Wow Philippines campaign of former Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon is now paying off. Recently, a ground breaking ceremony in Isla Diwaran was led by the Philippine President together with Singapore-listed Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd. leaders.
Isla Diwaran will be converted to an integrated island resort which will feature three resorts with a total of 600 keys, three award-wining spas, a marina and a town centre with full-fledged world class resort facilities.
It was also disclosed that Banyan Tree Holdings is planning to develop a resort in a site yet to be identified.
Located south of Manila in Palawan Province, Isla Diwaran integrated island resort is about 20 minutes by speedboat from the town of Coron where the airport facility is located. The sprawling 55-hectare development is surrounded by stretches of white-sand beach in an area known for its coral reefs and diverse marine life, as well as some of the world’s best known dive sites.
To introduce its signature brand of Asian hospitality to the Philippines, Banyan Tree will master plan, provide architectural and interior design concepts for the development. This will include Banyan Tree Diwaran, which consists of 100 keys of beach, hill and water villas, and Angsana Diwaran, made up of 200 keys of one- and two-bedroom suites.
A third hotel is also being planned. Upon completion, the development will have a total of 600 keys and the project is targeted to open in 2012.
The group has already developed one of Asia’s largest integrated resorts in Laguna Phuket spanning seven hotels, a golf course and residential development. A similar project – Laguna Hue – is also being planned in Vietnam.
Banyan Tree will be pushing ahead with its expansion plans this year: Following the soft-opening of Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico in March, six more resort and hotel openings are scheduled in China, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and the Middle East.