Dedigama family buys UK Derby’s historic city centre hotel where Queen once dined

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 00:20 –      – 230

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Dedigama Group Director Rashmi Dedigama (left) and his friend Peter Karan


This is the second UK hotel purchased by Lavendish Leisure which has eight resorts in SL

The historic Cathedral Quarter Hotel in St. Mary’s Gate Derby city centre in the UK has been bought by Lavendish Leisure, a firm owned by Sri Lanka’s Dedigama Group, a family owned, and managed diversified conglomerate. Reports from UK media said the Grade II-listed Cathedral Quarter Hotel in St Mary’s Gate has been bought by Rashmi Dedigama and Peter Karan of Lavendish Leisure, a subsidiary of the Dedigama Group, for an undisclosed amount.

The city centre hotel, where the late Queen Elizabeth II dined in 2010, which earned the head chef her personal thanks, has 38 individually designed ensuite bedrooms. It is a Victorian property that previously served as a police station and also as council headquarters.

In 2008, the previous owners, The Finesse Collection, purchased the property and converted it into a boutique hotel. The property still retains its period features, including Victorian mosaic floors, stained-glass windows and a grand central staircase.

This is the second UK hotel purchased by Lavendish Leisure, which has purchased eight hotels since 2005, with the parent company based in Sri Lanka. quoted Rashmi Dedigama as saying: “We are thrilled to be taking on this stunning period hotel which marks our second acquisition in the UK. We look forward to capitalising on the existing reputation of the hotel whilst putting our own stamp on it.”

The Dedigama Group also specialises in financial services, jewellery, gem and jewel exports, real estate and plantations. In addition to the bedrooms, the hotel has a cocktail bar, Bogart’s, and a British restaurant called Opulence.

Josh Sullivan, associate director of Colliers’ Hotels Agency team, who handled the sale, said: “The hotel was sold in a confidential fashion and yet generated substantial interest resulting in multiple offers.

“The hotel presented exceptional value given its size, location and potential to trade competitively within its market. The buyer has ambitious plans for the business and we look forward to seeing it flourish. This transaction further underpins the continued demand for sensibly priced, well-located regional hotel opportunities with the ability to add value.”

In 2021, Lavendish Leisure bought the 196 year old Royal Hotel in Sheerness built in 1825 by Sir Edward Banks for £600,000 according to a report in

Established in 1950, the Dedigama Group is active in a wide range of diversified verticals including Financial services, Jewellery, Gem trade and exports, Hospitality, Real Estate and Plantations.

As per the company’s website, Dedigama Group’s entrance into the hospitality industry in 2005 saw the rapid growth of a portfolio of hotels, and at present, the Group owns and manages 8 star class hotels in Unawatuna, Hanwella, Dambulla Sigiriya, Kataragama, Anuradhapura and Habarana. On acquisition, the group has strategically invested to improve the general appearance and standards of each one of these properties to make them uniquely representative star class Sri Lankan hotels.

The resorts and hotels in the Lavendish Leisure portfolio includes luxury resorts: ‘Grand Tamarind Lake,’ ‘Miridiya Lake Resort’ and boutique villas including ‘Lavendish Wild Safaris,’ and ‘Lavendish Okrin.’ Other new properties in the pipeline which are opening soon are ‘Lavendish Beach Resort,’ ‘Lavendish Winreach Leala’ and upcoming one-of-a-kind, super luxury resort ‘Lavendish Wild Habarana.

The Dedigama group, at present owns and manages over 200 gold loan centres, 15 gem and jewellery showrooms and employs over 2000 staff as part of its core activities, according to the website.