Grand leads where it matters
By Sanath Weerasuriya
Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya is a true National heritage. The property reflects the rich history of British rulers in the hills and the history of last two Centuries.
The hotel has a 116 year old heritage and it was the former residence of Sir Edward Barnes, Governor of Sri Lanka from the year 1830 to 1850. After forming the Nuwara Eliya Hotels Company in 1891, this Governor's Residence became a hotel under its new name 'Grand Hotel'
The hotel boast 156 well presented guest rooms and suites including three Presidential and three other suites with a nice garden view.
During the last two year period, the hotel has gone through a massive refurbishment programme. This project includes hotel's main entrance, lounge, corridor, ballroom, main dining hall, coffee shop and all rooms except standard rooms.
'We have spent about Rs. 56 million on the whole project. First in 2005, we attended the entrance and the Lounge adjoining, the corridor and the reception area. The renovation then moved towards the main ballroom/ banquet hall followed by the main dining hall and the coffee shop. These two were completed early this year' said Raju Veerasinghham, the Resident Manager of the Hotel.
Coffee Shop and the redesigned main dining hall were a new additions and the brainchild of the Managing Director Gerard Ondaatjie.
'There are 33 standard rooms to be up-graded and that will be our next step on refurbishment programme' he added.
The Deluxe and Standard rooms are equipped with piped music, room heaters and have well appointed bathrooms with bath and shower. The 65 Deluxe rooms have a view of the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club.
The main restaurant is located on the ground floor, overlooking the garden and serves both Western and Eastern cuisine.
The Coffee shop is also on the ground floor close to the main restaurant. This outlet specializes in light meals and snacks and operates between 10.00a.m. and 12.00 midnight daily.
'The Public Bar is the most popular entertainment area situated directly adjoining the Billiard Room, which has 3 international size billiard tables.The public bar is well stocked and also has a live log fire' said Ramesh Muthuramesh, Front Office Manager.
The Supper Club with its panoramic bar and lounge is well patronized and the dining area which is meticulously furnished and decorated is the ideal dining area for the guests who prefer Ala carte fine dining with an intimate atmosphere and music for dancing.
The Indian restaurant is the first specialty restaurant to open in Nuwara Eliya specializing in a range of vegetarian dishes combining North and South Indian Food.
Grand Hotel has dominated the Commercial large Category of the Annual April Blooms Flower and Garden Show yearly.
This year too the hotel has won many awards. First Place - Best Flower Garden Commercial Large, First Place-Best Lawn Commercial - Large, First Place - Best Fences and Hedges( Commercial - Large), First Place - Best Collection of Potted Plants, First in Best Flower Arrangements.
'Grand Hotel is a well known venue for Banquets and Conferences with its spacious Ball Room which seats up to 200 guests. The private and well appointed Board Room is also available for smaller meetings seating up to 25 persons' Raju added.