Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremonially opening restored Grand Oriental Hotel
Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH), an icon of generations past, is opening its doors to a new era of splendour, bringing to life its rich colonial architecture.
Built in 1837 as a British military barrack, the iconic building has withstood the tests of time, standing strong for almost two centuries. Being the first European-owned hotel in the East, it was reputed worldwide for its plush services, becoming the choice of many illustrious patrons, including the likes of author Anton Chekhov. Today, it takes another step forward in embellishing the institution’s
A Cabinet nod was granted in March 2020 to incorporate a holding company to strategically implement the revamping of the Hyatt, Hilton and GOH. In order to execute these ambitious goals, Selendiva Investments Ltd was welcomed aboard to implement the restructuring of several state-owned assets.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his manifesto ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ pledged to restructure the underutilised and underperforming state institutions. The restoration project was carried out under the leadership of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, with the patronage of Urban Development State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa and under the able guidance of ministry Secretary Sirinimal Perera.
“GOH is the first project of Selendiva, which was completed successfully. At the cost of Rs.250 million rupees, the property has been revamped,” said Selendiva Investments CEO Shamahil Mohideen.
Waters Edge Recreations, a subsidiary of top state-owned hospitality provider Waters Edge Ltd, is expected to operate as part of the strategy, to enhance performance and compete in the market with the private sector, under the leadership of veteran hotelier, Waters Edge Chairman Rohan Fernandopulle.
Due credit and appreciation goes out to the State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka, appointed by Selendiva Investments, for taking on this challenging task and doing a job well done in completing the project tastefully to the expectations of Selendiva Investments.
In this latest endeavour, the colonial architecture, which is one of the key hallmarks of GOH, has been retained, with the view of preserving heritage attractions. While a further 140,000 sq. ft. area is to be developed in the second phase of this project, the new GOH boasts of two new refurbished ballrooms, the iconic Harbour Room, Taprobane Lobby restored to its past glory, as well as Tiffin Hut, the hotel’s pastry shop. Tap Bar and the Blue Leopard night club are also set to welcome guests with their renewed services.