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Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Achieves Prestigious Travelife Gold Certification

10 Oct

 

The ayurvedic wellness resort, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was accoladed with the internationally recommended Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold Certification last week for the hotel’s commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.

Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system awarded the prestigious title after carefully assessing the performance of the hotel against 163 sustainability criteria which included environmental issues, such as minimising the amount of energy, waste and water, positive social actions for employee welfare, working with the local community and businesses, child protection and human rights; and protecting local traditions, among others.

Results of the independent audit carried by Travelife showed that Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, which prides itself for having created a holistic framework aimed at creating a balanced lifestyle experience, have managed to fashion a similar balance in responsibly managing its socio-economic and environmental impacts.

The 64-roomed hotel has long since made a name for itself promoting the importance of wellness in ones’ life and curating a tourism product to cater to this growing trend in the world market. The Travelife certification as such adds immense value to the resort and the very essence of the business model it follows. The certification scheme works in partnership with tour operators, both in the UK and internationally, who use the system to increase sustainability in the industry and communicate achievements to customers.

Among the hotels’ many sustainability exercises, the net metered solar PV in electricity generation takes precedence. Recognised as the first hotel in Sri Lanka to adapt to this system, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has benefited immensely from this system which produces energy to cover the majority of its consumption needs. The biogas plant at the hotel also successfully contribute to the hotel kitchen as a supplementary to LNG.

While continuous monthly beach clean ups are conducted in support of the environment, the arts and crafts centre located within the premises aims at creating an awareness on local culture and inherent crafts that have been passed on from one generation to another. Uplifting the indigenous arts culture of the country, the hotel encourages local artisans to demonstrate their art at the centre. The hotel also practices the 7R principles followed by all Aitken Spence Hotels with the aim of reaching zero waste to land fill status and possess the certification of ISO 50001:2011.

This is the second consecutive recertification of Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara as a Travelife Gold member.

Other Aitken Spence Hotels in Sri Lanka – Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ahungalla – were also Travelife Gold certified and are awaiting the recertification for the second time.

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TUI CEO Visits Heritance Negombo

4 Mar

DHS Jayawardena with Fritz Joussen at Heritance Negombo

TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen accompanied by other TUI top-level executives visited Heritance Negombo on Thursday. The 139-room hotel is the latest hotel investment by Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka, which is to open in April 2016.

The high profile team from TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism group, included the CEO of TUI Germany, Managing Director of Product and Purchasing, CEO of TUI Nordic and Managing Director of TUI UK and Ireland . The TUI executives were welcomed by Aitken Spence Chairman Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Deputy Chairman J M S Brito and Head of Leisure/Director Stasshani Jayawardena.

The historic visit is organized by TUI’s joint venture partner in Sri Lanka Aitken Spence Travels.

Visiting Heritance Negombo

 

Turyaa by Heritance launches at WTM today!

3 Nov

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Heritance Hotels Achieves Travelife Gold Award

18 Mar

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Heritance Hotels, Sri Lanka’s leading chain of resorts, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels is once again in the forefront of sustainability with all hotels in its portfolio being awarded the Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold award. Travelife – the international sustainability certification scheme – assesses a property’s performance in managing social, environmental and economic impacts. The Gold award achieved by Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Ahungalla is a testament to the chain’s deep commitment to sustainability.

Travelife is a practical tool which assists properties to monitor and manage their social and environmental impacts. The scheme which is supported by some of the largest tour operators in the industry helps hotels cut costs and increase sales, by improved sustainability. To gain Travelife Gold certification the hotel must meet the 150 sustainability criteria set by the scheme. This includes environmental issues, such as minimising waste and use of energy, water and chemicals, as well as taking positive action on social issues, such as employee welfare, working with the local community, child protection and human rights. Hotels must display how they are helping to support local businesses and protect local traditions and wildlife.

The Heritance Hotels portfolio underwent a stringent audit process which focussed on energy saving practices, waste management, emission and environmental sustainability principles followed by each Hotel. The audit results are scored on Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the degree of the Hotels commitment towards the environment and locality in which it operates. Achieving Gold status is not an easy feat and it is a remarkable achievement that the entire chain achieved this accolade.

Heritance Hotels, a pioneer in practicing and promoting sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka, has taken numerous initiatives in ensuring that energy consuming assets have been managed effectively and energy conserving technology has been implemented at each resort. Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s leading beach resorts, was the first hotel in Sri Lanka to receive the ISO 50001:2011 certification. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, was the first net metered hotel in Sri Lanka and Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Kandalama were the first in the hospitality industry to utilize a biomass gasifier as a renewable energy source. Apart from the significant systems implemented at the resorts, all resorts use Sewage Treated Plant (STP) water for irrigation and have replaced incandescent lighting with CFL and LED lights.

The 7R recycling program practiced by all resorts in the chain strives for zero waste to the environment. All waste produced is recycled or disposed of with no impact to the environment in which each hotel operates. Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory have in-house green pavilions and eco centers where training is provided to guests and the community on the benefits and importance of recycling and reducing the impacts on the environment.

Heritance Kandalama has been identified as a bio diversity hot spot with surveys revealing that the 170 acres of owned and 50 acres of leased land preserved by the Hotel has 43 species of mammals, 173 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 82 species of butterflies and 125 floral species including trees and climbers.

Heritance Hotels is closely linked to each community it operates in with over 40% of its staff being employed from the local communities. In addition facilities such as the Arts and Crafts center at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara are provided for local craftsmen to showcase their talents and keep traditional crafts alive. This also adds to the local economy by ways of added profits to the community and promotion of local culture.

“We are extremely passionate about practicing social and environmental strategies and it is indeed motivating to be recognised for our achievements in this area. Our team constantly strives to ensure that we keep challenging ourselves and having gone through the stringent audit process it is encouraging to note that we have been benchmarked against other international star performers and have been awarded the highest accolade in the scheme”, said Mr.Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts, the premier brand of Aitken Spence Hotels operate a portfolio of four unique properties in scenic locations across Sri Lanka. Heritance Kandalama was named by The Observer of UK as one of the “Icons of Modern Hotel Design” and Travel + Leisure calls it one of the leading green hotels of the world.  Heritance Tea Factory was voted amongst the “100 Best Places to Stay in the World” by Sunday Times UK and was nominated in the list of “Top 5 Factory Hotels in the World” by The Independent, UK. The chain of hotels has been continuously recognized as a pioneer in sustainable tourism and continuously strives to sustain and innovate processes that reduce the impact of its operation on its surroundings.

Aitken Spence Hotels Bags Gold Once Again at the 50th CA Annual Report Awards

10 Jan

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged victorious once again walking away with the Gold Award in the Hospitality Sector category at the prestigious of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards.

The golden jubilee of the annual report awards was held recently at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre. The competition which covers 22 sectors from small business categories such as NGOs, clubs, associations to large conglomerates had a total of 130 organisations submit their annual reports for the coveted awards this year.

The annual competition formulated to encourage transparency and accountability in financial reporting in the corporate sector recognizes companies which have demonstrated excellence in transparency, accountability and good governance via their annual reports. The evaluations were conducted under a stringent three stage system where the shortlisted reports were subjected to an industry expert panel review; the reports selected for the final stage were evaluated by a final panel of judge’s chaired the Central Bank Governor.

Mr. Susith Jayawickrema, Managing Director & Mr.Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President, Finance accepting the award & certification

Mr. Susith Jayawickrema, Managing Director & Mr.Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President, Finance accepting the award & certification

Sustainability, transparency and accountability are stringently practiced at Aitken Spence Hotels and winning this accolade provides a clear indication on its commitment to report on its economic, social and environmental impacts. “We see corporate sustainability as part of our core business strategy and ensure that our commitment is filtered down to every operation. This commendation reflects Aitken Spence Hotels’ track record of commitment to corporate accountability and championing sustainable tourism by producing industry best practices. We will continue to stay committed to delivering exceptional sustainable experiences to our guests whilst continuing to our stringent practices in corporate governance”, said Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels manages a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. The company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence. Located in some of the key tourist locations, each of the properties cater to a diverse client base.

Aitken Spence Hotels joins the digital revolution with its app for iPads

23 May

Aitken Spence Hotels broke new ground recently with the launch of its first digital application for iPads. The application was designed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio spread across four diverse destinations; and covers the fundamental facets used by guests to decide on their preferred hotel or resort.

 

A holistic integration of the information of 21 hotels is presented in an interactive seamless platform enabling ease of navigation for the user. The app provides a brief description of each hotel affording guests a glimpse to the roots of the property. The types of accommodation that can be enjoyed by guests are also listed with pictorial representations of the room and its amenities. Information on hotel facilities, dining options, event spaces and excursions can be accessed at the tip of a finger. The information is complimented by an extensive gallery complimenting the sensory journey one engages with when browsing the app. It also provides a unified platform for feedback and reservation inquiries creating easy interaction between Aitken Spence Hotels and potential guests.

 

“The digital revolution has created a fundamental need for businesses to evolve their practices. The launch of an iPad app for Aitken Spence Hotels is one of the many initiatives lined up to evolve our practices to offer our guests an engaging and seamless experience The app is the perfect tool to create brand awareness amongst tour operators, destination management companies and tourists from around the world. We plan to evolve the services that can be offered through the app creating ease of access to the modern traveler” says Mr. Althaf Mohamed Ali, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives. The Group also manages a portfolio of hotels in India and Oman. The company’s premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance.

 

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Aitken Spence Hotels Bags Gold Once Again at the CA Annual Report Awards

19 Dec

CA Acceptance Image CA 2013 Group ImageSri Lanka’s leading resort operator, Aitken Spence Hotels walked away with the Gold Award in the Hospitality Sector category at the recently concluded Institute of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards. The much anticipated event with its forty nine year old history was held recently under the distinguished patronage of Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa as Chief Guest.

The annual competition formulated to encourage transparency and accountability in financial reporting in the corporate sector recorded the highest number of registrations this year with a total of 126 entries vying for the coveted awards. This year’s competition revolved around the inspiring theme ‘One Destination – Towards Integrated Reporting’. The Institute of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards has been the focal point in inculcating financial reporting discipline in the corporate sector.

“We recognize that transparency and good governance play an extremely vital role and it is encouraging to note that due to global trends most companies are working to ensure that these vital areas are addressed. This win highlights the importance Aitken Spence Hotels gives to sustainability, transparency and accountability and provides a clear indication that the company’s ongoing commitment to report on its economic, social and environmental impacts” said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels manages a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. The company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence. Located in some of the key tourist locations, each of the properties cater to a diverse clientele.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC Emerges Winners Once Again at the National Business Excellence Awards

3 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged victorious at the National Business Excellence Awards presented by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka by being adjudged the winner in the Hospitality Sector. Aitken Spence Hotels, a pioneer in the local tourism industry, who has continually been in the forefront of developing efficient hotel energy management systems also emerged winners in the Excellence in Environmental Sustainability category.

 

 

Aitken Spence Hotels operates a chain of 25 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. With many years in the hotels industry, the company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence in everything on offer.

 

“We are delighted to be the recipient of this award, it is truly rewarding to be recognized for our continued commitment towards being a responsible business while contributing to the economic progress of the country”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Aitken Spence Hotels.  Aitken Spence Hotels has been pioneers in driving sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka.

 

As a measure of further commitment to the cause, Aitken Spence Hotels is participant to the United Nationals Global Compact  and undertakes the social obligation towards sustainable business practice. Aitken Spence Hotels align its operation and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.  As the leaders in “green” tourism, Aitken Spence Hotels has formulated strategies to ensure the protection of the destination, thus enabling it to retain its natural and cultural appeal over time.

 

Aitken Spence chain boasts of eco-friendly properties, such as Heritance Kandalama, situated in close proximity to two UNESCO world heritage sites and Desert Nights Camp, Al Wasil, Oman, rated as one of the top ten desert retreats in the world. The chain’s Heritance Tea Factory has been voted by the Independent, UK as one of the ‘Top Five Factory Hotels’ in the world and one of the best 100 places to stay in the world.

 

The National Business Excellence Awards is an annual award competition conducted by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) with a view to recognizing business enterprises, which have demonstrated excellence in business, whilst contributing to the economic progress of the country. Applications for the awards were technically evaluated by a team of highly qualified professionals and the final selection was made by an expert Panel of Judges.

 

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Heritance Presents Junior Pastry Chef 2013 : A roaring success

17 Sep

Junior Pastry Chef 2013, presented by Heritance Hotels and Resorts, recently concluded the inaugural competition of its kind on the 18th of August 2013. This exciting edutainment event targeted at kids with a keen interest in culinary experiences, achieved its objective of educating aspiring young chefs and providing them with a platform to display their acquired culinary skills.

The competition was held over a period of three days which tested these little Chefs strengths and abilities. The weekend’s activities kicked off with a training programme conducted by celebrated Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe where he taught the participants the art of sugar crafting and decorating. The young participants were then given the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skill by making animals and figures from fondant. These individual creations were then mounted onto a cake which was auctioned for Rs. 167,000. This money will be donated to Anula Wijerama Children’s Home, Balapitiya.

Upon completion of the training workshops the participants were placed in groups and the semi final round commenced. The 10 best creations in the semi finals qualified for the final leg of Heritance Junior Pastry Chef. The creation of the ten finalists were judged by Chef Gerard Mendis, Chef Madawa Weerabaddana, Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, Chef Srimal Kulatunge .

Khashish Naraindas was adjudged the Heritance Junior Pastry Chef where she won a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 and a stay for her family at Heritance Kandalama. Sasandi De Silva was 1st runner up and clinched a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a stay at Heritance Tea Factory. The second runner up was Hana Cassim and she took home a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and a stay at The Sands by Aitken Spence.

The event was an initiative of the renowned culinary team of Heritance Ahungalla, the reigning winners of the Best Culinary Team, Best Hotel Team and Best Regional Team awards conferred by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka. The team led by Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, the only Chef in the World to have won nine Gold medals for individual events at the Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup have received extensive recognition both internationally and locally for their culinary expertise.

The concept for hosting a competition of this nature was encouraged by the booming tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the growing need for chefs in the culinary world. “The competition was a success and we hope that through this programme, we inspired these young individuals to pursue their aspirations in the culinary field”, said, Mr. Refhan Razeen, General Manager, Heritance Ahungalla.

“We experienced world class service from the moment we arrived and the positivity and energy that surrounded the property was noteworthy. Although we were at Heritance Ahungalla to participate in a competition the staff at the hotel made the entire experience a truly memorable one and we look forward to our future visits to your other properties,” commented Mr. Mahesh Naraindas, proud father of Khashish, winner of Junior Pastry Chef 2013.

The event was made possible by the Main Sponsor for the event Stassens Group, media partners Maharaja Broadcasting Corporation and online booking partner Trekurious.
Khashish Naraindas

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Heritance Kandalama emerged Champions at Bocuse D’Or Culinary Competition 2013

28 Aug

Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel  Heritance Kandalama, emerged Champions at the Bocuse D’Or Culinary Competition,  competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels recently. Chef W.M Augustus Lowe, Chef De Cuisine at Heritance Kandalama with twenty two years of experience in the culinary field and his apprentice, B.A.L.H Thisera, Commis III with 3 years of experience in the field were the winning duo who bought glory to Heritance Kandalama.

 

The team together created the award winning menu: Gremolata rubbed   spring lamb rack, mushroom apple duxelle in, prosciutto wrapped braised lamb rump; grilled pepper millefuille .  glazed petite vegetables in a daikon boat , curried sweet potato mousse accompanied with three sauces and a warm punch of brilliant breakfast tea infused with roma tomato water.

 

The champion team from Heritance Kandalama will now represent Sri Lanka at the Asian Region Bocuse D’Or Culinary Champion which is scheduled to take place in Shanghai in 2014. The winners of the regional event will then participate in the World Bocuse D’Or competition in Lyon, France in 2015.

 

Chef Paul Bocuse , considered as the God father of the culinary world, is the founder of the Bocuse D’Or , a world chef championship recognized by Chefs globally. Renowned as one of the most prestigious competitions in the world,  Bocuse D’Or judges the skills of chefs evaluated over a period of two days; where only the best chefs with the most innovative dishes emerge winners.

 

“Our Chefs have been recognized at international events such as the Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup. Winning this competition is yet again a stepping stone on to a world platform where our chefs have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and be awarded for their talents. Our constant determination to be the best has bought us thus far. Being firm believers of sustainability we take measures to ensure that our future generation is provided with the knowledge required to take on the baton when required. Winning accolades such as this, year after year reaffirms our stance as the most awarded culinary brigade in Sri Lanka”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, Vice President, Food and Beverages, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Heritance Kandalama has been a trend setter in various aspects of hotel operations and has received many accolades for its cuisine, both in Sri Lankan and internationally.

 

“Aitken Spence Hotels over the years has been recognized for its exquisite food and culinary art which has placed us amongst the best in the region. Prestigious accolades such as this serve as motivation to the team to further excel in these competitive times. The relentless efforts put forth by our team have been recognised both locally and internationally and we are proud to note that our greatest asset is our dedicated and passionate team.” said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Aitken Spence Hotels is the largest resort operator in Sri Lanka and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives with a portfolio of hotels in multiple locations in India and Oman.  Its range of international award-wining properties, management & culinary expertise and environmental commitment has set industry benchmarks both domestically and internationally.Image