Business Times

Continental ups the stakes in 5-star comfort

By Chanaka de Silva

Ceylon Continental Hotel is upping the stakes in 5-star comfort with a major face-lift that includes the creation of an exclusive lounge styled-club called ‘The Chairman’s Lounge’ under a Rs. 1 billion investment, officials said.

“The Chairman’s Lounge will be an exclusive lounge which will be designed to attract the crème of the corporates. It will have the ideal atmosphere to discuss business,” Upul Gamage, Director /General Manager, Ceylon Continental Hotel told the Business Times.

The upgrade will be done on a 11-point plan and will include the complete refurbishment of the rooms, reception lounge, gym and the inclusion of new restaurants.

More emphasis will be given to the suites being refurbished. Out of the 190 rooms, 35 will be suites, the highest percentage of suites in any hotel in the city. These will all be business suites equipped with Fax, Wi-Fi and printer, meeting the requirement of a business traveler. “We will also have two floors dedicated to the business club which will be equipped with everything a business traveler needs,” he said.

In addition to the Coffee Shop and the Indian Restaurant, three more restaurants will be added supplemented with the club lounge on the ninth floor. The ‘Chairman’s Lounge’ will host an exclusive bar which will serve a wide variety of choice liquor with an outside area for cigars designed as a place to do business, Mr Gamage said.

The public areas will be modified on the same lines making the present reception area a business lounge with three levels of seating. Mr. Gamage also said that “upgrading of the hotel will add value to the selected segment of the market. Our target is to serve 80 % of our business to the corporate and the business traveler with the balance to the leisure sector.”

Most business travelers book into a hotel either on line or reservations being made by local partners. Around 70% of these business travelers are booked in through their local partners, he said, adding: “They are the ones who decide”.

This is why, he noted, the ‘Chairman’s Lounge’ and the Rooftop restaurant will all be created to first cater to the local corporate who when they find they are comfortable would naturally use Continental for their business partners as the preferred hotel.

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