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TravelBaccarat Hotels' expansion to the Maldives part of larger growth strategy

Baccarat Hotels’ expansion to the Maldives part of larger growth strategy

The luxe Baccarat Hotels brand is adding a Maldives property to its portfolio, but don’t think it stops there in terms of expansion for the brand — or for its siblings, 1 Hotels and Treehouse Hotels.

Baccarat Hotels & Residences Maldives is slated to open in 2027, parent company SH Hotels & Resorts announced this month. The hotel, just a 30-minute boat ride from Male’s Velana International Airport (MLE), is expected to span five islands in the South Male Atoll.

Related: The best ways to get to the Maldives on points and miles

The resort will encompass a lagoon and reef system and feature more than 50 hotel villas and 53 private residences for sale. Villas will range from one- to three-bedroom offerings, each with a private pool. There are also more secluded getaways planned, like six- and seven-bedroom private mansions and eight- and nine-bedroom offerings on private islands.

It’s an opulent step forward for the hotel incarnation of the 260-year-old crystal brand — not that the luxe crystal needed any glow-ups.

“In crafting this extraordinary retreat, we aim not just to create a place to stay, but to curate an experience that celebrates the essence of luxury living with the breathtaking backdrop of the Maldives,” Starwood Capital Group (the parent company of SH Hotels & Resorts) CEO Barry Sternlicht said in a statement.

While 2027 is still a ways out, there are some details on the amenity front for the upcoming Baccarat resort. The Maldivian venue will feature specialty restaurants “run by some of the world’s top chefs,” luxury retail, a Baccarat-themed crystal garden, an outdoor cinema, an art gallery and event space, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, fishing excursions, and snorkeling.

A planned spa is expected to include treatments that range from massages to facials to hydrotherapy circuits in the wellness space’s plunge pools. Yoga pavilions and a gym will also be included in the wellness venue.

“We are shaping a new identity in an already remarkable region, and we are confident that this property will define ultimate luxury in the Maldives,” SH Hotels & Resorts CEO Raul Leal said in a statement.

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SH Hotels on a growth streak

The Maldivian expansion arrives as SH Hotels throttles forward on significant growth across all three of its major brands: Baccarat, 1 Hotels and Treehouse Hotels.

Baccarat serves as SH’s ultraluxury brand, while 1 Hotels caters to the luxury lifestyle crowd craving a bit more in terms of nightlife at a hotel. Treehouse is the company’s most sustainability-forward brand.

Related: 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay: New hotel on Kauai that’s found at the end of the rainbow

“The beauty of this platform is the three brands are really diverse,” Leal told TPG earlier this year in an interview at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. “There’s totally something different offered to each consumer base.”

Upcoming developments for Baccarat include locations in Miami; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Dubai; and Rome. Future 1 Hotels locations include Paris; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Austin; Copenhagen; Riyadh; Seattle; Crete, Greece; Melbourne, Australia; and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The next cities for Treehouse Hotels include Manchester, England; Silicon Valley and Miami in the U.S.; Riyadh; and Adelaide, Australia.

Starwood Capital’s Sternlicht is best known in the hotel orbit for being the top boss at Starwood Hotels & Resorts and being the brains behind such innovations as W Hotels in its heyday as well as the Westin Heavenly Bed (modeled after a bed at Sternlicht’s then-home in Connecticut).

But he’s also known for his precision and careful eye for detail — thus, it’s likely SH isn’t going to flood the world with hundreds of Baccarat Hotels or 1 Hotels.

“We do want to keep these brands pretty pure for what their ethos is,” Leal said before adding: “It’s possible we could bring another brand under the umbrella.”

As for what that future brand might be?

“I do think probably the resort sector needs a little bit more redefining in the luxury space and not just in faraway places like the Maldives,” Leal said. “I think that’s the space that we’re going to be looking into a lot.”

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