Sri Lanka’s Rs. 6.5bn Cinnamon Red Kandy to open by end-2020

ECONOMYNEXT – Cinnamon Red Kandy, part of a hotel brand operated by Sri Lanka’s John Keells Group, will open a 6.5 billion rupee lean luxury hotel in Kandy as a joint venture project by end-2020, the firm said.

The opening of Cinnamon Red Kandy is set to coincide with the opening of the Colombo-Kandy highway, which would create more traffic for the hotel.

"The hotel will be strategically located in proximity to the Kandy-Colombo highway and is well-positioned to cater to the demands of the new age traveller and millennials," John Keells Chairman Krishan Balendra said.

"Its unique selling proposition will add variety and diversity to the room classifications in Kandy delivering an outstanding lean-luxury experience to its guests," he said.

Cinnamon Red Kandy is a joint venture with Indra Traders, which will invest 60 percent of the capital.

A long-term management contract has been signed between Indra Traders and Cinnamon Hotels.

The hotel, with 210 rooms, will be located on a 130-perch property off Katugastota Road.

Cinnamon said the hotel is ideal for both business travellers and families, and includes wheelchair access.

The chain’s first 242-room Red property was opened in Colombo in 2014. It was successful in using technology to operate with a lower staff to guest ratio, and no frills, both of which allowed it to offer competitive prices in a market which had been hit by price controls till 2018.

Cinnamon Red properties are also blurring the line between star classifications, as the hotel chain is able to provide 5-star-quality service.

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However, the state requires all hotels be graded under a star-classification scheme. Many critics, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, have said star grading is now outdated.

Guests provide peer-reviews and ratings on online platforms, which hold more currency among travellers than stars. (Colombo/Jan31/2019 – SB)

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