TV Times

Experience the ‘Orient Adventure’

By Sanath Weerasuriya, Pix by Nilan Maligaspe

Bandarawela is losing its grip on destination status since lately as the city has become more monotonous. It was not a popular destination for excursions for many years. Sri Lankan travellers go there for just relaxation and enjoy the mild whether.

But since late, the Orient Hotel plays a major role in promoting package travel involved in adventure and nature. It helps to change the face of Bandarawel from just a relax holiday spot to a center for adventure and excursions.

Set about 3800 feet above sea level, Bandarawela is a popular place among foreign and Sri Lankan holidaymakers. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, forests, steep peaks, scenic waterfalls and archaeological sites with rich farmland and tea plantation, Bandarawela is now a centre of adventure travel.

Apart from conventional tourism, Orient Hotel has taken a step further introducing Orient Tea Plantation Bungalows, Orient Adventure Villa and Orient Adventure Camping in Ampitikanda in Poonagala range and in Ambadandegama in South boarder of Bandarawela.

Two of the Orient Tea Plantation Bungalows are situated in Ampitikanda Estate. ‘These are 100 years old Colonial Planters bungalows. Orient Hotel is managing the properties’ said Rewatha Hettiarachy, the General Manager of the Orient Hotel, who is the pioneer in promoting adventure tours and Nature packages.

Both are located in scenic Poonagala Range and have four large rooms each with all the modern amenities. ‘The service includes full board ala carte and round the clock butler services. Our motto at Orient ‘guest is king’ applies here as well. We cater to his needs and wants and there is no time frame for any services’ he explained.

The adventure tours and excursions are not tailor made for guests here. They can select their leisure time with many tours and excursions around the province.

Orient Adventure Villa in Ambadandegama is a unique destination. In the midst of rich vegetation, the Villa is situated just a waking distance to the place, where Ravan Falls starts.

Rewatha Hettiarachy

‘It is surrounded by many mountain tops and it looks more Himalayan than in Uva. Trekking to the starting point of Ravana Ella is very popular among foreigners. The vegetation in the village is a lesson for many students visiting the area from Agriculture School and Universities’ he added.

Orient Adventure permanent Camping site is located on the steep of Ampitikanda, about 6000feet above the sea level. Just two hours drive from the Orient Hotel Bandarawela, Camping site is the most adventurous them of all.

‘Twenty people can be accommodated at the camping site with full and permanent service from the hotel. We provide with all facilities and 24 hour security services to the site. Camp fire, adventure trekking programmes, excursions to mountains and transport on request are some on the menu’ Rewatha said.

Lipton’s Seat in Dambethenna Estate, Pilkington Point at Poonagala and St. Catherine’ Seat in Nayabedda are three of the popular eexcursions in the area. Apart from that Bogoda Bridge off Hali Ela, Buduruwagala ancient monuments in Tanamalwila, Dowa Rock temple, Adisham monastery, Bambarakanda, Diyaluma, Dunhinda and Rawana water falls are other popular places for day excursions.

Tea Plantation Bungalows, Villa and the Camping site offers special packages to tour groups, clubs and societies. ‘Our total package includes accommodation, meals, day excursions, professional guiding and transportation, if required. We give discounts on special packages for families, school day outs, company outings and honeymooners’ he said.

Orient Tea Plantation Bungalows, Orient Adventure Villa and Orient Adventure Camping programme are managed by Orient Hotel Bandarawela.

Well known business entrepreneur Roshan Perera is the Chairman/ Managing Director of the Orient Hotel. General Manager of the hotel Rewatha Hettiarachy is a professional hotel mamger qualified from the famous Lesroches Hotel Management school in Switzerland.

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