Strolling down Hospital Street one is surrounded by buildings that have stood for over 100 years as a legacy of the colonial era. Approaching the ZMAX Fairway Colombo, the seven-storey building fits into the neighbourhood like the missing piece of a puzzle, mirroring the colonial architecture of the surrounding buildings. However, upon entering the hotel it’s as if one has left behind the old and stepped into the new.
“From the very beginning of construction – you may recall that the site was a bare piece of land that served as a car park – we were quite aware of the need to ensure that the hotel merged with the surrounding environment and architecture. Our goal was to make sure that when you walk along the arcade, you would feel as if your surroundings were part of a structure that has been around since colonial times. The last thing we wanted was to be guilty of disrupting the structural environment of this particular area,” said Fairway Holdings Group CEO Imal Fonseka.
Greeted at the entrance by cheerful and competent staff members, the entire process of checking in is carried out without the use of a single piece of paper. Tastefully abstract paintings are the only form of decoration upon the walls. Painted solely by renowned artist, Anoma Wijewardena, the paintings depict natural phenomena brought to life with intricate and skilled brushwork. Each guest is presented with a key card, which grants access to the elevator as well as the respective room.
The room comes alive as a guest enters, thanks to ultra-sensitive motion sensors, and turns off when its occupant leaves, as a way of preserving electricity. Just as in the lobby there is no paper to be found in the room, not in the form of a menu or telephone directory. The rooms themselves are spacious and comfortable, each with a clean and well-maintained bathroom attached.
ZMAX Fairway Colombo comprises meeting rooms, a gym, a food court and a total of 181 rooms that range from single bedrooms to family rooms, some of which come complete with a pantry and living room. The hotel also features seven accessible rooms for differently abled guests. There is nothing that has not been thought of from the most minute of details like the choice of crockery for the rooms that come with a pantry, to the special additions to the accessible rooms.
However, the key feature of each room is the IP-TV that offers not just a number of varying channels to suit the interests of the guests, but also a selection of restaurants from which a guest may select their choice of dish and have it delivered to the hotel without ever having to leave the room. But should one wish to dine out, the hotel’s location places one within walking distance of some of the most renowned restaurants and pubs in Colombo.
The ‘Z’ in ZMAX Fairway Colombo is a representation of generation Z. A generation that values connectivity, privacy and the environment, which is exactly what, the hotel offers.
“The focus of this particular target group is very clear and these are the types of things they look for. So that’s what we provide in this place. If you look at the current generation their whole link to the outside world is through a screen, so that’s the type of experience we provide. With a remote and the screen everything is accessible. We’ve taken great care to assure that we’ve created a well-connected hotel.
“Another thing they’re very concerned about is their privacy. That’s why there’s no banquet hall. This is to make sure that upon entering a guest is not greeted by 500 people crowded in the lobby, nor will our guests have to endure the sounds of loud music and the sounds of celebration.
“Another characteristic of this group of customers, is they are very much aware of the environment, they don’t want to feel guilty about leaving too much of an impact or footprint on the environment. It is a thought we at Fairway understand all too well, which is why we have gone to great lengths to ensure that all of the hotel’s activities and various processes are environment friendly. Unlike most hotels, we’re not trying to attract everyone; our goal is to attract a particular group of customers to whom these things are important,” explained Fonseka.
Speaking about Fairway Holdings’ partnership with the Plateno Group Fonseka had this to say, “They are the top ranking hotel group in China. When we began discussions with the company, they were number 7 in the world and today they’ve risen to number 5. This shows that Plateno, much like Fairway Holdings is a company of the future.
Fairway Holdings brings smart luxury to life in the form of ZMAX Fairway Colombo – Sri Lanka’s most technologically advanced city hotel, which offers comfort, connectivity and privacy through high-tech innovation.