VNRE - Banyan Tree Indochina Hospitality Fund (the “Fund”), which was established and sponsored by Banyan Tree Holdings Limited (“Banyan Tree” or the “Group”), today held a groundbreaking ceremony for Laguna Hue, one of the first fully integrated world-class hospitality projects to be developed in Vietnam. The ceremony took place in the Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone in the Thua Thien Hue Province. Vietnam’s Prime Minister Mr Nguyen Tan Dung was the guest of honour at this significant event, which was also attended by the Group’s Executive Chairman Mr Ho KwonPing, Deputy Chief of Singapore Mission Mr Adrian Tan, as well as top Vietnamese leaders including Communist Party Central Member and Provincial Party Committee Secretary, Mr Ho Xuan Man and Chairman of Thua Thien Hue Province People's Committee, Mr Nguyen Ngoc Thien.
Situated on a 280-hectare beachfront site that is within an hour’s drive from both Danang and Hue international airports, Laguna Hue is positioned to be one of the largest premium integrated resorts and second home destination in Vietnam and across South East Asia, through which the Group will replicate the success of its flagship destination resort, Laguna Phuket. In line with the Group’s global expansion plans, the project also enables the Group to gain a foothold in the growing Indochina tourism industry and to introduce its signature brand of Asian hospitality to Vietnam. Apart from providing its hotel and spa management services to the hotels in the development, Banyan Tree is also the master planner and designer for the development.
When fully developed in accordance with the master plan, Laguna Hue will have approximately 2000 hotel keys under the management of seven international branded hotel and resort operators, award-wining spas, a championship golf course, resort residences, convention facilities and a town centre with retail and recreational facilities. Apart from enjoying the amenities within the integrated resort, guests will also be able easily to access the tourism offerings of the region including the ancient city of Hue as well as the historical trading port of Hoi An, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The development of Laguna Hue is funded through the US$283 million Banyan Tree Indochina Hospitality Fund, the first real estate investment fund that was established by the Group in 2008. The Fund was created to focus on the development of Laguna Hue as well as other hospitality investment projects in the Indochina region that are yet to be identified. With the successful final closing of the Fund in June this year, Laguna Hue is now well positioned to proceed with the development of its first phase. Development costs for the first phase are estimated at approximately US$200 million, and will include Banyan Tree Hue and Angsana Hue, which together will comprise some 350 keys, an 18-hole golf course designed by Nick Faldo, as well as branded resort residences. The development is anticipated to open by 2012.
“We have always believed that Vietnam holds the greatest potential of replicating the success of our flagship Laguna Phuket destination resort within Asia. Central Vietnam, with its unique blend of history and heritage, is a destination like no other in the region. We are confident it has the potential to flourish as an international luxury-tourist destination. This first foray into the Indochina region is a significant milestone for Banyan Tree, and we are delighted to share this momentous occasion with our valuable partners in the Fund who have helped to make Laguna Hue a reality,” said Banyan Tree’s Executive Chairman, Ho KwonPing.
Banyan Tree has already developed Asia’s first and largest integrated resort in Laguna Phuket, Thailand, spanning six hotels, a golf course and residential developments. In July this year, the Group secured a contract to manage a 1300-key development under its sister brand, Angsana Hotels and Resorts. Located in Kunming, Angsana Fu Xian Lake is expected to open in 2010. Over the next few quarters, the Group will be pushing ahead with its expansion plans, with resort and hotel openings expected in Hangzhou, China; Bali, Indonesia; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE and Acapulco, Mexico.
About Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited (“Banyan Tree” or the “Group”) is a leading manager and developer of premium resorts, hotels and spas in the Asia Pacific, with 26 resorts and hotels, 65 spas, 70 retail galleries, and two golf courses. The Group manages and/or has ownership interests in niche resorts and hotels. The resorts each typically has between 50 and 100 rooms and commands room rates at the high end of each property’s particular market.
Banyan Tree has seven operating business segments: hotel investment, hotel residence sales, hotel management, spa operations, gallery operations, property sales, design fees and others (design and project management, golf course operations and other businesses).
The Group’s primary business is the management, development and ownership of resorts and hotels. This is centered on two award-winning brands: Banyan Tree and Angsana. Banyan Tree also operates the leading integrated resort in Thailand – Laguna Phuket, through the Group’s subsidiary, Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited.
As a leading operator of spas in Asia, Banyan Tree’s spas are one of the key features in their resorts and hotels. Its retail arm Banyan Tree Gallery complements and reinforce the branding of the resort, hotel and spa operations.
Since the launch of the first Banyan Tree resort, Banyan Tree Phuket, in 1994, Banyan Tree has received over 470 awards and accolades for the resorts, hotels and spas that the Group manages. The Group has also received recognition for its commitment to environmental protection and emphasis on corporate social responsibility.
About Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts
The leading international operator in the boutique resort, residences and spa industry, Banyan Tree offers a signature blend of romance and travel with a green conscience. The philosophy behind the hotels, resorts, residences, spas, retail galleries and destination club is based on rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul – a Sanctuary for the Senses. Angsana Hotels and Resorts is the ideal complement to Banyan Tree, comprising contemporary, chic and ecologically sensitive retreats. Based in areas of outstanding natural beauty and exciting city hubs, Angsana hotels, resorts, residences, spas and retail galleries reflect the spirit and communities of its environment.