The Shangri-La chain’s 101st hotel located in Colombo and scheduled to open next month with the largest pillar-less ballroom in the city, is gearing to attract MICE travellers to Sri Lanka.
The ballroom still under construction has already gathered interest among the public for a wedding and another event scheduled to be held soon after opening, the hotel authorities said during the sneak-peek session given to journalists in Colombo on Thursday. First up on the tour was the showcasing of one of the 20 disabled-friendly rooms that the hotel services.
The hotel’s General Manager Timothy Wright arrived in the country in November last year and has been working to put the team together as he said “hiring for attitude and training for skills.”
He noted that they were quite excited in blending Sri Lanka’s warmth and hospitality with the five star Shangri-La offerings.
The 500-roomed hotel on 32 floors opens doors to accommodation units that on the seaside open to a clear view of the sundown and the upcoming Port City project dwarfing some of the other hotels that adorned the city’s skyline at one time. It will also comprise 41 service apartments with a pillar-less ballroom that could accommodate 1500 seated and about 3000 at a cocktail event. The hotel has already recruited staff numbering 650 and will increase this up to 800 in time to come in catering its clients staying at the six room categories of Deluxe, Premier, Horizon Club rooms with Executive lounges, 30 executive suites, three specialty suites and a Presidential suite. Once opened, the hotel is said to open out to an outdoor lawn on the fourth floor.
Rooms at the hotel would be marketed at US$180 ++ for a single room and a special rate of US$150 ++ for MICE visitors.
The GM also noted that in a chain of hotels with female staff strength of over 55 per cent in Sri Lanka this segment comprised only about 15 per cent. He also pointed out that while Shangri-La would not be the cheapest it would cater to those willing to pay higher to stay at the latest address in town.