THE joint-venture company of construction group Keong Hong has appointed French hotel group Accor to run its first two hotel properties in the Maldives.
Keong Hong Construction, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Keong Hong Holdings, has a 45 per cent share in Pristine Islands Investment.
Other shareholders Sansui Holding, BRC Asia and L3 Development each own 15 per cent shares; Hotels & Resort Construction owns the remaining 10 per cent of the joint-venture company.
Pristine was set up last July to own, develop and operate the Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort and Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, as well as a domestic airport in Kooddoo.
Accor, whose brands include Novotel, Pullman and Mercure, will provide the full spectrum of hotel-management services, including consultancy on the design and construction of the two new-build hotels.
Pullman, which has 93 hotels globally, will have its new Maamutaa resort developed into an upscale 120-villa project. Slated to open in 2018, Pullman Maamutaa will be a "one-island, one resort project" located 10 minutes by speedboat from the new Kooddoo airport.
Comprising 80 bungalows set over the water and 40 dotting the beach, the resort will offer guests full five-star services and amenities. These include two swimming pools, all-day dining and speciality restaurants, a sunset bar perched over a lagoon, as well as dive and watersports centres.
Meanwhile, mid-scale Mercure, which has 711 hotels worldwide, will lend its name to 68 villas at its Kooddoo resort; 43 of these properties will be over water and 25, along the beach. Slated to open next year, it will be the only Maldivian beach resort directly accessible by domestic planes; no speedboat journey will be needed.
Facilities at Mercure Kooddoo include an all-day restaurant, spa and gym and a pool bar.
The opening of the Kooddoo domestic airport is expected to reduce travel time to the south of the Maldives, where the two resorts are located in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll.
Said Keong Hong and Pristine Islands Investment chief executive Ronald Leo: "Our overseas foray into hotel and resort development will provide an additional revenue stream for the group, as global tourism is set to increase exponentially."
Keong Hong was also the main contractor for Accor's Hotel ibis Singapore on Bencoolen, Keong Hong's first hotel-construction project and Accor's flagship ibis property in Asia.
Keong Hong's counter closed at S$0.44 on Thursday, the day of the official signing ceremony between Pristine Islands Investment and Accor. This was down 0.5 cent, or 1.124 per cent.
This article was first published on April 17, 2015.
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