Six Senses partners Aitken Spence Hotels to unveil Six Senses Ahungalla

30 Sep

[Colombo, 30 September 2010]: Six Senses Resorts & Spas, together with the Favourite Group and its associates has signed an agreement with Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC today to establish the first Six Senses property in Sri Lanka as a Board of Investment approved, 50:50 joint venture, worth USD 35-40 mn.

The project will comprise a Six Senses resort and spa as well as beach front residential villas on a 10.5-acre plot, both adjoining Heritance Ahungalla on the Southern coast and on a 27-acre island nearby. The proposed opening date is 2012. Six Senses expects the average revenue per room to be in the range of USD400-450. Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, said, ‘I am absolutely delighted to be opening a Six Senses resort in Sri Lanka, a wonderful country which Six Senses has been interested in for some time. To be working with Aitken Spence on such a project and in such a beautiful area of Sri Lanka is doubly exciting. Aitken Spence shares the core values which Six Senses is based upon, a full commitment to supporting both the environment and local communities, whilst developing a successful luxury operation.’

Six Senses currently operates thirteen high-end resorts branded as Soneva, Six Senses and Evason in the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, Oman and Jordan. There are also several new developments underway in locations such as Morocco, Turks and Caicos and China. The Six Senses Spa division has twenty-seven company-operated spas, with new spa developments underway in several locations, including India, Morocco and Oman. The group recently launched the Six Senses Destination Spa brand.

Mr. J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC said, “We are extremely pleased to bring Six Senses to Sri Lanka. The entry of a high-end international resort operator with a truly exceptional track record in sustainable tourism certainly strengthens Sri Lanka’s destination brand”.

Aitken Spence Hotels presently owns or manages twenty seven hotels and resorts under the brands Heritance, Adaaran and Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India and Oman with a total room capacity of 2300. It is the largest resort chain in Sri Lanka and the largest international resort operator in the Maldives. Its pioneering sustainable tourism practices and exceptional service standards have set industry benchmarks and won many global accolades.

“The journey that commenced with Six Senses to create Sri Lanka’s best beach resort sees a key milestone today. Both Aitken Spence and Six Senses share a common philosophy for tourism based on sustainable development. Aitken Spence Hotels has an enduring commitment to cause unforgettable experiences to our guests in tune with nature. We look forward to continue working on exceptional projects with Six Senses in the future”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director of Aitken Spence’s hotels sector.

“We are happy to associate with Six Senses in their first project in Sri Lanka”, said Suren Mirchandani, Managing Director of Favourite Growth Capital.

Following the opening of its first property in 1995, Six Senses has been recognized as the global benchmark for eco-responsibility in the hospitality sector. Its philosophy is developed around the core purpose of creating innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenate their guests’ love of SLOW LIFE: Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wholesome – Learning, Innovative, Fun, Experiences.

Common to both Six Senses and Aitken Spence, sustainability is a key aspect of the design philosophy. From the earliest point in the design process, qualities specific to the environmental surroundings and localized knowledge were incorporated into project development, perfectly aligned with Six Senses’ environmental commitment – intelligent luxury.

The project will look to use locally sourced materials and labour, reducing the construction footprint and supporting local commerce. Six Senses Ahungalla will feature produce and materials from the region.
Six Senses villas are designed to exceed the highest expectations of guests. Offering all the comforts of a home away from home, the villas are generously equipped and offer a diversity of experiences to be discovered by the guests. From an architectural perspective, the villa components have drawn their inspiration from the region’s world-famous architect, late Geoffrey Bawa. Materials for interior design will, where possible, be sourced locally and reflect traditional handicraft techniques indigenous to the area. The resort will also look to establish a collective amongst the local farmers to supply fresh fruit and vegetables. The project will comprise a total of 40 one-bedroom villa suites and 14 two-bedroom beach front residential villas in Ahungalla as well as 15 island villas.

In line with Six Senses award winning standards of food and wine, the resort at Ahungalla will be a reflection of local and national cuisine with international twists. Six Senses Ahungalla will aspire to provide a variety of flavours and textures whilst honouring the sustainable, local, organic and wholesome tenets embodied in the SLOW food concept, via an array of food & beverage outlets.

A special feature of Six Senses Ahungalla will be the Six Senses Spa. A team of highly skilled international therapists will take guests on sensory journeys with Six Senses’ signature and local salt-inspired treatments for balancing the senses. The Six Senses Spa, located between Six Senses Ahungalla and Heritance Ahungalla, will serve both the resorts; making it the best beach resort complex in Sri Lanka.

Media Release – 30 September 2010

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