Following the the amazing success in branding, positioning and establishing a unique Maldivian Luxury resort, Island Hideaway at Dhonakulhi, Turquoise Experience is relaunching Lily Beach Resort & Spa at Huvahendhoo as a Luxury 'Platinum Plan' Resort, the first of its kind in the Maldives. Mr. Dinesh Bhaskar, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Turquoise Experience, Maldives talks to Tourism Maldives magazine about the unique Platinum Plan and the relaunch of the property.
1. Could you tell us about your new product, Platinum Plan and also about the relaunch of Lily Beach Resort & Spa?
There are not many resorts in the Maldives offering luxury all-inclusive products.
What they offer is a very basic three star or four star product. There a growing need in the market worldwide for luxury, all-inclusive products, wherein people are assured that 90 per cent of their expenses are taken care of before they travel. Those who book into luxury resorts in the Maldives find that when they come to the resort, they have to spend a huge amount of money on the extras and worry if they can afford it. So we felt that, it is better to have a very good product at the entry level in the luxury segment, featuring a new plan called the Platinum Plan. The Platinum Plan offers a luxury all-inclusive product. In fact, this plan is being used in certain resorts in the Caribbean and Tahiti. We felt Lily Beach should be the first resort to launch the Platinum Plan in the Maldives.
2. What are ingredients of the Platinum Plan?
The Platinum Plant includes whatever you can think of it. First, it is basically the premium brands of alcohol, a fantastic array of wines, fine dining experiences, free mini bar, free internet, and the best of service. We want our customers to be happy and not have any worries whatsoever. The only things that they would spend on are the spa, the diving and the shopping. Basically, that would be just 10 per cent of the total expenses, and that is all they would have to come with - cash or card. The rest of the expenses are taken care of before they come.
3. When are you planning to relaunch the property?
That is again some good news. Normally, in Maldives there is a trend in the last four years, of all resorts opening very late, very much beyond the opening date, with a lot of promises being given. There is a huge amount of frustration, anger and irritation in the world about this. So we felt that one of the critical factors would to open on time. The work is progressing extremely fast and most probably we will be ready for full operations mid January 2009.
4. How many rooms will you have?
We are actually bringing in a new segment with the Deluxe Water Villas as well as the Sunset Water Suites. Lily Beach Resort has beautiful lagoons which are extended in oval shapes, and every single Deluxe Water Villa will have 9 m sq plunge pools. The Sunset Water suites are also going to have beautiful pools. The inventory is going to increase to 125.
5. What is the philosophy of your resorts?
Today, the owners of our companies are proud owners. Island Hideaway is doing extremely well and possesses very good luxury products in the Maldives. It is a highly respected property and the only independent Maldivian resort in the luxury segment. If try to promote Lily Beach under the same cap, it might not do just as well as Lily Beach is a fun and frolic and more happening resort in the luxury segment. So we felt that we should cover both these philosophies under the marketing umbrella. So we have different philosophies for each resort, each by-product, but for Turquoise experience, itís the common goal of delivering a luxury product in the Maldives at the highest level of service and cuisine.
There are several new resorts coming up and competition is heavy. Everybody looking for a unique feature and the Turquoise experience is trying to bring in products which have a unique selling proposition. For instance, Island Hideaway is the truly Maldivian luxury experience. At Lily Beach, we are looking at every dinner being a fine dining experience.