Hilton International signed an agreement in Male recently with the Maldives Crown Co. Private Ltd., to convert the 100 bungalows on the 48-acre Rangali Island into a Hilton.
It was my idea to have and manage a Hilton in the Maldives and I am anxiously waiting to get started, said the Colombo Hilton’s General Manager Gamini Fernando who flew down to Male for the signing ceremony.
The entire project will be Fernando’s responsibility since he also wears the hat of Hilton International Division Director of Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Myanmar.
The new Maldives Hilton is scheduled to open on November 1, 1997, after a six month refurbishment period – beginning from May 1, 1997.
“This refurbishment will be carried out at a considerable investment and once it is completed, the new Maldives Hilton will be a attractive resort hotel and a land- mark in the Republic of Maldives”, says Fernando who plans to incorporate a number of his ideas in the refurbishment plan.
“This is the first time that an International Chain of Hotels will be managing a hotel in the Maldives”, said Fernando who is working hard to make this new Hilton the ideal resort for leisure travelers.
“It takes only 35 minutes to arrive there by plane from the International Airport.”
Fernando says that Hilton International which currently operates 160 hotels in 49 countries has set standards in hoteliering and services around the globe and that the same standards will be maintained in the Maldives too.
“Our commitment to education and training will also be continued in the Maldives”, he said.
According to him, in addition to the hundred bungalows on Rangali Island, there are eight water bungalows with honeymoon suites. These comprise a meeting room, pavillion, restaurant, sunset bar and grill, a bar lounge with discotheque and a shopping arcade. Among the other facilities are the swimming pool, jacuzzi, spa, games room, fitness center and a diving and wind surfing school.
Fernando says the resort market is important to Hilton International and so they will be concentrating heavily on expansion plans in this area.
“We will include the Maldives Hilton in all our major promotions in Asia, Australia and the pacific and worldwide too”, he said.