By Marianne David
The LOLC Group realised Sri Lanka’s vast potential when it entered the leisure industry through Browns Investments and knew it had to go beyond the borders of Sri Lanka, said LOLC Group Deputy Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara.
“The closest destination where we had missed out was the Maldives, where some other Sri Lankan leisure groups have thrived over the years, so we quickly came here and we were blessed and lucky that we managed to partner with CMEC and Nasandhura Palace pre-owners, etc., to create a much bigger dimension of resorts and leisure acquisitions,” Nanayakkara told Daily FT.
He added that these new projects would be completed in the next two to three years, adding to LOLC’s portfolio and boosting the profitability of the Group and the equity of the leisure side.
Locally too the Group has been expanding rapidly with two new properties under construction and four properties in operation.
Following is a breakdown of the Group’s new projects in the Maldives and in Sri Lanka.
North Malé Resort Development
The LOLC’s Group’s North Malé Resort Development will comprise three hotels on three new islands in the Maldives in partnership with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC).
The three islands created by the Group comprise 75 acres and when completed in September 2018, the project will feature three properties – one five-star and two four-star – with a total of 470 rooms, 120 five-star rooms and 350 four-star rooms.
Bodufaru and Bodufinolhu resorts
The LOLC Group is working on two proposed developments in Bodufaru in the Raa Atoll and Bodufinolhu in the South Ari Atoll. The Bodufaru development is a 60-room five-star resort while the Bodufinolhu development is a 120-room four-star resort.
Nasandhura Hotel and Apartment Complex
The Nasandhura Hotel and Apartment Complex project is located on the most valuable prime land in the city of Malé, the location of the former Nasandhura Palace.
LOLC has commenced construction of a massive mixed development project, with plans to open the new property in September 2018. Located right opposite the airport ferry jetty, the multi-storey property will be the largest mixed development property in Maldives when completed, featuring 15 floors plus one mezzanine floor.
The development will feature serviced apartments, a modern deluxe hotel with banqueting and conference facilities, a wellness spa and gym, a rooftop infinity pool, several restaurants and cafés, condominiums, a retail centre, offices and car and motorcycle parking and support services.
LOLC Group Deputy Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said preselling of the apartments would commence soon and that the cost of the construction would be covered with the preselling.
“However, due to the sheer volume of inquiries, we are holding back and releasing apartments only in stages to ensure value creation for those who come in first,” revealed Nanayakkara.
The promoting company, NPH Investment Ltd., is a company formed for the specific purpose of developing and managing the Nasandhura project and is a venture between LOLC’s Browns Hotels and Resorts Ltd. of Sri Lanka and Alpha-Kinam Holdings Ltd. of Maldives.
With plans to complete construction by April 2018, the land area comprises 37,000 square feet while the completed project will have 400,000 square feet total floor area with 135 hotel rooms and 118 apartments, said NPH Investment Director Ibrahim Mohamed.
Architect's impressions of the Nasandhura Hotel and Apartment Complex
New resorts in Sri Lanka
The LOLC Group is expanding its hotels portfolio in Sri Lanka soon, with plans to open the 400-room five-star Riverina Resort in Beruwala in March 2018 and 172-room Sheraton Turtle Beach Kosgoda in February 2017.