Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, a Thailand-based operator of luxury hotels, resorts and spas, recently announced the development of a new resort on the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar. This will be a first for the brand in Tanzania. The resort will be located north east of Zanzibar as part of Zanzibar Amber Resort, the larger mixed-use development. Anantara currently operates in Zambia and Mozambique on the continent, as well as in other destinations including China, Indonesia, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The Anantara brand is owned by parent company – Minor Hotels – which also operates the Avani, Elewana, Oaks, Per Aquum and Tivoli brands. Minor Hotels currently operates six Elewana-branded camps, lodges and hotels across Tanzania.
The Anantara Zanzibar Resort is expected to open in 2020, as part of the Zanzibar Amber Resort mixed-use lifestyle community. The Anantara Resort will feature 100 guestrooms, plus 50 one and two bedroom pool villas. Facilities will also include a luxury spa, wellness center, gym, three food & beverage outlets, kid’s club and teen’s club, with plans to introduce marine life and coral on the property. The larger mixed-use community – Zanzibar Amber Resort – will offer four additional hotel properties along with a retail souk, tropical aqua park, a marina, an equestrian center and polo club, a private jet airport and other facilities. The community will also feature East Africa’s first signature golf course, to be designed by Ernie Els (a prolific South African professional golfer).
The Anantara Zanzibar Resort and the Zanzibar Amber Resort are wholly owned by the Pennyroyal (Gibraltar) Limited, a British firm based in Gibraltar. It was created as an SPV specifically to undertake the resort development. Master planning and infrastructure works on the larger Amber Resort already commenced in September 2016 and are expected to be completed within three years. It currently occupies 615 hectares, and will eventually grow to occupy 1,750 hectares. The works, which include a 20km public road, site clearance, perimeter walls and entrance preparation, will be completed to coincide with the completion of the hotels, as well as the apartments and villas. Due to the large scale and layout of the entire project, work will be completed in phases. According to Saleh Said, Director of Pennyroyal Gibraltar Limited, in an interview with the African Hotel Investment Forum, the project will be completed in seven phases. The project is estimated to cost US$1.6 billion in total and has a construction agreement with MCC, a Chinese-owned construction company. The entire development programme is estimated to take eight years until finish, and will also create 1,500 permanent jobs, including engineering apprenticeships and vocational training programmes.
Brian Thomson, the principal of Pennyroyal Gibraltar Limited, commented that the strategic partnership with Anantara for the resort will bring it “to the attention of a modern, cosmopolitan, thoughtful traveller that represents exactly the kind of market demographic” that is desired.