Pandanus Resort and Spa

7 January 2015 02:01 pm

Experience Golden Beaches with true Sri Lankan Hospitality

By Shehara Rizly

Our beautiful island surrounded by the beautiful ocean is well complemented with the best stretch of golden sands. Pandanus Beach Resort and Spa Induruwa located just about two hours from the Bandaranaike International airport and a one hour drive from Colombo is a luxurious haven for those who wish to experience the beautiful ocean and most of all the true Sri Lankan hospitality. The hotel’s name is derived from a lush, natural growth of “Wetakeiya” or “Pandanus” in English which surrounds the hotel.

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Relax in tropical luxury With the fast paced environment in your work, a weekend at this most relaxing and luxurious resort will definitely replenish the energy required. Some of the rooms are just by the main pool, whilst some of those in suites could enjoy their own plunge pool in their premises. You can enjoy a moonlight stroll on the sandy shores of this pristine beach. On certain mornings you could witness the fishermen pulling in their nets from the ocean and be lucky enough to buy some fish and have them cooked to your taste. The two acres of land includes the beautiful shore which is unique yet safe as there is adequate security and no vendors to disturb you.

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We spoke to many guests about the hotel to share their experience, they all shared that it is one of the most friendliest hotels with very superior facilities. I could not agree more that they are exceptional in service.

Roscoitha and Roland Tahn from Germany

It is their fifth visit to Sri Lanka and they shared with LW the experiences prior to this visit. “The last time we visited was in 2004, on the day of the tsunami I was in Balapitiya and my wife was in the hotel, somehow we managed to get on to a top floor and survived. We had to sleep in a temple that evening and were taken to Colombo, since all hotels were full we were put up at BMICH with over 300 people. We love Sri Lanka due to the hospitality and the many excursions that we can do. We like the people, nature and everything else in Sri Lanka. The staff at this hotel should be given many stars for the best services they offer and we have recommended this destination to many of our friends in Germany. Tour through the mangroves on the Bentota river was really good as we witnessed monkeys and crocodiles a little away. The fish massages at Balapitiya is another interesting activity that we both enjoy. When we returned this year, we saw a vast improvement in the country from the airport to the roads leading all the way to the hotel. I would say that before the tsunami the roads were quite small but now they are wide enough to travel.”

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Christina and Alex from Ukraine “This is our first time and we are very happy to be here. It is a very beautiful location, we love the beach. The hotel is really good, service wise and staff is very friendly. There are many excursions you can do and we will be going to Kandy tomorrow.”

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Tastefully artistic

A person at the entrance await your arrival and greet you with long life with their palms together, which is the true Sri Lankan hospitality. Once you walk in to the hotel lobby, it overlooks the beautiful ocean and if by chance you check in the evening around 4pm you might just be lucky to catch the sunset. The spacious rooms with equally spacious special balconies or sit out areas provides you luxurious comfort. All rooms are well equipped with the general amenities and the television provides you with special in-house movies which you could view at leisure. Every room has a stunning view of the Indian ocean which is unique and in the evening it is so beautiful to just sit out and look up at the stars and the ships that sail far away in the Indian ocean. Well appointed furniture tastefully decorated interiors gives added luxury to the resort. For those who prefer to sit outdoors and relax are provided with the best balconies which even have couches to lie down. The bathrooms are well equipped with separate areas for shower, a Jacuzzi in the middle of the bathroom to just relax and unwind and spend some private time with your loved one. Currently, the Spa is open for gents and ladies but will be fully functional in the new year.

Seafood Restaurant

This is a new addition to the hotel which started off a few weeks ago. The main aim to begin the seafood restaurant was to give the guests an opportunity to experience authentic Sri Lankan seafood. Being placed in such close proximity to the beach with all the activity by the fisherfolk, it is an experience not to be missed out . The catch of the day will vary at the restaurant but the guests could select from a range of seafood items – such as modha or seer fish, crabs, lobsters, etc. The fact that the restaurant is placed on the beach with a staff that is ever so ready and hospitable is yet another unique aspect. Another notable feature in the restaurant is that the seafood cooked will always have an authentic taste which makes you feel good and happy that you tried.

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Tempting Cuisine

Currently there are two restaurants – one which specializes in Seafood whilst the other is the all day dining restaurant opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a special barbecue corner on certain days in order to provide the guests something different form the regular buffet. The efficient staff attends to any request by the guests with utmost diligence. The air conditioned bar lounge and the verandah lounge are two most interesting places that you must visit as you could just relax and unwind sipping either an exotic mocktail, cocktail and finger food prepared by the experts in food and beverage at the hotel. The cuisine includes eastern western and even sometimes traditional favourites for guests to try out. All dining areas are accessible in your most comfortable attire, after all a resort is where you relax, unwind and have a good time.

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Activities and Excursions available for the guests

The pristine beach provides them the facility to play a good game of beach volley ball – which has the nets permanently placed near the verandah of the hotel. You could sit out near the pool and sun bathe or play some water polo in the pool. Its location provides the guests a multitude of excursions from water sports and activities at Bentota to whale watching and helicopter rides at Mirissa. The turtle hatcheries, visiting village temples, boat trips on the Madhu river or Bentota river are some activities to be enjoyed. If you are more adventurous you could try out windsurfing, water skiing or any water sports. Sometimes guests can even take a glimpse of toddy tappers around the area.

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Ownership and design

It is jointly owned by two reputed entrepreneurs – serving as Joint Managing Directors. Sunil Thilakawarddhana – Chairman, Thilakawardhana Group of Companies and Aruna de Silva – Chairman – Ever Green Plantation Management Company. Their vision is to bring global acclaim to tourism in Sri Lanka through personalized attention, quality, commitment and genuine Sri Lankan hospitality. The property was earlier known as Emerald Bay but was demolished completely to make this new venture. It was designed by Architect Vinod Jayasinghe who has carefully captured every single angle and made this property into a sprawling five-storey, 96-room resort set beside a secluded 300-metre stretch of unspoiled beach along the southern coast constructed on an investment of over Rs. 2 billion. All guest areas, including every room, restaurant, bar and pool, offer views of the Indian Ocean. Five room categories are on offer – Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Junior Suites, Suites or a grand Presidential Suite.

General Manager – Anil Perera

Although there could be many structures, the success of any hotel depends on the expertise and hospitality offered by the staff. Anil Perera, a veteran hotelier who counts over 35 years experience is the Captain that steers the ship on the right course. After completing his studies at his Alma Mater at Isipathana College Colombo, Anil was offered employment as a trainee at Koggala Beach Hotel in 1976 and that was the start of his successful career in the hospitality trade. He received training in all departments and left the country as a Chef to work in Saudi Arabia. Upon his return he was absorbed into the management cadre in the late 1980’s. He paid special tribute to his school and wife Priyanthi Perera for all the support extended to achieve all the success during his career. Anil with his vast knowledge of the trade shared some of the experiences. “During our time, we had to go through the mill and everything was learnt the hard way. Two of the hardest areas in the past were dish washing and floor polishing but today modern technology has made everything seem so simple and practical.”

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