Sri Lanka's Citrus Leisure, formerly known as Hotel Reefcomber, this week announced that it had acquired 78 acres in Kalpitiya in the country's Western province where it intends to develop a 150 room four star hotel as well as 28 water front villas, the latter to be "available to local and foreign high net worth individuals on the basis of a 99-year lease."
This land, identified as the “Santhoduwa-Kalpitiya” site, was acquired for Rs. 122.18 million and is made up of 700 metres of beachfront property close to Akkaraipatu.
According to the announcement, the "28 water front villas will be built facing a 50 meter-wide waterway which cuts through the land and connects at the end to the sea.
These exclusive water villas will have individual gondolas providing the occupants access to the sea."
Also, both the hotel and villas will be designed by Murad Ismail, a local architect known for the Four Seasons in the Maldives and other international resorts.
Quoted in the company's announcement, its Chairman, Prema Cooray, revealed: "Our decision to enter Kalpitiya is a strategic one that considers the area’s vast untapped potential to become a tourist hotspot.
Kalpitiya is one of the zones being targeted in the government’s new vision for tourism."
Additionally, it was indicated that the project would "cater to the growing demand for suitable star class accommodation along the North West coast of Sri Lanka."
The Kalpitiya area is increasingly gaining popularity for whale and dolphin watching as well as sightings of elephants and leopards at nearby Wilpattu national park. The announcement further noted this to be the "second major acquisition following its purchase of a 7.2 acre beach property in Waskaduwa, where construction will begin in early 2011 on a 150 roomed 4-star property." The company also owns a 54-room hotel in the island's sourthern tourist mecca of Hikkaduwa.