Archive for the ‘Hotel news Sri Lanka’ Category

Dusit Thani Beachfront Balapitiya announces 50% sold from phase-one

Dusit Thani Beachfront Balapitiya held a press event on December 7th 2017, to announce that 50 percent of Phaseone of the project has been sold.

As construction is underway, there are going to be several announcements within the next few months that will be released with regards to Stage-two of the project.

Stage-two includes a beautifully designed and landscaped beachside promenade providing a host of outstanding dining and entertaining choices consisting of Western, European and Asian inspired casual and fine dining restaurants, to barista cafes and patisseries, including the very best in champagne lounges, bespoke beer and whisky bars – all overlooking tropical gardens, serenaded by the waves and the ocean breezes.

Another big announcement that was made with regard to Stage-two of the project is that Dusit Thani Beachfront Balapitiya will contain one of the largest beach clubs in all of Asia. The beach club will have state of the art architecture whilst highlighting the natural beauty of the beach which will ultimately become the go-to spot in the south of Sri Lanka.

The operations of the Balapitiya Beach Club will be run by a world renowned International Beach Club Operator, who will be announced in the coming months.

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‘Dancing’ fountain in Matale

Grand Mountain Hotel, the first 5-star resort in Matale was recently opened by President Maithripala Sirisena. Owned by businessman and Deputy Minister of Plantation Industry Lakshman Wasantha Perera, a stand-out feature in this 100-room property is the first-ever musical fountain in a Sri Lankan hotel. Similar to the world-famous Dubai Musical Fountain at the Dubai Mall, the musical fountain ‘dances’ and ‘curves’ to music.

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Amagi Aria, Negombo’s ‘hidden secret’

By Marianne David

A serene hideaway in the bustling city of Negombo, Amagi Aria is a well-hidden secret that is certain to surprise and delight.

Walking into the property, one is greeted by expansive views of the Negombo lagoon and enveloped in such serenity, it’s hard to believe such a quiet and inviting place exists in the heart of Negombo and in such close proximity to Colombo.

The recent upgrading of the property by holding company Amagi Hotels has resulted in not just a new name for the former Amagi Lagoon, but a whole new wing and a refreshingly modern look, along with an impressive fine dining seafood restaurant – Moyã – that is easily one of the best seafood dining options in the island.

The drive here from the airport is less than 10 minutes while it takes only some 45 minutes to get here from Colombo, making it the ideal impromptu getaway. It’s also perfect for those who want to indulge in some superb seafood on a whim, given the easy access. Trust me on this, Moyã is most certainly worth the drive!

The attractive day offers make Amagi Aria extra inviting, ideal for families and groups that need a short break, while the many dining offers and entertainment make it a great place to be.

Brand new look

The property was formerly known as Amagi Lagoon Resort and Spa and comprised 21 standard rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a banquet hall. The new Amagi Aria boasts a brand new seven-storey wing comprising 43 tastefully designed deluxe rooms and four luxury suites along with 21 standard rooms complete with modern amenities and stunning views.

I stayed in an Aria Sunset suite, which was elegantly appointed, featuring gorgeous views of the lagoon, all modern amenities, and luxurious comfort. The private balcony with its own Jacuzzi and captivating views was the perfect place to unwind.

“When somebody comes in, they don’t expect such a gorgeous location that is so serene. The serenity we offer is unique. Hence the tagline ‘Negombo’s hidden secret,’” explained Amagi Aria General Manager Marketing and Operations Renuke Coswatte. “We are no longer Amagi Lagoon, we are now Amagi Aria, denoting an everlasting song that resonates to its highest note.”

Seated on the Lawn Deck where we were served an elegant high tea, Coswatte outlined the property’s many exciting plans, especially those that are being lined up for the holiday season, and its dining options.

Dining at Amagi Aria

If you’re a seafood fanatic, look no further than Amagi Aria’s new seafood restaurant Moyã. Named with the Sinhalese term for where the lagoon meets the sea, Moyã serves up seafood that is absolutely divine and is open daily for dinner from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Located atop the new wing of Amagi Aria, the restaurant has a beautiful setting with understated décor and is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows, offering panoramic views of the Negombo lagoon. It features inside and outdoor dining areas, a live kitchen, seafood display and bar, and the menu has all kinds of seafood specialties, from lobster, crab and mussels to prawn, squid and salmon.

From the food I tried out at Moyã, the Crazy Crab with Fried Cashew and Saffron Rice was an absolute feast, featuring a huge portion of crab that was perfectly prepared, while the Ceylon Black Pepper Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna Tataki and Spicy Asian Coconut Soup were a great start to the meal.

“Moyã offers a seafood experience that is superior to anything else in the vicinity. We are seven floors above sea level, with fantastic 180 degree views and overlooking the lagoon. You feel like you are on top of the world at Moyã,” said Coswatte – and he’s right. Dining here is an amazing experience.

Explaining how they source their seafood, Coswatte said: “Our Chairman is the largest seafood exporter to the Maldives so we have the freshest catch daily at Moyã.”

The food is supported by a fantastic beverage line-up, featuring 30 to 40 listed wine labels along with a specially created list of cocktails.

In December the restaurant is showcasing a market concept, where you can select your seafood and have it prepared according to your wishes.

There’s a great line-up of starters on the menu – from sashimi to oysters and the famous hot butter calamari – while mains comprise varied preparations of crab, prawns and lobster to Singapore-style fish head curry, and mixed seafood platters. Moyã also boasts some lovely desserts.

The all-day dining restaurant here is The Catamaran Restaurant, which features cuisines from around the world. For private dining experiences, the Tree House can accommodate up to 15 guests and The Pontoon can accommodate up to 20 guests. Drinks and dinner can also be enjoyed on the Lawn Deck, where you can watch spectacular sunsets over the lagoon.

Speaking about the food offering, Coswatte said: “The food here is equal to the food in any of the top class properties in Negombo and in Colombo. How we differentiate is by giving more value to our guests. Our rates are much more reasonable and our ambience is fantastic, coupled with the entertainment on offer. We have plenty of parking, location and accessibility is great.”

Ongoing promotions

The day offer focuses on the entire family and guests can enjoy splashing in the pool and take in the stunning views, while unwinding with their families. The package consists of a welcome drink, a complimentary soft drink or a beer, afternoon tea or coffee with a piece of cake, a buffet with international and local food including a salad corner and desserts. Groups of 10 and more get a room for changing purposes. The day offer is from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The property had added even more value in December targeting school holidays with a bouncing castle, face painting and kiddies’ activities such as art classes. Guests can also enjoy boat rides on the lagoon.

“In December we are focusing on families and kids. We hope to start swimming classes and an Aria Mothers’ Club. As for weekend activities, we will continue with the day outing due to the fantastic response,” said Coswatte.

In terms of entertainment, Coswatte outlined: “On Thursdays a three-piece local band plays some fantastic local music, on Fridays there is a saxophonist, and on Saturday there’s Shaman Ranaweera, an extremely talented and versatile artist.”

Many new offers are on for the season, especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On all three days Amagi Aria features live entertainment in the evening while it has a happy hour daily.

Sri Lankan night is on Saturdays and serves up hoppers, roti, pittu and many more local favourites at The Catamaran from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Chinese night on Sundays serves up six Chinese dishes, salads and dessert at The Catamaran from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Bigger Burger Bonanza is on Fridays, offering succulent gourmet burgers and fresh salads, at Rs. 799 per person.

Versatile venues

Amagi Aria caters to weddings, corporate and private events via its versatile venues that can be set up to suit individual needs.

The Banquet Hall consists of a unique two-tier setting with contemporary design, while the expansive lagoon-front Lawn Deck boasts a breathtaking backdrop for any occasion. Other facilities include a swimming pool, a kids’ pool and a spa.

Source :–Negombo-s–hidden-secret-/27-644644

Celebrate the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ at Aitken Spence Hotels

The season of cheer and goodwill is just around the corner and we can already feel it in the air! Gone are the hot summer days and in place is a cheerful nip in the air, dazzling lights being decked in every corner and the cosy fragrance of seasonal bakes wafting by.

With the intention of heightening this feel of Christmas, premier hospitality chain Aitken Spence Hotels has rolled out their seasonal calendar, fill of delicious treats, fabulous feasts and activities for the whole family. With the lighting up of the tree at every hotel on December 1 along with an advent calendar with gifts and surprises for guests, the Aitken Spence Hotels are truly the resorts to be at, this December.

Heritance Negombo

Closest to Colombo, the bustling city of Negombo is lit up in festive splendour with the array of events hosted at Heritance Negombo. A Goodie Hut featuring freshly baked cakes, cookies and seasonal treats that will open its gingerbread doors on 15 December at the Swiss Bakery at The Banyan, located across the hotel will set the tone for a tummy-full season. Special hampers can also be purchased here. On December 22, The Banyan will be filled with merry tunes of choristers belting out carols while Mad Dog, Mad Dog Bodega and Rouge Lounge will serve speciality dishes and concoctions. From 22-30 of the month a special infused concoction and malt offer will also take place at the hotel’s See Lounge.

Christmas Eve celebrations will include a festive buffet at Bluetan and four-course set menu at the Mad Dog. On December 25, guests can enjoy a sumptuous Christmas lunch buffet and a Santalicious dinner at Bluetan, and mini lunch buffet at Mad Dogs. Continuing the festivities, the hotel will host special themed dinners from 26 to 30 of this month at the Bluetan.

To bid adieu to a year gone by, the General Manager will host a special cocktail at the poolside complimentary to all inhouse guests, followed by a gala dinner at the Bluetan lawn and a special five-course donner menu at Mad Dogs.

Heritance Kandalama

The eco-hotel, Heritance Kandalama will also host a goodie hut from 15 December onwards along with ‘gold hamper’, a seasonal basket of deliciousness. Every weekend, the hotel will host a Kiddies Fun Camp which would free the parents to have a relaxing time whilst the kids are kept busy with interactive activities. From 15 December to 15 January, special beverage deals have been planned out as well. Guests can enjoy a widespread international speciality buffet on Christmas Eve and for lunch on Christmas Day at the Kanchana Lounge. A gala dinner spread also awaits those who choose to celebrate New Year at Kandalama.

Heritance Tea Factory

The hotel in the hills also has a number of seasonal events planned for the month. A goodie hut from 20 to 27 December, champagne toast at all outlets from 20 to 30 of the month, seasonal concoction and cheese and wine promotions from 22 onwards, are but a few! A six-course menu can be enjoyed on the eve of Christmas followed by a Christmas Day dinner buffet on the 25. The 31st Night Countdown Dinner is also not to be missed, nor the champagne breakfast early next morning.

Heritance Ahungalla

At Heritance Ahungalla, diners can savour a Christmas Eve dinner buffet on 24 December, a family lunch on 25, sparkling breakfast on 26, seasonal wine buffet on 27 and an international dinner buffet on the last day of the year.

Turyaa Kalutara

A goodie cart will be the first seasonal event at Turyaa Kalutara which will host an array of seasonal favourites to be purchased from 10 December. Christmas Eve dinner buffet, Christmas day family lunch and an outstanding feast on 31 night will be the special events during the month.

Earl’s Regency

This hotel in Kandy has a seasonal calendar that includes events for everyone! Starting with a Kiddies’ Christmas Party on 17, the goodie hut will be up and running from 20 onwards, alongside a seasonal high tea in the evenings. Christmas Eve dinner buffet, Christmas day lunch and dinner and a gala ‘Hawaiian’ themed celebration on the last night of the year will complete 2017 in grand style!

Amethyst Resort Passikudah

In Kalkudah, Amethyst Resort  will host a special Christmas Eve dinner while the next day will feature a seasonal feast for lunch and a movie by the beach. New Year’s eve dinner at the Taprobane restaurant is also prepared to give guests a surreal welcome to 2018.

Bandarawela Hotel

In the cool climate by the hills, this hotel will host a special Santa’s Coffee Counter on 23, followed by a festive dinner buffet on 24, carvery breakfast and family lunch on 25, flambe dinner on 26 and a magical open air BBQ and bonfire dinner on the 31 to welcome the new year. A traditional English breakfast is also on the cards on 1 January 2018.

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Travel to the Back of Beyond

Travel as we know it has changed. Contemporary holidaymakers travel with a strong sense of purpose. They want their travel experience to leave them transformed – physically, mentally, emotionally. They want to discover and be submerged in local cultures, be closer to nature, spend time in self-reflection and most of all they want to gather authentic and real experiences that they can learn and grow from.

That is what makes the Wellness Retreat at Kahandamodara so very special. Yet another intrepid travel destination offered by Back of Beyond, one of Sri Lanka’s truly authentic eco-lodges, the Kahandamodara Wellness Retreat is a personal favourite of founder Yohan, who has created this dream destination with the modern day traveller in mind.

At the end of the road less travelled

Travelling 20 minutes from Tangalle town, passing a stretch of paddy fields on either side of the road, you arrive at the turn-off to Kahandamodara road leading down to the ocean. Travelling for another 10 minutes, you will approach a large verdant estate where a gnarled old Siyambala tree spreads its leafy shade over a rustic double story bungalow with high ceilings and open verandas, and your senses are immediately flooded with a feeling of peace and tranquillity.

Lush with indigenous vegetation including Weera, Palu, Malittan, Burutha and Kaluwara, Back of Beyond’s Wellness Retreat sits on a 14-acre land hugging the Urubokka Oya. Yohan has taken on the challenge of creating a medicinal garden on the property, planting trees such as Aralu, Bulu, Nelli as well as Sudu and Rath Handun which are some of the most prolific medicinal plants found in Ayurveda medicine. The sprawling garden also includes many varieties of flowering trees and host plants, which have been carefully curated to attract local butterflies and bees. As we all know, the majority of our food is produced with the help of these often unappreciated insects and Back of Beyond has taken it upon itself to create butterfly gardens across all their properties to help protect these tiny creatures by creating a safe haven for them. Most of the fresh produce offered at meal times comes from the same grounds where there is also an orchard with more than 40 species of indigenous fruit trees including rarer delights such as Gal Siyambala, Ugurassa, Sapodilla and Lovi.

The land was originally called ‘Monaratenna’ after the flock of peacocks seen daily strutting their stuff across the emerald green meadows. This is a paradise for birders with as many as 50 local bird species on location, including the Blue-faced Malkoha, Malabar Pied Hornbill, White Bellied Sea Eagle and the Brahminy Kite.

The green pastures gently roll down to the Urubokka Oya which winds its way down to the sea past the property and the glistening white sands of Kahandamodara beach is only a short walk away.

Paired back luxury and understated elegance

The property offers a variety of accommodation options including a double story bungalow, two spacious villas, two cabanas and a cosy cottage. The property can be booked as a whole or by individual unit; or you can also simply book a single room if you wish.

Back of Beyond’s trademark minimalist style extends to all living spaces. The pared-back approach to decor truly soothes the senses and the well-thought out floor plans allow in plenty of natural light and clean air to keep you feeling energised. The bedding is ultra-comfortable and most guests have left reviews to say that it’s the best sleep they have ever had! Bathrooms are spacious and understated with the trademark Back of Beyond open-to-the-sky rain-showers, offering their guests a bathroom experience they will never forget!

What makes this place truly outstanding in terms of its commitment to the environment is that it’s completely run on solar power. In fact, they generate enough to export into the main grid.

Something to do for everyone

Kahandamodara Wellness Retreat offers plenty of activities for every age group – from active youngsters to older guests seeking some quiet solitude. The property includes a bright and airy Yoga Shala overlooking the pool for individual or group practice, an Ayurveda Centre for massages and treatments and especially designed leafy pathways for contemplative meditation.

For those looking for more active pursuits the adjoining lagoon and estuary offer excellent paddle boarding, kayaking and boating opportunities. And Back of Beyond’s resident dogs Zuri and Zulu will be happy to join you on the water if you’re looking for some company! The property also comes equipped with a pool where you can enjoy swimming at any time of the day including late at night, as they don’t believe in curfews here.

The Kahandamodara beach, which is only a short stroll away, is one of the most picturesque and quiet beaches on this strip. Guests relish their daily sunrise and sunset walks down to the beach to the lovely place where the estuary forms a constantly changing pool which makes for a lovely sea bath. On full moon nights, if you’re lucky you might encounter sea turtles on their way to lay their eggs on the soft white sands.

Kahandamodara is a short drive away from some of the best national parks on the island including Yala, Boondala and Udawalawe – good news for wildlife enthusiasts!  For the serious birder a sunrise boat ride at Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary will leave you spellbound. You can also visit the awe-inspiring and lesser known Ussangoda Reserve, a vast expanse somewhat akin to Horton Plains but covered in rich brick red clay, which is steeped in legend that goes back to the pre-historic time of King Ravana.

If history and archaeology piques your interest, a number of ancient Buddhist temples such as Rambe Viharaya, Veheragodalle, Wanduruppa Theraputtabhya Vihara, Kahandagala Viharaya, Mulkirigala Viharaya are all a short drive away.

Locally grown food to tantalise the taste buds

Nelson, the resident cook is a wizard in the kitchen and an expert at creating a wide variety of mouthwatering Sri Lankan and western dishes. The flavours of the southern coast dominate the local cuisine, and there is a distinct ‘Sri Lankan touch’ to the western dishes. In addition to the succulent local vegetables and fruits, the carefully tended home garden offers a variety of fresh green leaves including Akkapana, Karan Koku, Asamodagam, Tebu and the giant Agunakola creeper which grows wild on the restaurant roof, that are presented at mealtimes in all forms of delightful salads and mallungs. If you see Nelson wandering around with a basket, you’re welcome to join him in plucking and preparing your own meal! Seafood lovers will rejoice at the fresh catch which often comes directly from the fishing boats that draw up on the beach. Guests can join the staff at dawn to peer down at the nets and pick their fish fresh each morning.

If you enjoy travelling off the beaten path, communing with nature and relishing authentic travel experiences, then you really must experience Back of Beyond’s Wellness Retreat in Kahandamodara.

Back of Beyond has 5 other properties in breathtaking locations throughout the island.

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Ceilao Group introduces Lime & Co. Midi

Conceptualised in 2016, Lime & Co is an eco chic travel and leisure brand. Having introduced Lime & Co Kaba in Kabalana one year ago, the brand will soon be opening their second property in December.

Lime & Co Midi, appeals to those who seek value accommodation with style on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Located in the idyllic town of Midigama, home to five of the best surf breaks in the south, it forms a backdrop ideal for surfers and barefoot travellers.

Targeting travellers on a budget, the brand focuses on providing hospitality in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. Building materials have been sourced from local craftsmen and built by the local workforce, creating valuable employment for the community. Reused terracotta tiling on the roof, reclaimed doors, repurposed brass sinks and antique recycled columns are just some of the materials used. The walls have been lime washed and provide a natural cooling effect. In keeping with the brand’s belief in being environmentally friendly with a low carbon footprint, air conditioning has been replaced with large windows that harness the sea breeze.

Lime and Co Midi has 12 rooms in total; 10 of which are private rooms with attached bathrooms (double/twin) and two that are four-bed dorms. The outdoor space is complete with a plunge pool and sitting area. There is no compromise when it comes to quality or style as the brand’s design philosophy includes cool concrete floors, simple yet comfortable furnishings, large open spaces and a relaxed vibe.

Established in 2012, the Ceilao Group is the holding company for family owned travel and leisure brands. Focusing on hospitality investments in Sri Lanka, our businesses cater to both a local and foreign demographic. We understand that our land is rich in experiences and strive to showcase its beauty to travellers with the utmost professionalism. Our brands are young and exciting, each offering a fresh and contemporary take on hospitality.

Source :—Co–Midi/27-644516

Jetwing Surf, Pottuvil, to open with Rs 500 mn investment

Jetwing Hotels has invested Rs. 500 million for their latest hotel, Jetwing Surf, Pottuvil, which will open end of the year.

Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray said that they had selected this seven-acre plot of land mainly because it was one of the best surfing points in Sri Lanka. “In addition, we also looked at an area where there are no star hotel and decided to build Jetwing Surf, at Pottuvil, knowing that it would also benefit the society in the area.”

He said that while generating new employment opportunities in the area espousing tourism to Pottuvil, they also recruited many youth to work in the hotel.” Jetwing Surf, built in an area with a 95% Muslim population would become the first eco-luxury surf resort in the East.

He said that Jetwing Surf, Pottuvil which initially offers 20 luxury cabanas, is designed by John Bellmore who recently won the Best Hotel Architecture Design award at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) held in Singapore, as the hotel is built on minimum carbon footprint.

He said that they plan to market the hotel around US$ 300 and currently the forward booking are very positive.

Each of the cabanas has a spacious outdoor deck that opens out to the towering coconut trees and gleaming view of the Indian Ocean in between. Equipped with ceiling fans to complement the sea breeze that circles within the premises, each of the rooms has a bathroom with hot and cold indoor and outdoor showers that allows you to feel closer to nature.

The hotel also has several popular tourism attractions such as Arugam Bay, Pottuvil Point and Whisky Point for surf lovers and Panama Lake, Semanikulam Lake and Rotakulam Lake for nature enthusiasts and the Sastrawela Maninaga Pabbatha Viharaya, Kudumbigala Monastery, Muhudu Maha Viharaya, and Magul Maha Viharaya as significant archaeological sites.

Kumana National Park, which is also home to the largest flock of migrant birds, Lahugala and Gal Oya National Parks are also in the vicinity and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna.