Sri Lanka’s first Marriott Resort and Spa opens at Weligama Bay

IN-2Sri Lanka’s latest five star Marriott Resort and Spa has opened for guests in Weligama Bay.

The 198-bedroom resort, with a gross built up area of 350,000 square feet, is built by Weligama Hotel Properties Ltd., a subsidiary of East West Properties Plc controlled by business tycoon Nahil Wijesuriya.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts is Marriott International’s flagship brand of full-service hotels and resorts. It has 19 hotel brands across 78 countries and over 4,000 destinations. The brands include the Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, JW Marriott, BULGARI, Le Meridien, W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points and Renaissance.

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Lanka’s first all-suite hotel to come up in Panadura

White Heaven Hotel Panadura along with a Chinese partner would build Sri Lanka’s first all-suite 100 room hotel in Panadura. Managing Director, White Heaven Hotel, Sunil Silva told ‘Daily News Business’ that he has already acquired a one and a half acre land bordering the sea and river in Panadura for this project. “We will start construction by next February and the project would be completed in 18 months,”he said.

The Chinese investor from Beijing is already involved in the real estate and construction business for the past 19 years in China having built and managed over 12 sky scrapers.

“This is the first time the company is venturing overseas,”he said. Silva was also a partner and an investor with China’s J. J. Construction for Sri Lanka’s first purpose built Chinese five star hotel, Jie Jie Beach which opened in Panadura early this year. The project is a US$ 30 million investment and hotel is now managed by the Jetwing Group.

Silva said that they invest around Rs 800 million for this project which would be a BOI approved venture.

“The unique feature of this hotel too would be that modern building techniques by Chinese construction team were used to build the hotel. This the reason we would be able to complete the project in eighteen months.

As we are using engineer’s architects and several workers from China construction cost too would be reduced by nearly 25%.” He also said that in this hotel too they will have 90% power generated from solar and it would be given to a local or foreign hotel operator to manage once it’s being constructed.

“We will have 100 rooms with each room having their own Jacqui, kitchen and many other facilities.”

He said that they are leaving almost nine months in advance until March to obtain all necessary approvals which was the main delay for their first JV project, Jie Jie Beach.

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No travel, trade restrictions on Sri Lanka: WHO

According to information in the website, the statistics of the dengue outbreak is 4.3 fold higher than the average number of cases during the period between 2010 and 2016.

The monthly number of cases exceeds the mean plus three standard deviations for each of the past six months.

Preliminary laboratory results have identified dengue virus stereotype 2 (DENV-2) as the circulating strain in the outbreak. Although all four DENV have been co-circulating in Sri Lanka for over 30 years, DENV-2 has been infrequently detected since 2009, the WHO website said.

Meanwhile, the Epidemiology Unit sources said 97,125 dengue patients had been reported from the country by July 19. The highest number of dengue cases, 41,054 had been reported from the Western Province.

About 21,282 dengue cases had been reported from the Colombo district. The second highest number, 14, 386 had been reported from the Gampaha district. About 5,976 dengue patients had been reported from the Ratnapura district, the sources said.

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Amari enters Sri Lanka with the opening of a new beachfront resort in Galle

01ONYX Hospitality Group, one of Asia’s leading hotel management companies, has launched a brand-new Amari property in Sri Lanka’s historic southwest coastal city of Galle. The 172-room Amari Galle, located a short distance from the UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort, is ONYX Hospitality Group’s third hotel in Sri Lanka. This hotel is also the Group’s third Amari opening this year, following Amari Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Amari Yangshuo in China.

This new beachfront hotel is prominently situated on the Colombo-Galle main road and offers easy access to nearby attractions including Galle Fort, the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by the Europeans, and Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa, popular destinations for water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing and kite surfing. Sri Lanka’s international airport in Colombo is about two and a half hours away by car.

“Originally from Thailand and expanding across Asia, Amari has a rich and long standing heritage and is well known amongst travellers worldwide,” said Douglas Martell, President and CEO, ONYX Hospitality Group. “Amari celebrates the colours and rhythms of modern Asia with each hotel highlighting the textures and flavours of its unique setting through architecture, design, cuisine and service. With the opening of our first Amari in Sri Lanka, we are building a service culture which combine Asian hospitality values and the deep rooted local customs”.

Amari Galle’s architecture and design takes inspiration from the natural beauty of the Galle coastline. A panoramic view of the ocean, the gentle sea breeze and warm southern smiles of the Amari Galle team are what greets guests upon arrival.

Every guest room and suite at Amari Galle offers direct sea views and private balconies. Light filled and spacious interiors capture the tranquillity of the coastline with soothing colour schemes that create a beach house feel and artwork which reflect the common sights of the surrounding area. The hotel offers accommodation options in five broad categories: deluxe ocean view, deluxe terrace ocean view and grand deluxe ocean view rooms, one bedroom suites and a 360 square-metre presidential suite complete with roof terrace and private plunge pool.

Ahara Gourmet Gallery, the signature market-style restaurant of Amari Galle, offers guests the opportunity to interact with chefs and experience the vibrant flavours of Asian and international cuisines inspired by the region’s rich street food culture. Shoreline Beach Club provides the ideal setting for guests to take in the calming view of the ocean while sampling a variety of snacks and cocktails.

The rooftop bar Bommu, named from the local expression ‘let’s have a drink’, is the ideal place to unwind and mingle. The ambience of the bar is picturesque with the serene and ever-changing ocean horizon as the backdrop. Bommu introduces a range of classic and innovative cocktails, locally inspired tapas and soothing tunes from the house DJ. Reflecting Amari’s commitment towards facilitating shared experiences, all three of Amari Galle’s dining locations provide the perfect atmosphere for sharing and togetherness.

Another feature unique to Amari is the Voyager Lounge, a comfortable and relaxed space ideal for informal gatherings, reading, working or light meals. Open to all guests, this 24-hour facility also features a library, showers and luggage-sized lockers, perfect for travellers who are arriving early or departing late at night.

Amari Galle is well positioned to cater to a wide variety of guest needs. For families with children, there is a kids’ pool, a supervised kids’ club and babysitting services on request. Guests who want to indulge in complete relaxation can visit Breeze Spa which offers a range of mood-based therapies. Concocted specially for Amari Galle, the signature treatment at Breeze Spa is the Galle Ceylon Retreat Package, a locally inspired therapeutic ritual infused with the country’s iconic spices and herbs.

To help travellers enjoy the most of Galle and its diverse attractions, the hotel’s warm and friendly Amari Hosts are on hand to provide local destination recommendations and tips.

Amari Galle is equipped to handle meetings, seminars, product launches and workshops with a ballroom that can accommodate approximately 350 people for seated dinners, supported by three IDEA rooms designed for creative meetings. Amari Galle is also a perfect venue for weddings. The hotel’s experienced team of wedding planners provide guidance from recommending enticing menus to creating stunning set ups for that special day.

Amari Galle is undoubtedly an ideal location for any occasion, be it business functions, weddings and celebrations or simply to relax and experience the very best of modern Asia and the historic town of Galle, rich in culture and tradition.

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SriLankan Airlines to commence Melbourne flights from October

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meeting Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake last evening. Picture by Nirosh Batepola.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday said SriLankan Airlines would commence its operations to Melbourne with effect from October.

The minister was addressing a press briefing after meeting with Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop at his Ministry. Bishop’s visit to Sri Lanka coincided with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Australia.

Bishop will call on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today. Karunanayake said his talks with his Australian counterpart were aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation in areas of economic partnership, development cooperation, tourism, reconciliation, and maritime security.

He made an open invitation to Australian investors “to take full advantage of Sri Lanka transforming itself into an important and viable logistical hub in the East-West maritime.”

The two ministers during their talks have also paid attention to enhance cooperation in technical and vocational education and training to empower Sri Lankan youth.

“It is a happy coincidence that Foreign Minister of Singapore Vivian Balakrishnan and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop are visiting Sri Lanka at the same time. We have made use of this opportunity to meet together tomorrow and discuss issues of common interest,” Karunanayake said.

Bishop in her speech said statistics of a recent census revealed that 170,000 Sri Lankans have found homes in Australia as at present.

She said 30,000 Sri Lankan students have obtained Australian educational qualifications under the Colombo Plan programme, adding that this programme has been broadened to enable more student exchange programmes.

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Emirates to operate one-off A380 flight to Colombo

Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft will make a one-off landing at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake, on Monday, August 14, 2017, as the global airline joins the local authorities in the celebration of the airport’s resurfaced runway.

The special flight, operating as EK654 from Dubai, will be the first A380 aircraft to disembark passengers in Sri Lanka after completing a commercial service.

The one-off A380 aircraft will arrive at 16:10 hours and be on ground for more than six hours before it returns to Dubai as flight EK655 departing at 22:10 hours, enabling airport executives, VIPS, trade partners and media to enjoy a guided static tour of the double-decker aircraft.

“Colombo has welcomed us from the day Emirates commenced daily flights from Dubai in 1986, just a year after the airline launched its operations. We are honoured

to work alongside the city, airport and the Sri Lankan Civil Aviation authorities, to bring our flagship A380 to this vibrant destination.

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Coimbatore becomes SriLankan Airlines’ 14th destination in India

SriLankan Airlines has announced the launch of new services from 16 July to Coimbatore, the second largest city in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. Accordingly, the airline will be offering a four-times-a-week service to Coimbatore, connecting the state’s second largest city to the world through its global route network.
Coimbatore is one of three South Indian cities that SriLankan commenced operating to from this week, together with Visakhapatnam on 8 July and Hyderabad on 12 July. With these additions, SriLankan now operates 126 flights per week to 14 cities in India, with existing services to Chennai, Trichy, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, Gaya, Madurai, Varanasi, Kochi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
SriLankan Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran lighting the traditional oil lamp together with the operating crew of SriLankan Airlines’ inaugural flight to Coimbatore, India
SriLankan Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Siva Ramachandran said: “We are delighted to extend our services to yet another vibrant city in Tamil Nadu, offering travellers a seamless travel experience from their doorstep to the rest of the world via our global network. The new destination indeed would further strengthen ties between both countries, promoting two way travel for leisure, business, MICE tourism, pilgrimages, health requirements and education.”
Accordingly the new service would offer travellers from Coimbatore direct travel to Sri Lanka to enjoy its many tourist attractions and experience for themselves the reasons why the island is fast becoming one of the most highly sought after tourism destinations in the world.
The new services by SriLankan would also facilitate the business community in Coimbatore, a major hub in South India for textiles, industries, commerce, education, information technology, healthcare and manufacturing, enhanced opportunities for rapid and seamless transport of all types of cargo throughout SriLankan’s network.
The uniqueness of the new service will be that travellers can now enjoy SriLankan award winning onboard hospitality with the airline’s ultra-modern fleet of Airbus aircraft which possess the most sophisticated in-flight entertainment systems and superior comforts. SriLankan’s brand new A320neo and A321neo aircraft are operating on its routes to South India.
The addition of Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore will expand SriLankan’s global route network to 105 cities in 47 countries. As a member of the prestigious oneworld alliance, SriLankan also offers its passengers connectivity to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries that are served by its oneworld partner airlines.
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