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VICEROY MALDIVES RESORT: The Door Opens for Villa Ownership

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Recent changes in Maldivian law mean that foreigners can now own property in the stunning Maldives archipelago. The new Viceroy Maldives Resort is pre-selling 12 of its superlative Deluxe Beach Villas on the private island of Vagaru — offering discerning travellers an opportunity to combine exclusive lifestyle enhancement with significant investment income.

Operated by Los Angeles-based Viceroy Hotel Group, the resort is scheduled to open in January 2012. Set on 17 idyllic acres of Vagaru Island, in the Shaviyani Atoll, Viceroy Maldives is just less than an hour north by seaplane from the capital Male.

Developed as a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and EoN Resorts with interior designs by Toronto’s Yabu Pushelberg, Viceroy Maldives Resort comprises 61 bungalows — 32 over the water and 29 Beach Villas, of which 12 have been reserved for private sale. The resort also boasts the ultra-luxe three-bedroom Royal Villa — largest of its kind in the Maldives; five restaurants, including the signature Treehouse restaurant, variously offering European, Pan Asian and African cuisine; and the Spa, with seven private suites set tranquilly on the Indian Ocean.

One of the leading luxury resort destinations in the world, the Maldives is an archipelago of 26 major atolls and 1,190 islands southwest of Sri Lanka. A pillar industry for the country, tourism accounts for about 60 percent of its foreign exchange earnings and employs approximately 20 percent of the labor force. Citizens therefore welcome foreigners and the significant investment they make to the GDP through tourism and other business ventures.
During the last decade in particular, the country’s innovative “One Island, One Resort” mandate has expanded luxury travel on the 200 inhabited islands in the area. Integrating amenities such as Viceroy’s over-water villas and spas with the country’s pristine beaches and water activities produced a record 792,000 tourists visiting the Maldives in 2010; a 20.7-percent year-to-year increase, according to figures from the country’s Tourism Ministry.

The new law allows foreign investors to own property and purchasing one of the Deluxe Beachfront Villas at the Viceroy Maldives Resort represents a unique opportunity for individuals, families and companies to acquire a world-class getaway vacation and holiday property that is also a long-term investment.

A villa purchase is free of local income, capital gains and acquisition taxes. The property will not only generate income but will also be fully transferable, allowing owners to take full advantage of any capital appreciation.

Villa owners will also enjoy deep discounts on resort facilities and services at the Viceroy Maldives Resort during their ownership; preferential rates on accommodations at other Viceroy Hotels & Resorts including at Viceroy private residences globally; and a number of complimentary round-trip flight transfers annually from Malé International Airport.

Most importantly, owners avoid the concerns of second-home ownership, as the Viceroy team meticulously provides all normal maintenance services as well as the benefits of a five-star resort developed, designed and operated by a select world team.

In addition to the restaurant and spa amenities on Viceroy Vagaru, villa owners will enjoy the resort’s PADI-licensed Dive Centre, coordinated by multilingual professionals, and other water sports such as deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, waterskiing, kayaking, catamaran sailing and wake boarding. Owners can also choose to relax at the resort’s beachside infinity pool and with their children or grandchildren in the playful Kid’s Zone.

What’s more, the multi-award-winning Viceroy Hotel Group brings to its new Maldives resort international standards of intuitive service and innovative culinary experience coupled with a holistic wellness program and recreational opportunities for couples and families. Other acclaimed Viceroy hotels are in Abu Dhabi, Anguilla, Beverly Hills, Bodrum, Palm Springs, Santa Monica and Snowmass.

Yabu Pushelberg’s minimalist elemental designs eloquently express the seclusion, luxury, haven and tranquility of the Vagaru resort. The award-winning Toronto designer was inspired by the islands’ natural beauty and culture. By using naturally rustic materials and patterns in a modern style, he offers sophistication without ostentation, while minimizing negative environmental impact to the fragile Maldivian ecosystem.

Yabu Pushelberg sculpted the 32 Water Villas to resemble the hull of an inverted dhoni, a traditional islands fishing boat. Splaying out from the beach into the lagoon, significantly separated to ensure intimacy and space for guests, the one- and two-floor bungalows include private plunge pools just off the view deck.

Similarly inspired, the investment 1,937-square-foot Deluxe Beach Villas rest between lush tropical gardens and white soft sands, with plunge pools, outdoor sundecks and dining pavilions, and, everywhere, incredible views.

Each of the villas includes two ensuite bedrooms and separate loft and living room, making them some of the most spacious villas available in the Maldives. The high-ceilinged master bedroom and bathroom connect to an outdoor shower in a private garden, the second bedroom features a glass roof rain shower, and the upstairs loft, with its elevated sunset views across the lagoon, converts easily to a third bedroom and bathroom.

Further, owners can opt into the Residential Rental Program, managed by Viceroy, in which they use the villa for up to 30 days annually with no blackout dates and rent it for high-yield income the remainder of the year. The marquee Viceroy name and experience ensure the continuing attraction of the investment to trends-setting travelers worldwide.

“The resort offers all that you’d expect from a top five star destination and with only 12 villas being made available, demand is anticipated to be very high,” explains Uday Rao, General Manager of Viceroy Maldives.

“What’s unique here is that we’re able to offer a self-contained package that delivers exclusivity and privacy in equal measure. Moreover, whereas other island offerings in the Maldives require a great deal of infrastructure development and investment, the villas we’re making available are completely self-sustaining,” Rao says, “Residents have all the benefits of being on a private island, with none of the maintenance and infrastructure challenges to worry about.”

To own a villa at Viceroy Maldives Resort — “the uncharted edge of paradise” — inquire at +971 (0)2 413 0242 or contact viceroymaldives@mubadala.ae