Sri Lanka Browns to build hotels on tea plantations

Aug 30, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Browns Investments plans to build boutique hotels on two tea estates in the island’s central hills as it diversifies into the rapidly growing tourism industry. The island’s tourism industry has been growing rapidly with a sharp increase in arrivals after the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009. The company, part of the Browns group, is planning a 34 roomed hotel on Ayr estate and a 58 roomed hotel on Geragama estate run by its two plantations subsidiaries, Pussellawa and Mathurata.

Ayr’s 85-year-old planter’s bungalow, a replica of a Scottish castle perched on a mountain, is already being used by the company as a hotel.

“The project proposals are currently being finalised and they are expected to be operational by early 2013,” Browns Investments group chief executive Murali Prakash told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.

Browns Investments is also building a 150-roomed beach hotel in Kosgoda on the southern coast costing 1.5 billion rupees which is to be completed by the summer of 2013, he said.

The firm has a 30 percent stake in LOLC leisure which controls Palm Garden, Riverina, Eden and Tropical Villas hotels on the south c