Thai hotel group to take over Herathera

Thai hotel group ONYX Hospitality have been appointed managers of the Herathera Island Resort by the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

ONYX will take over operation of the 273 villa resort property in Addu Atoll from December 2010.

In February 2010 the MTDC paid US$3.5 million to end a long-running court dispute with former management of Herathera, Yacht Tours, after the company stopped paying rent and claimed the MTDC had failed to fulfil a contractual obligation to build a channel between the resort and the adjoining island of Hulhudhoo.

The MTDC said at the time it was searching for an “experienced and capable party”, with a minimum of five years experience running a luxury hotel of over 300 beds.

It also said the successful bidder would be required to pay a US$7-10 million non-refundable deposit “to ensure the company is capable of managing the resort.”

Facilities at Herathera Island Resort include three swimming pools, a range of restaurants and bars, a spa and dive centre. The resort will undergo significant upgrades in 2011, ONYX said, including enhancements to the beach and villas as well as the addition of numerous sports and children’s facilities.

“We are thrilled that our first international management agreement is in such a renowned tourist destination as the Maldives,” said Peter Henley, CEO of ONYX Hospitality Group, adding, “we look forward to working closely with MTDC on a range of exciting improvements so that this wonderful resort will be able to showcase its full potential.”