The chain’s second property in Sri Lanka pushes the luxury envelope in Colombo, offering a home-away-from-home comfort matched with five-star service and facilities for Feizal Samath
Sitting along the picturesque Galle Face promenade and close to the upcoming Colombo financial city, the hotel’s location makes it ideal for both business and leisure. It is also a stone’s throw from shopping malls, street markets and office blocks.
Serviced apartments feature plush interiors – with contemporary light wood, lush carpeting and rich marble blend – creating exquisite spaces that are both lavish and cosy.
In addition to its 500 hotel guestrooms, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo also has a residence component offering 41 fully furnished one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments for both short- and long-term stays.
I stayed in a two-bedroom apartment, which boasts a spacious living room, a fully equipped kitchen, signature Shangri-La Beds, an en-suite bathroom, complimentary Wi-Fi, 49-inch LED TV with cable channels and plush amenities.
Apartment guests can can order from any of the hotel’s six restaurants and bars, on top of room service. And for those who would like to put the kitchen to use, a mall opening in mid-2018 and also managed by Shangri-La will include supermarkets, food court and other conveniences.
All units are well equipped for a longer stay – with a cooker, dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, cutlery, bread toaster, rice cooker, large frying pan and microwave, etc.
Long-stayers will also be happy to know there is ample storage space in the form of built-in wardrobes and drawers (also a completely bare room which I figured could work as additional space for baggage).
Moreover, the apartment can be transformed into a discussion room for groups of five to seven, ideal for small meetings. And after a long night of drinks and networking, any tired local colleague could use the spare bedroom for a night rather than travel a long distance to get home.
The hotel has over 3,500m2 of events space including two ballrooms – including a pillarless one, the largest in the city – several function rooms and a private outdoor lawn.
The Chi Spa on the fourth floor is a great place to unwind with a massage, which I was more than happy to test out. I chose the Signature Asian Blend Massage, which involved a hot towel being placed under the neck – a small touch that went a long way to sooth my neck muscles.
I recommend catching the sunset at the Horizon lounge on the 32nd floor, exclusively for Horizon Club members. The feeling of the sea breeze brushing against your skin as you watch rows of traffic, old colonial buildings of a forgotten British and Dutch era and listen to the occasional toot of a train or ships blowing their horns from the nearby Colombo harbour. For me, that made for great relaxation after a day’s work.
Offered the choice of having dinner in one of the restaurants or a meal in the comfort of the apartment, I opted for the latter. The four-course meal comprised sautéed prawns for starters; asparagus bisque; a main course of pan-seared barramundi; and classic baked cheesecake for dessert.
Among the hotel’s seven restaurants, several stood out. Shang Palace serves Sichuan, Dongbei and Cantonese cuisine. Apart from its striking name, Sri Lankan restaurant Kaema Sutra also benefits from the star power of chef Dharshan Munidasa (of Ministry of Crab fame) and Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, who is of Sri Lankan origin.
Staff is warm, engaging and ready to accommodate every need.
The Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is a good choice for premium travellers seeking to experience the comfort of home with five-star service levels.
No of rooms/apartments: 500 hotel guestrooms, 41 apartments
Rates: From US$270 (one bedroom)