Aitken Spence to upgrade oldest hotel in its Sri Lanka portfolio

Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence group said it was upgrading the oldest hotel in its chain to its premium ‘Heritance’ brand which is built to reflect the history of an individual hotel as well as the country it is situated in.

Neptune Hotel, which will be closed for refurbishment, was the first hotel in Aitken Spence group. Built in 1973-76, it was designed by Geoffrey Bawa, a celebrated Sri Lankan architect who gave birth to a new style of hotel design in the Asian region.

The chain operates a chain of 26 hotels in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India and Oman.

There are now two hotels under the ‘Heritance’ brand in Sri Lanka and one in India. A hill country hotel, the Tea Factory, is also to be re-branded.

The group’s Maldivian hotels are branded ‘Adaaran’.

The hotel will be re-branded ‘Heritance Mahagedera’. Mahagedera is a Sri Lankan term that refers to the ancestral or parent’s residence.

“A special effort has been made to respect and retain the historical ambience of the property,” Aiken Spence said in a statement.

“The Heritance brand mission is aimed at travelers experiencing, connecting with, and learning from Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.”

The group says the hotel will have yoga, meditation and traditional ayurveda medicine service providing a ‘wellness’ experience.

“Ayurveda is a science of life that has been practiced in Sri Lanka for thousands of years,” Aitken Spence managing director Malin Hapugoda said in a statement.

“It is central to our cultural inheritance.

“‘Heritance Mahagedera’ will specialize in providing the inner and outer rejuvenation that ayurveda, yoga and meditation, combined with Heritance Cuisine, can provide.”

The Neptune Ayurveda Village which is situated next door to the hotel will be in operation throughout the renovation.

Hapugoda says the refurbishment will see the hotel offering modern quality standards while being “aesthetically and spiritually Sri Lankan.”

“We also believe the time is opportune for the refurbishment and as the new property opens its doors as a Heritance, it will be to an economy in upswing.”

A 30-year war ended in the island with the defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists in May. The leisure industry has been crippled by travel advisories. Britain last week relaxed its travel warning to some areas in the East of the island.

Website: Neptune Hotel

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