Siddhalepa, Jetwing Lagoon win big at Green Hotels Awards








Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort Ltd and Jetwing Lagoon – The First Resort Limited won the awards for ‘Best Green Hotel’, respectively representing the Small and the Large hotels category at the ‘Green Hotels Awards 2014,’ organised by the Sri Lanka Hotels Association of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

Under the Small hotels category, Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resorts also became the ‘Water Champion’ and ‘Energy Champion’, while Bandarawela Hotel won the award for ‘Waste Champion’. In the meantime, Jetwing Lagoon also became the ‘Energy Champion’ and ‘Waste Champion’, while Cinnamon Lakeside grabbed the award for ‘Water Champion’. The Green Hotels Award 2014 competition was taken part by nearly 40 hotel firms. The competition is a continuation of the Greening Hotel awards scheme initiated by the European Union. As a socially responsible association, THASL continues to organise ‘Green Hotel Awards’ competitions with the objective of recognising the sustainability practices adopted by both member and non-member hotel firms. Hotels, who have taken sustainability initiatives in Energy, Water and Waste management practices, were recognised at this event. The awards ceremony was held recently in Negombo in parallel to the 49th Annual General Meeting of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka.

Source :

The Eden of Beruwala


Eden Resort and Spa is located on the south west coast along the golden sandy beaches of the fishing town of Beruwela. The structure of this hotel building is a shape of horse shoe.

Equipped with 158 rooms including 103 Superior, 23 Deluxe, 10 Superior Deluxes, 16 Paradise, 4 Paradise Suites and 2 Penthouses with each balcony or terrace provides a spectacular view of the garden or the magnificent Indian Ocean.

The Superior Rooms located on the ground floor are fitted with timber flooring. Their 23 spacious Deluxe Rooms offer spectacular views of the garden from the terrace. Each room completes with granite flooring. Almost all rooms have modern granite floor bathroom, individually controlled air-conditioning, piped music, satellite television, hair-dryer, in-room safe, tea and coffee making facilities, a choice of a single king bed or two twin beds and a fully furnished mini-bar.


Located on the top floor of the resort, the 16 spacious Paradise Rooms feature a sitting area and a balcony. Enhanced facilities include a separate check-in/check-out service at the floor’s exclusive lounge, a single-digit dial butler service, wet bar and tea and coffee making facilities. Other special touches comprise a pillow menu and a choice of room fragrances.

With interiors that complement the beautiful island setting, their four Suites have spacious sitting areas with wet bars, in-room dining facilities, bedrooms furnished with stylish four-poster beds, DVD/VCD/CD player, and tea and coffee making facilities.

The two penthouses at Eden Resort and Spa offer the finest view in the resort; each has a large timber sun-deck and separate outdoor showers among a host of other facilities and amenities. Guests will also have the exclusive service of a butler to assist them throughout their stay; and the butler can arrange the dinner on their private terrace under the stars.

The second floor of this property has a jewelry shop, gift shop, bookshop and a fine dining restaurant – Seventh Heaven Roof Top. The top floor roof ceiling is painted by the historical story of Ramayanaya and many foreigners and Sri Lankans give lot of comments for this gorgeous paint. Situated on the ground floor, the main dining restaurant of the resort, the Garden of Eden, serves a selection of specialties from around the world. Theme evening buffets offer a range of Arabic, Continental and Asian dishes, among others, to satisfy the most discerning palate. Children’s favorites are also available at the buffet.


“In 2013 we invested millions and refurbished 109 rooms, swimming pool and we newly added the pool bar for this location. Every day we improve our hotel facilities as well as the quality of the service of our all staff members. Comparing with other hotels we have a very strong man power. We expect for this season we can improve the number of European, Russian and Middle East market visit our hotel than last years”, Eden Resort and Spa General Manager Eksath Wijeratne stated.

The Resort can arrange appropriately for any occasion, from a formal business meeting to an outrageous wedding reception and according to one’s requirements. Adam and Eve banquet hall seats 350 theatre style, 150 classroom style and 275 cocktail reception styles. At the Resort they will look after the details so guests can give their full attention to their event. The property has well equipped conference halls with all facilities which you really want to conduct your conferences.

Guests can choose from a wide range of spa treatments from their 13 spa rooms, steam bath, bath tub and Jacuzzi.

Source :

Maldives sees tourist arrivals up 3% in September

Ninety five thousand one hundred and fourteen (95,114) tourists arrived in the Maldives in September, indicating a 3.1 per cent growth year-on-year (Y-o-Y) compared to September last year, while declining by 8.5 per cent compared to August, and the arrivals for year so far stood at 901,004; a 10.1 per cent rise Y-o-Y.

Regionally, Asia Pacific constituted 56.2 per cent of the travellers with a 4.5 per cent increase Y-o-Y for September and 17.3 per cent increase Y-o-Y for the nine months, Europe 36.9 per cent with a 1.5 per cent decrease and 1.6 per cent increase, the Americas 3.1 per cent with a 25.2 per cent increase and 26.7 per cent increase, and the Middle East 3 per cent with a 20.5 per cent increase and 16.9 per cent increase respectively. China was the biggest market with 36.2 per cent which showed a 1.7 per cent decrease Y-o-Y for September while showing a 14.8 per cent increase Y-o-Y for the first 9 months, Germany followed with 8.6 per cent, which was a 0.2 per cent growth Y-o-Y for September and the UK trailed the major markets with a 7.4 per cent share.

Arrivals from Sri Lanka were recorded at 1,413 signifying a 58.1 per cent increase Y-o-Y for the month.

The average duration of stay decreased by 0.2 to 6.1 days Y-o-Y for the first nine months while the total occupancy slightly improved, with a 1.6 per cent increase to 74.6 per cent Y-o-Y for the same duration.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka attracted 105,535 visitors with a growth rate of 16.8 per cent Y-o-Y for September and a 24.8 per cent decrease compared to August while 1.1 million tourists arrived up to September; a 22.4 per cent growth Y-o-Y.


Source :

Dolphin watching season begins

Dolphin watching season in the sea off Kalpitiya has begun and thousands of local and foreign tourists flock the area to enjoy a lovely sight of dolphins at play. The season will last till next April. Dolphins could be seen within an area between two to ten nautical miles from the Kalpitiya beach. At present 80-dolphin watching craft owners have been registered by the Wildlife Conservation Department.

Range Wildlife Assistant Dissanayake said that only the registered owners will be permitted to provide sail tourists to watch dolphin watching, and that they should have undergone training at the Marine University.

For the first time, the Wildlife Conservation Dept. has taken steps to issue tickets at Kalpitiya, Ilanthidiya and Kandakuliya offices to the tourists to watch dolphins.

Source :

Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka surge

A surge of about 140% in Chinese tourists visiting Sri Lanka has been observed within the first nine months of 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013. Official Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) statistics which provided the figures also reported that the Chinese have become the third largest number of visitors to the country after those from India and Britain.

According to the figures, 94,994 Chinese tourists have come in 2014 up to September while 39,354 had visited the country in the same period last year. The Chinese are overtaking Germans and Russians in the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

Explaining the reason behind this significant increase, SLTPB Managing Director Rumy Jauffer said this is the result of intense advertising campaigns launched in China by the Sri Lankan government and greater engagement with the Chinese media. The recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jingpin has also boosted the country as a tourist destination.

The rise in tourists has also helped the inflow of foreign exchange to the country. According to a recent report of the Central Bank Sri Lanka has already earned about U.S $ 1.5 million from China only.

Sri Lanka is aiming to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, buoyed by fast increasing tourist arrivals from China. Mr. Jauffer said the focus now is on attracting tourists from Middle Eastern and North American countries.

We have recorded more than a 7% economic growth because of our success in tourism. So, we now are focusing more on currency-wise strong countries. Supporting chartered airlines and carrying out public relations exercises have helped us to increase the number of Chinese tourists. The same policies will be adopted for other countries soon, added Mr. Jauffer.While many Chinese tourists visiting the country prefer package offers provided by different travel agencies, Chen Wang and his wife Chow Wu who are on a world tour stated, “We decided to keep Sri Lanka as one of the destinations on our tour when we saw

the publicity programmes and advertisements on buses in the city of Shanghai put out by Sri Lanka Tourism.”
“The atmosphere and the cultural richness of Sri Lanka attracted us to visit thecountry. The country has transformed greatly with the end of the civil war and it’s a peaceful one worth visiting now,” they added.

Source :

Sunken World War II plane discovery enhances east coast’s potential as wreck-diving tourist destination

Wreck diving tourism is a significant revenue earner for many coastal countries around the world. Sri Lanka is already famous among the world’s wreck divers for having one of the top 100 wrecks in the world, the HMS Hermes, the world’s first purpose built aircraft carrier, sunk off the coast of Batticaloa during the Japanese raid of Ceylon in 1942.


A recent discovery of mysterious aircraft wreckage in the east coast by a local dive expert and explorer Dharshana Jayawardena, the founder editor of, provides further evidence of great potential to earn tourist dollars from showcasing some of these historical wrecks in our waters.


Dharshana, who had earlier this year identified the World War I British wreck SS Worcestershire off the coast of Mount Lavinia, where the recovered bell of the ship which now lies at the archaeological museum in Galle, discovered the airplane about 10 km east of Kalkudah, through information given by a local fisherman called Wasantha Kumara, who had found a strange piece of metal caught to his fishing net, which he suspected to be part of an aircraft. Dharshana discovered the airplane wreck including wings, two large wheels with undercarriage, two radial engines and propellers, at a depth of 140 feet.

Dharshana explained: “Based on research and expert help, I have now identified this to be an American-built Consolidated Catalina PBY-5A amphibious plane from World War II era, which was used by the allied air forces during the war. Koggala was home to the 413 Catalina Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force and in April 1942, during the two Japanese raids on Ceylon at least three Catalinas were reported missing. One commanded by Air Commodore Leonard Joseph Birchall, that on 5 April after discovering the Japanese armada 300KM southwest of Ceylon raised an early warning signal, before it was shot down and later on 9 April another Catalina of Lieutenant Tommy Thomas that went missing, presumed shot down with no survivors, just after reporting sighting of a Japanese aircraft.”
He added: “Further research revealed that in 1942, the RAF established a special unit of Catalinas in China Bay, Trincomalee called the ‘Dutch Unit 321,’ manned by Dutch pilots from the Netherlands Naval Aviation Service (MLD). After the Japanese invasion of Ceylon, continued bombing missions were carried out against Japanese submarines from Ceylon. It turned out that on 9 December 1943, one such Catalina with the call sign Y-78 had embarked on a secretive night mission from the Minneriya Air force base, which after returning from an 18-hour reconnaissance flight had crash landed in the sea because of an engine fault.  This is exactly the location where I found the plane wreckage, making it a high probability that this is the RAF Y-78 lost during World War II.”

Dharshana continued: “Today the site is a lush paradise of marine life and a scenic place that divers from all over the world will be really interested to dive into. The east coast of Sri Lanka is already gaining attention for its pristine unspoilt beaches, resulting in a boom of the tourist industry in this region, bringing in much-needed job opportunities for its residents as well as being a good revenue earner for the country.  I believe that discoveries of this nature will be a tremendous asset to the marine tourism industry. It will put Sri Lanka on the map amongst high spenders such as wreck divers who are liable to spend around a week’s stay to dive wrecks in this region and this will be great revenue generator for the hotels. Travel agents will benefit through wreck diving tours being designed with local dive centres earning money through national and international enthusiasts travelling to the area to dive here.”

Source :

Hilton launches new hotel brand, Canopy by Hilton

Canopy by Hilton hotels will be developed through new-build and conversion projects in key urban neighbourhoods and vibrant secondary markets around the world, with properties expected to begin opening in 2015. “Built on extensive market research, our highly anticipated Canopy by Hilton brand delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide. “We saw an opportunity to not only enter the lifestyle space by developing a new brand, but also to redefine this category by creating a more accessible lifestyle brand. We identified the need to take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design and deliver exactly what the target consumer desires: an energising, comfortable stay with more included value.” No two Canopy hotels will be the same, but basic Wi-Fi and an artisanal breakfast, along with a local welcome gift and an evening tasting of local beer, wine, or spirits will be included at all.

Canopy by Hilton has 11 signed letters of intent to open in the following neighbourhoods:


  • Canopy Portland | Pearl District
  • Canopy London | Neighbourhood to be announced
  • Canopy Miami | Brickell
  • Canopy Washington, D.C. | Bethesda North
  • Canopy San Diego | Gaslamp Quarter
  • Canopy Nashville | Downtown
  • Canopy Savannah | Historic District
  • Canopy Indianapolis | City Centre
  • Canopy Charlotte | Uptown
  • Canopy Oklahoma City | Bricktown
  • Canopy Ithaca | The Commons


Hilton says that Canopy’s brand and operating platform have already attracted the interest of ownership groups including The Buccini/Pollin Group, KeyStone Corporation, Anish Hotel Group, Baywood Hotels, North Point Hospitality Group, J Street Hospitality, and Levine Properties.
Dave B. Pollin, co-founder and president of The Buccini/Pollin Group, said of being one of the first to ink a deal for Canopy by Hilton: “Hilton’s leadership and track record in building successful brands was the primary reason we wanted to be among the first to develop this new lifestyle brand. The concept and timing of Canopy by Hilton entering and redefining the lifestyle space is right because of changing guest preferences and a demand for more local experiences. Canopy by Hilton offers us the opportunity to compete in ways we haven’t been able to before.”

Source :


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 207 other followers