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ALFA’s Jo Lodder Visits Sri Lanka, Brings Stirring Updates On The Plantation

The Plantation, a project by ALFA Investors, Total Ceylon Investment, and 360 Property Management, will soon rise in majestic Galle, Sri Lanka with the site already geared up for the actual construction that is set to commence anytime this 2018. To check on the latest development, ALFA visited the island nation and found not only encouraging progress update but also further discovered a paradise of a nation that is well-positioned for growth.

Jo Lodder, marketing director of ALFA, returned to Sri Lanka and the business trip, mixed with leisure and recreation intents, proved enlightening. The MD returned to Hong Kong even more excited about The Plantation project, which according to him is gradually coming into shape. In his mind, Jo pictures an exquisite development that is cut above the rest – a precious South Asian gem that shortly will radiate its unique beauty and allure.

That would happen approximately 18 months from now as Jo reported that the project site has been mostly cleared, which has to be one glaring proof that construction will be in full swing momentarily. When he surveyed the area, Jo was briefed by the developers, the team led by Dale Rennie and wife Sabrina Van Cleef Ault, on how the project plan will unfold. The site has been fully mapped such as where a particular villa will rise on a plotted location and what calming scene that property will command. Soon enough or specifically in late 2019, it will be serious business for ALFA and its partner developer. The first of The Plantation structures will rise and the fun will start to roll.

The Treasures Of Sri Lanka

But first, Jo got a sweet taste of the life that awaits would-be investors of The Plantation. With wife Novy, he decided to probe what lies beyond the walled city that is The Fort. And what exactly can be found in between Galle and the capital Colombo, and the rest of the South Asian nation.

One such stop is Kandy, a sprawling city in the Central Province of Sri Lanka that people visit for the seemingly eternally present mountain mist and breeze. Because Kandy is on a plateau with the surrounding hills that trap the cold wind, tourists will be tempted to take a stroll along the Bogambara Lake and take comfort on the relaxing waft of soft wind that descends from atop.

When the mood calls for the discovery of the rich culture and history that shaped Kandy, a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is one of Buddhism’s most sacred shrines, will serve as the ready answer. Or witnessing the great Kandy Esala Perahera festival, held between July and August each year, will surely fire up the senses to ask for more.

If one favours a glorious experience of the hill-country life the Sri Lanka way, then Ella is the place to go. The village has been gaining popularity lately, perhaps due to the relaxing setting that naturally greets visitors. Relaxed the general ambiance might be but Ella is equally easy to get busy with when vast tea plantations, waterfalls, temples and other sights beckon for a visit. In particular, the Ella Gap merits a stop by if only to be stunned by the faint glow emanating from the Great Basses lighthouse, located off the Sri Lankan south coast, which can be readily spotted provided a clear night prevails.

Ella also boasts of fantastic guesthouses that serve home-cooked dishes, among other local cuisines. Jo attested to the fact that the Sri Lankan food alone, no matter where it is served in the island nation, is worth the trip. He described the servings, whether for vegans of meat lovers, as amazing, and expectedly dominated by the tasty curry flavour.

On a side note, Jo and Novy travelled from Kandy to Ella on a train and the journey proved an epic ride. Watching the countryside go by as the train chug along track, and at times while their legs dangled out of the door, was a liberating experience. It was like the couple had freely embrace what Sri Lanka has in store for them.

Back to The Fort in Galle, Jo relived a part of Sri Lankan history that saw the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British leaving their marks on a port city that has become a heritage site. Within its walled confines, Galle still reminds of the past as cobbled streets and buildings from the colonial era remain largely preserved for visitors to experience.

But while Galle was able to retain much of its heritage, it is no longer about the past in many respects. The place is teeming with antique shops and jewellery stores, and the latter invites with the world famous sapphire. Also inside are touches of modern living such as the hotels and restaurants that generously cater to the hordes of tourists that seek a break from their usual routine.

The Epicentre

The same goes for the bustling Colombo that in the eyes of Jo emits infectious vibrancy and energy, certainly driven by the government’s resolve to accelerate economic growth. Investments have been pouring in, thanks in large part to China, that around the capital numerous construction activities can be seen. Authorities have been claiming that foreign visitors from Asia and the West are flowing in steadily, and the property market is booming. A solid indicator of the latter is the rising land prices seen lately in the prime areas and central business district of the city.

There is little doubt that the Sri Lankan capital presently screams of enormous potentials for investors on the lookout for opportunities. The open city embraces nearly everything good that it has developed a distinct flavour, which in turn is quite easy to acquire.

Colombo offers a glimpse of a Sri Lanka that is on the rise. For tourists and investors alike, the capital and the country as a whole can be a haven, in large part due to the friendly people, the affordable living standard and the generally safe environment. The latter, Jo said, was true during the entire course of his trip. He and Novy felt very much secured going around the city and the countryside and interacting with Sri Lankans, who mostly went the extra mile making the couple relax and comfortable.

Total Package

Equally relaxing and enjoyable are the peripheral activities that came with the trip. There were those long but memorable train rides that thankfully provided a gorgeous scan of the countryside. Unforgettable too was the time he spent on the waters with turtles, which according to Jo was among the highlight of the brief break he took. And the Safari tour that would bring visitors steps closer to admiring the roaming wild lives, as close as safety will allow, was simply priceless.

It can be said then that Sri Lanka nearly has everything. When one decides to explore the island nation, it is guaranteed to experience nature at its best both in land and water. The country too has the features of a modern world – decent airport facilities, efficient road and railway networks, and mostly reliable internet connectivity – all good things that Jo has seen first-hand.

The Plantation

And more like these can be found on The Plantation that Jo said when completed will stand out as among the finest offerings of Galle, if not of Sri Lanka as a whole. He is upbeat that the project will draw in the crowd and credit goes to the perfect location the developers have picked, and more so of its unique concept, which is best represented by the fusion of luxurious and natural wellness services. Jo said he experienced the latter through a week-long transcendental meditation course that cleared the mind and reignited the passion. He wishes the same experience to others, thus arriving at a decision to make meditation a core service feature once The Plantation becomes fully operational.

The project, as mentioned, will soon see completion and Jo happily reported that once Stage 1 has been unveiled, which involves opening The Plantation’s general reception area, proper business will commence. Work will then continue that will conclude when the three remaining stages of the project construction have been finished.

This early though, The Plantation is all set to conduct business with would-be investors, and Jo envisions that the project will attract because of two things. First, buying into The Plantation will make it easy to purchase property in Sri Lanka “with certain security.” And making the investment decision will result to concrete benefits – having a property under one’s name and that can be used during holiday breaks with the promise of solid investment yields. Another value for investors is ready access to Total Ceylon’s upcoming development projects in the area such as a beachfront property.

In addition, all buyers have the option to put their property on the market after five years or sell it back to the developers, assuring them that the money spent will not be wasted over the entire course of ownership.

One important thing to note is that all the good things about The Plantation are mostly designed to be enjoyed by expats, Jo said.

“We are aiming at expats looking to purchase property in his own name, securely, and to be part of a management team … and make money. At the same time, buyers can use the property and have the option to sell after five years,” the ALFA executive explained.