iconimg Saturday, May 23, 2015

Agence France-Presse
October 10, 2013
According to a recent survey conducted by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Maldives islands rank as the most popular luxury vacation destination on the planet. The island nation is already a hotbed of high-end tourism, with accommodations fit for the most demanding guests, and new luxury resorts are appearing each year. Here, we take a look at three of this season's most notable newcomers.



Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc, located in the Courchevel ski resort in the French Alps, to the Noonu Atoll in the sunny Maldives. A private hydroplane carries guests of the Cheval Blanc from the Malé airport to their destination in 40 minutes. Upon arrival, guests are met by 45 spacious villas (the smallest has a surface area of 240 square meters, or 2600 square feet), luxurious services and breathtaking beaches. Five on-site restaurants offer French and international gourmet cuisine. In the spa, guests enjoy treatments with Guerlain beauty products and Leonor Greyl hair products. Sports, special events and custom services are all on the menu as well. Opening November 15. Prices available upon request.

The new Cheval Blanc Randheli resort in the Maldives includes 45 suites. Photo: AFP


Website: www.chevalblanc.com/randheli/en

Maalifushi by Como
Como Hotels will open its second resort in the Maldives December 1. Maalifushi is located on the Thaa Atoll, which can be reached in around one hour by hydroplane from the Malé airport. The resort consists of around 60 suites and villas built on stilts, including some located directly on the beach, and others with private pools. Two on-site restaurants offer international cuisine, as well as Japanese and Maldivian specialties. The spa -- with eight massage rooms and hammam, Jacuzzi, and sauna -- offers beauty and relaxation treatments based on the principles of holistic medicine. Prices available upon request.
Website: comohotels.com/maalifushi

Maalifushi by Como is a new resort located on the Thaa Atoll in the Maldives. Photo: AFP

A private villa on Kunfunadhoo Island
From December 15, travelers will be able to rent a 2,000 square meter (21,500 square foot) seaside villa from the Soneva Group, which aims to combine luxury with sustainability through its "Slow Life" philosophy. All of the villas in the Soneva Fushi resort are built with sustainable materials using local techniques but remain decidedly high-end. The newest villa, which the group claims is the largest in any Indian Ocean resort, has eight bedrooms, a game room, and a spa with massage tables and a gym. There is also an enormous 477 square meter (5130 square foot) pool surrounding the residence, complete with a dining terrace where guests can enjoy a waterside lunch. Prices per night range from around €8500/$11,500 to €22,500/$30,400 depending on the season.
Website: www.soneva.com/soneva-fushi-maldives/home

The largest private villa in the Maldives, located within the Soneva Fushi resort. Photo: AFP


Next summer, the group will expand its offering with Soneva in Aqua. The luxury yacht will allow guests to enjoy the same level of service and comfort experienced in the Soneva Fushi villas while sailing from atoll to atoll in the Maldives.