'Our resort is popular for Indian family vacations and weddings' - freetxp

‘Our resort is popular for Indian family vacations and weddings’

India has held the numero uno position for inbound travelers to Sri Lanka for many years, says Moshi Perera, General Manager, Shangri-La Hambantota

Hambantota, at the tip of the southernmost province of Sri Lanka, is one of the bigger natural harbors developed to service the growing traffic on the all-important Asian and European international shipping routes while reducing traffic at the busy Colombo Port. It also saves at least three days of sailing time and all-important fuel. And then the location and setting, with its rather sparse population, Hambantota offers an affordable yet excellent getaway to an international traveller as it sits at the head of the Indian Ocean and as an opportunity to save the sites and amazing Lankan hospitality and food.

All this and more happens at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, one of the largest resorts in Sri Lanka that boasts of 274 spacious rooms, including 20 suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. Not to forget, four vibrant restaurants and three swimming pools amid tropical gardens and a host of fun-filled activities for the whole family. The beachfront resort, spread over 58 hectares, is an adventurer’s dream with a mosaic of activities and unique curated expeditions to help guests absorb the diversity of the island at its best.

With the development of multiple highways across the country, Shangri-La Hambantota is accessible in three-and-a-half hours from the Colombo Airport or Bandaranaike International Airport. For Indian travellers, there is strong flight connectivity from all key cities that allows guests freedom in planning their vacations. The resort is located just 20 minutes from the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. With the recent challenges that global travel has faced, this airport faced a slowdown in international flights but many new routes are likely to open up in the future. This airport is also popular with travelers flying in by private jets.

At the helm of affairs at Shangri-La Hambantota is General Manager Moshi Perera who, with his over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, helps define hotel direction and optimises business by directing sales teams to achieve goals.

Popular among Western and Indian travellers

The property is popular with travellers from across the globe with the ones from India holding the numero uno position for inbound travellers for many years. “With an unparalleled selection of recreation activities for the whole family including the thrills of a seven-meter high trapeze, a dedicated kids’ zone with exciting activities through the day and the Aqua Zone with perfect tropical island water activities, the resort is an ideal destination for Indian family vacations,” says Perera, adding that the property is also a seek-after wedding destination, especially for couples from India with a vast number of outdoor venues to choose from.

The cultural and spiritual ties between India and Sri Lanka have had a long and vibrant history, from the links of powerful Indian monarchy to own kings, and even the magical Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka. “Indian travelers truly immerse themselves in the experience of a visit to the multi-religious sacred city of Kataragama with a history that dates back to the 2nd century or the towering rock of Mulkirigala nestled away in a green forest with seven ancient cave temples depicting Buddhist mythology. Both Kataragama and Mulkirigala are an hour away from the resort making them easily accessible to our guests,” shares Perera.

In and around town

Four of Asia’s finest wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are located in close proximity of the resort and each of these offer something unique. Yala National Park has the world’s highest density of leopards while Udawalawe National Park has an abundance of elephants and the reservoir here is a perfect stop by late afternoon when you can catch the sun set in fiery shades of orange, over glistening water. One of the most scenic parks in Sri Lanka, Bundala is an important wintering ground for migratory birds making it a bird lover’s haven. The Lunugamvehera National Park houses the waterways of the stunning Lunugamvehara reservoir and is an important habitat as a corridor for elephant migration and also many species of water birds. These national parks with their rich bio-diversity offer a fulfilling experience for a passionate Nature-lover or an adventurer seeking a safari with quick sightings.

For a bucket list tick-off, just an hour away from the resort is Mirissa, a major location for whale watching set within an international whaling commission protected zone in the Indian Ocean. The sight of these magnificent creatures as they rise to the surface is once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests who want to experience cooler climes and hilltops can take a full day’s tour to Ella that entails stop overs at the iconic Nine Arch Bridge, historical Dhowa Cave Temple, a hike up Little Adam’s Peak and a visit to a tea factory.

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