Tag Archives: Adaaran Resorts

Five Aitken Spence Hotels Enter TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

25 May

Five Aitken Spence properties from Sri Lanka and the Maldives have entered the prestigious TripAdvisor Hall of Fame having being recognized for its consistent high performance in customer reviews. The world’s largest travel site recognized Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year.

Nine Aitken Spence Resorts received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on the travel review site. In addition to the hotels recognized in the Hall of Fame, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara were awarded Certificates of Excellence for its ability to continuously deliver on a superior customer service experience.

“We have always strived for excellence and have nurtured a reputation of exceeding guest expectations. The recognition received by the resorts bear testimony to the exceptional service and memorable experiences that guests receive from our iconic properties. I would like to congratulate the resorts on their achievement and encourage them to maintain the standards set and continue to exceed expectations” said, Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels.

TripAdvisor enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip and offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices. The site’s potential reach is 340 million unique monthly visitors and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

Aitken Spence Hotels manage a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its premier brand in Sri Lanka, Heritance Hotels & Resorts, operates a portfolio of five unique properties in scenic locations across the island while its award winning properties in the Maldives operate under the brand Adaaran Resorts.Adaaran Prestige Vadoo- Over water villa Heritance Tea Factory- Aerial

Adaaran ‘Select’ Meedhupparu wins Gold Award from Thomson Holidays

23 Nov

MALE – Adaaran ‘Select’ Meedhupparu has won Gold Award for the best hotel in its class according to the feedback of Thomson Holidays customers. The award was given at a ceremony held at the renowned Savoy Hotel in London during World Travel Mart 2010.

The awards are given based on the feedback that is collected from all Thomson Holidays customers who fly to various destinations on various aspects of the service levels at the resorts/hotels they stay.

Thompson Holidays is a part of TUI Travel PLC, which is the world’s leading leisure travel company operating in over 180 countries with more than 30 million customers in 27 key source markets.

TUI Travel has over 200 brands which are comprised of market-leading mainstream brands and specialist travel businesses. Operating in four sectors: Mainstream, Accommodation & Destinations, Specialist & Activity and Emerging Markets, TUI Travel is focused on providing customers with a wide choice of differentiated and flexible travel experiences to meet their changing needs.

Adaaran Resorts, the Maldivian arm of Aitken Spence Hotels, manages and operates 6 properties in the Maldives. It includes 3 prestige properties which are Adaaran ‘Prestige’ Water Villas, Adaaran ‘Prestige’ Ocean Villas and Adaaran ‘Prestige’ Vadoo. The other properties of Adaaran Resorts in Maldives include Adaaran ‘Select’ Meedhupparu, Adaaran ‘Club’ Rannalhi and Adaaran ‘Select’ Hudhuran Fushi.

Media Release – 23 November 2010

Business can be run only by teamwork – Mr. Upul

7 Sep

Chief Operations Officer of Adaaran Groups, Mr. Upul Peiris has said that a business can only thrive only by cooperation and mutual team work among the entities related to that particular business.

Speaking to Miadhu, Mr. Upul said that the economical recess that the world has faced recently “cannot be over come by mere individuals.” He added that despite a firm’s apparent size, [he] does not believe that such a self-sufficient company exists.

Furthermore, Mr. Upul said that he always looks to build relationship with the customers and taking them as partners of Adaaran group.

“I always meet the partners when time allows me. We discuss on building the relationship between us and them,” said Mr. Upul.

ADAARAN Resorts consists of Club, Select and Prestige boutique resorts that have won the highest accolades across the globe. Some of the awards include ‘Five Star Butler Service’ awarded by the Butler Association of England, and The World Travel Awards, namely the “Maldives leading water villas” for the past two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009 and the “Indian Oceans leading water villa group” in 2009.

As seen on MIADHU, click for more information: http://www.miadhu.com/2010/09/local-news/business-can-be-run-only-by-teamwork-mr-upul/

07 September 2010

Aitken Spence Q3 Profits up by 14%

3 Feb

Interim Results of Aitken Spence PLC for the third quarter ended 31 December 2009

Aitken Spence PLC released its third quarter financial results to the Colombo Stock Exchange today, showing a 10 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to Rs 914 mn and a 14.3 per cent rise in profit attributable to shareholders to Rs 541 mn over the same quarter last year.

Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with interests in Hotels, Services, Logistic Solutions and Strategic Investments in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The diversified conglomerate reported Rs 2.14 bn as pre-tax profit and Rs 1.3 bn as profit attributable to shareholders for the nine months ended 31st December;  an increase of 3.3 per cent  and 3.1 per cent respectively over the previous year.

Performance from the Group’s resorts in the Maldives which operate as Adaaran Resorts, showed signs of recovery despite being lower than last year. With seven resorts under its portfolio, Aitken Spence is the largest international resort operator in islands, which was sharply affected by a slump in tourist arrivals due to the global recession.

During the quarter under review, Adaaran Prestige Resorts was acclaimed as “The Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Group” and Adaaran Prestige Water Villas at Meedhupparu won the award for “The Maldives Leading Water Villas” for the second consecutive year at the World Travel Awards ceremony held in London during the 2009 World Travel Market.

“Increased tourist arrivals due to the end of the armed conflict in the country has improved income from our resorts in Sri Lanka during the quarter. An outstanding rebound in tourism is imminent for the next season. With a focused and robust destination marketing strategy that builds a strong country brand internationally, we believe that the private sector is capable of making tourism a key engine of sustainable economic growth for Sri Lanka”, said Mr. J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka with nine award-winning properties across the island. The company has announced plans to expand its hospitality portfolio in the island with proposed resorts in the South, North and the East.

Aitken Spence opened the newly-rebranded Heritance Tea Factory in December, which joins Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Madurai under the up-market Heritance Hotels & Resorts umbrella.

The company also announced that it will be managing the 130-roomed Ramada Hotel & Convention Centre in New Delhi, which is due to open in March this year. Aitken Spence currently operates five hotels and resorts in India, including the eco-friendly Barefoot at Havelock in the Andaman Islands.

During the quarter, the Group saw a lower contribution from the Aviation sector, which comprises of the Singapore Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines agencies, as a result of reduced frequency of flights and prices.

With the global economy recovering, the Maritime division showed an improved performance over last year during the period under review. Post-war opportunities in the field of domestic transport and logistic management contributed strongly to the performance of the Cargo Logistics sector.

Renegotiated prices and improved production has helped the company’s garment manufacturing arm to post positive results during the quarter.

Media Release – 03 February 2010

Adaaran Prestige Resorts, Maldives, celebrate World Travel Awards

24 Nov

MALE – Adaaran Prestige Resorts celebrated winning the international travel industry’s Oscar as the “Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Group” at a special ceremony held at the Adaaran Prestige Vadoo resort on 21 November 2009.

The event was attended by the Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad and by representatives of the Maldives tourist industry, as well as by local and international tour operators and travel agents.

CEO of Adaaran Resorts, Mr Chethiya Perera handing over the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Group to Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC Mr D H S Jayawardena.

The award was presented to Adaaran Prestige Resorts at the World Travel Awards ceremony held in London on 7 November, 2009 during the 2009 World Travel Market. As well as being acclaimed as “The Indian Ocean’s Leading Water Villa Group” the Adaaran Prestige Water Villas at Meedhupparu won an award (for the second consecutive year) as “The Maldives Leading Water Villas.” Congratulating Adaaran on winning the awards, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad commented on the benefits to the Maldives of the investment by Aitken Spence in tourism in the country. “The Maldivian brand is unique,” he said. “I extend my heartiest congratulations to Adaaran for helping to equip Maldivians with the skills to make it a world class product.”

The Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, the Sri Lankan business group behind Adaaran Resorts, Mr. D H S Jayawardena, calling the occasion ‘a glorious event’ said: “Maldivians are very enthusiastic and proud and with hard work and discipline we can go from strength to strength to make Maldives among the best tourist destinations in the world.” Chethiya Perera, the CEO of Adaaran Resorts, stated that he believed the winning of the two awards was because of the encouragement given by the management of the company and the commitment and dedication of the staff.

“We at Adaaran are thankful to the Government of Maldives for its untiring efforts in marketing Maldives as a prime destination, and for the encouragement and support given to us by our partner tour operators and travel agents. We are proud of this regional accolade won by a Sri Lankan owned company with a Maldivian brand. Our new aim is to win an award in the global arena – as we now qualify to compete for it.”

Adaaran Resorts operates over 600 rooms in the Maldives in four islands including three properties with water villas: Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Meedhupparu; Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas, Hudhuranfushi; and Adaaran Prestige Vadoo. Other Adaaran properties are Adaaran Ayurveda Village; Adaaran Select Meedhupparu; Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi and Adaaran Club Rannalhi.

Media Release – 24 November 2009

The Adaaran Story

16 Nov

Aitken Spence in Maldives

The Adaaran Story reached its climax on 28 March 2009 with the grand opening of Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Maldives. Present for the occasion were the Chairman of Aitken Spence, Mr D H S Jayawardena and his wife, and Board Directors, Mr J M S Brito and his wife, Dr R M Fernando, Mr G C Wickremasinghe and Mr Gehan Perera. The Government of the Maldives was represented by the Special Envoy of the President, H.E. Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, and by the Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad. As well as invited guests from Japan, England, China, Belgium, Korea, Turkey and Sri Lanka, over 150 Maldivians connected with the hospitality industry were also present.

The day marked not only the opening of the newest resort in the Maldives but was also the highlight and culmination of 17 years of pro-active involvement by Aitken Spence Hotels in the Maldives.

Although he usually spends his time on-site directing operations, working behind the scenes with his team, or engaged in energetic marketing worldwide of Aitken Spence resorts in the Maldives, the CEO and Managing Director of Adaaran, Chethiya Perera, sat at his desk in his seventh floor office in Male’ overlooking the Indian Ocean, to outline the Adaaran story for ACE.

The Adaaran Story

It began in 1992 when he was asked to investigate the possibilities for investment by Aitken Spence Hotels in the Maldives. Tourism had begun 20 years before with ad hoc development of uninhabited islands leased by the government to Maldivians and financed by foreign investors and holiday companies like Club Med. Aitken Spence Hotels, then managing nine properties in Sri Lanka, was among the first foreign hotel companies – and the first from Sri Lanka – to take an interest in the Maldives.

In 1993 the company took over Bathala, a small resort of 38 beach cabanas popular with divers. This initial involvement was soon followed by other international companies, including Taj Hotels of India (on Embudhu Finolhu, now Taj Exotica Maldives), the Hilton (on Rangali Island and now known as Conrad Maldives), Six Senses (Soneva Fushi) and Banyan Tree (Vabbinfaru) among others.

Bathala was expanded by an addition of 12 rooms but it was in 1996 that Aitken Spence emphasised its presence in the islands by re-creating a 96-room resort on an island in South Male’ atoll and calling it Club Rannalhi. Consisting of rooms in newly built two-storey villas set around the island, the resort catered mostly for Italian guests. Two years later, following the trend started at Vadoo in the late 1980s with rooms built on stilts in a lagoon, the company added 16 water bungalows, reached by a jetty from the shore. A further 16 were added in 2008.

The success of Club Rannalhi in attracting holidaymakers inspired further investment and enabled the company in 2000 to lease an uninhabited island in the northern Raa atoll, called Meedhupparu. The 43-acre island was transformed into a resort of 215 beach rooms, 24 of which became the nucleus of its Ayurveda Village. In 2005, the company introduced a ‘resort within a resort’ concept when 20 luxury water villas were built off the island with dedicated restaurants, bars, reception, swimming pool and private beach. Thus the brand name Adaaran came into being, inspired by the company’s need to market products of different levels and different prices, on the same island.

“The name was suggested by Think Associates, a Maldivian public relations company,” said Chethiya Perera, “and derives from Dhivehi, the language of the Maldives, meaning ‘obligations fulfilled in gold’. As we were expanding, we wanted a brand name that conveys the flavour of the Maldives and which would identify us with our new slogan ‘Luxury boutique wellness resorts.’”

The formula being sought was a brand of resorts that offered affordable luxury for both mass, wellness and niche markets so guests of all budgets could be accommodated happily. To do this, Adaaran branded its resorts in three categories: ‘Club’ (Four Star plus), ‘Select’ (Five Star) and ‘Prestige’ (Five Star Boutique).

By taking over the lease of Lohifushi Island, a resort popular with surfers, in 2006 and performing the quickest, major rebuilding and refurbishing project ever seen in the Maldives, Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi was opened with 137 rooms. A year later the ‘resort within a resort’ concept was used once more when 37 prestige water bungalows with separate reception, restaurant and bar facilities, and two private islands with private beaches  were added. These were named Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas, Hudhuran Fushi.

The next venture was the most ambitious. After taking over the three-acre island of Vadoo, only 15 minutes by speed boat from Male’ International Airport, in 2008, Adaaran rebuilt it as a unique, all-water villa resort in less than nine months. While Bathala has been sold, the total number of Adaaran beds on offer now is 1,178, making Adaaran the fourth largest hotel operator in the Maldives.

With Adaaran’s total investment in its seven resorts amounting to US$75 million, Chethiya Perera says the intention now is to focus on refining the Adaaran brand, to improve its standards, services and facilities and, most important, to expand its market share. A key element is concentration on developing human resources and training Maldivians through the Adaaran Centre for Hospitality Studies on Hudhuran Fushi, to fulfil its long term human resource requirements.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture in the Maldives, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad, who attended the opening of Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, was asked to comment on the involvement of international hotel chains, like Aitken Spence, in developing and managing resorts in the Maldives. He said candidly, “The entry of international hotel chains to our industry portrays the maturity and confidence they have in our industry. The demand from these chains is a statement for the position that the Maldives enjoys in international tourism.

“International chains open various new avenues for the Maldives. Most importantly inclusion of the Maldives in their mega databases allows millions of potential high-end visitors to visit the Maldives. The expertise, knowledge and professionalism in managing these chains provide opportunities to develop local expertise. So international chains assist in developing our tourist industry to be able to face stiff competition from our competitor destinations.”

Chethiya Perera agrees. “We are constantly evolving in partnership the Maldivian community,” he says. “We work as a team and enjoy a high level of support from the local community and the government. With our broad base of accommodation, and the marketing we do through offices in Japan, China, Russia and Europe, the Adaaran brand is becoming a household name known for reliability in offering a good, affordable holiday in the Maldives.”


ADAARAN Prestige Water Villas, Meedhupparu

Maldives Leading Water Villas – World Travel Awards 2008

Five Star Butler Rating – International Institute of Modern Butlers (USA)

ADAARAN Prestige Ocean Villas, Hudhuran Fushi

Design “Hotel & Tourism” Excellence Award – Sri Lanka Institute of Architects 2008

ADAARAN Select Hudhuran Fushi

Presidential award for highest Occupancy in Maldives in the 300 beds and above category 2007


Market Manager Special Award, 2009, Indian Ocean – Expedia at Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) 2009.

2009 – Ace Magazine Issue I