OWNER’S VILLA, CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI
The ineffably smart and stylish Cheval Blanc Randheli opened in the Maldives three years ago as a sister property to those in Courchevel 1850 and St Barth’s. This year it was joined by the magnificent three-bedroom Owner’s Villa, set on its own immaculate little island. Designed by the architect Jean Michel Gathy, whose sleek portfolio includes Aman and COMO hotels as well as nearby One & Only Reethi Rah, the heart of the house is an enormous, light-filled living room with high, Balinese-thatched ceilings and sail-shaped room dividers; corridors are lined with slick contemporary art and saffron-feat her ju-ju hats from Cameroon.
There is also a one-bed room beachfront villa with its own cinema and dining terrace. The 25-metre, black-stone swimming pool stands in delicious contrast to the brilliant-white sand beach. The island comes with a staff of 30, including brilliant chefs who are happy to produce anything you like, a yoga master for sunrise salutations on the over-water terrace, and therapists for the private Guerlain spa. The hotel, which has what is possibly the most remote Pucci boutique in the world, is just a five-minute dhoni sail away. Book a table at its Japanese restaurant, Diptyque, for red-tuna crispy rice rolls and a glass of Chateau Cheval Blanc, or feast on Maldivian reef-fish curry in your private dining room before hijinks around the grand piano and midnight movies screened under the stars.