A London couple, Gina Lyons and Mark Lee made an impulsive choice after getting drunk on their honeymoon and woke up to realise they had bought the hotel they were staying at. They discovered the small beach-front hotel in Sri Lanka’s lease was almost up after 12 glasses of rum at the bar and decided to cover the lease for three more years – costing them close to NZ$87,000.
“The hotel looked grotty and very cheap, but it was by the beach and had the ‘wooden treehouse’ 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 is was [NZ$20,000] a year, myself and Mark thought that it would be a brilliant idea to buy it – because we were so drunk,” said Lyons.
Needing friends to translate the conversation, the couple were excited during the discussions regarding the hotel’s purchase details.
“Because we didn’t understand most of the conversation, Mark and I just sat drinking more rum and slowly getting drunk again. After some bartering, we finally agreed that we would pay [NZ$87,000] for the three-year lease.”
In another turn of events, the couple found themselves in a bit of a panic when they discovered they were expecting a child after finalising the big decision.
“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 have a baby on the way. 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. I was plagued with feeling irresponsible, but it was either sink or swim – so we decided we’d have to make it work,” said Lyons.