Sri Lanka’s John Keells to open fourth ‘Cinnamon’ resort in Maldives

Sri Lankan conglomerate John Keells has announced plans to open its fourth resort in Maldives under its Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts brand.

In its annual report, John Keells Chairman Krishan Balendra said the group is in the process of finalising a sublease agreement with an undisclosed partner to open the new resort. In line with the group’s asset light strategy for the expansion of rooms under management, the property will be subleased for a period of 10 years with the option for further extensions, he added.

“[The new resort is being opened] in light of the group’s concerted efforts to capitalise on the growth prospects of the Maldivian tourism industry,” Krishan Balendra told shareholders.

The new resort is set to be located in close proximity to the main Velana International Airport.

Meanwhile, John Keells reported strong performance in its Maldivian resorts last year.

Balendra said his Maldivian resorts maintained their average room rates and occupancies well above the industry average. Average room rates at Maldives resorts had climbed to USD 320 in the year to March 2019, from USD 309 a year ago, he added.

Sri Lanka’s largest hotel operator, John Keells currently owns and operates three resorts in Maldives: Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives, and Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon.

The company is investing heavily in renovating and upgrading its resorts in Maldives.

The water bungalows of Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon were refurbished during the year, resulting in a partial closure of the property from May to October 2018, whilst Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives was closed in May 2018 for the reconstruction of a new hotel. Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives is expected to be operational in December 2019 and will be positioned as a premium luxury beach resort thereby commanding a higher average room rate going forward.

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives was also refurbished in 2017, leading to above average room rates.

Cover photo: Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

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