How a Luxury Hotel Brand From Sri Lanka Is Setting Its Sights Overseas

Cinnamon Hotels & ResortsHomegrown hotel chain Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is rebranding and setting its sights in markets beyond Sri Lanka.

Parent company John Keells Holdings is bringing two brands, Cinnamon and sister brand Chaya, under the Cinnamon umbrella in the next six months, and will place each property in one of four categories.

They are the uber luxury boutique collection Cinnamon White, five-star collection Cinnamon Luxury, four-star collection Cinnamon Signature and lean luxury collection Cinnamon Red. 

Ajit Gunewardene, deputy chairman of JKH, told TTG Asia e-Daily: "We are ready to strengthen the brand and take it overseas." 

The group has spent over $1 million to build the brand in Sri Lanka and plans to double its existing 2,200 keys in five years' time. He said JKH has been working on a new brand strategy for the past three to five years and invested in integrated software and management systems as well as a CRM system, which makes overseas expansion easier.

"Indian tourism is growing while the Chinese are travelling in large numbers. There is a lot of shorthaul tourism in the region. We believe we can push our brand out on that surge," Gunewardene added.

The group's current projects include the landmark Cinnamon Life integrated development in Colombo to be ready by 2018. It will include an 800-room five-star hotel, two apartment towers and one office tower, a mall and a conference centre that can accommodate 5,000 delegates.

Another is a five-star, 120-room property in the central hill station of Nuwara Eliya for which construction will start later this year.