US investment firm Blackstone acquires Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

World-leading private equity and investment firm The Blackstone Group LP has acquired Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

Reliable sources say that the US-based firm had completed the acquisition of the property from local owner Crown Company for an undisclosed sum.

Although details of the transaction are unknown, tourism ministry had issued a notice in November 2018 after the then owner sought permission to transfer the leasehold rights of the island. It was asked that any debt or concerns related to the lease transfer be addressed to the ministry — a legal requirement for transferring leasehold rights of tourist resorts in the Maldives.

Despite the ownership change, the resort will continue to be managed by Hilton Worldwide, under its flagship Conrad Hotels and Resorts brand.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is located in South Ari Atoll and is accessible by a 30-minute seaplane flight from the Maldives main airport.

As one of the Maldives’ leading resorts and one of Hilton Worldwide’s flagship properties, the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers 150 villas and suites, 12 restaurants and bars, two spas — all stretched over two remote islands. It features the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, world’s first undersea restaurant made from only glass.

As the latest innovation, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island had recently unveiled the world’s first undersea villa. A triumph of modern design and technology, THE MURAKA is a two-level structure comprised of space above the sea level and an undersea suite designed for sleeping under the ocean’s surface.

The resort also invested USD 8.3 million in redeveloping its 42 award-winning Deluxe Beach Villas. Designed by THE MURAKA undersea residence’s design collaborator Yuji Yamazaki, the new Deluxe Beach Villas are a celebration of the natural environment and continue to be one of the resort’s most popular villa categories.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is also home to two unique spa experiences; The Spa Retreat on Rangalifinolhu Island and the Over Water Spa on Rangali Island. Combining expertise from around the world with carefully selected products and therapies influenced by the environment, the two spas offer unique and effective experiences to suit the needs of every individual.

The luxury resort also offers the popular Conrad Concierge mobile app, which gives global luxury travellers the ability to customise details of their hotel stay before, during, and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. Whether it is pre-selecting bath amenities or checking in while in-transit from the airport, guests can access a variety of features by using the app.

This is the second major investment in the Maldives by Blackstone, the largest alternative investment firm in the world.

In February 2013, Blackstone acquired controlling stakes in Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) and its sole competitor Maldivian Air Taxi (MAT). The two seaplane operators were merged under the TMA brand, creating the largest seaplane operator in the world.

A consortium led by US-based Bain Capital and Chinese conglomerate Tempus Group had in 2017 bought TMA from Blackstone for around USD 550 million.

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