A powerful new hotel initiative that promises to stir up a new round of international enthusiasm for Sri Lanka is taking shape on one of Asia’s fastest-growing island destinations.
This month, the Galle Face Hotel Group and the Louis T Collection will come together in a strategic partnership that will link two complementary organizations — the Galle Face Hotel Group (GFHG), a Sri Lanka-based company led by a prominent voice in Sri Lankan tourism, Sanjeev Gardiner, and the Louis T Collection, a hospitality management and building solutions company.
“Now’s the time,” said GFHG Chairman Sanjeev Gardiner. “The island is flourishing and tourism is booming.”
In recent years Gardiner was recognized as “Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Sri Lanka Tourism awards. The young leader, who is carrying on in his late father’s footsteps, took over the chairman’s position when he was just 25 years old and has played an integral role in fostering the island’s domestic and international tourism scene.
“Galle Face is an independent grand hotel,” said Gardiner, “and the beauty of our collaboration [with Louis T] is it allows us to leverage all of their technology benefits as well as international hospitality experience and reach, while still remaining a grand independent.”
Louis T plans to further boost the operational performance of the Galle Face Hotel, and strengthen GFHG´s retail and asset management capabilities.
“A hotel is more than just a comfortable place to stay,” said CEO and co-founder of Louis T Grant Healy. “It can and should be a gateway to the surrounding environment, just like the Galle Face Hotel, one of the most celebrated properties in Asia for over 150 years.”
The Galle Face recently concluded a 30-month restoration project on the iconic 152-year-old hotel. (Indeed, Galle Face’s opening in 1864 preceded Singapore’s Raffles Hotel by two decades and Bangkok’s Oriental Hotel by a dozen years).
The extensive renovations completely remade the North Wing’s 72 rooms and suites, its restaurants and bars, lobby, and ballrooms. The hotel also added an expansive executive lounge with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean from a private terrace; restored the carriage porch, bringing the facade back to its early design. The grand porch also serves as a 60-square-meter private balcony for the Empress Suite, one of the hotel’s eight one-of-a-kind luxury suites.
On June 22, Galle Face Hotel will re-open Sea Spray, an upscale seafood restaurant which boasts the largest oceanfront dining perch in the capital.
In 2015 Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo was touted as the fastest growing tourist city in the world by CNN, with research based on MasterCard’s Annual Travel Study. Tourism into Sri Lanka is continuing to flourish with record year-on-year growth. The island of Sri Lanka boasts unspoilt beaches, an up-and-coming dining scene, some of the finest wildlife refuges in South Asia, and eight sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.