Hemas’ Club Hotel Dolphin newer and better after $5 million refurbishment

Tuesday, 5 October 2010 22:43 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hemas’ Club Hotel Dolphin Waikkal has undergone a Rs. 530 m (US$5 m) refurbishment and is now ready to welcome its Sri Lankan and foreign visitors this forthcoming festive and winter season, as a newer and better up-market property.

General Manager of the Hotel Chamin Wickremasinghe said: “We’re now showcasing the hotel with its spanking new tag line – Best of Both Worlds. Club Hotel Dolphin has been endowed with a dual personality – a vibrant and active ‘play’ side which sharply contrasts with its peaceful and quiet ‘pause’ side. This dual concept best personifies the look and feel of the newly refurbished hotel.”  

As part of its ‘play’ side, Club Hotel Dolphin boasts of one of the longest pools in South Asia with its 10-member animation team including kids’ animators. Among the activities one can choose from are kayaking on the river, horse riding, archery, beach volleyball, tennis, badminton, squash, croquette, mini golf, water volleyball, animation shows and a discotheque.

The ‘pause’ side affords visitors the peace and quiet of absolute calm and privacy. The individual villas are very private enclaves. The specialty restaurant with its show kitchen brings you gourmet cuisine while spa facilities pamper you. There is also a second swimming pool which is a designated quiet pool while special candle-lit private dinners can be arranged at any location of your choice.

“I’m happy to say that the hotel never closed during the refurbishment project. It took around four months and did not to hinder the general day-to-day operations,” Wickremasinghe added.  

As you enter the hotel’s main reception and lobby, its new black and white theme bring in a fresh sense of light and space, beautiful landscaped gardens with views of the ocean beyond.

As part of the refurbishment process, the cottage rooms were completely redone, and are now branded as ‘Villas’. The general footprint of the room has been dramatically made larger and more elegant than before with all facilities one would need such as flat screen TV, DVD player, tea/coffee making facilities, mini bar and an in-room safe.  

The main building deluxe rooms have had improvements done to their soft furnishings while a mini bar and an in-room safe have also been added to each of the rooms as well.

The main restaurant has also been completely redone to re-echo the black and white theme, yet with an explosion of colour. The separate dessert section gives all sweet- toothed visitors privacy to indulge. There is also a specialty restaurant serving Italian grill food with a show kitchen while the new bar lounge boasts of its sunken bar with indoor seating, as well as an outdoor ‘sunset’ deck and terrace – perfect for a relaxing cocktail.

The hotel’s amphitheatre is a spacious outdoor theatre for evening animation shows and entertainment with animators hosting live shows with excerpts from musicals like ‘Lion King,’ ‘Grease’ and songs by ‘Queen’. The shopping arcade with its four boutiques affords visitors the convenience of shopping as they please.

Chairman of Serendib Leisure Management Ltd and Director of Hemas Holdings Abbas Esufally said, “This refurbishment project was in the pipeline for quite a while now. In the aftermath of the 30 year old protracted war and the re-emergence of peace, foreign tour operators and tourists in general are looking favourably at Sri Lanka. We were once a country which had travel embargoes slapped on us. All this is now mercifully a thing of the past.”

“The tourist industry is buoyant and alive to say the least. With the Visit Sri Lanka Year right ahead of us, and the anticipated 750,000+ tourists who are expected to converge on Sri Lanka, we’re happy to join the national effort to get ready and be part of this success story.”

Esufally added that as part of the refurbishment programme, the Hotel has built brand new staff quarters.”We believe that a happy and contented staff will unreservedly give their best to our customers. Parallel to this, our aim is to have the best staff quarters in the Sri Lanka tourism industry… and we’re not far away from that goal,” he added confidently.

Club Hotel Dolphin is part of the 4 properties managed by Serendib Leisure Management Ltd, and is a subsidiary of the Hemas Group. It recently won the prestigious 2010 Trip Adviser Travelers’ Choice Award for the seventh Best Hotel in the Asian Region under the Family Category.

Trip Adviser is also the largest online travel referral site and Club Hotel Dolphin enjoys an 88% recommendation rate. It is in fact the only hotel in Sri Lanka to be selected in the ‘family hotel category,’ a recommendation purely based on traveller reviews and guest experiences.

As part of its CSR initiatives, Club Hotel Dolphin gifted a Community Centre to the villagers in the area. This Centre has a community hall, library, children’s play area and a volleyball court.  The hotel has organized an English class for the children in the centre and a teacher has been employed for this purpose. IT education with the participation of hotel staff will be introduced shortly.

The Serendib Group of Hotels has initiated many projects to help the local communities. A special fund is to be created in the hotels where donations could be made by the guests for sustainability.  Interested tourists will be given the opportunity to take part in community activities with the guidance of the hotel staff.  

Hemas Holdings Ltd. is one of Sri Lanka’s leading conglomerates with a focus on five key sectors – FMCG, healthcare, transportation, leisure and power generation.