A couple on their honeymoon got good and vacation drunk one day and decided to give in to an impulse purchase. Happens to the best of us, right? I am currently wearing a pair of extremely sparkly shoes purchased in sektlaune. No regrets. But Gina Lyons and Mark Lee, both Londoners, didn’t buy sparkly shoes or a six-pack of the same cat toy or a pair of fancy pajamas. They bought a hotel.
And here, friends, is the twist: It worked out okay! The Daily Mirror reports that while Lyons and Lee were backpacking for three weeks in Sri Lanka last December (they were married in June 2017), they checked into a rustic beach hotel. On their first night, they “took to the beach with several bottles of rum” and got drunk with one of the hotel’s bartenders, who told them that the hotel’s lease was almost up. A dozen gasses of rum later, they decided they should snap up that lease, which would set them back £30,000 (almost $40K in U.S. dollars).
Gina and Mark became the official owners of the hotel, now called Lucky Beach Tangalle, on July 1. They didn’t sign the lease that moment or anything, but subsequent discussions about the purchase were also made whilst in their cups. Gina set the scene for the Mirror:
“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.
“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.
They successfully paid the first half of the lease, but encountered an unexpected difficulty in March when Gina found out she was pregnant: “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... 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 seven-bedroom B&B opened at the end of July and has had “an inflow of regular customers.” Per the Mirror, the couple will make expansion decisions while sober.
In a recent Facebook post sharing the Mirror’s story, someone from the hotel wrote: “People can’t get enough of our drunken antics. What should we buy next? (We can’t, we’re poor.)”
If you, too, would like to impulse-purchase a hotel while tipsy, we suggest gin.