Drunken Newlyweds Purchase Their Honeymoon Hotel

All of us around here love to travel, and a honeymoon can be the one time in your life when you throw logic out the window and price and value doesn’t matter, so you can truly have that ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

You know that I rarely stay in five star hotels, but my honeymoon would be that one time in my life where a $1,000 per night overwater villa in the Maldives would make total sense and I would not hesitate to do it.

Now most honeymooners choose somewhere truly beautiful and exotic, and have a week or two in relaxing, luxurious bliss. It’s understandable in that situation that you would probably say over and over again ‘can we stay here forever?’

In December last year, Fox News reported that British newlyweds Gina Lyons and Mark Lee went to Sri Lanka for their honeymoon, and stayed at a small hotel in Tangalle, which is on the south coast of the island.

I’ve visited nearby Hikkaduwa and Galle on the south coast, and the beaches there are very beautiful.

On their first night at the hotel they got extremely intoxicated at the hotel bar and after twelve glasses of rum, started telling the staff how much they loved the area, and how much they wished they could stay forever.

It turns out the lease for the property was about to expire, so the existing owner was very keen to talk up the benefits of the area and the property, and convince them they should consider actually purchasing the lease.

The next day, having not yet signed anything, the couple started drinking heavily again while further discussing the business opportunity. The finer details of the purchase were then swiftly negotiated in the local language (presumably Tamil or Sinhala).

Gina and Mark say they had some local friends translate the terms of the offer to them, while they, you guessed it, kept drinking, without really taking much notice of the costs of their impending investment, or the terms and conditions.

Tangalle, Sri Lanka

The next morning the couple awoke to realise they had purchased the hotel on a three year lease, for around US$13,000 per year.

After making the purchase the couple then discovered they were pregnant, and some regret did set in, with Gina saying:

Our friends and family think we’re idiots and shouldn’t have been doing it — we owed a lot of money from the wedding and only lived in a tiny flat, and now we have a baby on the way. I felt like I was already a bad mother because I felt guilty that I’d wasted all of this money buying a business that might not work. I was plagued with feeling irresponsible, but it was either sink or swim — so we decided we’d have to make it work.

The couple committed to the purchase, and have now renovated the hotel, renamed it the Lucky Beach Tangalle, and accepted their first guests a few months ago.

These two might not be the sharpest when it comes to major business decisions, but it is very smart of them to share their humorous experience to promote their new business.

Bottom line

I love a story like this.

When I was relaxing on the south coast of Sri Lanka near where this property is, I distinctively remember thinking ‘I don’t want to come home.’ But I didn’t drink nearly enough to ever purchase a property there.

Have you ever contemplated staying permanently while holidaying in an exotic location?

Comments

  1. Wow found out she was pregnant while still on honeymoon. This is a fun story that will get made into a movie some day or at least reality TV. I have actually considered buying a small resort while on vacation and shortly after returning home. It would have worked out but I was afraid the air service to the island wouldn’t have supported the overhead. About 2 years later a hurricane nearly destroyed the island so I’m glad I missed that event.

  2. Well, the seem to have it worked out in the meantime. Certainly would like to see an update on these in few years time (whether on here or else 😉 )

  3. Isn’t this the very business model of timeshares? Create idyllic conditions, a bit of smooth talking and aspirational thinking…next thing you know (or 4 hours later ) you own property.

    The only difference is this couple is only locked in for 3 years, and they have a chance at getting some of their money back, through paying guests.

  4. We have an impression that the British are broke. Cutting food from schools, doing the least in NATO and many other instances but they then turn around and throw the most lavish royal weddings.

    Are the British following the playbook of the white American Republican scum.

  5. At 12 dollars a night, that is 3250 room nights to go through to even get close to breaking even. That doesn’t even account for taxes, salaries, utilities etc etc.

    There is a reason why the previous owner wanted to sell it to drunk tourists…

  6. Sounds made up or at least very embellished. Good story to market the hotel though!

    If they didn’t think they were buying the hotel, what did they think they were doing? Something doesn’t add up. Also, probably shouldn’t be drinking if you are trying to get pregnant or might be pregnant.

  7. @Mr Igcognito & Tom

    I don’t think these two were planning on getting pregnant any time soon if their comments of living in a tiny appartment and debts from their wedding is anything to go by.. And indeed people drink before realising they are pregnant. One of my friends had just come from a 3wk booze holiday when she found out she was pregnant. The kid is as fit as a fiddle.

    That said, i love this story and I’m totally going to drink rum tonight!

  8. I’d love to see how they’re doing a year from now. I hope they’re the next self-made billionaire story!

  9. I never want to return to reality when I have to leave the Greek Islands. Like Shirley Valentine, I guess.

  10. When one reads a story like this, its up to us fellow globe trotters to give them some business or at least tell others. I’ll check them out. According to booking.com “One of our best sellers in Tangalle”!

    The universe takes control sometimes. Perhaps in the long run this was the best thing for them. We all make “dumb” decisions, and in the overall scheme of things that is not a lot of money.

    I truly wish them well!! Dumb drunk Brits!! haha… 😉

  11. @Debit
    The “white American Republican scum” ( a.k.a. trailer trash) you refer to are in a class of their own. Brits are not THAT dreadful. Also I doubt many of them would have any party affiliation, least of all getting out to actually vote.

  12. DEBIT – most of your comments above are incorrect . Britain is not broke ,but EU is squeezing money out of the UK, so they need to leave and get on with life independently . No similarities to USA

    NORMAN – I wish the couple luck in their venture. Back packers can easily pay a bit more than USD12- a night , and income can easily be raised by sales of food , alcohol , airport shuttle , tours , fishing trips, sim cards for wifi , etc etc . If the economics do not work out ,then it is only a 3 year lease , walk away or renegotiate with owner . Win Win .

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