President opens 4-Star Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

Built under Rs. 750 mn investment


By Steve A. Morrell

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday opened the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort – a four-star luxury property situated amidst innate history and mystique greenness coupled with traveler comforts.

Off the beaten track, yet conveniently accessed is this holiday resort at Thanamalwila Road, Uda Walawe, which offers comfort unequaled in that setting with novelty and convenient access to national parks. That alone should attract urban dwellers to tranquil greenness this resort boasts of.

The Uda Walawe irrigation tract, a substantial expanse of water that lends to this setting, would keep travelers transfixed and unavoidably absorbed in its natural beauty.

Add to these natural attributes, and the ‘away–from-it–all’ atmosphere of ‘nature isolation’, the well appointed facilities this resort offers would tempt visitors to stay a few more days beyond their appointed schedules.

Apart from its 165 km access from Colombo on the usual traveler routes, journeying from the Central hills on the Bogowantalawa-Balangoda short cut, above the Detenigala mountain range, is the panoramic area known as Uda Walawe.

The view which stretches out from these mountains is unmistakably stunning. Any traveler from this elevation would want to hurry down to these planes, and to this resort to sample first-hand the elevated view had to offer.

"This resort hotel has 55 rooms including four suites", Priyantha Dematagoda, a director told a news conference in Colombo last week.

Construction of the hotel had placed additional concern to the environment through use of solar panels for heating, said Athula Thantirige, also a member of the board of directors.

Dematagoda said that this luxury resort project was completed at a cost of Rs. 750 million. Of the total capital commitment, Rs. 300 was injected by the company’s seven directors while the balance was financed by the Bank of Ceylon (BOC).

Asked by reservations, Marketing Executive, Ms. Felicita Mariampillai replied: "Visitor expectations for the winter season this year is currently about 20%".

She said the company is in direct contact with leading travel agencies who have pledged arrivals would increase with and visitor numbers to Sri Lanka ballooning.

"The resort, situated on a seven-acre extent, has a specially designed, state-of-the-art swimming pool which is unique", Thantirige said. "All our rooms are air-conditioned and are equipped with internet, IDD and satellite TV facilities".

Cooperation with the tourism sector and the Ministry is on-going. Bookings have increased over the past few weeks, and it could be safely assumed that tourist arrivals would be good. The season this year, ending April 2013, would yield productive results, Dematagoda noted.

"We also encourage local tourists who will be offered special room rates", he assured. "The location of the resort provides easy access to key places of interest".

The directors of the resort are Messrs. A. A. W. Bandara (Chairman/MD), Anura Vithanage, Ananda Kularatne (a former parliamentarian), Athula Thantirige, Jayalal Vithanage, Priyantha Dematagoda and Senaka Gurusinghe.

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