Araliya Group to invest Rs 3 b for expansion

Hotel Sudu Araliya Polonnaruwa. Pictures by Shirajiv Sirimane

Araliya Group of Hotels will invest over Rs. three billion for 2014 and 2015 for mammoth expansion of their hotel portfolio all over Sri Lanka.

The group which currently own and operate, Hotel Araliya in Polonnaruwa and Araliya Green Hills Nuwara Eliya acquired Milton’s Beach Resort in Unawatuna last September. “We hope to build chalets and re-open this property by end of 2015”, said the new Operations Director, Ranjith Balasuriya.

The management is looking at converting this hotel to an all suite hotel.

Subsequent to this the group also opened a travel office in Liberty Plaza last November.

Balasuriya said that the group has always wanted to have a city hotel and they are hoping to build a five star hotel in Battaramulla in a land which they have been owning for some time. “This will be the first water bungalow type hotel in the Western Province and the aim is to provide a different experience to a city traveller.” The Araliya Group of Hotels hopes to build 65 water bungalows and the construction will start in July. “This will be branded as “Araliya Grand Colombo.” Balasuriya, a veteran in the industry with over 35 years experience said they will also look at a property in Kandy.

They will strengthen their travel arm to provide a better package for the travellers.

Commenting on their first property, Hotel Araliya in Polonnaruwa opened in 2002 he said that today it is of three star plus category with 104 rooms. “Unfortunately due to the heavy competition in Sigiriya today Polonnaruwa is over looked and we hope to have a destination promotion with other hotels to get back more foreigners to the area,”.

He said that for their first time in the local hospitality trade they would introduce a 30 hour package enabling the guest to check in early and check out late. “Usually guests get to stay only 22 hours in a hotel under a full board package and we want to change this concept and set a bench mark by giving the guest additional 8 hours making his stay a true holiday.” “We are also hoping to introduce this package to Araliya Green Hills Nuwara Eliya which was opened last November.” The five property has 160 rooms with four suites and offers the only heated swimming pool.

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