Tintagel gets into hot list of top travel mag

By Natasha Fernandopulle

Colombo's exclusive heritage hotel Tintagel, the former Bandaranaike mansion now redefined by Shanth Fernando of Paradise Road fame has made it to leading travel magazine the Conde Nast Traveller. The magazine's current US issue puts Tintagel Colombo on their hot list for 2009.

"I feel it an honour to be listed in the Conde Nast Traveller," Mr. Fernando said. "I put a lot of effort into creating Tintagel and people are spellbound with its style," he said. The British Conde Nast Traveller described the experience offered by Tintagel Colombo in glowing terms, stating, "Colombo has never had it so chic."

"Tintagel can boast of elite customers from princesses to actresses. Recently Tom Pritzker, President Hyatt Worldwide chose to stay at Tintagel," Mr. Fernando adds, proudly.

Tintagel was originally home to the Bandaranaike family, which gave the country three of its most prominent leaders. Located at 65, Rosmead Place, Tintagel was built by Dr. Lucien de Zilwa in 1930. During World War II, it was taken over by the British military and following the war, by then in some disrepair, was sold to Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike for his son Solomon West Ridgeway Dias (S.W.R.D.) Bandaranike.

The house continued to be in the Bandaranaike family till Sirimavo Dias Bandaranaike, the longest serving Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, passed away in 2000. Following Mrs. Bandaranaike's death, her children entrusted their family home on lease to Udayshanth Fernando who set about transforming the property to an exclusive hotel.

Tintagel now boasts of 10 unique suites, which include seven Executive Suites and three Superior Suites, one of them with its own plunge pool. The hotel also offers complimentary wireless internet access, a stunning long narrow swimming pool as well as the use of the gym and steam room.

The current economic situation notwithstanding, Mr. Fernando said they have a reasonable occupancy, along with customers who keep returning. "The hotel is open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner," he says adding, "We serve some of the best food in Colombo, as well as High Tea and a Sundae menu."

Guests can refresh themselves with a few cocktails at The Red Bar followed by a sumptuous meal at their dining room or the secluded open-air courtyard. They also offer private dining room for small dinners. "One can host exclusive dinner parties and we allow for custom-made menus," Mr. Fernando said, adding that small weddings (for around 60 guests) can also be held at the hotel. The atmosphere created by the chic space makes hosting an occasion at Tintagel quite an experience.

The hotel has much to offer especially in terms of corporate packages. "It's good to show the world that Sri Lanka has style," Mr. Fernando states, adding that bringing down foreign investors and allowing them to have a taste of what Tintagel has to offer, will leave a good impression not just of the hotel but of our island.

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