Sun kissed beaches, hills, nature, wildlife and hospitality are all brought together in the newly rebranded eco-friendly holiday resorts of the Sri Lanka Army; Laya Beach, Wadduwa, Laya Leisure, Kukule Ganga and Laya Safari, Yala.
Located at three prime tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, Laya Hotels aims to provide true Sri Lankan hospitality to all those who enter its doors. The Sri Lanka Army ventured into the hospitality industry in 1989 with its first property Wadduwa Holiday Resort. “The purpose of this venture was to provide rest and recouperation to Army personnel as a welfare measure. This initiative was taken by the Army while being engaged in counter insurgency which was to drag on for another two decades with political, social and economic ramifications,” explained Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya at the rebranding of Laya Hotels. Little did they know that what was started as a single hotel would grow into a group of hotels encompassing three properties.
With the end of the conflict in May 2009, Sri Lanka saw a surge in tourist arrivals and it was also the aim of the Government to develop and promote the tourism industry in the country, as such “Sri Lanka Army that has been spearheading the nation building effort of the government in the post conflict period in Sri Lanka, feels obliged to align its resources in the leisure sector to contribute towards making Sri Lanka a tourism hub as envisaged in the Mahinda Chinthana policy of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,” said Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya. As part of this initiative the Sri Lanka Army rebranded its three properties as Laya Hotels.
Laya Beach, Wadduwa is a beachside property in the Southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Its elegant interior and warm colours present a pleasant welcome to guests. To enhance the feel of home and comfort are the professional and friendly staff who will do their utmost to make their guests stay the best possible experience.
The hotel comprises of 15 standard rooms and 20 deluxe rooms, all with beautiful views of the ocean. The rooms are spacious and furnished to provide all comforts to guests. The main restaurant serves exquisite Sri Lankan and international cuisine. With glass panels, the dining room is essentially one with the beach environment. Guests have another option for dining at the resort’s, Lobby Bar, which while serving wines and spirits also provides dining facilities.
With its expansive swimming pool, Laya Beach also offers recreational activities such as beach volleyball and day excursions as well as sea swims and water sports.
“We Now Look Forward To Building On The Experience Gained, Expand And Diversify Our Involvement In The Industry In Partnership With The Private Sector In Operating And Promoting These Properties”
Situated in the midst of lush tea and rubber plantations in Mathugama, the Kukule Ganga Holiday Resort is now, Laya Leisure and provides an ambience and simplicity in a stunning natural setting. The property consists of 64 fully furnished villas with single, double and triple room accommodation. Kukule Ganga was initially the residential quarters of foreign nationals who were working at the nearby Kukule Ganga hydropower project, which was taken over by the Sri Lanka Army upon its completion and redesigned to provide the best facilities to its guests.
The large restaurant can accommodate up to 300 guests in one sitting though guests can also have their meals in their own villas. Summer huts are located around the pool area where guests can have their meals if so desired. Furthermore, the resort has its own bar and swimming pool, tennis court, squash court and gymnasium.
Due to its vast area guests can engage in a variety of outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, rifle shooting, archery and horse riding. A holiday in Sri Lanka is not complete without an Ayurvedic Spa treatment and that too is available at Laya Leisure.
Situated in a valley surrounded by mountains, Laya Leisure is undoubtedly the place to unwind and relax.
Laya Safari in Yala is the latest addition to the Sri Lanka Army’s group of hotels. Built by the Engineer Service Regiment the property consists of 20 cabanas. The property borders the Yala National Park and faces the simmering waters of the Indian ocean. This star class resort provides alfresco dining, bar facilities, coffee shop, restaurant and pool bar.
The design of Laya Safari, is modern with clean lines. Each cabana opens out to the beach and ocean. The rooms are tastefully decorated with vibrant colours and wooden doors and windows give a warm feel. The resort has been built in an environmentally friendly manner with open spaces with the ocean on one side and the wilderness of the reserve on the other.
Laya Safari provides free Wi-Fi. The hotel is equipped with a swimming pool, spa and can also arrange camping, beach volleyball, cross country cycling and even scuba diving. Excursions could be arranged to the Yala and Kumana National Parks, Kirinda harbour, the Hambantota Ruhuna Magampura Port, the holy city of Kataragama, the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium and Mattala International Airport.
There is pure solitude at the Laya Safari as the hotel is located away from other properties. Therefore guests can truly enjoy nature, wildlife and beach, all at one location.
“We now look forward to building on the experience gained, expand and diversify our involvement in the industry in partnership with the private sector in operating and promoting these properties,” said Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya adding that, “I am sure with this rebranding of our chain of hotels and bungalows Sri Lanka Army’s leisure sector will contribute more to the tourism industry and will grow further with more such hotels lined up in future at Passikudah in Batticaloa and Nilaveli in Trincomalee,” he concluded.