Onsite: Raffles Announces Expansion Plans

NEW YORK CITY-Travel Agent attended a luncheon in Manhattan hosted by Raffles Hotels & Resorts, which announced several new builds, acquisitions and management agreements scheduled to launch between 2008 and 2010, all part of the company's master plan for expansion. Raffles has selected the city of Dubai as the newest destination in its international network. Opening fall 2007, the pyramid-inspired Raffles Dubai is an iconic structure that draws inspiration from Middle Eastern architecture.

Raffles also announced it will manage a 49-villa luxury resort, Raffles Resort Konottaa, its first venture in the Maldives. The resort, owned and developed by Platinum Capital Holdings, is located at the newly developed Gaafu Dhaal in the southern part of the Maldives. Scheduled to open in spring 2008, Raffles Resort Konottaa features 49 duplex villas, all with individual plunge pools.

Raffles has extended its footprint in China with the Raffles Tianjin Hotel. Located at the top of Tianjin Centre, Raffles Tianjin sits right in the heart of the city, two hours by car from Beijing. The Tianjin Binhai International Airport also has international connections to most major cities in China, Asia, Middle East, Europe and the U.S. As the city's first penthouse hotel, Raffles Tianjin will preside over the city, occupying the top 32nd to 45th floors of Tianjin Centre's West Tower. Scheduled to open in 2008, the property will feature 116 spacious rooms and suites with views of the city.

Raffles also has signed an agreement with Greenfield Property Holdings to manage a new luxury resort and residence, Raffles Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, set on 50 acres of beachfront property at the northeastern end of Tortola. Raffles Tortola is scheduled to open in 2010 and will have 100 rooms.

Raffles continues its expansion with a new luxury resort in Bali, Indonesia. In an agreement signed with PT Asia Pasifik Property, a subsidiary of the Rekso Group, Raffles will manage Raffles Amartha, which will be located along the Jimbaran coast. Raffles Amartha is scheduled to open in 2010 and features a resort comprising of approximately 90 luxurious villas and 25 Raffles Residences for private ownership.

Raffles has signed an agreement with Point Hardy Development Company to manage Raffles St Lucia, West Indies. In addition to the 200-room resort, Raffles St Lucia will offer residential ownership opportunities for home-sites and resort residences, featuring 275 residential luxury villas, casitas and condominiums, as well as 75 estate lots, including 35 exclusive Jack Nicklaus Golf Club estate lots. Located on the northern end of St Lucia, the development will spread over 360 acres marked by ocean views, cliffs and secluded beaches. Visit [www.raffles.com]. (DB)