Friday, January 18, 2019

“We were so drunk”: the newlyweds who bought their honeymoon hotel

A newlywed couple got so drunk on a honeymoon night out, they agreed to buy their hotel.

Londoners Gina Lyons, 33, and Mark Lee, 35, set off on a three-week backpacking adventure around Sri Lanka last December following their wedding in June 2017 – and returned with quite a souvenir.

In the fishing town of Tangalle, they checked into a rustic hotel on the beach and quickly bonded with the friendly staff in the hotel bar.

As the booze-fuelled night went on, they shared a bottle of rum on the beach with the bartender, who revealed that the lease was about to expire on the hotel and the owner was likely looking for a buyer.

After drinking twelves glasses of rum, the couple decided it would be a great idea to take up the new lease – at a cost of £30,000 ($55,000).

Gina said: “The hotel looked grotty and very cheap, but it was by the beach and had the ‘wooden tree house’ feel that we like.

“After finding out that it was £10,000 a year, myself and Mark thought that it would be a brilliant idea to buy it – because we were so drunk.”

The following day, the hungover pair met “an old couple” to negotiate renewing the lease.

“We had to take two friends we had made with us so they could translate for us, as the couple didn’t speak English themselves, said Gina.

“Because we didn’t understand most of the conversation, Mark and I were just sat drinking more rum and slowly getting drunk again.”

The couple scraped together the initial payments, but as they began to rethink their purchase, they discovered that they were pregnant.  They decided it was imperative they made the venture work for the future of their growing family.

The former producer and sales director are now proud owners of the Lucky Beach Tangalle hotel, and despite initial doubts, have seen a steady inflow of customers since opening their renovated seven-bedroom B&B at the end of July.

Gina said: “Even 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 had a baby on the way.

“I was plagued with feeling irresponsible, but it was either sink or swim – so we decided we’d have to make it work.

“That’s when we decided to throw our all into it, both for ourselves and for the baby, and in July we officially became owners of the business.”

While business may be booming, the couple have vowed to make all future business decisions while sober.

About Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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