With a history spanning over 210 years, Mount Lavinia Hotel Colombo is Sri Lanka’s exquisite national landmark. Built as a weekend residence of the colonial Governor General Thomas Maitland in 1806 to meet his lady love Lovina, this premier colonial heritage hotel has earned a reputation over the years as a romantic location for its magnificent structure and ambiance, accompanied by the old world charm which harks back to the grandeur of old Ceylon. Sanath Ukwatte, Chairman, explains, “Due to the beautiful environment and the clean air, all colonial Governors preferred to live here and enjoy the atmosphere. They started to construct new wings and rooms, thus creating a majestic palatial building, which became a hotel in 1866”.
Being a part of a family-owned business, Mount Lavinia Hotel has been on the forefront of Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry since 1975, hosting numerous guests from all over the world. Sanath Ukwatte says, “Just a mere 12 kilometres away from the capital Colombo, Mount Lavinia is the closest facility that has direct access to the ocean”. The hotel is backed by a versatile team of professionals that go beyond the mere call of duty, providing star class service and unique experience, epitomizing the true Sri Lankan hospitality. Sanath Ukwatte adds, “If someone wants to try something with different flair, Mount Lavinia is their best choice. We offer a mix of culture, history and service staff, complemented with unique location and food.”
Perfect Blend of Traditional Hospitality and Modern Comfort
The fusion of the legacy of romance and the old orient of Sri Lanka’s colonial architecture is decanted in the 210 rooms, each one providing unique experience in comfort and sophistication. Rooms are divided in four different categories – colonial, ocean view, direct ocean view, and suites, all tastefully furnished and equipped with air conditioning, a safety deposit box, tea-and-coffee making facilities, TV and free Wi-Fi Internet.
Mount Lavinia Hotel features various facilities, including a Business Centre, the CocoSpa Centre, a Fitness Centre, an Outdoor Pool, and its own beach. It is equipped with a variety of venues suitable for any type of event, whether it is an intimate family dinner or a gala reception.
Serving Exquisite Food Experiences
The lavish enjoyment is complemented by the wide spectrum of dining facilities, including the Governor’s Restaurant, The Terrace, the Seafood Cove, the In Room Dining, the Baywatch Tower and the Lobby Lounge and Bar. With an international cuisine prepared to perfection, any of the dining choices will take visitors through a delicious gastronomic journey. Sanath Ukwatte emphasizes, “Our iconic chef Publis and his team are creating gourmet masterpieces here for 60 years; Chef Publis has written seven books on Sri Lankan cuisine and earned a doctorate in Sri Lankan cuisine. The people here are huge fans of our chef and he is an iconic national figure”.
Welcoming International Clients and Partners
With 60% leisure travellers and 40% corporate clients, Mount Lavinia Hotel accommodates tourists mainly from the UK, due to the strong British ties with the country. “From the European countries our clients mainly come from England, followed by Germany, France, Netherlands, and we are opening the Scandinavian market. I am also an Honorary Consul General for Slovenia and I represent their interests here in Sri Lanka. Some of the emerging countries that we put our focus are China and India”, Sanath Ukwatte points out.
In addition to the Mount Lavinia Hotel, this family-owned business manages another hotel in the south of the island namely Club Bentota, runs a Hotel School and caters for Sri Lanka’s largest conference hall in Colombo. Discussing their future plans, Sanath Ukwatte says, “We are hoping to embark on a multi-million dollar investment strategy for Mount Lavinia. Our goal is to transform this property into an integrated facility by building high-end apartments, as well as developing the old building into a luxury hotel with different levels of service. The rest of the area will be developed into modern facilities complementing the new modern era”. He adds, “We plan to transform Mount Lavinia into a high-end luxury hotel, possibly in partnership with some international brand.
Sanath Ukwatte who is currently the President of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) explains that the company is actively involved in the promotion of the country abroad, investing in a fund that collects 1% of the turnover of all touristic companies for projects aimed at boosting Sri Lanka’s international image. The government provides substantial support to the tourism sector, acting as a facilitator and regulator. “Sri Lanka is a lovely country to visit; we have almost everything tourists are looking for. If you are into wild life, culture or beautiful beaches, we have it. Our landscapes change as you explore Sri Lanka, from mountains and valleys to mesmerizing sandy beaches and the breath-taking ocean shore. It is truly an ideal destination for any visitor”.