The back story
One of the fastest-growing cities in the world, Colombo is the ideal spot for Asian hospitality super-brand Shangri-La to open their newest hotel – and their second in Sri Lanka. It will soon be joined by the hotel’s serviced apartments and residential development, as well as a massive retail and business financial centre named Port City, which is currently under construction opposite. As the most prominent hotel opening in the city in almost 30 years, it’s already proving a hit with high-flying locals.
Doormen in traditional dress swing open heavy glass doors and you’re immediately underneath a huge water-lily crystal chandelier. Rooms follow a champagne-and-sky-blue colour scheme, blurring satisfyingly with the sweep of ocean and golden sand outside.
On Colombo’s picturesque Galle Face Green, which is buzzing at night with young men playing cricket, courting couples perched on benches, and families walking up the promenade browsing the many makeshift street-food stalls that face the crashing ocean.
Well-heeled Colombo high society and visiting dignitaries. The hotel has the largest ballroom of its kind in the region, and the hotel’s entrance is a hive of activity at all hours, with guests checking in, locals listening to live jazz in the lounge, and conference-goers picking up a croissant at the lobby’s patisserie.
Celebrity chef Dharshan Mundidasa has just re-opened his acclaimed restaurant Kaema Sutra inside the hotel, facing the Indian Ocean and with a statement wall of traditional devil masks, a nightly torch-lighting ceremony and a menu of tapas-style Sri Lankan plates.
Breakfast is an event in itself. Stacked up pineapples are ready for squeezing and the hotel has its own hoppers bar: pancake bowls that can hold eggs, spicy coconut sambal and various fiery chutneys – an exciting Russian roulette of spice. For dinner, don’t miss Capital Bar & Grill’s plush, cobalt-blue-leather, diner-style booths and Mad Men-style retro panelling.