Mandarin Oriental moves into the Maldives

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will be operating a new resort on a group of private islands in The Maldives, its first site in the country.

The hospitality chain signed a contract with Dubai-based Damac Group’s property development arm Damac Properties for the 34-hectare luxury construction.

Private island trio

Mandarin Oriental Bolidhuffaru Reef is scheduled to open in 2025 and will also be Damac Group’s first foray in the tourist island nation.

The Indian Ocean resort will stretch across three private islands on Bolidhuffaru Reef in South Male Atoll. Damac is working with a number of international consultants to ensure sustainability best practices are followed in all stages of the development.

Overwater and beachfront

Accommodation will comprise 130 stand-alone villas, made up of 64 overwater villas and 66 beachfront villas, including 10 branded residences. Ranging in size from 100 to 600 sq m, the villas will be equipped with private pools.

Food and beverage provision will comprise eight dining outlets, including three speciality restaurants and an exclusive dining venue along with a pool bar. In addition, creative indoor and outdoor event spaces will provide locations for meetings, social gatherings and weddings.

Leisure measures

Wellness facilities will be located in the resort’s tropical gardens, and will include 12 treatment suites, vitality pools, hammam, sauna and steam rooms as well as a beauty salon. Mandarin Oriental’s team of wellness practitioners will offer tailored experiences and the group’s signature treatments.

Additional leisure activities will include a water sports and a dive centre, a kids and teens club designed by international consultants, a swimming pool and numerous private coves and beaches.

Perfect location

Hussain Sajwani, chairman and founder of the Damac Group said: “The Damac brand is synonymous with luxury products and service, and we felt The Maldives was a perfect location for us. Damac has extended its global footprint outside of the Middle East, from the UK to Canada, and we are thrilled to have now reached The Maldives as well. We look forward to working with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to manage our new resort on this beautiful island.

“We are continuously entering into partnerships with established world class brands that mirror Damac’s reputation and standards for luxury offerings and are confident that Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will excel in its mandate.”

Right opportunity

James Riley, chief executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said: “Mandarin Oriental is focused on developing its resort portfolio and has been looking to enter The Maldives for some time. This project represents the right opportunity for the group.”

The chain has a strong pipeline of hotels and residences under development and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group. Also on the slate in Asia are the 72-key Mandarin Oriental, Bai Nom, arriving in Vietnam in 2026; Mandarin Oriental Manila Makati City, adding 275 rooms to The Philippines in Q4 2023; and further ahead, the 267-key Mandarin Oriental Tianfu, Chengdu will appear in China in 2028.