Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts broke ground for its new hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 24 February 2012. Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will be located between the Galle Face green promenade and Beira Lake, with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. The Hong Kong-based group announced the purchase of 10 acres of government land in January 2011 and is targeting to open the property in 2017.
The hotel will be easily accessible from Colombo International Airport in 45 minutes by car. Shangri-La is also developing a second property, a 300-key city resort on approximately 145 acres of land in Hambantota, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will be built according to sustainability guidelines, with 541 rooms offering some of the largest accommodation in town at 45 square metres to 60 square metres (484 square feet to 646 square feet). This also includes 30 suites ranging in size from 90 square metres to 225 square metres (968 square feet to 2,421 square feet).
A range of restaurant and lounge concepts will be available at the hotel, with more details to be announced nearer to opening.
Meeting facilities will be among the largest in Colombo, with over 4,500 square metres (48,438 square feet) of function space spread over three floors to host meetings, receptions and private functions.
A fitness centre, spa, pool and two outdoor tennis courts will complete the recreational facilities.
The Sri Lankan properties will be fully integrated into the local community from the very beginning, offering employment opportunities and infrastructural support. In addition, both properties will adopt Embrace, Shangri-La's Care for People Project, and will work with local children's organisations on health or education programmes over a long-term period in need areas such as school materials, infrastructure improvement, hygiene and nutrition. The hotel is in the process of identifying eligible schools within Colombo.
Shangri-La recognises the unique opportunity presented to hone a new generation of tourism talent in Sri Lanka. Both properties are committed to employing the majority of the workforce locally and they will commence a “Hospitality Traineeship Programme.” Young adults participating in the 15- to 18-month programme will start with basic skill courses in front office, food and beverage service, kitchen, landscaping and gardens. Successful candidates will then be placed in selected Shangri-La hotels globally until the properties in Sri Lanka are ready for pre-opening work.
“Sri Lanka is a country of unsurpassed natural beauty and rich in cultural heritage. Both Shangri-La hotels strategically fit into the group’s ongoing expansion plans to link the Indian subcontinent and our South East Asia developments,” said Greg Dogan, president and chief executive officer of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd.