Hambantota, December 28 (The New Indian Express): The idyllic Shangri-La Resort and Spa at Hambantota in the southern tip of Sri Lanka, is eager to tap the top drawer Indian marriage market as part of its ambitious goal of becoming a miniature Serendib which in the past had attracted romantics from far and near in both fable and fact.
“We are striving hard to be the preferred venue of high profile Indian weddings. And for this and other benefits, we will be partnering with Taj Hotels of India from March 2017 onwards,” Timothy Wright, Vice President and General Manager of Shangri-La hotels in Sri Lanka, told Express.
“And the agreement is strategically excellent for Taj too,” he added.
Though a Briton, Wright can’t go wrong with the Indian market as he was born in Bangalore, and Shangri-La itself has two hotels running successfully in India, at Bangalore and New Delhi.
A stay at Shangri-La Resort and Spa would give the marrying couple, their families, friends and guests, the thrill of experiencing the best of Sri Lanka in decor, food, and architecture in the midst of the most pleasing prospects, including acres of rolling greenery and the deep blue sea, both at the doorstep of every room.
“I am thrilled to be leading our latest venture in Sri Lanka bringing Shangri-La’s renowned hospitality, and blending it with Sri Lankan culture to create locally inspired experiences for our guests,” Wright gushed.
Overlooking the coconut tree-lined southern coast of Sri Lanka, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort is located along the ancient Spice Route on the Indian Ocean and in a city steeped in history.
Hambantota, which derives its name from the Malay-Sinhalese “Sampantota” or the harbor for sampan boats, is known for its natural beauty and wildlife. Guests can explore Asia’s most fascinating nature sanctuaries, including the Yala and Bundala National Parks, both known for a variety of flora and fauna, including the fabled Sri Lankan elephant.
The luxury resort spans 53 hectares, making it the largest resort in Sri Lanka, and boasts of 300 spacious rooms, including 21 suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. It is home to an 18-hole golf course, an expansive Spa, and an artisans’ village where local artisans display and teach their skills to guests.
Shangri-La’s signature CHI, The Spa is a place of personal peace, enchantment and well-being that features exceptional Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments. A health club, a 30-metre sunset pool, and an additional free-form lagoon pool, offer recreational opportunities and facilities said to be unparalleled in the island nation.
A wide variety of restaurants can be found throughout the resort. Bojunhala ( Bhojana Shala in Sanskrit) serves distinctively spicy Sri Lankan food, while the stunning Sera, inspired by the famous hawker stalls of Southeast Asia, provides a variety of “comfort foods”.
“We at the Shangri-La realize that a traveler can eat food not his own only for a day or two, and therefore, we offer cuisine of several nations turned out by chefs from those countries,” Wright said, reassuring those less venturesome in matters of food.
“With the natural beauty surrounding the area, a wedding at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort is the ideal place to tie the knot,” Wright said.
(The representational picture featured at the top shows an Indian bride in all the finery that goes with an expensive Indian wedding)