Ulagalla Resort wins international award
For the first time in Sri Lanka, a boutique hotel has won the LEED
2009 Silver certification for its commitment toward sustainable
development said Ranjaka de Mel, General Manager Marketing Ulagalla
resort at a media briefing last week.
He said the prestigious award was bestowed on the Ulaglla resort by
the U.S. Green Building Council for protection of the environment and
for reducing operating costs. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and
Ulagalla Resort, is an up market boutique hotel located at Tirappane,
Anuradapura built by International Construction Consortium (Pvt) Ltd ICC
of the Finco Group.
The resort with 35 chalets was built on a 58 acre land on the
Dambulla-Anuradhapura road was commissioned five months ago. It is close
to two ancient reservoirs viz Ulagalla and Manamaduwa.
General Manager of Ulagalla Resort Ranjan Dissabandara said the
resort had to qualify for 55 points and eight pre requisites to win the
LEED Silver certification.
The resort has the largest solar panel system in the country that
provides 50 percent of the energy needs of the hotel.
According to De Mel an important foreign visitor checked in to the
resort last December.
He is the world famous fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro who spent six
nights at the resort.
Referring to future projections ICC plans to build 60 chalets in the
Kalpitiya area for which approval has been granted by the government.
The company also plans to build chalets in the Trincomalee area he said.
ICC Vice Chairman, Harsha De Saram said they are mindful of the
disturbance caused to the environment when constructing buildings.
"Whatever we do we work in harmony with the environment and that is
why the Ulagalle project is dear to us. We want to set an example to the
construction industry," he said.
According to Ulagalla Resort's Resident Manager Lalin De Mel the
property previously named Ulagalle Walauwa has been restored to it's
It is furnished with a distinctive character.
"The resort is conveniently located close to the cultural triangle
and other historic sites," he said.
To the west of the resort is the famous Ritigala mountains that can
be seen in the distance.
Beyond the resort is the Wanamaduwa reservoir.
The General Manager said that guests can order food around the clock
to suit their appetites.
"This arrangement has been made to suit the times zones of western
nations. Our clients come from the United Kingdom and France.
"Another feature at the Ulagalla Resort is the largest Solar Park in
the country with a capacity of 125 KVA to provide 50 percent of the
power requirements of the chalets.
Ulagalla Walawwa Resort (Pvt) Ltd, is a BOI approved project owned by
the Finco Group of Companies.
Best landscaped hotel in Central Province
The trophies won at the Nagarayata
Uyanwathu Award Presentation ceremony recently.
The Grand Hotel which has been the traditional winner of the Annual
"April Blooms Flower Show" for over three decades bagging the
'Commercial Large' sector prizes for the Best Garden, Best Lawn, Best
Fences and Hedges, Best Collection of Potted Plants, Best flower
Arrangement (Large) has now also become a major competitor at provincial
level, a spokesman for the Hotel said.
The Nagarayata Uyanwathu contest, a concept by the Governor of the
Central Province, Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, is a project carried out to
develop home gardens, floriculture and landscaping covering the
districts of Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya urban areas in collaboration
with the Governor's Office of the Central Province and the Ministry of
Agriculture of the Central Provincial Council, provincial Department of
Agriculture, Provincial Department of Education, Royal Botanical
Gardens, Peradeniya, Department of Agrarian Development and the Kandy,
Matale and Nuwara Eliya Municipal Councils.
A spokesman said that Grand Hotel was the winner at the District
level in 2009 and in 2010 and at the Provincial level was placed first
runner-up in 2009 and became the winner in the year 2010 by bagging the
This recognition is another feather in the cap of the Grand Hotel
which has one of the most beautifully landscaped gardens with a wide
array of flower plants.
It could even be called as one of the most environment friendly
hotels, as it has even received international accolades for this
activity, he said.
Sri Lanka: Yala National Park
Every flick of the leopard's tail and canine-flashing yawn is met
with a flutter of camera shutters. Vying for the best view of the
nonchalant feline are tourists packed into seven jeeps. The leopard,
seemingly fully aware that he's at the top of the food chain, seems to
be enjoying the attention. After 20 minutes, he stands up and, just like
a domestic tabby, stretches, yawns and then wanders off into the thorny
scrub jungle of Sri Lanka's Yala National Park.
The jeeps move on in search of elephants, crocodiles and buffalo.
And, even better,crocodiles munching on buffalo.
The Sri Lankan leopard is a subspecies endemic to the Asian country.
Yala National Park has what is thought to be the highest density of
leopards in the word, despite them being classified as endangered. In
recent times, it's the tourists who have been scarcer.
In May 2008, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice
read 'We advise against all travel to Yala National Park and the areas
around it following a number of serious security incidents in the park
in October and November 2007 and attacks in January 2008 close to the
Advice for the rest of the country, especially the North and East,
was even more inauspicious, warning of a high threat of terrorist
attacks from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) - known to
everyone as the 'Tamil Tigers'.
By the time I arrived in Sri Lanka in October 2009, the president,
Mahinda Rajapaksa, had announced the conflict between the government and
a Tamil faction seeking an independent state was over, after the Tamil
Tigers' leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was killed on May 18.
Before long, the FCO had retracted its warning about travelling to
Trincomalee in the Tamil region of the North East and Yala National Park
on the South coast.
Sri Lanka's most visited tourist attraction was open again.
On a hot, humid evening, after a successful day watching leopards and
crocodiles eating buffalo, I have a candid chat with General Manager
Yala Village Hotel.
"Until August 2007, this hotel was booked out by [mostly British]
Then in September they closed the park after some terrorist
problems," he says.