Drunk couple wake up £30,000 poorer after buying hotel in Sri Lanka on boozy night during honeymoon

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Gina Lyons and Mark Lee bought a hotel while drunk on their honeymoon (Caters)

Honeymoons are a time for fun but one couple took it a bit far, leaving them £30,000 out of pocket.

Gina Lyons, 33, and Mark Lee, 35, got so drunk while celebrating their wedding that they decided it was a good idea to buy a HOTEL.

The couple were on a three-week backpacking honeymoon in Sri Lanka last December when they made the booze-fuelled decision.

The happy couple checked into a rustic hotel on the beach and immediately hit it off with the staff, and spent a night drinking on the beach with one of the bartenders.

It was here that they discovered the current lease on the hotel was almost up and, after downing 12 glasses of rum, the couple decided they would take up the new lease – at a cost of £30,000.

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.

The couple hit it off with staff members at the hotel in Sri Lanka (Caters)

“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.”


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Gina explained the London-based couple were just as tipsy during more serious chats about their decision to lease the hotel.

She went on: “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.

Gina and Mark downed 12 glasses of rum before deciding buying the hotel was a good idea (Caters)

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

“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.”

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

Gina added: “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.

The couple opened their seven-bedroom B&B at the end of July (Caters)

“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.”

The couple have officially renamed their new seven-bedroom B&B the ‘Lucky Beach Tangalle’.

Despite their drunken decision seemingly paying off with an influx of regular customers, the couple insist that their decisions to expand will be made sober.