Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels brokered the transaction as exclusive advisor to leasehold right holders Hibernia Worldwide Finance BV and Ramon Investments Limited. The resort will be renamed Gili Lankanfushi and managed by HPL Hotels and Resorts.
Set in the North Malé Atoll and a 20-minute speedboat journey away from Malé International Airport, Soneva Gili Resort and Spa is an environmentally-sensitive hideaway resort featuring 45 exclusive over-sized over-water villas, a selection of unique dining concepts and luxurious resort facilities and amenities. One of only three Maldivian resorts to have been included in the Condé Nast Traveller’s 2012 Gold List, the resort has won multiple awards since its opening including the coveted recognitions of the "World’s Leading Villa Resort and Spa", "Maldives Leading Luxury Resort" and "Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Resort" at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
"The sale of the resort offers the purchaser a rare opportunity to acquire an established hotel asset with strong existing cash flow," said Scott Hetherington, Chief Executive Officer Asia, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, adding "this is the first fully operational resort to be offered for sale through a transparent and open marketing process in the Maldives. Such assets rarely become available and, as anticipated, we received strong interest from regional and international investors."
Nihat Ercan, Senior Vice President Investment Sales Asia, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels commented: "The Maldives has enjoyed phenomenal popularity and growth over the last decade, with arrivals increasing at annualized rate of over 8 percent. Regarded unquestionably as one of the top tourism destinations in the world and with a well-diversified and growing demand base comprising traditional European markets, China, Middle East and regional Asian visitors, the future prospects for the Maldives look very promising."
Mr Ercan concluded, "With robust trading fundamentals going forward, the Maldives offers exceptional return opportunities for investors. This, coupled with a stable and transparent legal system and policy making environment, will continue to encourage further investor demand for assets in the country."
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