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Wednesday, 7 December 2011






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Grand Hotel refurbished, ready for the season

The Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya one of the oldest properties in Sri Lanka has been refurbished and upgraded as a four star heritage hotel.

Tangerine Tours Chairman and Managing Director, Gerard Ondaatje said they have invested Rs 85 million in the last few years.

"We upgraded 54 rooms recently and now offer only deluxe rooms," he said.

He said they also introduced a state of the art 'Tea room' which also serves Gin tea and other specialties. The hotel also introduced a wine bar last year.

He said that with tourism picking up they can forget the bad patch and are looking at higher yields in the future. "Due to this we can now re invest on service and value," he said.

The Grand Hotel is a 156 room British Colonial style luxury hotel which is over 100 years old, was the former residence of Sir Edward Barnes, Governor of Ceylon from 1830 to 1850, the Grand Hotel is an excellent example of a Elizabethan era manor house.

Tangerine Tours Limited was founded in 1982 to organize and sell tour packages in Sri Lanka. Tangerine Tours is an associate company of Mercantile Investments Limited, which has diversified into tourism with four resort hotels.

Tangerine Beach and Royal Palms Beach Hotels in Kalutara, Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya and Nilaveli Beach Hotel in Trincomalee. The group which would also open a city hotel in Wellawatte next year now has over 500 star class rooms.

'Lotus' first organic restaurant at Cinnamon Lodge

The Cinnamon Lodge Habarana launched an 'organic' rice cultivation project yesterday in the hotels farm with the participation of the team at Cinnamon Lodge and some guests of the hotel. The treated water from our sewerage treatment plant is being used to irrigate these paddy fields and the vegetable cultivation, previously the treated water was discharged to the lake in the compound.

In order to make it a novel experience to the guests they too were invited to participate in the planting of the paddy saplings. The farm at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana also cultivates vegetables, rice and the resort also has its own honey production all of which is being carried out in line with organic principles. The farm is in the line up to receive a European Union accredited organic certification which has global acceptance.

The General Manager of Cinnamon Lodge, Ghazzali Mohideen personally led the group of guests and farmers in the initiative, he stated that "this is a novel way to involve the community to create awareness about green practices and to instill in our own way a practice of cultivating healthy greens and vegetables without any harmful agents."

The resort also has its own dairy which meets the entire fresh milk requirement of the hotel and the range of innovative yoghurts produced by Cinnamon Lodge has received good reviews from guests. The dairy farm too is run according to organic principles where the cows are not given antibiotics and the feed for the cows are free of harmful pesticides. In addition the farm raises Quail and turkey following organic principles.

As an extension to the hotels organic project, eleven low income local farmers are being supported and trained on organic cultivation and they are to receive the EU accredited certification.

Produce from the farmers will be purchased by the hotel. The local farmers are being of assistance in raising free range poultry (for eggs and meat) for hotel consumption. The elegant dining restaurant "Lotus" of Cinnamon Lodge Habarana will be Sri Lanka's first certified organic restaurant, work on the certification has also commenced. An interactive form of dining has been introduced where guests visit the organic farm with baskets, pick vegetables of their choice, get involved with the cooking process with our chefs and dine in the kitchen.

Cinnamon Lodge Habarana stays true to the vision of the John Keells Hotels Group by becoming a trendsetter in the hospitality industry and launching on organic farming concept which is a first to the Sri Lankan hotels and resorts sector.



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