The Hyatt Regency Colombo hotel project was initiated yesterday with an investment of Rs.20 billion after the signing of the BoI agreement granting the new developer, Sinolanka Hotels and Spa (Pvt) Ltd., the necessary approval.
The project, expected to be completed by December 2013, will be developed as a five-star luxury hotel complex consisting of approximately 565 rooms with around 94,000 square meters in built up area and 43 stories in height.
It will be managed by Hyatt International under the Hyatt Regency brand and the terms of engagement have been concluded.
Speaking at a function held within the construction premises, Gamini Senarath, Chairman, Sinolanka Hotels and Spa explained that the land was originally leased to the previous developer in 2003 for scheduled completion of the project in 2008.
“The half built Celestial Tower building had been abandoned for the last three years. In November 2011, this was acquired by the government under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act with an intention to expeditiously revive the project without further dilapidation,” he said.
In March 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal to redevelop the property, a fully-fledged multi-faceted hotel complex to support the government initiative of tourism infrastructure development and to meet the demand from the growing tourists in the country.
“The Cabinet approval required private and state entities including Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) Limited to form a company, inter alia to ensure the revival of this property,” Senarath noted.
He added that the Cabinet also approved the vesting of the property with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) which was the original owner of the property and for the UDA to grant a 99-year fresh lease to the new developer, Sinolanka Hotels. Sinolanka has given a 20-year management contract to Hyatt International.
Based on this Cabinet approval, the new developer has initiated the revival of this project and a consortium of investors consisting private and state entities including the SLIC Ltd. is expected to provide the required capital.
Once completed, the proposed hotel, Hyatt Regency Colombo will boast of breathtaking features and modern facilities with generous banqueting and meeting spaces, authentic food and beverage outlets, entertainment and adequate parking for the visitors.
Meanwhile, Hiran De Silva, Project Chairman, Sinolanka Hotels pointed out that guests arriving at the ground floor lobby can hand over their luggage and proceed directly towards the high speed lifts leading to the Sky Lobby Reception and Lobby Lounge on the 13th floor.
“This Lobby will also be the main access point to the lavishly decorated Banquet Hall and Conference Rooms on Level 4,” he said.
Hyatt Regency Colombo will have the highest ratio suites/total inventory at 11 percent compared with the other existing five-star properties in Colombo. The Regency Club Lounge for executive floor guests is housed on the 29th floor.
According to De Silva, the hotel will contain approximately 90 residential suites for long stay guests designed to meet international features and standards.
Hyatt International is one of the foremost global hotel chains. This global hospitality company has been in existence for over 50 years and currently operates 488 hotels across 45 countries under seven premier lodging brands including premium brands such as ‘Park Hyatt', ‘Grand Hyatt' and ‘Hyatt Regency'.
The new developer has engaged some of the well-known industry professionals to design and build the complex including the award-winning interior designer, Bilkey Lilnas Designs of Hong Kong, restaurant designer Super Potato from Japan, design architect Design Consortium Ltd. and MAGA Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. as the main contractor.