BACKGROUND Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has two properties in Sri Lanka. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa opened in June 2016. Shangri-La Colombo opened in December 2017.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The hotel was in its pre-opening stage the morning I checked-in. A winding pathway lined with greenery guided my vehicle to the entrance of this 32-storey property. Designed by New York-based Handel Architects, the interiors are shaded in hues of gold and bronze. The hotel’s signature floral chandelier welcomes you at the entrance. This elaborate light installation theme is aesthetically present around the property. Evidently, the decor of the property is inspired by the natural beauty of Sri Lanka, and has been fused with modern design sensibilities. An example of this is a life-size metal sculpture of an infant elephant commissioned by celebrated Chinese artist Man Fung-Yi that graces the hotel’s lobby.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel overlooks Colombo’s Galle Face Green promenade. It is walking distance from some of the city’s main attractions such as the Dutch Hospital Precinct. Colombo International Airport is a 45-minute drive.
ROOM FACILITIES The most striking aspect of my 42 sqm Deluxe Ocean View room on the 24th floor was its ceiling-to-floor glass windows that offers uninterrupted views of Galle Face Green and the Indian Ocean. It features a signature Shangri-La bed with a 300-thread-count lightweight duvet that warranted peaceful nights. Refined materials such as marble and silk add elegance to the room. The work desk faces the bed and is equipped with charging sockets including a LAN port. Partially carpeted, the room is decorated in teal and brown to emanate the hotel’s correlation to Sri Lanka’s nature. An iHome dock is placed beside the bed which I used to play music and charge my phone. I enjoyed my morning green teas on the lounger beside the window. The marble bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower area is equipped with Spa Ceylon bath amenities. Other room categories include Deluxe Lake View, Premier Balcony and Premier Ocean View rooms. Horizon Club Lake View and Horizon Club Ocean View rooms on the top three floors offer access to the Horizon Club Lounge on the 32nd floor. Just like Horizon Club Lounges across Shangri-La hotels, guests here too can avail of a number of benefits. These include in-room check-in, breakfast, sunset cocktails and canapés at the lounge, dedicated Club Concierge, private meeting rooms and of course, a bird’s-eye view of Galle Face Green. Suite types are Executive, Specialty and the Shangri-La suite. The hotel is also home to 41 serviced apartments. Wifi is free across the property.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Table One is its all-day dining restaurant that features attractive show kitchens serving a myriad of cuisines including Sri Lankan, Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern. I quite enjoyed traditional Sri Lankan hoppers here with a selection of lip-smacking chutneys. Lunch was at Shang Palace, its authentic Chinese restaurant, a signature of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. Here I relished its yum cha menu which included a memorable Peking duck that was roasted in a custom-made duck oven then carved table-side. Capital Bar and Grill is a retro-classic grill lounge that’s divided into a blue room and a white room offering different ambiences. The high tea experience at the Sapphyr Lounge in the lobby level was accompanied by the hotel’s tea sommelier. It is known for its jewel shaped treats. Kaema Sutra is its Sri Lankan tapas-style plates restaurant that was in its opening stage when I visited. There is also a Pool Bar set alongside the hotel’s swimming pool.
MEETING FACILITIES Shangri-La Colombo is positioned to draw in MICE with its elaborate meeting spaces that sprawl across 3,500 sqm. The hotel houses the largest pillarless ballroom in Sri Lanka — the Shangri-La Ballroom — that can accommodate up to 1,500 people. There is also the Lotus Ballroom (470 sqm) which is beside three breakout rooms — Ginger, Saffron and Tamarind — amongst other spaces including an outdoor events venue on the fourth floor.
LEISURE FACILITIES A 24-hour fitness centre, a swimming pool where I enjoyed a brief swim, vitality pools, steam rooms and CHI, The Spa.
VERDICT A modern business hotel with facilities to amp up the luxury quotient on a work trip.
PRICE Internet rates for a mid-week stay in a Deluxe Lake View room in March started from LKR 27,487/₹11,447.
CONTACT 1, Galle Face, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka; tel: +94 117 888 288; shangri-la.com