To complement its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka will be home to a plush new Hong-Kong based Shangri-La Resort and Spa with 145 acres of land earmarked for its development. This pioneering venture in the Southern region, is expected to open its doors in 2014, elevating the region to a new phase of tourism and development.
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, extends its luxury services through 315 rooms including 24 suites ranging in size with balconies that would invite in the Southern sea breeze. In terms of food and beverage, the resort will comprise of a range of facilities including a lobby lounge, â€¨an all-day-dining restaurant, Asian specialty and North Indian restaurants along with two pool bars and a â€¨golf clubhouse lounge. Furthermore, â€¨2,525 square metres of multi-purpose function space will offer resourceful options for conferences, meetings, weddings and celebrations.
The Spa at Shangri-La named ‘CHI’ will consist of ten treatment rooms, a beauty salon and health club. A dive centre, a kids’ club, a 30-metre lap pool and additional freeform pool, two tennis courts and retail facilities will offer recreational opportunities for business travellers and families alike. Built along the shoreline, the resort will be surrounded by an 18-hole golf course, coconut plantations and sand dunes to the south, extending to the region’s wildlife habitat.
As an attempt to conserve the local biodiversity an Eco Centre will be â€¨built on site, which would teach and educate guests, employees and local schoolchildren about environmental awareness. In keeping with its natural setting the resort’s hot water will be produced using solar energy. The Resort in Hambantota too will adopt sociologically important endeavours namely Embrace, Care for People Project and the Hospitality Traineeship Programme. In line with its Care for People Project, the Resort is presently engaged in selecting eligible schools of villages in precincts closely linked with the livelihoods of parents.
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa: Foundation Laying Ceremony
Initiating the development of the new Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, an auspicious inauguration took place with the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone. A distinguished gathering of delegates attended the landmark event, which was held under the patronage of Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka Chamal Rajapaksa, MP and Chairman of the Hambantota District Development Coordination Committee Namal Rajapaksa, Kuok Khoon Ean, Chairman – Shangri-La Asia, George Yong-Boon Yeo, Vice Chairman – Kerry Group and Madhu Ramachandra Rao, Executive Director – Shangri-La Asia.
“Shangri-La’s heart is now in Sri Lanka and wherever your heart is your home is” Madhu Ramachandra Rao, Executive Director – Shangri-La Asia
Hon Chamal Rajapaksa, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Hon Namal Rajapaksa, MP and Chairman of the Hambantota District Development Coordination Committee, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
A very good morning to each of you and a warm welcome to the foundation laying ceremony of Shangri-La’s Resort and Spa in Hambantota.
I am happy to announce that we had a very successful groundbreaking ceremony of the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo yesterday morning and we are very confident that this will become a landmark development, both to the city of Colombo and to the country.
And by way of a brief introduction of the Shangri-La group, the group is into its 41st year of operation and it places its origins through the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, which commenced business in 1971 and has now over the years been regarded as one of the finest hotels in the city-state. And over the past four decades the group has grown considerably and currently owns and operates 73 hotels and resorts with an inventory of over 30,000 rooms and about 40,000 employees. Our hotels operate in 17 countries and are gener- ally regarded as ranking among the top two or three hotels in the competitive set. We have very ambitious develop- ment plans. These plans over the next four years envisage us growing to about 120 hotels with an inventory of over 50,000 rooms and nearly 60,000 employ- ees. While traditionally the group has focused its development efforts in Southeast Asia and predominately in mainland China, in recent years it has opened hotels and resorts in India, in Maldives, the Middle East and Europe. It also plans to open some more hotels in these geographies and is also com- mencing a new development in Ghana, in West Africa. Thereby extending its global footprint. To support its opera- tion it has a network of marketing of- ficers in key cities across the world and it also has sales agents in several markets that are important feeder markets for Asia.
Shangri-La’s operating and service philosophy is based on traditional Asian family values of care, respect, humility, helpfulness and sincerity. Its service philosophy is aptly encapsulated to the statement, “there’s no greater act of hospitality than to embrace a stranger as one’s own” and this is in our nature and is the underlying message of our brand advertising campaign.
We are very excited about our de- velopment plans for Sri Lanka, a country that is blessed with natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and genuinely warm and friendly people. All of which make for a very successful tourism destination. Given the enormous potential for tour- ism in the country and the multiplier effects that tourism investment has on the economy, the government is keen to quickly add to and improve the existing tourism infrastructure.
It is indeed our privilege to be here today and we are very grateful for the opportunity that has been given to us to play a small role in the country’s endeavours to improve its tourism infrastructure.
Shangri-La’s reputation as a very successful and significant hotel brand is not only established in Southeast Asia where it has its roots, but it also stretch to South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South America and also Australia. With our entry into Sri Lanka we expect to market our hotels in this country to our global customers through our mar- keting network and trade affiliations and thereby supplement the govern- ments own marketing efforts for Sri Lanka as a tourism destination.
Over these past four decades the Shangri-La group has played a very important role as a catalyst for eco- nomic development in several cities, provinces and countries where it has opened its hotels. We are confident that our entry into Sri Lanka will contribute to the economic development of the cities we will be investing in. We also believe that we can redefine the stand- ards of hospitality experience at the luxury end of the market, both in terms of product and service and raise the bar for the ultimate benefit of the tourism sector and the country.
The Shangri-La’s Resort and Spa in Hambantota will feature 315 guest rooms and suites, 40 villas, several food and beverage outlets and a 1,200 square metre ballroom. The development will also include a 18-hole golf course. Every effort will be made to preserve the pristine quality of the environment in which this resort is being developed and to pursue several CSR initiatives in terms of environmental preservation and actively engaging with the local com- munity to further improve their quality of life.
Before closing on behalf of our group I would like to extend our sincere thanks to His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa, His Excellency Basil Rajapaksa, Professor G L Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Hon Namal Rajapaksa and several other government officials who invited us to invest in Sri Lanka and for the excellent support and cooperation they and all levels of government have extended to us. We applaud the coordination efforts of various ministries and governmental institutions which made the investment approval process a very smooth and efficient one. We look forward to working with the people of this country and to share in their success and happiness.
Shangri-La’s heart is now in Sri Lanka and wherever your heart is your home is. So Shangri-La has found its home in Sri Lanka and we are very happy about that. Thank you all for sparing your valuable time this morning and for blessing this very important event by your presence.