A right royal

When it comes to lux­u­ri­ous pam­per­ing and re­lax­ation, no one does it bet­ter than Che­val Blanc’s Mal­di­vian marvel, as Jakki Phillips dis­cov­ers

Indonesia Tatler Traveller - - CONTENTS -

A de­light­ful es­cape into the pris­tine wa­ters of Che­val Blanc Rand­heli, one of the most ex­clu­sive and lux­u­ri­ous pri­vate is­land re­sorts in The Mal­dives

There’s a bat­tal­ion of beam­ing staff gaz­ing sky­wards and wav­ing en­thu­si­as­ti­cally as our pri­vate sea­plane touches down on the turquoise wa­ters sur­round­ing Che­val Blanc Rand­heli, one of the most ex­clu­sive and lux­u­ri­ous pri­vate is­land re­sorts in the Mal­dives—and prob­a­bly the world. Af­ter a cap­ti­vat­ing 40-minute flight from the cap­i­tal, Malé, to north­east­ern Noonu Atoll—with views straight out of a David At­ten­bor­ough doc­u­men­tary—we prise our­selves from the but­ter-soft leather seats, hop into a chauf­feured buggy and are whisked away along palm-fringed sandy tracks to our pala­tial over­wa­ter villa. At the front door, we’re greeted by our very own ma­jor­dome (that’s but­ler to you and me) who’s avail­able 24/7 to help with ev­ery­thing from un­pack­ing suit­cases and iron­ing jack­ets to book­ing restau­rants and back rubs. On the ve­randa we find neat rows of per­fectly fit­ting espadrilles and flip-flops (so that’s why they asked our shoe size!) and two Sch­winn bi­cy­cles per­son­alised with our ini­tials. We’re of­fered a free mas­sage to ban­ish any trav­el­re­lated stress but de­cide the fastest route to re­lax­ation is by wal­low­ing in our in­fin­ity pool with the com­pli­men­tary bot­tle of chilled Moët & Chan­don that’s await­ing. It’s a royal welcome and one that staff have had the chance to per­fect on many a ven­er­a­ble guest. Prince Wil­liam and Kate Mid­dle­ton, the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge, gave their re­gal seal of ap­proval when they spent a week at this serene trop­i­cal hide­away in March last year, only months af­ter the re­sort opened in late 2013. These days the guest­book reads like a James Bond movie cast, with Rus­sian oli­garchs, Saudi princesses, sports stars, fash­ion doyens and Sil­i­con Val­ley bil­lion­aires all jet­ting in to ex­pe­ri­ence the re­sort’s jaw-drop­ping lev­els of pam­per­ing. The lure for those seek­ing the ul­ti­mate sybaritic es­cape is the re­sort’s re­as­sur­ingly lux­u­ri­ous par­ent com­pany, LVMH (Moët Hen­nessy Louis Vuit­ton), which owns a co­terie of top-drawer brands, from Cé­line and Fendi to Bul­gari and De Beers. The con­glom­er­ate also boasts an im­pres­sive wine, cham­pagne and spir­its port­fo­lio, in­clud­ing the revered Saint-émil­ion grand cru from which the ho­tel brand takes its name. The group’s first foray into lux­ury ho­tels was the cool, con­tem­po­rary and ut­terly deca­dent Che­val

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