Soneva Fushi Island (Maldives): Top Thai hotelier of Indian origin Sonu Shivdasani is making his debut in India with spas, resorts and fine dining restaurants and with plans for some well-appointed boutique hotels to tap high-end travellers.
Speaking to IANS at this picturesque island nation on the Indian Ocean, Shivdasani said he also planned a spa, an observatory, a concierge service and dining in the 120-floor, world’s tallest, purely residential tower in Mumbai, World One, when it opens in 2014.
“We are now looking at the Andaman Islands, Rajasthan and perhaps Bhutan to set up eco-friendly resorts,” Shivdasani said. “Once a resort in the Andamans is set up in 3-4 years, Six Senses might look at offering a joint Bangkok-Phuket-Andaman package,” he said.
“We are also keen on a boutique hotel in India. If the resort were also to have a small plane, then getting around could get easier. The clean desert air in a tented camp in Rajasthan, for instance, will be a great experience.”
Shivdasani, who is here to oversee the opening of the group’s third property in the Maldives next month, said his US$ 100-million resort chain has 25 spas and properties spread over Asia and Europe and is in the process of putting together plans for more.
He said in India the first Six Senses Spa across 7,000 sq mt will start functioning next month at the Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort at Noida on the outskirts of Delhi. The Jaypee Group owns and operates four hotels in Delhi and one each in Agra and Mussoorie. The Six Senses Spa at Noida will occupy a three-story building. Its concept will merge the components of fitness, spa, healthy cuisine and specialised programmes to offer a holistic retreat for well-being.
Shivdasani said mobile spas carry an exclusive annual membership of around US$ 2,500 a year offering 50 treatments at home including health and nutritional advice. To extend the loyalty factor, the package also offers two-three nights at a Six Senses resort.
Over 90 per cent of treatments available in JP Greens will also be on offer through the concept mobile spas. Six Senses plans to tap some 200 members in the first year with a maximum of up 1,000, Shivdasani said.
“The mobile spa is a good way of extending our brand -- spread across Vietnam, the Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Europe. Next month, we will soon open our third property Laamu in the Maldives. The fun concept will appeal to young Indians.” Designed by Shivdasani, Laamu will have 100 units and a 6.4-metre tower of spun glass, rising high out of the sea. It will also offer a wide range of crepes and chocolate, 40 flavours of homemade ice cream, exclusive lagoons, sandbanks, snorkeling and free diving.
Recently, the group also signed a joint venture with Sri Lankan developer Aitken Spence to set up 40 tented guest villas in backwaters near Galle, said the Thai entrepreneur, who serves as chief executive of the group.