Hong Kong: Opening on Sri Lanka’s stunning southern coastline on June 1, 2016, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa will offer unrivaled amenities and activities and set a new standard for hospitality in the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” Spanning 145 acres, the 300-room beachfront resort will boast lush tropical gardens, an 18-hole golf course, an artisan village and a wide array of innovative dining, event and entertainment options.
“Sri Lanka is one of the fastest-growing destinations in the Indian Ocean and a beautiful country with incredible natural attractions, wonderful people and more than two thousand years of culture. We are delighted to be opening the first international luxury resort in Hambantota and look forward to bringing Shangri-La’s hallmark hospitality from the heart to this exciting destination,” said Greg Dogan, Shangri-La president and chief executive officer.
Sri Lanka is one of the best places to see wildlife in Asia, and Hambantota is located near several national wildlife parks that are home to an array of animals, including wild elephants, the Sri Lankan leopard and thousands of rare and exotic birds.
Guests arriving to Colombo International Airport can enjoy Shangri-La’s private luxury coach transfer, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Seating up to 25 people, resort guests will enjoy the five-star service and facilities for which the hotel group is renowned, with refreshments, cold towels and snacks served during the drive along the scenic coastal route.
In addition to Shangri-La’s luxury coach transfer, Fly Dubai and Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet, fly direct to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, which is 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) from the resort. Local-based Cinnamon Air and Sri Lankan Airlines also run regular domestic flights from Colombo.
Discover a Destination within a Destination
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa’s guestrooms include 26 suites with private butler service and range from 48 to 240 square meters (about 517 to 2,583 square feet). The spacious rooms enjoy expansive views of lushly landscaped gardens; calming neutral tones and carved-wood fixtures are accented by sophisticated, cool turquoise hues, fusing together a contemporary yet original Sri-Lankan style. Each luxury hideaway has a secluded balcony or terrace affording a sense of privacy.
Sri Lanka’s rich culture is honored throughout the resort and in particular at The Village, where guests can explore and interact with local artisans and craftsmen. The Village is dedicated to preserving Sri Lanka’s traditional artisan communities and features four traditional huts where the craftsmen skilfully create, exhibit and sell their items, from pottery and ceramics, to wood carvings and weavings. In the evening, the village transforms into an entertainment venue, showcasing Sri Lankan music and dance performances of Angampora (Sri Lanka’s indigenous martial art and one of the oldest fighting disciplines in the world).
The manicured lawns of Shangri-La’s Golf and Country Club and its eco-friendly 18-hole golf course cater to even the most seasoned golf enthusiast. Set amidst a vast coconut palm plantation, the beautifully landscaped par-70 course was designed by Rodney Wright and takes guests on a three-zone golf experience. The Dune Area gives the course breath-taking ocean views, while the Sapphire Mine provides a wide, open space where players must negotiate challenging water features. The resort is the first in Sri Lanka to have its own golf course.
After a round of golf, the Club House, with its touch of colonial tartan, is the ideal spot to relax and unwind. Exhilarating water sports on the lake will suit energetic guests, while archery, darts, barefoot bowling and table tennis are just some of the fun resort activities available.
Nearby, the Humanaya blow holes, a secluded turtle beach and quaint traditional fishing villages also provide an enlightening day of discovery, while a trip to the Bandagiriya Temple, the highest peak in the Hambantota district dating back to the second century BC, reveals one of Sri Lanka’s oldest periods of history.
The resort’s “Cool Zone” Kids Club offers a full programme of supervised daily activities. A seven-meter-high (about 23-foot-high) trapeze, a drone-flying area and collegial guest-vs-staff sporting tournaments will establish Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa as a family-friendly destination.
Inspired by Sri Lanka’s rich heritage, the resort’s culinary collection brings a multitude of superior tastes and gastronomic adventures to the table. A talented team of international chefs create a vibrant dining scene, including all-day dining restaurant, Bojun Hala, which boasts a buffet of international and Sri Lankan specialties. Sera, meaning lemongrass, is inspired by the famous hawker-style stalls of Southeast Asia, while the neighboring Beach Grill serves dishes straight from the fire pit and comfort food in an extraordinary setting from old local fishing boats. Giman Hala, which translates as “‘a place to rest”, and The 19th Hole Bar and Lounge both provide a fine selection of refreshments throughout the day.
The Lobby Lounge is programmed day and night. Guests can enjoy fresh healthy food along with a large selection of local teas after an awakening morning yoga session. Later in the day, the Lobby Lounge transforms into a romantic spot for sunset champagne and cocktails by candlelight.
For those in search of pure relaxation, CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La is a haven of indulgence. Drawing inspiration from the origins of the Shangri-La legend, it is a place of personal peace, enchantment and well-being. Twelve treatment rooms and outdoor pavilions ensure a sense a place, as skillful therapists use the finest techniques to deliver Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments using 100 percent natural products. Rounding out the offerings are a Health Club with state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a dive center, 30-meter lap pool, freeform pool, tennis court and retail facilities.
A multi-purpose events space of over 2,525 square meters (about 27,179 square feet) is designed for hosting conferences, meetings, weddings and social celebrations. No other venue in Sri Lanka can match its offerings. Outdoor pavilions with the capacity to host up to 1,000 guests offer an inspired setting for any event. Kandy, Hatton and Badulla conference rooms with an area of 84 to 91 square meters (about 904 to 980 square feet) can host over 100 guests, while smaller venues, Haputale and Nuwara Eliya span 70.5 square meters (about 759 square feet) hosting up to 84.
The resort provides a spectacular backdrop for a tropical wedding. Whether in the beachfront breeze under swaying palm trees, or with the grass beneath guests’ feet on the lawns, a wedding at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is an inspired place to tie the knot.
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is the first of two Shangri-La hotels under development in Sri Lanka and the group’s third resort in the Indian Ocean. The second hotel – Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo – is slated to open in 2017.
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)