Cheval Blanc Randheli: Maldives

Heaven Is Not In The Sky. It’s In The Maldives.

If you’ve ever pictured heaven as a place in the sky with fluffy clouds and chubby cherubs with tiny harps, you may want to reconsider. Because this place may actually be better—the Cheval Blanc Randheli: Maldives. Afloat in the middle of the stunning Indian Ocean, forty minutes north of Malé (via seaplane, of course), this resort has everything you need to forget all your earthly worries.

Following the concept of “Art De Recevoir,” the staff at Cheval Blanc Randheli are on call to tend to your every desire, customizing your experience however you’d like it to be. First, they’ll administer a jet-lag treatment to help you ease into your stay, as another staff member heads to your villa to unpack your belongings for you. Oh, and speaking of that villa, you have your choice of a few different types, though our personal favorite would have to be the Garden Water Villas, which allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Perched on stilts over the crystal blue lagoon, there’s an infinity pool, loungers, and a pergola for outdoor dining on one side, where a dip in the water is as easy as stepping off your terrace.

The garden side backs directly into lush vegetation, which is thoughtfully peppered with ottomans, footstool and a hammock to help you laze away the day. If you’re craving more excitement, your Alchemist can whip up a day’s excursion for you, whether it’s swimming with manta rays, waterskiing, snorkeling, diving, tennis, big game fishing, or hitting the open water on a catamaran, canoe or sunset cruise. The resort has a fleet of dhonis you can take sailing on the lagoon, as well as Cheval Blanc speedboats and a yacht.

Just be sure and be back in time for dinner, where you can choose from a vast range of options, from a casual al fresco meal of grilled seafood and local delicacies at The Deelani, or a more upscale fine-dining experience at the French restaurant Le 1947, which is complete with a wine cellar and cigar lounge with a starlit, outdoor smoking terrace. Feeling more saucy? The Diptyque features live-cooking theatre and a unique menu that fuses Japanese cuisine with Iberian gastronomy, accompanied by a cellar full of port and a sake display. If you’d rather have more privacy, the Carte Blanche room service can serve you in your room, set up dinner on the beach, or even in a dhoni for true seaside dining. Now, what was so appealing about those fat kids with harps again?