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POSTED AT 09:53 AM 28-12-2018

Lighthouse Hotel goes for first major revamp with Rs. 450 m investment

Image Courtesy: BookingCom

Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel, Galle 

- Main hotel consisting of 63 rooms will be closed from May to July next year
- Funding for modernisation to be met via debt and internal cash

The Lighthouse Hotel, one of the most sought-after in the Southern coast, is going for its first major revamp since opening 21 years ago, with an investment of over Rs. 450 million.

The refurbishment of the famous Geoffrey Bawa-designed hotel will include an upgrade of rooms, public and service areas, and plant and equipment. 

The main hotel, consisting of 63 rooms, will be closed during May to July next year. The adjacent and relatively new Jetwing Lighthouse Club, with 22 rooms, will be in operation.  Company estimates the revamped hotel to be fully operational by August 2019.

“This is our first comprehensive refurbishment, which will be done whilst retaining the originality of Bawa’s architecture,” Chairman Hiran Cooray told the Daily FT.

The revamp, costing Rs. 450 million excluding Government taxes, will be funded by a mix of debt and internally generated cash.

The Group sees tremendous opportunity to position Jetwing Lighthouse and its affiliated properties above and beyond the competitors, and thereby attain higher average rates and increased occupancy levels.  The mega investment to renovate is in order to achieve this level of positioning, and to reinforce that Jetwing Lighthouse will remain as the leading property in the South over the foreseeable future.

In FY2018, The Lighthouse Hotel PLC recorded a profit before tax of Rs. 149 million, down marginally by 2% from the previous year. Total revenue grew by 5% to Rs. 836 million. 

The Lighthouse Hotel PLC is also a holding company, making several strategic investments in subsidiaries that it grooms to embellish the Jetwing brand.

Its latest investment under the umbrella of fully-owned subsidiary Unawatuna Properties Ltd., a hotel chain which operates under the brand Hotel J, commenced operations on 1 December 2017. This is a select service hotel, offering 31 beds and 22 dorm-style beds. 

The Lighthouse Hotel PLC also operates Jetwing Kurulubedda, a 6-room luxury resort – a hot favourite with honeymooners and couples for its intimate ambience and natural environment, Galle Heritage Villa by Jetwing, a 4-room luxury, colonial style property within the Galle Fort premises, and Era Beach by Jetwing, a 7-suite operated under the Jetwing Lighthouse portfolio. 

Jetwing Lighthouse also holds an 18% stake in Rainforest Eco Lodge, which is a model ecotourism pilot project situated in Deniyaya adjoining the famous Sinharaja Forest, which is a UNESCO certified World Heritage site.

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