Sri Lanka leisure group rebrands hotels, raises rates

Sept 28, 2011 (LBO) – John Keells group has revamped and rebranded two hotels on Sri Lanka’s south coast, sharply raising rates as it lures tourists with leopard and whale watching tours. The group spent about 15.5 million US dollars in revamping the Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa beach hotel and the Chaaya Wild Yala game lodge, said Ajit Gunewardene, deputy chairman and president of the leisure group at John Keells Holdings.

“In the last two years we invested and committed to invest close to about 100 million dollars into the leisure business,” he told a news conference at the formal launch of the two rebranded hotels which are to open on November 01, 2011.

Jayantissa Kehelpannala, sector head of Sri Lankan Resorts of John Keells Hotels, a group subsidiary, said room rates are also being increased in the two new hotels which have been raised to four-star status.

The average room rate at the 60-roomed Coral Gardens Hotel, as Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa was previously known, sited on a beach with a well-known coral reef, was around 60 US dollars.

“We’re planning to take it to around 200 dollars,” Kehelpannala said.

Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa was revamped and expanded to 150 room