Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Hotels is set to launch its first Heritance property overseas with the introduction of Heritance Aarah in winter 2018.
This is part of the group’s plans to expand the brand, currently with a footprint of five hotels, all in Sri Lanka.
When open on Aarah island in Raa Atoll, 40 minutes from the Male international airport, Heritance Aarah will operate as an all-inclusive resort offering 26 luxury duplex ocean suites, 56 sunset ocean villas and 68 land villas.
For food and spirited concoctions, guests can choose from six restaurants – with flavours from France and Italy to the Middle East, Sri Lanka, India, Turkey, Mexico and Japan – and three bars including space exclusively for Ocean Suite guests, a poolside bar and an open-air rooftop venue.
The resort will also offer facilities and activities such as a dive and water sports centre, a range of excursions and adventures, a kids club and a spa with six treatment rooms set over the lagoon with views of the island’s eastern coast.
Aitken Spence Hotels’ Adaaran brand is already established in the Maldives, where it has been operating for 25 years, making it one of the longest-standing brands there.
With five resorts in the Maldives – namely Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Adaaran Club Rannalhi and Adaaran Select Huduranfushi – Adaaran is also one of the largest chains in the destination.
“We want both Heritance as well as Adaaran to grow here,” said Dissanayake, adding that there are also plans to take the Adaaran brand beyond the shores of the Maldives to other destinations.
Aitken Spence Hotels, apart from its Sri Lanka and Maldives operations, owns and manages a five-star, 143-room hotel in Chennai and six other properties in Oman, including a tented property with 30 Bedouin-style tents.
The company is planning its sixth resort on Raafushi Island on Noonu Atoll, and Dissanayake said they were looking for a partner – either an investor or tour operator.
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