Hotel Suisse adding luxury to the property
Some of the
foreigners dining at the hotel
Hotel Suisse Kandy is looking at adding more luxury to the hotel and
is currently upgrading their suites to meet the growing demand for them.
The hotel offers 55 standard rooms, 29 deluxe rooms and including
suites. To meet the demands of the travellers the management is
currently upgrading six to the existing Rajasinghe Suites as the
foreigners prefer to stay in them.
The hotel plans to build these suites depicting the culture of the
ancient times with traditional architecture during the time installed in
In addition the hotel will also upgrade the existing rooms with a
touch of Kandyan architecture and modern luxury. "We have already
installed ancient architecture in the public area, 'rooms' restaurant to
blend with the traditions in the area," said Senior Vice President,
Galle Face Hotel Management Company, Chandra Mohotti.
The kitchen too has been upgraded with modern utensils to cater to
the growing food and beverage market. "Due to the panoramic view of the
hotel it's very famous for hosting weddings and the hotel also has a
steady repeater clientele."
The hotel maintains high occupancy level during the season as well as
the off season. "We maintain year on year occupancy of around 70 percent
which includes around 3,500 foreigners each month," he said. One of the
biggest attractions in Kandy is undoubtedly the Dalada Maligawa and also
the botanical gardens in Peradeniya. "In addition guests also like to
see craftsmen making jewellery copper and wooden carvings. "These
craftsmen also get an opportunity to see their products at a premium
price to the foreigners," said Rooms Division Manager Kanishka
overlooking the pool
He however said that Kandy is still considered a transit destination
on the way to the cultural triangle and Nuwara Eliya. However with
several new activities such as the golf course being added to Kandy
people are now staying longer in Kandy.
Steeped in history, Hotel Suisse has a charm of its own that enhances
the atmosphere of Kandy's past glory with character than most of its
In the seventeenth century, it was the residence of the Chief
Minister of the Royal Granary.
However, in 1818, this property was acquired by the British and
occupied by an Officer of the British Administration who named it
"Haramby House". Years later "Haramby House" was sold to a Swiss Lady
Madam Burdayron, who ran it as a guest house.
This then was the beginning of the present Hotel Suisse. Another
interesting factor is that during the Second World War from 1943 to
1945, Hotel Suisse was used as the Headquarters of the South East Asia
Command under Lord Louise Mountbatten the Supreme Allied Commander.
The first phase of the extension and renovation programme completed
was the construction of a new shopping arcade, thirty five additional
rooms, expansion of public areas, installation of an ultra modern lift,
complete modernization of the main kitchen and installation of
telephones in all rooms. The proposed second stage which concentrated on
the rooms and washrooms and at the same time preserved the colonial
atmosphere of the hotel, subsequently the Food and Beverage outlets too
were given a facelift.
Rajasinghe suite Pictures by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa
It could also be recalled that Hotel Suisse catered to State Banquets
hosted by President of Sri Lanka during the visits of Heads of State
such as, the Crown Prince of Japan, the King and Queen of Nepal, the
Queen of England and Prince Phillip, Margaret Thatcher and Denise
Thatcher and Zia Ul Haq of Pakistan.
It is worthwhile mentioning that Hotel Suisse has been the selected
choice of many leading Hollywood and other International Film
personalities during production and shooting of acclaimed movies whilst
on locations in the city of Kandy, to name a few are Steven Spielberg
Director of Oscar winning "Jurassic Park", Kathleen Kennedy of "ET",
John and Bo Derek of "Blue Water", Film Producer Raju Patel along with
the cast and crew of "Jungle Book II" and Ms Geraldine Chaplin daughter
of the famous comedian Charlie Chaplin.