Raffles to manage 65-villa luxury resort in French Polynesia

Travel News Asia 23 August 2004

Raffles International has signed an agreement with Hongkong-based Veritas Limited to manage a 65-villa luxury resort in French Polynesia.

Named Raffles Taimana Resort Tahaa, French Polynesia, the resort will be managed under Raffles Internationals luxury Raffles brand and will be part of its exclusive collection of luxury hotels, which includes Raffles Hotel, Singapore; Raffles Grand Hotel dAngkor, Siem Reap; Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh; Raffles LErmitage Beverly Hills; Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg; Raffles Le Montreux Palace; and Raffles Resort Canouan Island.

This contract, the sixth in the past 16 months, marks Raffles Internationals maiden hospitality presence in the South Pacific. With the addition of Raffles Taimana Resort Tahaa, French Polynesia, the Raffles Hotels & Resorts portfolio expands to 13 hotels worldwide. The Group now has a global portfolio of 38 hotels in 33 destinations under its two brands.

Mr Hugh Holmes, Managing Director of Hotel Investment Partners Limited, managing partner of Veritas Limited, said, We are developing one of the best resorts in French Polynesia and are delighted to be part of the growing portfolio of outstanding Raffles Resorts around the world. Raffles reputation for providing exceptional service in luxury accommodation targeting a discriminating and affluent clientele is well suited to the Raffles Taimana Resort Tahaa, and we look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship.

Ms Jennie Chua, Chairman and CEO of Raffles International, said, Raffles residents will be able to enjoy the amazing beauty of an unspoiled French Polynesia in true Raffles Resort style. This contract gives us an excellent first opportunity to be in the vibrant resort market of the South Pacific. It is also in line with our asset-light strategy of expanding our geographical footprint.

Raffles Taimana Resort Tahaa, French Polynesia, will be located over an area of approximately 25 hectares including three small islands called motu and its surrounding waters which are part of a vast lagoon enclosing the three motus as well as the islands of Tahaa and Raiatea. Nicknamed Vanilla Island because of its traditional cultivation and consequent rich aroma of vanilla, Tahaa is one of French Polynesias most pristine islands, yet easily accessible from Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, via regular commercial air flights. The resort will comprise 65 king, one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas, three food and beverage outlets, a meeting room, a library and a Raffles Amrita Spa, tennis court and a diving centre. Over 80% of the resort will be built over water providing stunning views of the nearby islands of Tahaa, Raiatea and Bora Bora as well as enhanced privacy for each guest and direct access from each villa into the brilliant azure-coloured waters of the lagoon.

French Polynesia is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from South America to Australia. Comprising 118 islands and atolls, French Polynesia has been an overseas territory of France since 1946. It has a total population of more than 266,000 people.

Tourism accounts for about one-fourth of the territorys GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings, and direct flights are available from Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Auckland, Noumea and Santiago. Visitors to French Polynesia often live in stylish resorts, scuba dive in lagoons teeming with tropical fish, enjoy the unique mix of French and Polynesian cuisine and experience a little French chic mixed with South Pacific charm.

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