The Luxe List 2014

  • Abode, Mumbai, India

    Abode, Mumbai, India

  • Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

    Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

  • Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

    Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

  • Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

    Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

  • Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

    Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

  • Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

    Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

  • Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

    Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

  • Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

    Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

  • Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

    Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

  • One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

    Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

  • Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

    Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

  • Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Sofitel So Singapore

    Sofitel So Singapore

  • Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

    Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

  • Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

    Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

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The Luxe List 2014: Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

This five-island complex in the northeasterly Noonu Atoll is the rare resort that actually lives up to its much-hyped reputation, beginning with the taupe calf-leather interiors of the seaplane that transports guests here from Male. More wow factor awaits in the 45 villas, which begin at a spacious 130 square meters and feature soaring pitched roofs, private gardens, 12.5-meter infinity pools, and gorgeous interiors that designer Jean-Michel Gathy has outfitted in cinnamon wood, rattan, and coconut shell. Following breakfasts of French pastries and dolphin watching, guests can have their personal “majordome” and “alchemist” (that’s Cheval Blanc–speak for butlers and concierges, and they’re among the best in the archipelago) arrange their day’s activities, be it diving expeditions, a game of tennis, sandbank picnics, or treatments at the spa, which occupies an island of its own and is accessible via a traditional dhoni sailboat. Come dinnertime, there’s freshly caught fish sliced into sashimi at the sleek beachfront White restaurant, or, at the overwater eatery helmed by Maldivian chef Abdulla Shaan, an exquisite prawn curry or perfectly grilled lobster.

960/656-1515; Cheval Blanc Randheli; doubles from US$1,300

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