Author: Marijana Brdovnik - Date: 23/06/2016
Newly opened Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is situated overlooking the pristine southern coast of beautiful Sri Lanka, and along the ancient Spice Route in a city steeped in rich history. Hambantota is known for its natural beauty and wildlife, allowing visitors to explore Asia’s most fascinating nature sanctuaries like the Yala and Bundala National Parks.
“Sri Lanka is one of the fastest-growing destinations in the Indian Ocean and a beautiful country with incredible natural attractions, wonderful people and more than 2,000 years of culture.
It is also one of the best places to see wildlife in Asia, and Hambantota is located near several national wildlife parks that are home to an array of animals, including wild elephants, the Sri Lankan leopard and thousands of rare and exotic birds.
Luxury resort spans 53 hectares, making it the largest resort in Sri Lanka, and boasts 300 spacious rooms, including 21 suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. It is home to an 18-hole golf course, and an expansive spa and an artisan village that celebrate local arts and crafts.
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is the first of two Shangri-La hotels under development in Sri Lanka and the group’s third resort in the Indian Ocean. The second hotel – Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo – is slated to open in 2017.
Guests arriving to Colombo International Airport can enjoy Shangri-La’s private luxury coach transfer, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Seating up to 25 people, resort guests will enjoy the five-star service and facilities for which the hotel group is renowned, with refreshments, cold towels and snacks served during the drive along the scenic coastal route.
In addition to Shangri-La’s luxury coach transfer, Fly Dubai and Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Jet, fly direct to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, which is 35kilometres from the resort.Local-based Cinnamon Air and Sri Lankan Airlines also run regular domestic flights from Colombo.
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa’s guestrooms include 26 suites with private butler service and range from 48 to 240 square metres. The spacious rooms enjoy expansive views of lushly landscaped gardens; calming neutral tones and carved-wood fixtures are accented by sophisticated, cool turquoise hues, fusing together a contemporary yet original Sri-Lankan style. Each luxury hideaway has a secluded balcony or terrace affording a sense of privacy.
Sri Lanka’s rich culture is honoured throughout the resort and in particular at “The Village”, where guests can explore and interact with local artisans and craftsmen. The Village is dedicated to preserving Sri Lanka’s traditional artisan communities and features four traditional huts where the craftsmen skilfully create, exhibit and sell their items, from pottery and ceramics, to wood carvings and weavings. In the evening, the village transforms into an entertainment venue, showcasing Sri Lankan music and dance performances of Angampora (Sri Lanka’s indigenous martial art and one of the oldest fighting disciplines in the world).
The manicured lawns of Shangri-La’s Golf and Country Club and its eco-friendly 18-hole golf course cater to even the most seasoned golf enthusiast. Set amidst a vast coconut palm plantation, the beautifully landscaped par-70 course was designed by Rodney Wright and takes guests on a three-zone golf experience. The Dune Area gives the course breath-taking ocean views, whilst the Sapphire Mine provides a wide, open space where players must negotiate challenging water features. The resort is the first in Sri Lanka to have its own golf course.
After your round, the Club House, with its touch of colonial tartan is the ideal spot to relax and unwind. Exhilarating water sports on the lake will suit energetic guests, whilst archery, darts, barefoot bowling and table tennis are just some of the fun resort activities available.
Nearby, the Humanaya blow holes, a secluded turtle beach and quaint traditional fishing villages also provide an enlightening day of discovery, whilst a trip to the Bandagiriya Temple, the highest peak in the Hambantota district dating back to the second century BC, reveals one of Sri Lanka’s oldest periods of history.
The resort’s “Cool Zone” Kids Club offers a full programme of supervised daily activities. A seven-metre-high trapeze, a drone-flying area and collegial guest-vs-staff sporting tournaments will establish Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa as a family-friendly destination.
Inspired by Sri Lanka’s rich heritage, the resort’s culinary collection brings a multitude of superior tastes and gastronomic adventures to the table. A talented team of international chefs create a vibrant dining scene, including all-day dining restaurant, BojunHala, which boasts a buffet of international and Sri Lankan specialties. Sera, meaning lemongrass, is inspired by the famous hawker-style stalls of Southeast Asia, whilst the neighboring Beach Grill serves dishes straight from the fire pit and comfort food in an extraordinary setting from old local fishing boats. GimanHala, which translates as “‘a place to rest”, and The 19th Hole Bar and Lounge both provide a fine selection of refreshments throughout the day.
The Lobby Loungeis programmed day and night. Guests can enjoy healthy fresh food along with a large selection of local teas after an awakening morning yoga session. Later in the day, the Lobby Lounge transforms into a romantic spot for sunset Champagne and cocktails by candlelight.
For those in search of pure relaxation, CHI The Spa at Shangri-La is a haven of indulgence. Drawing inspiration from the origins of the Shangri-La legend, it is a place of personal peace, enchantment and wellbeing. Twelve treatment rooms and outdoor pavilions ensure a sense a place, as skilful therapists use the finest techniques to deliver Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments using 100 per cent natural products. Rounding out the offerings are a Health Club with state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a dive centre, 30-metre lap pool, freeform pool and retail facilities.
A multi-purpose events space of over 2,525 square metres is designed for hosting conferences, meetings, weddings and social celebrations. No other venue in Sri Lanka can match its offerings. Outdoor pavilions with the capacity to host up to 1,000 guests offer an inspired setting for any event. Kandy, Hatton and Badulla conference rooms with an area of 84-91 square metres can host over 100 guests, whilst smaller venues, Haputale and Nuwara Eliya span 70.5 square metres hosting up to 84.
The resort provides a spectacular backdrop for a tropical wedding. Whether in the beachfront breeze under swaying palm trees, or with the grass beneath your feet on the lawns, a wedding at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is an inspired place to tie the knot.
More info about Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa
Photo credits: Shangri-La Group