40 minute seaplane flight to the north from Male International Airport (MLE)
December to April is dry and sunny while monsoon influence starts in May/June and lasts till November. However downpours are brief. April and May are the hottest months. Temperatures range between 24C and 33C throughout the year.
Eight years after the first LVMH Cheval Blanc hotel opened in Courchevel (booked solid from day one) comes beautiful Randheli, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, who also created One&Only Reethi Rah. Here he's used the same large-scale, cathedral-roofed template for the beach villas, and the detailing is superb. Those insouciant little armless sofas; that Vincent Beaurin lemon-yellow sand-disc artwork, which slowly turns as the weight of perpetually falling grains of sand rotate it; the square, slate-lined pool; the de Havilland seaplane bobbing in the water; the white bicycles for getting around; the taupe espadrilles in the villas' dressing rooms. It's all so chic. In the Guerlain spa, reached by dhoni, even a glance upwards from the massage bed prompts a smile in appreciation of the exquisitely woven rattan ceiling. Some bits grate: having to press a switch to open the villa front door from the inside, for instance. But from breakfast on the terrace - molten-centred brownies, celestial with a cappuccino - to the doll-sized mouthfuls on the tasting menu at Le 1947 restaurant, named after Cheval Blanc's most famous vintage, every element confirms this as the most sensational new resort in the Maldives.