John Keells Hotels PLC (KHL), a subsidiary of the country’s largest conglomerate, John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) will be demolishing the Bentota Beach Hotel, one of the masterpieces of the legendary Sri Lankan Architect Geoffery Bawa, next month, for recreation at a cost of around Rs.4 billion. ... JKH currently has Rs.84.28 billion in short-term investments and cash, although it has commitments for three other hotel constructions, including the mega-project Cinnamon Life, which exceeds Rs.100 billion, for which around half the funds were raised through a syndicated loan in 2015.

The current Bentota Beach Hotel, a 4-star 133-key property will become a 5-star establishment with 150 rooms once it is reconstructed in two and a half years.

The existing hotel, currently branded as Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, will close on July 1, 2017. The Bentota Beach Hotel’s iconic central building designed by Bawa gives nods to both ancient Sinhalese architecture as well as the colonial Dutch fortification which had stood in the premises earlier.