Our History

The scent of cinnamon put Sri Lanka on the map centuries ago, in the glory days of the Spice Route. Cinnamon is a timeless classic: a versatile, well-loved spice with the power to heal, rejuvenate, inspire, and stimulate the senses. What the spice did for our history books, the Cinnamon brand strives to do today.

Cinnamon’s chain of hotels represents a vibrant new Sri Lanka, successfully competing with the world’s biggest brands. We combine a contemporary Sri Lankan outlook with world-class service, and modern conveniences to redefine the journey.

Launched in 2005, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is now a chain of 14 hotels across Sri Lanka and the Maldives, including 3 city hotels in Colombo, 8 resorts around Sri Lanka and 3 island resorts in the Maldives. Each property comes with its own personality, presence and experience, but they all drive the same point home – Inspired Living.

How did we come from a single venture into an inspired chain of destinations? Our past enriches our present, from our humble beginnings to our big leap forward in the journey to be the trendsetter in the hospitality industry in the region.

See how the scent of cinnamon spreads and evolves over the years at Cinnamon's hotels and resorts:

2002

2002

Sri Lanka signs a CFA (Cease Fire Agreement) with the LTTE. More areas in the country are open for exploration.

2003

2003

John Keells Holdings purchase a 60.5% controlling share of Asian hotels along with two leading 5 star hotels in Colombo, Oberoi and Trans Asia. 

Many properties acquired this year, including one in Maldives. 

2004

2004

The new brand name ‘Cinnamon’ is born including a second tier series named Chaaya.

The CFA was debunked and the country faced turmoil again.

Cinnamon aims beyond, becoming an international brand that could travel, taking Sri Lankan hospitality beyond the island.

2005

2005

Cinnamon officially recognized as an indigenous brand of hospitality in Asia.

Official launch of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts with the Re-launch of Cinnamon Grand, the flagship city hotel.

2006

2006

Launch of the Second tier brand, Chaaya along with the re-launch of the first flagship resort, Chaaya Village Habarana.

2007- 2010

2007- 2010

Cinnamon approached by keen foreign investors.

2009 saw the end of the civil war and the dawn of peace.

New opportunities open up in the world of travel – Cinnamon continues to focus sustaining the Sri Lankan market. 

2011

2011

With the staggering growth of the local Tourism industry by 40%, Cinnamon invests Rs. 5.4 billion to develop travel and tourism in the country.

Cinnamon continues to focus on further establishing the Sri Lankan brand. 

2012

2012

Cinnamon invests in brand planning.

Resulting in the merging of Cinnamon and Chaaya brands under the Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts umbrella.

2014

2014

Cinnamon brand – redefined. Obtains new purpose under the ‘inspired living’ credo.

Cinnamon now beyond a holiday brand or lifestyle company, but an inspired way of living.

2015

2015

Re-launch of The Cinnamon Group under the ‘Inspired Living’ banner as a vibrant lifestyle brand offering the most unique travel experiences in South Asia.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Cinnamon Air and the latest development in the group - Cinnamon Life, an all-encompassing lifestyle space, come under the Cinnamon mother brand, further strengthening its position as the leader in lifestyle and hospitality

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