Imagine waking up in a plush bed, drawing the curtains, and gazing out at the deep-blue waters of the Indian Ocean, an endless expanse that stretches out before you, seemingly without end. That’s what mornings will be like at the new Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, a 500-room luxury property set to open in the Sri Lankan capital on 16 November 2017. (From 1 September, the hotel will begin taking bookings for stays from 1 December.)
The new opening will be Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ second property in Sri Lanka. The hospitality group’s first property there, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, opened its doors in June 2016, but the newcomer is highly anticipated as one of the island nation’s biggest hotel launches in nearly 30 years, so let’s dive in to what we know so far.
A 40-minute drive from the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo sits on the Galle Face Green promenade, the city’s most exclusive address. The property will house a whopping 500 guest rooms and 41 serviced apartments, and it sits on 10 acres of land that is being developed to include an office tower, two residential buildings, and a high-end shopping mall in addition to the hotel — all promising to bring a new level of luxury to this thriving capital.
Sri Lanka was devastated by a powerful tsunami in 2004, but after a few years of recovery, tourism slowly returned, and now it’s more popular than ever. “As tourist arrivals into the island have grown exponentially over the last eight years, Colombo has found its place as the gateway to all this amazing island has to offer,” said Timothy Wright, Vice President & General Manager of Shangri–La Hotel, Colombo.
Catering for both business travellers with meetings in the capital and leisure travellers beginning their explorations of Sri Lanka, the hotel’s design is inspired by the country’s abundant natural beauty, with a blend of Shangri-La’s signature Asian elements and contemporary style. Case in point: The hotel commissioned celebrated Chinese artist Man Fung-Yi to create a metal sculpture depicting a life-sized infant elephant to grace the hotel’s lobby and give a sense of place.
For dining and drinking, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will feature five restaurants, bars and lounges offering an extensive selection of local and international cuisine, al fresco dining, daily live entertainment and innovative menus. Table One will be an all-day buffet restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with culinary influences from the Middle East, Malaysia, Northern India, Holland, Portugal and Sri Lanka itself. Shang Palace, meanwhile, will aspire to be the most authentic Chinese restaurant in the city — with a focus on the cuisines of Sichuan, Dongbei and Canton — and The Capital Bar & Grill will function as a retro grill room with steaks and such. Finally, a main bar and Sapphyr Lounge will be places for afternoon tea and evening cocktails.
In terms of facilities, we’re excited for the swimming pool and pool bar overlooking the Galle Face Green and the Indian Ocean. There will also be a 24-hour fitness centre and CHI, The Spa, with 10 treatment rooms for all your pampering needs. The spa’s services features a mix of Sri Lankan and other Asian treatments for both individuals and couples.
Conferences and special events will take centre stage at the hotel, which has more than 4,500 square metres of space dedicated to these purposes, including two ballrooms with a combined capacity of nearly 2,000 guests, not to mention an outdoor lawn and several function rooms. Given the dramatic Indian Ocean backdrop, the hotel will also no doubt be a popular choice for weddings.
The hotel’s introductory “Discover Colombo” offer includes a Sunset Heritage City Walk to explore the colonial charm of the historic Colombo Fort, or a tuk tuk safari of street shopping for hidden gems, dining on native cuisine and more. Priced from US$245 per room per night, the package includes daily breakfast, a dinner for two at the local specialty restaurant, 20 percent off on food and beverages, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Business travellers can take advantage of the “Business Travel” package, which includes return airport transfer, daily breakfast, complimentary laundry and Wi-Fi from US$205 per room per night. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.shangri-la.com/colombo.
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, 1, Centre Road, Galle Face, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka