NEIL PALMER CEO Per AQUUM INSIGHT INTO THE MAN HEADING THIS ICONIC MANAGEMENT COMPANY
With over 25 years experience in the hospitality industry Neil Palmer heads the iconic management company Per AQUUM Retreats • Resorts • Residences as Chief Executive Officer. His background is reminiscent of a culturally inspiring round the world ticket, with his career taking him to countries such as Brunei, Malaysia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Singapore, USA and Europe.
Born in Kenya and raised in New Zealand, his passion for the travel industry was honed at a young age with friends and family in both the airline and safari businesses. Neil studied at Westminster Hotel School in London and then joined Sheraton Hotels and Resorts which later amalgamated into Starwood. During his tenure at Starwood (25 years), he rose from junior management to Senior Vice President Operations Asia Pacific.
Neil’s scope of expertise in operations excellence, concept creativity, property development, strategic planning and his independent knowledge of diverse products, has now become a key skill set within Per AQUUM and a crucial component to the company’s exciting growth.
Commenting on his appointment as CEO Neil explains; “When Per AQUUM’s first retreat, Huvafen Fushi Maldives opened, it stood out ahead of its competitors as a premium property that really worked. The guest experience, the product, the design all complemented each other so well that it left a lasting impression on me, not just as a guest but also as an hotelier. I knew the owning company Universal Resorts Private Ltd and was confident that all of the ingredients were in place to build Per AQUUM as a successful and original collection of retreats and resorts. We currently have under development, NIYAMA in the Maldives opening in 2011 and Nurai Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, opening in 2012. We also have exciting projects under negotiation in Italy, Thailand, UAE and the South Pacific.”
Per AQUUM is part of Universal Enterprises Private Ltd the company which pioneered tourism to the Maldives. They opened the first resort, chartered the first airplane and are now the largest resort operator in the country. Per AQUUM was created as the luxury arm of this ground-breaking company with its full support and financial backing.
A critical part of the strategic direction for Per AQUUM is the freedom to continually create and adapt new concepts for each property within the portfolio; a rare gift in hospitality management. As such, Per AQUUM is able to look at opportunities from many different angles and sources and work as a team via strong involvement and communication across all departments to find new concepts and ideas to ensure individuality in each new property. This development process works in tandem with the natural environment of the location whilst infusing each property with a modern spin. Through this kind of process management, the company can collectively build on a broad range of ideas to generate opportunities not yet realised within the premium luxury hotel segment and produce tremendous rewards for its guests, owners and team.
Moving forward in 2011, Per AQUUM will focus on its award-winning retreats of Huvafen Fushi Maldives and Desert Palm Dubai and also the opening of its magnificent new addition, NIYAMA Maldives. This will be followed in 2012 by Nurai Island, a stunning retreat just off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Per AQUUM will continue to grow the brand to a maximum of 15 premium iconic properties that remain at the forefront of cutting edge hospitality.Â Each property will have its own identity and individuality whilst retaining the visionary Per AQUUM DNA.
From a development perspective Per AQUUM’s partners share the same passion for individually designed and creatively conceived properties. The personalities and needs of both parties are consistently aligned and a love of the luxury boutique hospitality sector is evident throughout. Other partners, such as designers and consultants who work with Per AQUUM, have the same understanding and knowledge of the key points of difference and are able to translate that vision into an original concept.
By creating an intimate portfolio, Per AQUUM can ensure that the core values of the brand are maintained through continuous reinvestment. Huvafen Fushi, for example, although in its seventh year of operation will see a refurbishment of all bungalows and public areas thereby keeping this award-winning property fresh and exciting.
Note to Editors:
Per AQUUM Retreats • Resorts • Residences is a specialist management and development company that offers a different kind of company ethos: one that is passionate, visionary, imaginative and naturally modern. The architecture and design of each project is inspired by the individual beauty of the property’s host culture, while development is based on principles of realism, sustainability and responsibility. Renowned for creating bold, imaginative spaces and signature attention to detail the Per AQUUM name has built significant brand value within the top echelons of the travel industry. The current portfolio includes Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives, Desert Palm in Dubai, NIYAMA Maldives (opening end 2011), Nurai Island (opening 2012). Per AQUUM is in a further strategic expansion phase, with new properties under development or negotiation in Europe, South East Asia, the Middle East and the South Pacific.