By Sanath Weerasuriya
Hotel Thilanka in Kandy is one of the few hotels in the city that can boast about years of experience and the old world charm. Nearly two and half dacades ago, Hotel Thilanka was one of the oldest hotels to join the new Kandyan era of the post tourism boom in the seventies.
It was started as a Colonial house and turned into a guest house in the mid eighties, which turned out to be one of the most sought after destinations in Kandy.
Nestled at the foothills of popular Udawatta Kele, just on a higher elevation to the Dalada Maligawa, Hotel Thilanka reflects the typical Kandyan traditions.
It began life as a private house, built by a wealthy Kandyan towards the end of the colonial era. It has now been enhanced by a six-storey new wing, the minimalist décor of the rooms including elegant wooden furniture, television, telephone and mini-bar with all other facilities.
Over looking the city of Kandy and the Lake, Thilanka has 76 standard and deluxe rooms.
This four star hotel will go through a massive refurbishing programme next year, which makes the complete face lift and new additions to the hotel.According to Thanuj Gunawardena, the Managing Director of the hotel, Rupees 400 million will be spent on adding and up grading rooms and other public area.
‘The old wing is totally refurbished and currently we are considering the new wing area and the new room addition to that side’ he said
‘We simply do not close the entire hotel for this project. We have maintained our occupancy rate at a very healthy level during the past few months and we do not want to stop this success. So we go on step by step refurbishing programme and it will be ready for the next winter season’ he explained.
Upul Gedarakumbura, the Resident Manager of the hotel said most of the top travel agents are working with them and the hotel is currently running at nearly 90% occupancy rate.
'We have some extra points such as close proximity to Maligawa, City, Udawatta Kele and of course the service’ he said.
The Hotel’s main restaurant serves menus around the world. Traditional Kandyan dishes are favourites among Sri Lankan clientele. Continental, Chinese, Indian and Thai food are popular with Sri Lankan and foreign travellers.
'Chef Anton Dissanayake and Chef Weerasinghe are behind all these culinary delights' Upul said.
Lobby Bar and Woodpecker Bar are two top attractions.
‘We arrange tours to various places of tourist attractions such as Dambulla Cave Temple, Sigiriya, Aluvihare, Lankatillake and Embakke Temples of Cultural and artistic value’ RM Gedarakumbura said.
The banquet hall is one of the biggest revenue earners of the hotel, which can accommodate 400 persons. The Board Room is air conditioned with seating capacity for 50 persons, for all conventions and banqueting .
The major attraction of the hotel is its Ayurvedic Spa. The ancient healing arts of the Himalayan Rishis are to savour at our ‘Ayurvedic Spa. Our Spa offers the herbal secrets to fitness, wellbeing and regeneration’ RM Gedarakumbura said
Massages, sauna and herbal baths, facial treatment, yoga sessions, medicinal oils, the wonder of floral ingredients, the help of facial packs, toning, and cleansing are some of the treatments available at the Hotel.
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