40 feet long infinity pool. My husband swam some laps for exercise, and he and my son had some epic water battles in the pool, without having to worry about disturbing the peace for others.
I don't think we've ever had such lavish welcome amenities when we weren't even celebrating a birthday or anniversary. There were a variety of scrumptious macarons, pate de fruits, cut fresh fruit, and a fruit bowl, not to mention chilled Moet & Chandon champagne waiting for us:
There was a big coloring book, colored pencils, and a stylish as well as practical tote for my son, which we still use often:
I slept very well in the bedroom's King bed, which was a tad too firm for my husband, although still more comfortable than the Park Hyatt Maldives bed. There's a TV that can be retracted when not in use, and it as well as the lights, temperature, and blinds can be controlled by iPad. The lights, temperature and blinds controls were easy and intuitive, although the TV movies were somewhat tricky, at least for us.
Behind the bedroom is a walk-in closet and dressing room area:
The bathroom was similarly spacious, featuring his and hers vanities across the room from each other and a large soaking tub in the center.
Behind the soaking tub was a couple's walk-in rain shower:
The Cheval Blanc Randheli bath products were very moisturizing, although unfortunately just a bit over 3 ounces, so I was unable to bring them back with me.
You can, however, bring back the stylish beach bags (different styles for men and women) and even the espadrille beach shoes. Out Majordome also advised us that the resort would launder, on a complimentary basis, our traveling clothes (up to 3 pieces per person). This was very welcome, and while I felt somewhat sheepish about turning in my shorts for laundering, rather than, say, a stylish sundress, my shorts have never come back so clean. The resort really does think of just about everything.
There were new fresh fruit presentations daily, and turndown treats included these decadent housemade chocolates, which were so good we took the rest with us:
I nearly forgot a few other aspects of the villa. On your right after entering, there's a half bathroom-convenient for your child if they're sleeping in the living room.
And on the left there's a kitchenette, with a nearly full sized fridge and freezer, which is great for storing cold drinks and snacks. There's also a Nespresso maker and a tea kettle, with TWG tea.
Here's a video of the arrival pier and our Water Villa:
Cheval Blanc Randheli Beach and Lagoon
The sand at Cheval Blanc Randheli is soft and similar to that at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, although not as fine and powdery as at Amanpulo. I'll admit that we don't tend to lie about on the beach, but I definitely enjoyed snorkeling and will post about it separately. There are also a variety of water sports offered, including windsurfing, water skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and yachting. There's a calm, protected lagoon between the main island where the restaurants, kids' club, fitness center and some of the beach villas are located on and the island where the water villas are located.
Cheval Blanc Randheli Le Carrousel Kids' Club & Le Paddock Teens' Club
Cheval Blanc Randheli realizes that their family guests don't just want babysitting; they want an enriched environment for their children. It's savvy, since providing kids with a fantastic and absorbing experience will not only make them happy, it will make for happy parents, and increase the likelihood of the family returning. Le Carrousel, for kids ages 3-12, is open daily from 10am-6pm and is complimentary to guests. It features an outdoor area with its own shallow pool and water slide:
Our son loved the caring Le Carrousel staff, who taught him a number of Maldivian words, helped him make a Maldivian flag and other crafts, applied some temporary tattoos that he didn't want to wash off, and played Uno and other games with him. We practically had to physically carry him out on our last day to catch our return seaplane, as he simply didn't want to leave.
There's also Le Paddock for pre-teens and teens, with a pool table, foosball, ping pong outdoors (which my husband and I had fun playing) and video games.
Cheval Blanc Randheli Spa and Fitness
Tennis players visiting the Maldives should prioritize Cheval Blance Randheli, which has its own tennis island (Maakurandhoo Island) with two tennis courts built to Australian Open standards, with a resident tennis professional for coaching. You can also play tennis on your own, which we planned to do, although we unfortunately got rained out.
The Cheval Blanc Randheli Spa is also located on its own island, reachable by boat in the shape of a traditional Maldivian dhoni. I enjoyed a very refreshing welcome drink that included fresh squeezed orange juice and lemongrass in the reception area:
There's a spacious open air relaxation area that looks out at the sea and has its own pool. It would be a lovely spot for a private wedding.
There are separate men's and women's changing areas, with whirlpools, hammam and sauna. Here's one of the couple's treatment rooms, with floor to ceiling glass and views of the ocean:
Cheval Blanc Randheli Restaurants and Dining
For fewer than 50 villas, Cheval Blanc Randheli has an impressive 5 restaurants, although these are not all open every day. In addition to daily breakfast at The White, we had the opportunity to dine at the resort's signature restaurant, Le 1947, as well as at the Italian restaurant, The Deelani. I'll review dining in a future post.
We've enjoyed something about each of our stays at the 5 other Maldives luxury resorts we've stayed at, but Cheval Blanc Randheli is just at another level, from the "entry level" Water Villas that are larger than any other 1BR villa we've stayed in and finished to the highest standard, and the private infinity pool you can swim laps in, to the Michelin-star level dining at Le 1947 to the superb staff, including our Majordome (personal assistant), the scuba/water sports staff and the fantastic young women in the Le Carrousel Kids' Club, the list goes on.
If pressed, I'd say that the bed was just a bit too firm for our liking (although much more comfortable than the Park Hyatt Maldives), so the Four Seasons still wins in the mattress comfort department. And it's true that the central Lagoon isn't stocked with fish, so you'll want to go to one of the areas of the resort map (which I'll feature on my snorkeling post) to see more marine life. Since we were there during shoulder season, in November, we did experience some rain, but Cheval Blanc Randheli is probably the only place in the Maldives I'd want to be stuck indoors on rainy days, because even the interior spaces are so amazing. While I try to always visit new properties for site inspections and to experience them for clients, Cheval Blanc Randheli is one that we'll definitely return to as soon as we can save up for a longer stay--it's pricey, but absolutely worth it, as the best resort property we've experienced to date.
If you've stayed recently at Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives, what was your experience?
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Disclosure: I was a guest and enjoyed 1 complimentary night and paid for the remainder of our stay at Cheval Blanc Randheli, however the views expressed in this post are my own.
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