Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment has signed an investment agreement with Sundara (Pvt) Ltd, which will develop a 4.5 million US dollar boutique hotel on the country’s south coast.
“When the tourism industry is faced with setbacks, the significance of this investment is that there is greater confidence on Sri Lanka’s economy and tourism sector,” Board of Investment Chairman Mangala Yapa said.
Sundara (Pvt) Ltd Co-Founder Dale Rennie said that he is investing due to Sri Lanka’s long-term tourism potential.
“We are looking at the next 5-10 years,” he said.
The property, named The Plantation Koggala, will have 14 residency villas, each with a pool.
Investors in the villas have the option of living in them or allowing the hotel management to rent them out and receive a 7 percent annual return, Rennie said.
He said 50 percent of the villas have already been sold. The villas are priced at 243,000 US dollars.
The property was marketed to investors in the US, Australia, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and Switzerland.
He said rented villas will be sold for 200 US dollars a night.
The hotel will be built on a former cinnamon plantation. It is also situated next to a smallholder tea plantation, which the hotel will support.
Construction of the project will start in a month, Rennie said.
Rennie and his wife and Co-Founder Sabrina Van Cleef Ault own 80 percent of the shares in Sundara (Pvt) Ltd.
They own The Heritage Cafe and Bistro in the Galle Fort.
He said another hotel, of 12-rooms, is currently in the planning stages in Ahungalla, which will receive an investment of around 300,000-400,000 US dollars.
“We intend to do a lot of these smaller properties going forward,” he said.
Rennie has previously developed three properties in the Philippines and Indonesia, with total investments of approximately 35-40 million US dollars.
“We invest in ultra-luxurious boutique hotels which are environmentally sustainable,” he said.
Rennie was previously Head of Marketing and Public Relations for Superfund Asset Management, an investment bank.
He was also the founder of AEC events, which marketed and produced concerts in Asia for acts like Michael Jackson, David Copperfield, Bon Jovi, Byran Adams and the Bolshoi Ballet. (Colombo/May31/2019)