Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts celebrated the opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo with an inauguration ceremony that signalled the city’s most highly anticipated hotel launch in nearly 30 years.
The official opening was graced President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as Ministers of the Government of Sri Lanka, key representatives of Shangri-La’s owners and management, other dignitaries, diplomats, Government officials and business partners.
The ceremony entailed the cutting of the ribbon to mark new beginnings and the unveiling of the plaque by President Maithripala Sirisena. To signify the symbolic merging of two countries, China and Sri Lanka, rituals from both cultures to mark prosperity were performed. Dotting of the lion’s eye in Chinese culture is believed to herald good luck and good fortune, whilst the age-old tradition of lighting the oil lamp marks auspicious new beginnings in Sri Lanka.
The ceremony also saw the hotel’s first guest check-ins by Jacqueline Fernandez, the internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan actress, and two of China’s most prominent influencers, Mr. Fan Yi Ren and Ms. Lu Lu.
Located at the exclusive One Galle Face address, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo marks the group’s second foray into Sri Lanka – a year-round destination where beaches, heritage and cultural sites, nature and wildflife viewing are part of the unique island experiences. Offering a new perspective of the city are the hotel’s 500 guestrooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, Beira Lake and the city skyline.
The modern guestrooms’ colour combination of teal and brown reflect their coastal surroundings. Rooms range in size from 42 square metres to 210 square metres and are luxuriously styled in marble, silk and Sri Lankan touches to complement the magnificent vistas.
Positioned on the top three floors of the hotel are Horizon Club rooms, which include benefits such as in-room check-in and check-out, breakfast, cocktails, dedicated Club Concierge service and access to the Horizon Club Lounge on the 32nd floor – the city’s only exclusive lounge with views of the ocean.
Created to convey a sophisticated residence in the city, the hotel’s 34 suites each come with a personal butler and access to the Horizon Club Lounge. The three, one-bedroom Specialty Suites overlook the Indian Ocean, while the Shangri-La Suite is the largest, at 210 square metres, with three bedrooms and unparalleled sea views.
Long-stay residents can take advantage of 41 one or two-bedroom serviced apartments featuring a fully equipped kitchen and living room.
Set to enhance Colombo’s dining scene and offer guests a multi‐faceted lifestyle hotspot are the hotel’s six restaurants and bars. Table One, named after the hotel’s prestigious address at One Galle Face, showcases interactive cooking stationsuniquely themed around cooking techniques. Appointed with distinctive cinnamon stick detailing on the ceiling and tree inspired features, the dining space is open daily from morning to midnight.
The hotel is also home to Shangri-La’s renowned Shang Palace Chinese restaurant, which is decoratively inspired by China’s traditional Siheyuan houses and featuresold wooden beams that were once part of these historical residences. Taking centre stage in the restaurant is a custom-made duck oven where all duck orders are wood-firedthen carved table-side. In addition to a curated menu of traditional cuisine from Sichuan, Dongbei and Canton, Shang Palacealso boasts an open dim sum kitchen, a market style crab kitchen and private dining room.
Stylish and elegant, the 204-seat Capital Bar &Grill serves steaks, grilled seafoodand the city’s most extensive whisky selection. Guests can expect four ambiences– a buzzing and energetic bar with live jazz performances; “The White Room” for private dining; the vibrant “Blue Room” with a show kitchen; and alfresco dining on the breezy terrace.
Pictures by Lalith Perera/colombogazette