Experiencing the magic of Maldives

By Veenadhvani Lekamge

My friends always envied me for working at a company like Cinnamon, because they said I would have the best time at hotels, going on endless vacations at 5-star resorts for ‘cheap’. Realistically, it’s not as glorified as it seems, because corporate life can get quite stressful. Handling a cluster of hotels in one of the leading hospitality chains in Sri Lanka as a Revenue Manager, is a demanding feat with high expectations, to say the least. 

My journey at Cinnamon began in 2017 as a Revenue Analyst, fresh out of university, wide-eyed and enthusiastic about this new adventure in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. My responsibilities included analyzing, forecasting, and reporting Revenue and Occupancy using big data, for the Sri Lankan Resorts sector. At the end of 2020, I moved on to become the Revenue Manager for the Maldives, which paved the way for a once in a lifetime tour of the Maldives.

The purpose of this trip was primarily for property familiarization, introductions to the operational staff, and understanding risk and revenue opportunities in the Cinnamon Maldives resorts portfolio. While this was a practice in Sri Lanka as well, Maldives resorts was a different experience altogether. I couldn’t help escaping into a different world every time I laid my eyes on those white sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue waters spanning across miles.

Cinnamon portfolio in the Maldives consists of Cinnamon Velifushi’s Italian-designed 5-star resort, Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa’s shallow lagoons and serene ambience, an iconic family-oriented surfing hub housed by Cinnamon Dhonveli, and unbeatable underwater exploration courtesy of Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon. My journey was memorable from the get-go. Despite not knowing how to swim, I managed to conjure up the courage to take the plunge and snorkel around the house reef and discover the plethora of marine life surrounding me at every corner. Experiencing the resorts in the Maldives, I realized how incredible our hotel chain is: the architecture, service and offerings that truly make it a ‘bucket list’ destination for any traveler. 

Along with the incredible opportunities I’ve been given at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, I’ve also had the good fortune of being a part of several events hosted by John Keells Group. One such occasion is the prestigious John Keells Group Chairman’s Awards, of which I’ve been a performer for three consecutive years. It is an annual event held to celebrate the outstanding achievement of individuals and teams and is the highest internal recognition one could receive. Being a part of such an iconic event and performing for the curtain raiser has been an absolute honor. This not only gave me the platform to showcase my capacities beyond the ‘numbers’, but also gave lifelong friends and memories to cherish along the way. I am privileged and grateful to be working for an organization that appreciates hard work and recognizes talent outside of the ‘9 to 5’, the way John Keells Group and its subsidiaries do. I am looking forward to the exponential growth in knowledge that the coming years will have in store for me, in this outstanding corporate pillar.