The KDU Group ventured into the hospitality sector joining together with Hilton for their first hotel property – DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarana Resort, a truly unique property that retains the quintessence of world class hospitality Hilton stands for.
Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton signed a landmark management agreement with KDU Adventures, a subsidiary of the KDU Group, to manage the 140-room DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarana Resort. The hotel is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018.
The hotel will feature a combination of 140 deluxe rooms as well as suites and a Presidential Suite. It will have a 700 square metre state-of-the art ballroom that could accommodate up to 600 guests. An all day dining restaurant, alfresco bar and the rooftop multi-function area that has the capability to host pop-up restaurants or meetings are some of the property’s features. The hotel will also have a 90 metre pool with a pool bar. The spa, gymnasium and yoga meditation zones are situated on the rooftop. Offering undisturbed and unparalleled views of Weerawila Lake, the rooftop will provide guests the ultimate place to rejuvenate as well as unwind with nature, food and beverage, and leisure facilities.
John Seneviratne, Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations and Sabaragamuwa Development, graced the ceremonial signing along with many distinguished guests. The Hilton management and KDU Group teams were also present.
At the landmark event, William Costley, Vice President Operations, SEA and India Hilton stated, “I am indeed delighted to announce the signing of Hilton’s seventh hotel this year, and even more delighted as we enter into a strategic partnership with KDU Adventures. I have every confidence that this relationship will further develop as we identify other strategic locations in the country to expand Hilton’s and the KDU’s portfolio of hotels. We are truly grateful and humbled by their confidence in the strength of our brands and we are excited to work together and combine our expertise to spark the existing development of hospitality in Sri Lanka.”
“I Have Every Confidence That This Relationship Will Further Develop As We Identify Other Strategic Locations In The Country To Expand Hilton’s And The KDU’s Portfolio Of Hotels.”
DoubleTree by Hilton is a rapidly growing global portfolio of more than 500 upscale hotels with more than 119,000 rooms in key gateway cities, metropolitan areas and great vacation destinations across six continents. DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarana Resort will also be a part of Hilton Honours, an award-winning guest-loyalty programme for Hilton’s 14 distinct brands. The Hilton Honours members who book directly through the preferred Hilton channels have instant access to many benefits such as the flexible payment slider, which allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and currency to book a stay, and digital facilities including ‘digital check-in’.
KDU Group of Sabaragamuwa is one of the largest producer of tea in the Island with eight state-of-the-art factories in the Sabaragamuwa Province and are renowned for the Galpaditenne Tea Factory. Today, Galpaditenne Factory alone produces over four million kilograms of tea annually and bears the distinction of being the largest black orthodox tea manufacturing facility in the world. Since its establishment, KDU Group has also ventured into industries, which include hospitality sector, hydropower and petroleum industries.
Addressing the signing ceremony Saman Upasena, Chairman, KDU Group said, “We know Hambantota is a fast developing area. There is a lot of potential with the harbour and the airport. After considering all of these factors we decided on the location. I must take this opportunity to thank Hilton for placing their trust and faith in us, which I really appreciate.”
Minister John Seneviratne while conveying his heartfelt wishes said that he was very happy to be invited to the event of the inking of the partnership between the KDU Group and the DoubleTree by Hilton. The Minister stated, “I was informed by Mr Saman Upasena that he has completed the work of this resort, which is set up in the Hambantota District and that he will be entering into a bond with Hilton Hotel. I was happy because Hilton is the most recognised five star hotel in Sri Lanka, and one of the popular oldest hotels in our country. Aligning with Hilton hotel will provide better prospects for KDU.”
“A unique aspect in the new project is, as visionary Mr Upasena wanted, the staff village. We call it an associate village, which is about a kilometre away from the resort. It is a huge six acre property, which can accommodate 160 staff and has all of the recreational facilities such as a cricket ground and a swimming pool,” said Susantha Pinto, Chief Executive Officer, KDU Group.