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Aitken Spence Hotels launch ‘SpenceSafe’ safety guidelines for guests

30 Jun

Premier hospitality company, Aitken Spence Hotels recently launched ‘SpenceSafe’, a complete guide to health & safety in support of the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The blueprint, accessible on their website (aitkenspencehotels.com/spencesafe) and shared with their key travel and trade partners, aims to reassure guests and restore their confidence by sharing their comprehensive and cohesive health & safety procedures over all functions.

The Group has 22 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman under its brands Heritance Hotels and Resorts, Adaaran Resorts, and Turyaa as well as its managed properties. Collectively, the Aitken Spence Hotels have taken a holistic and precautionary approach benchmarked to global best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Company is gradually opening their doors to welcome guests, with Earl’s Regent being the first to open at the beginning of June 2020, followed by Bandarawela Hotel, Amethyst Resort Passikudah Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Negombo, Earl’s Regency and Turyaa Kalutara in July. Heritance Ahungalla and Tea Factory are scheduled to open in October and November respectively.

‘SpenceSafe’ explains precautionary measures implemented as well as the expectation of guests’ responsibility. For the benefit of guests, the document explains procedures to be followed from the point of making a reservation, arriving at the hotel, check-in, accommodation, dining, use of meeting and conference venues and public spaces and recreation. Developed under the second phase of the Company’s Risk Mitigation Strategy, the document provides guidance to all guests, staff and supplier touchpoints to assure safe and carefree travel for all stakeholders when the hotels and resorts reopen in the next few weeks.

“The wellbeing of our guests has always been of paramount importance to us,” said Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements Stasshani Jayawardena. “We believe our legacy in hospitality is based on providing a superior experience to our guests by going the extra mile. Throughout our hotels, we serve with warmth and care, inherent qualities of being a local brand taking our well-known hospitality to the world. While we open our doors after a hiatus, we are keen to reacquaint our guests with our customary hospitality, only made better with the enhanced safety protocols.”

Adding to the sentiments, Aitken Spence Hotels Managing Director Susith Jayawickrama asserted, “Collectively, our hotels have taken stringent precautions to ensure the safety and health of all stakeholders, and to reassure peace of mind for our guests who have been anticipating a holiday at our resorts.” The practices outlined are based on local and international health & safety standards and have been strengthened by in-house expertise.

“We believe in creating a safe environment for our guests; promoting hassle-free travel to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy a much-needed break which is worth the wait,” he said.

The safety precautions will be constantly monitored by the Company’s Risk Response Team and will evolve with the changing global and national needs.

Furthermore, the Group used the lockdown period to educate their staff on emergency response, recognising symptoms and to familiarise them on other emerging protocols for post-lockdown operations following the SpenceSafe initiatives. The staff have also been educated on the heightened hygiene standards and safety guidelines to be followed both at work and at home as well, reiterating the Group’s commitment towards mitigating any contagion.

“Our Company has always followed international guidelines for health & safety, environmental protection and quality. For example, we maintain HACCP/ ISO 22000: 2005 certified food safety management systems. These industry benchmarks have paved the way for not only operational efficiencies and high-quality standards but for responsible tourism practices maintained across all our operations,” Jayawickrama assured. Aitken Spence Hotels look forward to welcoming all guests with hospitality from the heart at a safe haven while you are away from home.

Aitken Spence PLC & Aitken Spence Hotels shines at the ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards

11 Mar

Public performance disclosures of the leading blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC were recognised by ACCA Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Sustainability Reporting Awards of 2019. The holding company, Aitken Spence PLC was adjudged Runner-Up in the ‘Conglomerates & Diversified Category’ while Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged winner in the ‘Leisure & Connected Services Category’.

ACCA Sri Lanka has felicitated Sri Lanka’s best sustainability reports for over 15 years. The Sustainability Reporting Awards are held with the objective of recognising and rewarding organisations which disclose information on financial, environmental and social performance, and to encourage corporate transparency, accountability and responsiveness to stakeholders.

Across the Group, a holistic, systemic approach is implemented to fulfil social, environmental and financial commitments with a long-term perspective that is reflected in the value created by the Group. Signatories to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, and the 7 Women’s Empowerment Principles, the Group also aligns their reporting practices to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI Standard) and the guidelines of the International Integrated Reporting Council. Operational priorities are aligned to national priorities and identified priorities within the Sustainable Development Goals.

Aitken Spence PLC is also the reigning winner of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability award for three successive years while being the only company in Sri Lanka to be ranked among the Top 10 Corporate Citizens for an unprecedented 14 consecutive years.

Strengthening the ingrained ethos of sustainability of their parent company, Aitken Spence Hotels is committed to preserve and sustain the natural environment and to channel dividends of the tourism industry to local communities. The award highlights the importance Aitken Spence Hotels gives to sustainability, transparency and accountability while recognising the company’s commitment to report its economic, social and environmental impacts.

With an indisputable repute as one of Sri Lanka’s pioneering corporates, Aitken Spence has anchored to a heritage of excellence spanning over 150 years. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a responsible enterprise driven by over 14,000 employees across 16 industries in 8 countries. Creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers, Aitken Spence PLC is an organisation committed to the development of Sri Lanka.

Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam, Chief Financial Officer of Aitken Spence PLC, accepting the award for Runner-Up – Conglomerates & Diversified Category.

 

Mr. Jeevaka Weerakon – Chief Operating Officer, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt) Ltd and Mr. Dammika Ekanayake – Assistant Vice President Finance, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt) Ltd., accepting the award for Winner – Leisure & Connected Services Category.

Aitken Spence’s Heritance Aarah brings Gold from Culinary Olympics 2020

7 Mar

Aitken Spence Hotels continued their winning streak at their latest resort in the Maldives, Heritance Aarah, bringing home multiple wins from the prestigious IKA Culinary Olympics 2020. The team clinched four (04) Golds, seven (07) Silver and two (02) Bronze medals; marking their third win in the culinary sphere since the opening of the resort last year!

The team from Heritance Aarah embarked on the Culinary Olympic journey just months after their previous win at the Culinary Food Expo in September; the eight-member team from Heritance Aarah were led by chef Lalith Gunasekera –  Corporate Chef – Maldives Sector, and chef Amila Silva – Executive Chef Heritance Aarah. The team was guided by Culinary Olympic record holder Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, a (nine-time Gold medalist). Chef Kumarasinghe is currently The Ambassador, Heritance Cuisine/Chefs & Culinary Art Development Officer at Aitken Spence Hotels.

Excellence in skill, together with the expertise of the team, sheer hard work, commitment and dedication fueled by the spirit of Aitken Spence and a winning attitude, proved to be the award-winning ingredient for Heritance Aarah.

Held in Stuttgart, Germany from 14-19 February, the competition saw over 2,000 chefs from around 59 countries crafting over 7,000 menus to be judged by an elite panel of global chefs from across the world. The competition acknowledged as the oldest, largest and most diverse international culinary art competition in the globe is one of the most competitive and challenging battles in the industry.

The winning team was welcomed at the Bandaranaike airport by the Chairperson and Management of Aitken Spence Hotels followed by a felicitation lunch and ceremony with the attendance of Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena – Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director – Aitken Spence PLC, Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena – Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels and well-wishers from Aitken Spence subsidiaries.

Heritance Aarah presents 150 villas with a premium all-inclusive offering, including extensive dining experiences. Introducing a unique food culture to the Maldives hospitality industry, Heritance Aarah’s culinary success is owed to its innovative approach and simple food structure. It’s no surprise that the resort has made a name for itself as a hub for gastronomic finesse among its wide clientele from across the world.

Speaking on this accomplishment, Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management, said “I am extremely proud and congratulate our team. Their achievements today will no doubt motivate our very own and others to aspire for the best in their own fields.”

Heritance Aarah has successfully followed the footsteps of its sister properties in Sri Lanka and set a benchmark in the culinary field. Through our unique culture of embracing local flavours and fusing them with techniques around the world, our culinary experts have developed an award-winning experience that amazes guests from around the world. The win reiterates our commitment to create cuisine that delight our customers,” she said.

This achievement also reflects the Company’s dedication to invest in honing talent and to drive innovation. “These wins reflect the promising talent within our family. Our hope is that they utilise all available resources to improve their skillset and together, create memorable holidays for our guests,” she further added.

Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and operates 23 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels represent Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for exceptional service, and undisputed lifestyle experiences. Aitken Spence Hotels’ Sri Lankan portfolio includes 11 resorts across the island, with seven resorts in the Maldives, four resorts in Oman and one resort in India.

 

Heritance Aarah Culinary Olympic Wins

 

Amila Sathsara Silva

Silver, Sri Lanka Culinary Artistic – D1

Silver, Regional Team Sri Lanka

 

A. Dananjaya Fernando

Bronze, Sri Lanka Pastry Artistic – D2

Silver, Regional Team Sri Lanka

 

F. Gihan Maduranga Fonseka

Gold, Sri Lanka Pastry Artistic – D2

Silver, Regional Team Sri Lanka

 

Chamaka Nadeeshan Perera

Gold, Culinary Art Cooking – Sri Lanka

Bronze, Pastry Artistic – D2

Silver, Regional Team Sri Lanka

 

Shrimal Kulatunge

Gold, Pastry Artistic – D2

Silver, Regional Team Sri Lanka

 

Lalith Gunasekera

Gold, Culinary Art Cooking – Sri Lanka

Aitken Spence Hotels celebrates the season with awards and festivities

26 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC was crowned the Gold Award Winner in the Hotel Companies Sector whilst Browns Beach Hotels PLC received a Certificate of Compliance at the recently held 55th Annual Report Awards 2019 organised by Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).

The premier hospitality chain, renowned for its sustainability and eco-efforts, celebrated yet another global recognition with TUI awards; a recognition from German guests and auditors. Heritance Ahungalla (Sri Lanka) and Adaaran Select Meedhupparu (Maldives) were named ‘TUI Environmental Champions 2020’. Awarded by TUI Group, the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide, this recognition celebrates outstanding performance in driving sustainable tourism.

The true test of sustainability, and resilience is the capacity to maintain operations amid adversity; to support people and local economies dependent on business continuity for their sustenance. These achievements are a tribute to the strength and endurance of its people.

Aitken Spence Hotels have proven their mettle time and again, illustrating their strengths on multiple platforms. The team stole the show at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 walking away with the championship trophy and an impressive 130 medals in total. Heritance Aarah Maldives emerged ‘Overall Champion’ within just few months of operations. Always a changemaker in the industry, Aitken Spence Hotels introduced LEED certified architecture to the Maldives with Heritance Aarah, the first LEED Gold certified resort in the Maldives. LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.

Aitken Spence’s Heritance hotels in Sri Lanka and Adaaran hotels in the Maldives remain Travelife Gold certified. Aitken Spence Hotels also received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 16 of its hotels and resorts located across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India.

On that high note, Aitken Spence Hotels is welcoming the festive season with an array of exciting activities.

Indulge in the finest flavours with culinary feasts, join an impressive lineup of celebrations and treat yourself to a relaxing and a truly memorable holiday experience. Guests will be greeted with special celebrations all through the month including a gala dinner buffet on Christmas eve followed by festive lunch and dinner spreads on Christmas day. The festivities also include Christmas carols on Christmas eve and a range of fun activities for junior guests such as Kiddies Fun Camp, and the ‘Junior Chef’ seasonal workshop.

Usher in the New Year, at the new year’s bash and enjoy a grand lunch and dinner spread at Aitken Spence Hotels, renowned as Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotels and resorts.

For more details, visit http://bit.ly/2LMTuLY. For reservations for any of the events mentioned or for stay inquiries, contact the Aitken Spence Hotels head office on 0112308408.

Aitken Spence Hotels Team receiving the awards at the 55th Annual Report Awards

 

Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Maldives

 

Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka

Aitken Spence Hotels Victorious with Heritance Hotels Sweeping the Culinary Art Expo 2019

28 Oct

Aitken Spence Hotels Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 – Winning Team

 

Aitken Spence Hotels showed their mettle at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 walking away with the championship trophy and an impressive 130 medals in total. Heritance Hotels & Resorts were the stars of the show clinching 126 medals.

Heritance Aarah Maldives emerged ‘Overall Champion’, the second win for the luxury resort within just few months of operations. The property also excelled at the Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives 2019 (FHAM) competition with the highest number of awards won by an individual property.

Heritance Hotels along with Turyaa collectively won 42 Gold, 37 Silver and 51 Bronze medals. Aitken Spence Hotels received the most number of medals for a company at this event.

Heritance Kandalama emerged ‘Most Outstanding Cultural Triangle Team’ with 4 Gold, 11 Silver and 19 bronze medals. Heritance Ahungalla won 22 medals while Heritance Negombo won 21 medals. Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Ayurveda won 4 medals in total. Turyaa Kalutara also won 4 medals at the competition.

Known as South East Asia’s biggest food and hospitality show, Culinary Art Food Expo was organised by Chefs’ Guild of Lanka together with World Association of Chefs Societies and CDC Events & Travels. The event was held from 22-24 October 2019.

Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Executive Director – Aitken Spence PLC and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels congratulated the teams, expressing delight over the many accolades. “Aitken Spence Hotels, and especially the Heritance properties, are known for their distinction in the culinary field. Our resorts, irrespective of its location, have been commended many a times on the unique F&B offering – by certifications, awards and most importantly, our guests. As such, the awards that are brought home from this competition are not a mere matter of pride but a reiteration of our commitment to nurture talent and present only the very best to those who walk in through our doors,” she said. Ms. Jayawardena, who also heads the Tourism and Leisure sector of Aitken Spence, added “The achievements of Heritance Aarah Maldives is especially commendable as it has been in operation for just a few months and have won two championship awards both in Maldives and Sri Lanka.”

Ms. Jayawardena also asserted that this recognition reflects the Company’s dedication to excellence and passion to drive innovation. “Since inception, the Company has been steadfast in its commitment to cultivate talent, promote innovation, inspire youth and local community development. This is evidence of the talents of our youth and we are proud to call them part of our family. We hope they utilise all available resources to improve their capabilities and together, create memorable holidays for our guests.”

The winning team was recognised at a ceremony held at Aitken Spence Towers, presided by Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and operates 21 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes 11 resorts spread across the island, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five, four in Oman and one in India.

 

Heritance Aarah

Aitken Spence PLC among the top ten whilst Aitken Spence Hotels bag sectoral accolade at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019

25 Oct

Building on its tenacious journey towards excellence, the conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC was ranked among the ‘Top 10 corporates for the Best Integrated Report’ at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019 held for the fifth consecutive year. Adding colour to the prestigious event and its portfolio of recognition, Aitken Spence Hotels Annual Report presented under the theme “The Moment Momentum” walked away with the award for the Best Integrated Report – Hotels & Travels Sector whilst securing a certificate of Merit for Overall Excellence in Integrated Reporting.

The esteemed awards ceremony organised by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA), was graced by the Chief Guest – Honourable Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and Keynote Speaker – Prof. Mervyn E. King SC, Chair Emeritus of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

The Aitken Spence Group with its long and distinguished history of over 150 years as one of the nation’s most respected conglomerates with thriving business interests in major industry sectors in Sri Lanka and beyond, have created a vibrant business enterprise by being smart and far-sighted and now adept at perceiving where the best avenues for value creation lie. The 36th annual report of Aitken Spence PLC based on the theme ‘Future Fit’ reflects the Organisation’s strategic direction that has transformed over the years, embracing international best practice in corporate reporting. It is the eighth integrated annual report which contained information for providers of financial capital and is of interest to other valuable stakeholders. The corporate’s aim is to communicate relevant material information in a concise but comprehensive manner, providing a balanced review of its performance.

As one of the leading Sri Lankan hospitality enterprises, with a uniquely diverse portfolio of properties spread across the region, Aitken Spence Hotels believe that when they create special moments for the people while protecting the environment and creating value for the communities served, they are creating not just one moment, but extraordinary experiences in every sphere of their operations. The eighth Integrated Annual Report of Aitken Spence Hotels comprises rich information that communicates the alignment between the strategy, stakeholder needs, business model and triple bottom line performance.

The dual awards won by the Group and Hotels segment at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards is a further testimony to the Organisation’s commitment to international best reporting practices such as GRI and the IR Framework issued by the International Integrated Reporting Council.

Ms. Dilani Katipearachchi Vice President (right) – Corporate Finance and Ms. Shinska Wijesinha – Asst. Manager (left) Corporate Finance receiving the Aitken Spence PLC Group recognition as one of the Ten Best Integrated Reports.

 

Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone – COO Aitken Spence Hotels(right) and Mr. Dammika Ekanayake – Assistant Vice President (left) Aitken Spence Hotels receiving the award for the Best Integrated Report – Hotels & Travels Sector and a certificate of merit for overall excellence in Integrated reporting.

Aitken Spence Hotels celebrate 14 awards at the South Asian Travel Awards 2019

22 Oct

Aitken Spence Hotels reaffirmed their position as a trendsetting industry leader in hospitality, achieving the highest number of wins at the recently concluded South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2019 – winning six regional awards and eight country awards.

Aitken Spence Hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives and India were recognised in the Gold and Silver categories.  Gold awards were awarded for the South Asian region and silver awards were presented in the respective countries (Sri Lanka, Maldives and India).

The iconic Heritance Kandalama brought home wins for both Sri Lanka and South Asia under Leading Eco-friendly Hotel/Resort. Heritance Kandalama, designed by the legendary Geoffrey Bawa, celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The world’s first tea factory that was converted into a hotel, Heritance Tea Factory was awarded the Leading Theme Hotel/Resort in Sri Lanka and the region. Providing an authentic ayurvedic experience and having presented Sri Lanka as a leading wellness provider to the world since 2011, Heritance Ayurveda was adjudged winner, again, from both country and region as Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort. The hotel with the widest beachfront in Sri Lanka, Heritance Negombo was adjudged the winner for Leading Designer Hotel/Resort Sri Lanka.

Aitken Spence Hotels in the Maldives contributed to the wins with Adaaran Prestige Water Villas – Leading Bungalow/Villa, Adaaran Select Meddhupparu – Leading Dive Hotel/Resort and Adaaran Select Huduran Fushi – Leading Surf Hotel/Resort. The three resorts won awards in both the country category as well as the South Asian region.

Turyaa Chennai, India, located in the IT corridor and enjoying success as a business hotel won the country award for Leading Boutique Hotel.

Speaking of the recognition, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management.Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena expressed her delight in having secured the most number of wins at South Asia’s most prestigious hospitality and travel industry awards.

“As a key player in the highly competitive and ever-changing industry of hospitality, Aitken Spence Hotels have consistently pursued excellence not just in the experience offered to our guests but also in the work environment enabled for our suppliers and staff. We endeavour towards this with a commitment to attain sustainable growth, contributing positively to the people, planet and economy. Awards such as these reaffirm our strategies and our vision towards creating this holistic growth through superior product offering and service from the heart,” she asserted.

“In all hotels where we are located, we work tirelessly to offer our guests a holiday that celebrates locality whilst promoting unique opportunities for them to experience. The awards we have won celebrate just this,” she said. Ms. Jayawardena thanked the management teams, the General Managers of the Hotels and the entire Hotels team for their dedication which has undeniably strengthened the growth of the company.

Launched in 2016, the prestigious awards for travel and tourism stakeholders in the region has affiliations from regional associations. The awards were held for the third consecutive year at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, India. With over 500 entries from Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan under 36 categories; the recognitions thus received further reiterates Aitken Spence Hotels’ leadership in the region as an innovative hospitality service provider.

Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 21 properties, with eleven owned and managed properties in Sri Lanka, five in Maldives, four in Oman and one in India. The hotel chain recently introduced the ‘Heritance’ brand of hotels to Maldives earlier this year with the opening of premium all-inclusive all-villa property, Heritance Aarah.

 

Heritance Kandalama

Leading Eco-friendly Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

Leading Eco-friendly Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Heritance Tea Factory

Leading Theme Hotel/Resort -Sri Lanka

Leading Theme Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Heritance Ayurveda

Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Heritance Negombo

Leading Designer Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

 

Adaaran Prestige Water Villa

Leading Bungalow/Villa – Maldives

Leading Bungalow/Villa – South Asia

 

Adaaran Select Meddhupparu

Leading Dive Hotel/Resort – Maldives

Leading Dive Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Adaaran Select Huduran Fushi

Leading Surf Hotel/Resort – Maldives

Leading Surf Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Turyaa Chennai

Leading Boutique Hotel – India

 

Aitken Spence Hotels introduces LEED certified architecture to Maldives with Heritance Aarah

26 Sep

Aitken Spence Hotels, a subsidiary of Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, took its premier brand Heritance beyond the shores of Sri Lanka for the first time, with the introduction of Heritance Aarah earlier this year.

Heritance Aarah embraces the brand promise of the Heritance chain of hotels, where tradition is alive.  The property is nestled in an island in Raa Atoll, just a 40-minute seaplane ride away from the Male International Airport. With five successful Heritance properties in Sri Lanka, each boasting of inimitable stories of culture merging with hospitality and comfort, the move to open this latest resort comes with the expansion plans of Aitken Spence Hotels.

Coincidentally, Aitken Spence Hotels was also the first Sri Lankan resort operator to venture overseas for hospitality services with its entrance to the Maldives with the Adaaran hotel chain. The well-established Adaaran Resorts includes the stunning Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Adaaran Club Rannalhi and Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi. Heritance Aarah joins this élite group of properties with a unique proposition of quintessentially traditional, curated experiences delicately woven into a five-star luxury resort.

Akin to the Heritance properties in Sri Lanka, each strategically designed in exciting locations, the island of Aarah on which the resort lies is home to a large lagoon and reef, welcoming guests to a tropical tapestry of the perpetual paradise that is Maldives.

Operating as a premier all-inclusive resort, Heritance Aarah consists of 150 villas including 26 intimate luxury duplex ocean suites, 56 sunset ocean villas and 68 land villas ranging from beach villas to pool beach villas, family beach villas and family pool beach villas. Designed to inspire and custom-built to immerse guests in the scenic sights and soothing sounds of the ocean surrounding the island, Heritance Aarah is adorned with earthly hues and vibrant blues.

Guests can indulge in the many charms of the island at a poolside bar and an open-air rooftop venue while ocean suite guests can enjoy a more exclusive space with three separate bars. With nine outlets for guests to experience diverse cuisines, the culinary culture unfolded at the resort is intended to promote exclusive gastronomic delights from around the world. The six restaurants offer a wide range of flavours from Asia, Europe, Middle East to Latin America. The award-winning F&B team of Heritance Aarah has illustrated their exceptional culinary skills clinching 19 Golds at the Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) 2019 competition, the highest number won by an individual property.

Accentuating this impressive offering are the the overwater infinity pool and the medi-spa equipped to cater to the rising demand in the wellness segment with state-of-the-art treatments and equipment. The spa, with six treatment rooms set over the lagoon with views of the eastern coast of the island, provides a range of high-end wellness and pampering treatments, salon services, beauty treatments and programmes. From weight loss to anti-aging treatments, massage therapy to body care, facial care to revitalisation programmes, Heritance Aarah is set to become a destination for those pursuing wellness combined with leisure and luxury.

With variety being the spice of life, the resort hosts a dive and water sports centre, a range of excursions and adventures, an interactive and engaging kids club, and traditional local activities to present a unique luxury holiday experience to guests. Keeping with the brand promise of Heritance to promote culture and tradition at the forefront, the resort unveiled an exciting calendar of daily activities including coconut leaf art workshops, cookery demonstrations for traditional sweets and dishes, traditional Maldivian bodu beru drumming and a memorable local island dinner.

The resort also follows the ingrained ethos of sustainability and ethical commitments of the Aitken Spence Hotels group. Heritance Aarah has drawn the best practices from the Group and has successfully implemented many an initiative which includes (but not limited to) reduction of single use plastic, coral reef restoration and sustainable sourcing with close integration with local communities. Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to attain the LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – the most widely used green building rating system in the world).

Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health. Given the increasing demand and pace of green building in the hospitality sector, LEED is an official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED rating systems by the U.S. Green Building Council. Having achieved the Gold level certification from the most widely used green building rating system reiterates the sustainability commitment of Aitken Spence Hotels group.

“Our strategies to expand are led by guests’ expectations and design-led refurbishments to enrich the experience at our properties. A key priority is to ensure our resorts contribute positively to protect and preserve the environment and the ecosystems we operate in. We are proud that we were able to introduce the Heritance brand to the Maldives as the first LEED Gold certified property in the islands,” commented Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management.

“I give credit to the team that has worked tirelessly and conducted extensive research and integrated innovative and sustainable strategies to reduce the carbon and water footprint by 30% and 55% respectively,” she asserted. “These have been successfully implemented and have aided in creating a healthier and safer working environment while maximising guest comfort. These strategies I believe, have contributed towards achieving this milestone for Heritance Aarah.”

Heritance Aarah has opened its doors with a distinctive experience, offering guests a truly one of a kind holiday.

For more details, visit www.heritancehotels.com/aarah.

Aitken Spence Hotels’ Oman sector GMs recognised

30 Aug

Leading hospitality chain Aitken Spence Hotels’ Oman sector was recognised for their service excellence at the recently concluded Oman Leadership Awards 2019 with two of their General Managers being awarded as ‘Oman’s Best General Managers’ in the ‘Hospitality’ category.

The Company’s Al Falaj Hotel General Manager – Hotel Operations and Sales, Praveen George and Desert Nights Camp General Manager Anurin Jansen – Oman Hotels and Tourism Company SAOC, were acknowledged at the award ceremony at Crowne Plaza Muscat by CMO Asia. CMO Asia is the only global network of executives from 110 countries specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers. Held as part of CMO Asia’s 10th anniversary, the awards were endorsed by World Sustainability, World CSE and World Federation of Marketing.

A true trendsetter, Aitken Spence was the first Sri Lankan company to venture into hospitality services in Oman (2008), adding to its credentials of being the first to enter the Maldives (1993) and India (2007) in the same industry, creating avenues for international exposure for our skills. Part of the Company’s prestigious portfolio of properties, Desert Nights Camp is the only luxury desert camp in Oman with 39 Bedouin-style tented luxury accommodation in 10 acres of golden sands in Al Wasil. Al Falaj Hotel is a renowned business hotel in Oman catering to the business and corporate segment of the market. Both hotels are differentiated by their unique offering, standing true to the Aitken Spence promise of delivering distinct experiences.

The award winners – George and Jansen – boast of 3 and 8 years with Aitken Spence respectively and counts over 60 years in experience collectively.

Speaking of the achievement, Aitken Spence Hotels Chief Executive Officer for Middle East, Srinith De Silva commended the duo for their hard work and commitment to excellence. “It is indeed a proud moment to have our General Managers appreciated among the best in Oman. Both George and Jansen have worked tirelessly to achieve excellence in service quality at our properties in Oman, keeping the banner of Aiken Spence flying high beyond the shores of Sri Lanka,” he said.

The awards are initiated to acknowledge those individuals who have achieved extraordinary success from innovative and effective people management and customer satisfaction practices in Oman. “It reinforces the quality of the experience and the development of our hotel brand in this region.” asserted De Silva.

Aitken Spence Hotels manage two other properties in the Middle East, Sur Plaza in Sur and Al Wadi Hotel, located in the ancient maritime capital of Oman and home to the legends of Sinbad, Sohar. The Company owns and manages 11 hotels in Sri Lanka including the famed ‘Heritance’ chain of hotels as well as Turyaa Kalutara, five resorts in Maldives with four under the ‘Adaaran Resorts’ and one, its latest property, under the ‘Heritance’ brand – Heritance Aarah; and Turyaa Chennai in India.

 

Aitken Spence Hotels’ sustainability ethos commended yet again!

22 Aug

Premier hospitality chain, Aitken Spence Hotels, reaffirmed their position as leaders in sustainable hospitality with four Heritance Hotels & Resorts properties walking away with multiple accolades at the National Sustainability Tourism Certification (NSTC) ceremony held on 5th August 2019.

Heritance Kandalama was the only property to be recognised in the Platinum category, the highest accolade awarded at the NSTC, whilst securing a special award for Environmental Preservation. Heritance Tea Factory was placed in the Gold category followed by a special award for Effective Sustainability Management. Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda were commended as Bronze winners.

This recognition programme was convened by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) with the technical and financial assistance of Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of UNDP in mid-2018. The efforts capture the industry’s stance towards the global movement for sustainable tourism and to successfully compete as a high-demand destination.

Aitken Spence Hotels, having operated on a comprehensive sustainable model that takes into account the varied attributes that encompass the triple bottom line, has been a forerunner in the industry for its long-term vision supporting a well-balanced business ecosystem. Moreover, the hotel chain has been recognised both locally and internationally for its efforts. In particular, Heritance Kandalama pioneered the integration of environment and social conscious practices into hotel operations and implementing an extensive 7R system (Reject, Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim, Repair, Replace and Recycle) to reduce carbon and waste footprint.

Among its many accreditations are Heritance Kandalama being the first Green Globe 21 certified hotel in Asia, the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified hotel in the world and the first hotel chain in the World to have a certified energy management system (ISO 50001:2011). All Heritance Hotels and Resorts in Sri Lanka are Travelife Gold certified, while also adhering to ISO standards in environmental management, HACCP food safety and energy management.

“We are elated to be recognised in the National Sustainability Tourism Certification awards. It attests the hard work of our teams to provide exceptional hospitality services while also protecting the environment and empowering our communities.” Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management, Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena said.

“Aitken Spence Hotels have carved a niche in the industry for its forward-thinking holistic sustainability practices that goes beyond the general understanding from an ‘eco’ perspective. The practices have been firmly established within the core of our operations, enabling us to lead from the onset. Our teams continually work towards improving the processes year on year, combining our expertise with emerging trends to serve the industry in the most sustainable manner.” she added further.

More on the hotels’ sustainable endeavours can be viewed at http://bit.ly/33grgzY  (Annual Report 18/19).

The Heritance Hotels and Resorts is part of the hospitality arm of Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC which operates 21 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes 11 resorts spread across the island, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five, four in Oman and one in India.

Heritance Kandalama General Manager Priyan Wijerathne receiving the award

 

Heritance Tea Factory team receiving the award and certification

 

Heritance Ahungalla General Manager Sisira Senarath receiving the certificate

 

Heritance Ayurveda General Manager Janaka Buddhakorala receiving the certification