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Ever dream of frolicking under the turquoise waters of the Maldives?

If you are, two premier resorts should be on your radar: Cheval Blanc Randheli and the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.

Cheval Blanc Randheli is known for its gorgeous architectural design while the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is a big name brand known for delivering the utmost service and a life of luxury. 

Both these properties are the cream of the crop, promising guests wonderful amenities, an elegant escape, and of course, unrivaled views and service. Get up close and personal with each one in this Cheval Blanc Randheli vs Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi comparison. 

Quick Glance: Cheval Blanc Randheli vs Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

  Cheval Blanc Randheli Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Location Noonu Atoll, North of the Maldives // Spread across 6 islands Ithaafushi Island, South Malé Atoll, Maldives // Spread across 3 islands
Getting There Requires a 40-minute seaplane ride from the Male International Airport Requires a 40-minute yacht transfer
Room 46 Loft Villas, 1 Private Island 122 Villas and Suites, 1 Private Island
Amenities Swimming Pool, House Reef, Dive Center, Tennis Courts, Carousel Kids Club, Paddock Teens Club, The Spa Island – Guerlain Spa, Fitness Center, Golf Simulator, Surf Simulator, Beach Access Swimming Pool, Beach Access, Fitness Center, Kid’s Club, Spa, Tennis Court, Wedding Pavillion, Photography Studio, Water Park, Snorkeling on Property, Scuba Diving
Food and Dining 5 Restaurants and Bars 10 Restaurants and Bars
Staff and Guest Services Each guest is assigned a butler called an “alchemist.” They will help handle all of your requests. Fantastic service. Each guest receives a personal butler who will take care of all guest needs. 
Price Low Season Rate is $1,875 // Standard Season Rate is $2,450 // Peak Season Rate is $3,900 Low Season Rate is $2,672 // Standard Season Rate is $4,695 // Peak Season Rate is $5,257
Points Redemption Unfortunately, there’s no option to redeem points at the moment. Yes, you can use 120,000 to 150,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

The Details: Cheval Blanc Randheli vs Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli is a Design Hotel first established in 2013. This striking property is the brainchild of Jean-Michel Gathy from the architectural firm, Denniston.

Known for its stunning clean lines, beautiful play on light and shadows as well as artworks galore, this fantastic luxury resort is not only an inviting place but also looks like a living, evolving art museum. 


Found on Noonu Atoll at the northern portion of the Maldives, Cheval Blanc Randheli requires a 40 to 45-minute seaplane ride from the Male International Airport. You have the option to book a regular seaplane or go in style (an on brand) by taking Cheval Blanc Randheili’s private custom plane. 

The seaplane can accommodate up to 9 people with ample space for the passengers and bright ombre yellow pillows, a signature color you’ll see in almost every part of the resort. 

Cheval Blanc Randheli isn’t just located on one island but it spans six islands. Three of the islands are connected via a walking bridge, one island is dedicated solely for the spa and another island is completely private, housing the Owner’s Villa


Dotting all around the main islands are 46 beautiful villas separated into three categories: Island Villas, Overwater Villas, and Overwater Garden Villas

The regular Overwater Villas serve as the entry-level space while the most expensive option of the three is the Garden Overwater Villas. All of the guest spaces look modest from the outside but inside, visitors are treated to a stunning space with 22-foot high cathedral ceilings. 

Each space has divider segments that can be closed to keep the living room, bedroom, and bath areas separated. However, if you prefer an open plan feel, you can keep these segments open so the space flows beautifully. 

Newly-arrived guests are treated to a lavish welcome amenity with macarons, fruit bowls, and even a Moët & Chandon, chilled and ready to go. This standard overwater villa offers 2,580 square feet of space with stunning ocean views everywhere. It also has a 40-foot infinity pool on the deck, ideal for swimming laps. 

The bedroom showcases a king bed with four poster electronic blinds, easily controlled by an iPad. The same iPad controls the lighting, temperature, as well as blind controls. There’s a hidden TV that pops up at the foot of the bed and is pre-filled with movies in case you want to watch. 

Right behind the bedroom is a spacious closet where you can keep your luggage and find convenient storage. 

Head to the bathroom and it’s equally stunning. There’s a giant soaking tub with stylish cylinder lights hanging above it. Right behind the tub is a walk-in shower with hotel-branded toiletries provided. The toilet is also private, giving you plenty of privacy along with his and hers sink. 

Guests are treated to free laundry service (up to 3 pieces per person) and daily turndown chocolate as well as fresh fruit arrangements. In addition, there’s a kitchenette with a big fridge, Nespresso maker, TWG tea, and an electric kettle. 


When it comes to amenities, Cheval Blanc Randheli has a lot to offer. There’s a beautiful beach with soft, powdery sand. Guests can enjoy a host of water sports including water skiing, paddle boarding, windsurfing, or kayaking. 

Snorkeling is great but only in certain parts of the island. Not all overwater villas offer good snorkeling so if this is your intention, you can ask first. 

The resort may seem like the perfect couples retreat but they also have an extensive kids club and teens club. Le Carrousel Kids Club is designed for kids between 3 to 12 years old and is open every day. It’s complimentary for guests too. The area with the kids club has a small, shallow pool with a slide so kids can enjoy themselves as well. 

On the other hand, Le Paddock is the teen version of the club. It comes with a pool table, ping pong, video games, and a foosball. 

Those who love playing tennis will find the tennis island, Maakurandhoo Island, the best place to check out. Two tennis courts meet Australian Open standards. You can even play a game with the resident tennis professional. 

Another facility housed on an island is the spa. The spa is shaped in a Maldivian dhoni and comes with a swimming pool that looks out to the sea. There are private areas for men and women including a sauna and hammam. A couple’s treatment room is also available with glass walls looking to the water. 

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Food and Dining

Cheval Blanc Randheli - The White Restaurant

Cheval Blanc Randheli – The White Restaurant. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Despite having less than 50 villas on the property, guests have the option to choose between 5 different restaurants and bars onsite. The restaurants are only open during certain times of the day but each one is worth visiting.

If you’re craving Asian cuisine, The Dyptique and Teppanyaki Table are ideal. You can enjoy live cooking with the chefs right there preparing your meals. For fresh Mediterranean cuisine, head to The Deelani. You can grab homemade gelato or granita while enjoying mezze and seafood. 

For those who are craving some privacy, the La Table de Partage (The Sharing Table in French) is perfect for sharing a fantastic dinner with friends or family. It can host up to 12 to 16 guests at one time. 

The signature restaurant is 1947. Here, you can indulge in a 9-course tasting menu emphasizing French cuisine. Meanwhile, The White Restaurant is the main, all-day restaurant that offers both indoor and outdoor spaces. 

For the bars, you can head to The White Bar for delicious cocktails or snacks. On the other hand, The Spa Bar is great for healthy smoothies. 

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Staff and Guest Services

Service is fantastic at the Cheval Blanc Randheli. The hotel gets hospitality perfectly with the staff being helpful and attentive. Their dedicated butlers, called “alchemists,” are there to make your life easier too. They will assist you in unpacking, offer to get you things, and the management and F&B Director would even come in and check on you.


It’s no surprise that prices at the Cheval Blanc Randheli are high. However, you get what you pay for. In the low season, the rate is $1,875 per night for an entry-level room. During peak season, the price goes up to $3,900 per night. Meanwhile, during the standard season is $2,450 per night. 

Points Redemption

At the moment, there is no option to book the Cheval Blanc Randheli using points. 


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Who Is It For?

Excellent for intimate stays, the Cheval Blanc Randheli knows how to deliver great service along with fantastic amenities to ensure every part of your stay is memorable. While it has everything for anyone, it’s especially a great place for small families.

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Cheval Blanc Randheli Gallery

Cheval Blanc Randheli - Spa

Cheval Blanc Randheli – Spa. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli - Bedroom

Cheval Blanc Randheli – Bedroom. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli - Bathroom

Cheval Blanc Randheli – Bathroom. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli - Beach

Cheval Blanc Randheli – Beach. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli - Cabana

Cheval Blanc Randheli – Cabana. Image Credit: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi - King Reef Villa

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – King Reef Villa. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is a fantastic opulent resort that’s ideal for couples and families looking for a relaxing vacation. 


Right at the South Malé Atoll, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is nearly an hour away from the Malé International Airport. To get to the island, you’ll take a luxurious and relaxing yacht transfer instead of being on a cramped, loud, and steamy seaplane. Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has a yacht fleet that is 7-strong (and growing!).

Each yacht is outfitted with multiple bedrooms, lounge, upper deck, restroom, kitchen area, snacks, and of course, free-flowing champagne. 


Every single one of the 122 rooms and suites at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is impeccably designed. Entry-level rooms start with the King Reef Villa. Despite being standard rooms, these already measure over 3,000 square feet. 

When you first arrive, a bright turquoise door opens to a beautiful sandy entrance leading to the main entrance of the villa. From there, you enter into a spacious bedroom with high ceilings and lots of glass. There’s a king bed dressed in white sheets and framed by beautiful wooden headboards. On either side are stylish lamps with floating bedsides. 

Right by the bed is a floating vanity with a mirror and comfy chair. In-room electronics like an iPad, phone, alarm clock, and other convenient room controls are also within easy reach. A television set is on one corner with a Chromecast for streaming. 

There’s a small seating area that looks out to the deck and into the gorgeous waters. Off to the side is a minibar area housed in a bright, turquoise cabinet. Inside the cabinet is a minifridge filled with beverages, an electric kettle, a coffeemaker, tea, as well as provided utensils. 

A double door leads to the spa-like bathroom. Entering the space, you’ll have a large closet filled with flip-flops, robes, a safe, slippers, and a beach bag. You also get a yoga mat, umbrella, as well as life jacket. 

Move past the dressing room and you’ll have the striking bathroom. Tall vanity mirrors are sitting in front of stylish his and hers sinks. Tuscan Soul toiletries by Salvatore Ferragamo are on offer, along with a host of other toiletries like cotton buds, dental kits, and more. 

The creme de la creme is a gigantic bathtub that looks out towards the waters. There’s also a private water closet and two showers. The indoor shower is enclosed in glass with a rainfall showerhead while the second shower is outside near the lush plants. 

On the deck, you get a beautiful thatched-roof gazebo with a swing and table. Near the edge are loungers with reinforced hammocks right above the ocean. There’s another set of daybeds right by the swimming pool. 


Occupying three islands, you can bet the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has plenty of amenities to offer. There’s a big and airy fitness center decked with exercise machines, an outdoor yoga deck, and weights to use. Private lessons and personal trainers are also available. 

Right next to the fitness area is the stunning Waldorf Astoria Spa. Talk to the concierge so you get an idea of the type of treatments available or get a custom treatment arranged for you. The spa has 10 treatment rooms with two of them located over the water. Each of these overwater villas features a changing room with relaxation amenities to use. 

The Aqua Wellness Center is a multi-zone area with hydrotherapy sessions and plenty of sundecks. If you prefer the beach, there’s beautiful white powdery sand lined with cabanas by the water. You can also swim or soak in the swimming pools. There’s a designated kid’s pool and an adults-only infinity pool.

Since you’re in the Maldives, it’s a must to try diving or snorkeling. The resort has a dive center and it’s even considered one of the best diving resorts in the world you can book with points. You can arrange with them for PADI certification courses, fishing, or snorkeling in or near the resort. By the way, snorkeling around the resort means complimentary masks, fins, and snorkels. 

If you have kids with you, there’s a fantastic kids’ club on the property. It even has an indoor theme park with various activities for kids to enjoy. Other facilities to check out include a tennis court, a padel tennis court, shops, boutiques, a photography studio, and a wedding pavilion with a gorgeous view. 

Food and Dining

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi - Yasmeen Restaurant

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – Yasmeen Restaurant. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Food is taken seriously at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Guests are treated to over 10 restaurants and bars so there’s always an option, no matter what you feel like eating. It’s worth noting though that nothing comes cheaply here, so expect to pay a premium when you dine. 

The Tasting Table offers all-day dining. This bright, airy restaurant features gorgeous wood floors, floor-to-ceiling views, and lots of tables. The food is served in a buffet with dedicated egg stations, crepes, and waffles. You can also grab fresh coffee, fruits, pastries, cheeses, salads, and more. There’s even a dedicated area for Asian and Mediterranean meals. 

If you want something more casual for lunch, head to Nava. It has both indoor and outdoor areas and is found right by the beach. Grab some pizza and down great cocktails while here. In the lobby is Peacock Alley, it’s also ideal for cocktails and light bites. 

For exquisite sunsets, while downing champagne mojitos, Amber is the place to be. It’s the only one with a great sunset view so make sure to spend some time here too.

For those interested in wellness, Glow serves garden-to-table dishes while Yasmeen focuses on delicious Levantine cuisine. Li Long, meanwhile, is the resort’s signature Asian restaurant. When craving some Aussie barbecue, The Ledge by Dave Pynt is a must-visit. Grab some steaks and delicious seafood while here. Also, Zuma, the brand-new contemporary Japanese restaurant has replaced Shimizu.

For something different, Terra is another of the resort’s signature restaurants. They feature seven bamboo spheres set high in the treetops and a fixed menu so you can indulge in a unique dining experience. Finally, wine aficionados will love The Rock, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi’s wine tasting venue. 

Staff and Guest Services

The service at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is amazing. Your butler always pays attention to what you need. From the little things like helping you arrange restaurant bookings to dressing up the bed with cute decor, every detail is attended to. Everything feels polished at the resort, making for a wonderful stay. 


As you can imagine, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi charges a premium. In the low season, the rate is around $2,500 per night for a standard room. During the peak season, the prices can go as high as $5,257 per night. The standard season rate is around $3,800 per night. 

Points Redemption

It is possible to book a free night here using points. You can exchange between 120,000 to 150,000 Hilton Honors points per night here. Book several nights in a row and you’ll even get the 5th night free. 

Nugget of Advice:

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Who Is It For?

This resort is perfect for families or those who enjoy a variety of activities, amenities, and facilities. Also, couples celebrating their anniversaries and honeymooners looking for a romantic luxury retreat will love the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. It’s even considered one of the best honeymoon resorts you can book with points.

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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Gallery

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi - Spa

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – Spa. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi - Li Long Restaurant

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – Li Long Restaurant. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi - Bedroom

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – Bedroom. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Best For: Which Resort Should You Go For?

  Winner What Makes It Great
Best For Architecture Cheval Blanc Randheli Cheval Blanc Randheli offers brilliant design philosophy from Jean-Michel Gathy
Best For Design Cheval Blanc Randheli Cheval Blanc Randheli offers a contemporary design feel, while Waldorf Astoria Maldives boasts traditional luxury design 
Best for Food Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi With over 10+ restaurants, there’s no competition here!
Best for Pools Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi You not only get individual plunge pools but you have a dedicated adults pool and kid’s pool too.
Best for Spa Tie Both resorts place a lot of emphasis on relaxation so this one’s a tie. 
Best for Beaches Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Both resorts have great beach access, although the Waldorf slightly wins this one. 
Best For Adults Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi It’s considered one of the best honeymoon resorts out there.
Best for Families Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Cheval Blanc Randheli is ideal for families thanks to its extensive kids and teens club. 
Best Location Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has a fantastic location.
Best for a Calm Vacation Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi With 73 acres of land, it’s great for a quiet and calm vacation with your loved ones. 
Best for Diving or Snorkeling Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi It has an excellent dive center and amazing on-property snorkeling. It’s no surprise it’s considered one of the best diving resorts in the Maldives. 
Best for Service Tie Both resorts have gotten hospitality perfectly. They both have a butler service who are well-trained and will attend to your every need. 
Most Exclusive Cheval Blanc Randheli While both resorts are luxurious and offer exclusivity, Cheval Blanc has fewer rooms.

Wrapping Up

For absolute privacy and luxury, these two resorts are among the best in the Maldives right now. Both have amazing facilities and provide fantastic service to their guests.

However, if you’re after more food options or an option to book with points, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is the best way to go.

If one of your favorite pastimes is to marvel at stellar architecture and design, the Cheval Blanc Randheli may prove superior. Lastly, if you’re looking for a smaller resort and are willing to compromise on facilities and activities, Cheval Blanc Randheli might be a better choice.

Full Disclosure:
Advertiser Disclosure: We’ve partnered with UpgradedPoints.com to help make the best recommendations on our favorite credit cards. We may receive a referral bonus from card issuers if you apply for cards through these links. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
Editorial Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Any offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
Featured Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

 Frequently Asked Questions

The current owner of the resort is the LVMH Hotel Management. This group is composed of various luxury brands particularly Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, and Louis Vuitton.

The Maldives, also known as Maldives Islands, is found right on the north portion of the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives is a relatively expensive location to visit. This is especially true if you’ll be staying at luxury resorts. Because of the fact many of these resorts are on their own islands, the transport cost of items will be quite high.

Right now, Hilton manages the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, but it is owned by a number of investors, including Middle Eastern entrepreneurs, through a holding company known as Ithaafushi Investments Pvt Ltd.

It’s located on the private island of Ithaafushi. This is considered one of the largest in size and among the best private islands to book for a luxury retreat.