That’s quite a souvenir! Newlyweds are now the proud OWNERS of the rustic beach hotel they stayed in on their honeymoon (and they blame the free-flowing rum)
Posted on October 9th, 2018


  • Gina Lyons, 33, and Mark Lee, 35, honeymooned in Sri Lanka after 2017 wedding
  • Agreed to take over lease for their rustic beach hotel on rum-fuelled night 
  • Newlyweds, who are now expecting a baby, named it Lucky Beach Tangalle 
  • As of July 1 this year they became owners of the seven room B&B 
  • A newlywed couple has told how they got so drunk on a boozy night out on their honeymoon they agreed to buy their hotel.

    London-based 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.

    While there they checked into a rustic hotel on the beach, quickly falling for its charm and that of the friendly staff.

    So much so that, when one of the bartenders told them the lease was coming up for renewal over several glasses of rum, the newlyweds decided they’d be just the people to take it over – at a cost of £30,000.

    Gina Lyons, 33, and Mark Lee, 35, got married in June 2017, waiting until December last year for their honeymoon - three weeks of backpacking in Sri Lanka 

    Gina Lyons, 33, and Mark Lee, 35, got married in June 2017, waiting until December last year for their honeymoon – three weeks of backpacking in Sri Lanka

    After several glasses of rum on a night out, the newlyweds decided to take over the lease on their rustic beach hotel - at a cost of some £30,000

    On their first night, they took to the beach with several bottles of rum and drank with one of the hotels bartenders, where they were told the current lease on the hotel was almost up.

    Now, as of July 1 this year, producer Gina and Mark, a sales director, officially own the hotel they drunkenly agreed to buy and have renamed it ‘Lucky Beach Tangalle’.

    Gina said: ‘When we walked into the hotel we saw a group of old Sri Lankan men who were still drunk from the night before, so we started drinking with them.

    Almost a year on from their 'drunken idea', Gina and Mark are expecting a baby - and refurbing their own hotel in Sri Lanka 

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

    ‘When we were on the beach drinking rum, we were told that the lease was almost up for the hotel.

    ‘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.

    ‘Now, almost a year on from our drunken idea, we own the hotel and have started doing the hotel up and making it ours.’

    The couple, who married in June 2017, are now starting a family as they work to put their own stamp on the hotel, which they’ve named Lucky Beach Tangalle

    Despite having had the initial conversation about purchasing the hotel whilst they were drunk, Gina explains that the couple were also tipsy during the following, more serious, chats.

    She said: ‘The next day we went and met an old couple who we had to speak to about renewing the lease ourselves.

    ‘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.

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

    Gina and Mark immediately fell for the hotel's charms - and those of its staff - after checking in during their December 2017 Sri Lanka honeymoon

    They are now in the process of doing up the rustic beach bed and breakfast, which has seven rooms - all while preparing to welcome a baby

    Thanks to some swift bartering, the couple negotiated a deal whereby they will pay the £30,000 cost of their lease over the course of the three year period

    ‘After some bartering, we finally agreed that we would pay £30,000 for the three year lease and pay £15,000 in the first year and the other half by March 2019.

    ‘But on top of that we had to pay about £7,000 legal fees in obtaining licenses and then £6,000 to refurbish, so it wasn’t cheap.’

    Despite struggling financially, the couple managed to pay the first half of the lease – however they stumbled into an unexpected debt three months after agreeing the purchase in March this year, when Gina discovered she was pregnant.

    Gina said: ‘When we had paid £8,000 of the lease, we found out that we were expecting a baby.

    ‘I felt like I was already a bad mother because I felt guilty that I’d wasted all of this money buying a business that might not work.

    ‘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.

    The couple, soon-to-be parents, have confessed many of their friends and family 'think we're idiots'

    London-based Mark and Gina tied the knot in June 2017, and enjoyed a honeymoon in Sri Lanka in December of that year 

    London-based Mark and Gina tied the knot in June 2017, and enjoyed a honeymoon in Sri Lanka in December of that year

    ‘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.’

    Despite initially doubting their decision, the couple opened their seven-bedroom B&B at the end of July and have since had an inflow of regular customers.

    And although the business venture has paid off for them, the couple insist that their decisions to expand will be made sober.

    The couple, soon to be a family of three, are sticking to their impulse decision to take over Lucky Beach Tangalle 

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