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Thai Property Developer Amari Estates Co. Awarded Lease-Management Contract
for the 270-room Herathera Resort in the Maldives

Plans Call for $3.31 million Renovation

By Sasithorn Ongdee, The Nation, Bangkok, Thailand / Asia News NetworkMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Dec. 24, 2010--BANGKOK (THE NATION-THAILAND/ANN) -- Amari Estates Co, a Thai residential property developer, has won a lease-management contract for Herathera Resort, a four-star property in the southern Maldives, as part of its overseas business expansion.

President and chief executive officer Yuthachai Charanachitta said that the company expected to spend more than 100 million baht (US$3.31 million) on refurbishing the resort, and rebrand it as an Amari property.

Herathera Resort has 270 rooms, and is adjacent to the Shangri-La Hotel. It fronts a beach about 4 kilometres long. The room price is about $300 per night.

Yuthachai declined to reveal the bidding price until the company has signed an agreement on January 15.

All expansion will be focused on destinations in Asia and surrounding areas.

Yuthachai said that in the long term, total properties under Onyx Hospitality, a joint venture in which Amari Estates holds a minority stake, were expected to reach 50 by 2018, up from 30 currently.

"Turnover is also expected to exceed 10 billion baht ($331.4 million), from an estimate of about 1 billion baht ($33.1 million) currently.

"We are a mixed-used property developer, including hotels, condominiums, and fully furnished serviced apartments," he said.

For Amari Estates' strategic business plan, Yuthachai said the company was focusing more on developing properties for sale.

Onyx Hospitality Group recently acquired Shama, one of Asia's leading boutique serviced-apartment providers.

The acquisition of Shama also marks the strengthening of Onyx' ability to operate across markets, across sectors, and across the quality spectrum from value-oriented products through mid-scale and luxury hospitality offerings, the company said.

It said it also added to its serviced-apartment capabilities with this acquisition, as its portfolio will now include hotels, residences, and resorts under Amari, as well as its new select service brand, Ozo, luxury property portfolio Saffron, and now Shama.

Amari Residences Bangkok targets both Thai and foreign visitors for short and long stays. The 128-room property opened services in October. Managed by Onyx Residences, Amari Residences Bangkok was built at a cost of 800 million baht ($26.5 million).

Yuthachai said the company would develop a three-star hotel, featuring 200 rooms, under the Ozo brand on Koh Samui worth 600 million baht ($19.8 million). Construction will start midyear and be ready to operate in 2012-13.

Amari Estates has also entered a deal for a 20-year lease-management contract for the three-star Wesley Hotel with 260 rooms. The existing management contract will expire at the end of next year.

In 2011, the company will invest in four properties with total project value of almost 5 billion baht ($165.7 million).


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Copyright (c) 2010, The Nation, Bangkok, Thailand / Asia News Network

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