Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts celebrated the grand opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo at the end of November. The festivities signalled the city’s most highly anticipated hotel launch in nearly 30 years, and presented the best of Sri Lankan and Chinese culture through entertainment, gastronomy and a gala dinner at the hotel’s Shangri-La Ballroom, the largest pillarless ballroom in the region.
The opening was attended by more than 500 esteemed guests including His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and The Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, and saw Jacqueline Fernandez, an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan actress, check in as the hotel’s first guest.
Located at the One Galle Face address, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo marks the group’s second foray into Sri Lanka, a year-round destination where beaches, heritage and cultural sites, nature and wildlife viewing are part of the unique island experiences. Offering a new perspective of the city are the hotel’s 500 guestrooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, Beira Lake and the city skyline.
The modern guestrooms’ colour combination of teal and brown reflect their coastal surroundings. Rooms range in size from 42 square metres to 210 square metres and are luxuriously styled in marble, silk and Sri Lankan touches to complement the magnificent vistas.
Positioned on the top three floors of the hotel are Horizon Club rooms, which include benefits such as in-room check-in and check-out, breakfast, cocktails, dedicated Club Concierge service and access to the Horizon Club Lounge on the 32nd floor, the city’s only exclusive lounge with views of the ocean.
Created to convey a sophisticated residence in the city, the hotel’s 34 suites each come with a personal butler and access to the Horizon Club Lounge. The three one-bedroom Specialty Suites overlook the Indian Ocean, while the Shangri-La Suite is the largest, at 210 square metres, with three bedrooms and unparalleled sea views.
Long-stay residents can take advantage of 41 one- or two-bedroom serviced apartments featuring a fully equipped kitchen and living room.
Set to enhance Colombo’s dining scene are the hotel’s six restaurants and bars. Table One, named after the hotel’s prestigious address at One Galle Face, showcases interactive cooking stations uniquely themed around cooking techniques. Appointed with distinctive cinnamon stick detailing on the ceiling and tree-inspired features, the dining space is open daily from morning to midnight.
The hotel is also home to Shangri-La’s renowned Shang Palace Chinese restaurant, which is inspired by China’s traditional Siheyuan houses and features old wooden beams that were once part of these historical residences. Taking centre stage in the restaurant is a custom-made duck oven where all duck orders are wood-fired then carved table-side. In addition to a curated menu of traditional cuisine from Sichuan, Dongbei and Canton, Shang Palace also boasts an open dim sum kitchen, a market-style crab kitchen and private dining room.
Stylish and elegant, the 204-seat Capital Bar & Grill serves steaks, grilled seafood and the city’s most extensive whisky selection. Guests can expect four ambiences: a buzzing and energetic bar with live jazz performances; “The White Room” for private dining; the vibrant “Blue Room” with a show kitchen; and al fresco dining on the breezy terrace.
Kaema Sutra, a Sri Lankan-themed restaurant and bar led by Colombo’s celebrity chef Dharshan Munidasa, highlights the evolution of Sri Lankan cuisine using the island’s aromatic spices, rich ingredients, traditional cooking techniques and influences from various regions. The space, dressed with intricately carved elephants and masks depicting folktales also offers an airy outdoor area framed by tiki torches to create a tropical island feel.
At the Sapphyr Lounge, afternoon tea is meticulously prepared by tea sommeliers and served with jewel shaped treats in celebration of the country’s moniker, ‘Gem Island’.
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo’s facilities continue with the largest event portfolio in Sri Lanka. Over 3500 square metres of space including two ballrooms, an outdoor lawn and several function rooms can host up to 3000 guests. Intended to appeal to large conferences and events, and complement the island’s attraction as one of Asia’s top MICE destinations alongside Bangkok and Singapore, the property is perfect for weddings, social functions and gala dinners, and offers Shangri-La Events Collection expertise and benefits, to create memorable curated experiences and bespoke incentives.
With a focus on wellbeing, CHI, The Spa offers seven treatment rooms and a selection of traditional Sri Lankan and East Asian therapies. For those seeking serenity and the opportunity to unwind, the warm temperatures on the hotel’s spectacular sun terrace or the large swimming pool overlooking the Indian Ocean and Galle Face Green are hard to resist. A 24-hour Health Club and recreational activities for kids at the Cool Zone are also available.
For guests, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo unlocks the most vibrant and undiscovered experiences in the city, with a collection of bespoke cultural and historical tours providing privileged access to places that are not on conventional tourist maps, namely front-row seats at cricket matches, specially curated sunset heritage walks, meetings with Sri Lankan artists and even private previews at the city’s top jewellers.