Escondite- the hideaway in Kotte

If you’re travelling with family or a group, you may want to consider Escondite just for the extra space and privacy it can offer Asia Orient Leisure (Pvt) Ltd maiden project now in operation in Sri Jayawardanapura, announced the opening of Escondite, the luxury boutique villa approved by the Tourist Board.

Located in close proximity to the parliament and within the bird’s sanctuary, this 6-bedroom villa offers a holiday like none other. Lounge by its own private pool, to indulge in fresh food while gazing out at lush green vistas, fully refurbished with modern facilities, each of the rooms have its own unique charm and character, and provides an authentic feel of life for the business and leisure traveller to Sri Lanka.

Escondite is a sanctuary of style with Sri Lankan architecture and decor set in a tropical garden. The villa is spread out over two levels, and each room has sliding french doors or windows that allow cool breezes to waft in. The bedrooms feature either kingsized or queen-sized beds, as well as additional conveniences like writing desks, sofas, roomy closets and ensuite bathrooms. The two guest bedrooms even have outdoor bathrooms with open-air showers, to soak your stress away under the clear blue skies or the stars. Most of your time here will probably be spent reclining on the sun loungers on the pool deck. The pool is especially inviting for refreshing dips with its blue tiles and volcanic stone accents.

In house guests will be able to enjoy free wi-fi facilities, large satellite tv screens in each room, channeled music, international direct dialing facilities and doctor on call. A stay at Escondite is t he stuff dreams are made of, considering the location, tropical chic digs and facilities just steps away. A large lounge area with a well-stocked library is on offer. An a-la-carte and set menu is available but guests are free to discuss with our chef any meal plan they may require, and draw up their own menu. The highlight of this villa is that there is no regular time allocations for meals and guests are free to call upon the staff to serve them at any time.

In addition, the furniture and decor are one of a kind, creating a unique ambiance and a truly home away from home feel for a memorable holiday in Colombo.

If you’re travelling with family or a group, you may want to consider Escondite just for the extra space and privacy it can offer. With its bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen and spacious garden and swimming pool, you can spread out and get comfortable. In addition, you have the whole space to yourself, so you don’t have to share the swimming pool or the common areas with strangers. This is ideal for honeymooners, high profile individuals, families, friends, couples or those who simply want some peace and quiet.

A friendly staff will pamper you throughout your stay and be on call to serve you at any time. A twenty four hour room service is available and breakfast, lunch or dinner could be served at any area of the guest’s choice. The ideal hideaway for honeymoon couples and a sanctuary t o chill out in peace and complete relaxation.

Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable romantic getaway, a family holiday or an actionpacked adventure with friends, Escondite offers everything you could want in a Colombo villa and then some. For comfort, superior service and sublime facilities, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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Aitken Spence to buy AmathystPassikudah

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC is currently in negotiations with Amethyst Leisure (Pvt) Ltd to acquire controlling interest of its property, Amethyst Resort Passikudah, Mirror Business reliably learns. Market sources confirmed the ongoing discussions to Mirror Business, and that it intends to acquire 51 percent of the equity stake. A powerful ruling party parliamentarian is believed to be the current owner of the establishment.

Amethyst Resort Passikudah is a Rs.750 million investment by Arcc Capital, while it was believed that three stock-market related individuals held significant interests in the property prior to its current ownership.

Amethyst Resort Passikudah, which completed construction in 2011 and opened its doors to visitors in March 2012, has a 40 key portfolio with the construction of its planned second phase to add a further 20 rooms nearing completion.

It won the prestigious Certificate of Excellence by the world’s largest travel site TripAdvisor last year.

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Rainforest Ecolodge opens much awaited Interpretation Centre

This is Sri Lanka’s first nature-based hotel to commission a dedicated Interpretation Centre. The Interpretation Centre has been established as a knowledge hub designed to emulate the rainforest ecosystem, as a preliminary step in exposing visitors to the real conditions of the rainforest. It provides visitors with an opportunity to understand the basic components of the complex environment they will soon venture in to.

Visitors to Rainforest Ecolodge can now indulge in a mini experience of the forest by walking through a forest system that highlights a few important species of flora and fauna.
The unique design of the Interpretation Centre recognises that humans cannot replicate the magnificence of a rainforest. Rainforest Ecolodge, a LEEDS ‘Platinum’ property for its design has used recycled metal to ‘describe’ endemic flora and fauna and the forest floor, along with earth paints mixed on site.
In addition, in its distinctive choice of materials, the design is completely eco-friendly. The design is deliberately minimal and monochromatic to emphasise the richness of the actual Sinharaja rainforest that is its backdrop.

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Eden Resort & Spa and Green Paradise walk away with Service Sector accolades

Eden Resort & Spa and Green Paradise both walked away with National Level Service Sector awards at the CNCI Achiever of Industrial & Service Excellence 2014.

Eden won a Merit award for National Level (Service Sector) Extra Large category, while Green Paradise earned a Merit award for National Level (Service Sector) Small Category.

This is the 13th installation of the CNCI Achiever Awards 2014 for Industrial & Service Excellence. Organised by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries, this series of awards is tailor-made for the local Industry/Manufacturing and Services Sectors in order to recognise the operational excellence achieved. The CNCI Achiever Awards have been rated as the benchmark of Industrial excellence in Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the win, Eksath Wijeratne, General Manager, Eden Resort & Spa, said: “This award is proof of the true service standards set by and practiced diligently by the entire team of enthusiastic professionals at Eden Resort & Spa. I extend my appreciation to our staff and stakeholders for their continuous support which has enabled us to win awards such as this.”

“This award is an endorsement of the excellence of service standards at Green Paradise. We consider this as a great achievement in our journey to reach greater heights in the hospitality industry and are certain that this achievement will inspire and encourage our team to improve in every aspect,” stated Susantha Bandara, Resident Manager, Green Paradise.
Eden Resort and Spa, a five-star resort, is located on the golden beaches of the Southern coastline. Offering a range of luxurious facilities, personalised services and first class amenities, the Eden Resort and Spa has 158 rooms to create memorable experiences for each and every guest.
Nestled away within the jungles of the Cultural Triangle, adjacent to world heritage sites, Green Paradise offers luxurious facilities to all its guests by way of a splendorous view while dining, relaxationat the padded pool or in the comfort of an Italian crafted villa. This 67-room luxury resort offers up the perfect blend of serenity, elegance and magnificence

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Super luxury compartment soon

The Sri Lanka Railway Department today announced the introduction of a super luxury compartment with adjustable box seats on one of the trains travelling from Colombo to Matara via Galle. Railways Superintendent L.A.R Rathnayake said for the present it would be only one additional compartment that will have this facility. “This is a train that normally runs from Colombo to Galle and Matara, and will have one additional compartment with adjustable seats. The compartment was modified at the workshop in Ratmalana” Mr.Ratanayake said.

He said that though this is the first of its kind, the luxury facility would be provided to other trains as well in the future. The train will make its inaugural journey on September 20 at 6.30 a.m. from the Maradana Railway Station. Officials said a ticket from Colombo to Galle would be priced at Rs. 800 while the ticket from Colombo to Matara would be priced at Rs.1,000 officials said.

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Colombo Port city to a flying start

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a ceremony to mark the commencement of construction work on the mega Colombo Port City Development Project at the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) yesterday. Picture by Sudath Silva

Construction work on the mega Colombo Port City Development Project commenced yesterday under the patronage of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT).

The event was held with pomp and pageantry with the participation of the two presidents amid a cultural performance by Kandyan dancers and drum beaters with focus on confidence, dedication, national unity, patriotism, nationalism, peace, national responsibility, culture and awareness of national history in the minds of the people.

The ceremony commenced with the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping at 9 a.m. He was received by President Rajapaksa and other political heads. The Chinese President was later accompanied to the CICT main building, to view a miniature structure of proposed Port City. Both Presidents jointly unveiled the plaque of the project amidst the beating of Magul Bera and blowing of conch shells. Then they officially commenced the construction of the mega Colombo Port City Development Project by cutting a ribbon. Parallel to this, sand filling of the sea area began by a ship.

Considering several feasibility studies carried out, it has been identified that Colombo city, which is the major economic centre should be developed as a modern city with all facilities parallel to the overall rapid development drives. However, land limitation of the Colombo City has become a limiting factor when carrying out such a development drive and as it is difficult to find a huge land area within the city limits, it was proposed to add an additional land area to Colombo city by reclaiming the sea as a remedy and develop it as a new city. It was apparent that prominence should be given to the Port City, which will be constructed by reclaiming the sea to enable city expansion thus uplifting Colombo city as a modern international city. The Colombo Port City Project, which covers 233 hectares has been planned for two stages and will be completed in eight years . The total land area for the project is 233 hectares and that area will totally be reclaimed from the sea. The proposed area will include all related facilities such as access roads, electricity, communication and all other infrastructure facilities together with landscaping constructions including lakes. The significant feature of the project is it changes the geography of the country and outlook of Colombo with the inclusion of 233 hectares added to the Sri Lankan map. Besides, the project extends immense strength to the government’s efforts to ensure continuity and dedication towards realizing the goal of making Sri Lanka, the most competitive and preferred maritime and logistics hub in the Asian region. The work on the breakwater for the project commenced last October with a total investment of USD 15 billion.

Not less than 233 hectares of sea bed will be reclaimed by the project, which is implemented by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka. Of this, 170 hectares have been identified as an area that can be developed and the rest of the 63 hectares have been allocated for common facilities such as water area, roads and parks. An extent of 108 hectares from this reclaimed land is to be reserved for the company selected for this project, China Communications Constructions Company (CCCC), to cover its investment costs, marketing promotions costs and profits. The project proponent CCCC invests US $ 1,337 million as the total construction expenditure.

From the extent of land thus reserved, some 20 hectares will be on free hold right basis and the balance 88 hectares on a 99 year lease basis. It is expected that around bout US $ 20 billion investment will be made in the second stage of the project within a period of 20 years. The entire construction will be carried out by the China Harbour Engineering Company.

The remaining 125 hectares of this reclaimed land will be under the purview of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The estimated cost of US$ 1.4 billion for the first phase of this project is to be invested by CCCC. Sri Lanka and China in recent years have developed increasingly closer economic and trade relations and a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries will boost Sri Lanka’s future development.

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Delft Island to be developed as a tourist attraction

The Department of Archaeology has launched a project to develop the Delft Island situated off the Jaffna peninsula in the North of the country as a tourist attraction that is enriched with valuable archaeological heritage and conserve the significant sites and the development plan also will include provision of facilities of the tourists.

 The Department of Archaeology is implementing the programme on a request made by Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Under the programme, the locations that would be conserved include the Dutch Fort, Dutch Pigeon Nest, the Light House, the horse breeding center, a building used for keeping the horses, the irrigation complex, ancient Hindu Kovils, Buddhist archaeological complex, the boundary wall made out of corals and the area where wild horses still roam today.

Delft Island is a major tourist attraction in Jaffna district and the wild horses of Delft are believed to have come from a breeding stock maintained from the time of Portuguese occupation of the island. It has been identified that there are more than 500 wild horses in the lime stone rich island. The horses in hundreds roam freely over the flat, limestone-rich windswept plains of Delft. However, during the dry season, the Navy detachment in the island provides water to the horses. (ST/KH)

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