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Heritance Kandalama, the pioneer of sustainable hospitality turns 25 years

24 Jun

True progress can only be achieved when development is inclusive, responds to pressing needs and is sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. A green building was unheard of 25 years ago, let alone a five-star deluxe hotel property with 152 rooms with all facilities, that would protect and enrich its surrounding ecosystem in its pristine condition, provide sustainable income to the local communities and offer high-quality service to a plethora of visitors from across the globe. It always seems impossible till it is done. From the pearl of the Indian ocean, nestled among the lush greens in the Cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, the world got an example of sustainable development in the form of Heritance Kandalama. Today, Heritance Kandalama celebrates 25 years.

 

Intelligent design, Sustainable in its operation

Designed by renowned architect Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa, the hotel resembles outspread wings of a bird, following the line of the cliff from which it seems to emerge. Due to the raised platform of the structure, natural water streams that passed through the area 25 years ago still flow unobstructed, enriching over 30 water systems downstream. Conceptualised to blend into the eco-system, the hotel allows freedom of movement for wildlife and vegetation.

Today, 100% of its wastewater and effluents are treated and repurposed; solid waste is segregated to more than 20 diverse types of waste and monitored to achieve an ambitious goals of zero waste reaching landfill; and energy is managed to reduce emissions. The hotel has undertaken the conservation of 58 acres of forest area, flora and fauna within the hotel and another 198 acres of forest cover adjacent to the property in its pristine condition protecting  128 species of native flora, 183 species of birds, 19 species of reptiles, 64 species of dragons and butterflies. The Eco Park at Heritance Kandalama has educated more than 3 million visitors to date.

Heritance Kandalama, part of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, is the first LEED certified hotel in the world and the first building outside USA to be certified (LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world). It is also the first Green Globe 21 certified hotel in Asia and perhaps the most awarded hotel property in Sri Lanka.

 

Part of the community

The hotel started its journey by employing 80 local individuals from the area in 1993 with little to no experience in customer handling and hospitality. With the commitment of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, these individuals have developed with the property. Now, our award-winning team is strengthened by over 60% members who are from the immediate community. With the policies of the property to give priority to local employment and purchasing, many suppliers are also local entrepreneurs.

 

25 years of celebrations

To commemorate this iconic concept that is more than just a hotel, the management has planned several events with the engagement of the local communities and institutions. Follow the property on social media to mark this occasion with the property and stand a chance to be a lucky winner of a memorable experience at the hotel.

For more details on Heritance Kandalama, log on to http://www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama

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Aitken Spence Turyaa Chennai awarded ‘Best City Hotel’ at India Travel Awards 2019

6 Jun

Turyaa Chennai, part of the renowned Aitken Spence Hotels was recognised at the recently held India Travel Awards 2019-South as the ‘Best City Hotel’ further strengthening its position as an industry leader extending the best in service, product and offerings.

Having opened its doors in 2016, Turyaa Chennai was conceptualised to appeal to the changing lifestyles of the global traveller. With the digital revolution and globalization gradually changing the demands and preferences towards brand selection, the ‘Turyaa’ was developed to provide the guest with a brand that is more flexible, responsive, interactive and value driven.

The award, India Travel Awards 2019-South held for its fifth consecutive year is organised to recognise regional stalwarts and celebrate travel trade professionals for their contribution towards the industry. Award winners are acknowledged as the benchmark of the travel industry. The awards are supported by the Government of India and esteemed trade bodies including PATA, OTOAI, TAFI, ADTOI, IAAI, FHRAI etc.

Conveniently located just 20 minutes away from the International Airport and a drive away from the heart of the city, Turyaa Chennai is the ideal amalgamation of business and leisure. Dedicated towards offering guests a hassle free and all-encompassing staying experience, this five-star deluxe property fulfils every criterion of service excellence. The city hotel offers a superlative experience merging luxury with hospitality from the heart, an ethos that is carried forward as a Sri Lankan hospitality brand.

For those traveling to Chennai on business or leisure, the hotel offers special weekend deals online at www.turyaahotels.com/chennai/.

Aitken Spence Hotels among winners of Travelers’ Choice Awards 2019

18 Mar

The largest travel planning and booking site, TripAdvisor recognised Aitken Spence Hotels as winners of its Travelers’ Choice Awards 2019.

Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Negombo, Heritance Tea Factory and Amethyst Resort were among the hotels that secured the accolade, granted based on consistent positive reviews collected over the past year. Heritance properties including Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Negombo were also merited among the highest in the ‘Top 25 Hotels – Sri Lanka’ based on their exemplary service, quality and value.

The Heritance properties, a name that has over the years been synonymous with superior hospitality in Sri Lanka caters to discerning travellers who are explorers of culture and authenticity. Heritance Kandalama, the leading eco-resort is among the most awarded properties in the country with emphasis on architecture and eco-ethos. Heritance Ahungalla, the first five-star resort in the southern coastal belt is a haven of peace and solitude by the beach. A converted 19th century tea factory that today sings songs of the past through its unique design, Heritance Tea Factory has been a constant favourite among local and international travellers.

As a local hospitality chain that has and continue to aspire, to take the inherent warmth of Sri Lankan hospitality to the world, Aitken Spence Hotels pay heavy emphasis on refining service efforts whilst maintaining and improving the product. As such, the award is looked at as a further endorsement to the chain’s continuous efforts to develop its core products.

Held for the 17th year, the award honours hotels across categories including luxury, bargain, small, best service, B&B and inn, romance, family, and all-inclusive, as well as top hotels overall.

“Travelers can consider these award winners when picking the perfect hotel for their needs – for any budget or trip type – to help inspire their travels in 2019,” says Desiree Fish, Vice President of global communications for TripAdvisor in a statement with a congratulatory message to the hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels, the premier hospitality chain owns and operates 11 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, in key tourist destinations and has been renowned for its unique products and impeccable service from the heart.

Heritance Ahungalla accoladed as TUI Environmental Champion 2019 Also wins TUI Top Quality award 2019

7 Jan

Aitken Spence Hotels’ premier five-star property in the coastal belt, Heritance Ahungalla received the double honour of being listed as the TUI Environmental Champions of 2019 for its excellent performance in sustainable hotel management as well as a winner of the TUI Top Quality 2019.

The hotel was selected among many worthy contenders from around the globe to receive the TUI Environmental Champion of 2019 award. In order to qualify for the environmental champion awards, hotels and resorts must rate more than eight out of 10 by TUI Germany guests and must hold a Global Sustainable Tourism Council recognised certificate, such as Travelife. The recognition further reiterates the hotel’s excellent performance in sustainable hotel management as evaluated by TUI guests and auditors.

The hotel was also listed as a winner of the TUI Top Quality 2019 which is reserved for the very best TUI hotels – the absolute favourites as declared by their guests. With an excellence rating on the TUI guest survey exceeding 8.7 out of 10 possible points, the hotel successfully convinced guests across the board.

TUI Germany is the world’s leading tourism group which covers the entire tourism value chain under one roof.

Heritance Ahungalla, designed by legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa is a 152-room property located on 12 acres of beachfront in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. With award winning chefs at the helm, the hotel is well known for its delectable cuisine available at Jute restaurant, Mustard coffee shop and upper room restaurant, whilst also offering a plethora of bespoke dining options to suit the guests’ needs. Catering to a cross section of travellers, the hotel also offers a range of facilities, from a fully equipped gymnasium, two pools – an infinity pool and residents’ pool, a library, business centre and ample sporting activities. Heritance Ahungalla also stringently follows internationally accepted practices of sustainability and is certified with ISO 14001:2004, ISO 22000:2005/HACCP and ISO 50001:2011.

For more information, log on to www.heritancehotels.com/ahungalla

Aitken Spence Hotels collects 12 awards in a week

20 Dec


Sri Lanka’s leading hospitality chain, Aitken Spence Hotels was recognised at multiple award ceremonies held last week in Colombo, bringing home a total of 12 awards at the 54th Annual Report Awards 2018, National Business Excellence Awards and Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018.

The hotel chain, part of the blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, started its winning streak on 4 December at the 54th Annual Report Awards 2018 organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka. The company took home the Silver for ‘Hotel Companies’ whilst Browns Beach Hotels PLC, also part of the Group’s subsidiaries was accoladed with the ‘Hotel Companies Compliance Award’. Held under the theme of ‘epitome of brilliance’ the award ceremony celebrates commitment of corporates towards best practices in annual corporate reporting through transparency, accountability and good governance.

At the National Business Excellence Awards held on 5 December, organised by the National Chamber of Commerce. Aitken Spence Hotels received eight awards in total including the ‘Silver Award in the Overall category’ along with three golds and four silvers. From the Sector Awards, the Company was awarded with the Gold for ‘Hospitality and Tourism’ in recognition of the distinct trailblazing innovations in products and services in the industry, and the First Runners Up in the ‘Extra Large Category’ companies.

Among the category wins were Golds in ‘Excellence in Environmental Sustainability’ and ‘Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility’ and Silver in ‘Excellence in Capacity Building’, ‘Excellence in Performance Management’ and ‘Excellence in Global Market Reach’. The Excellence Awards was organised to recognise business enterprises, which have demonstrated excellence in business, whilst contributing to the economic progress of the country.

The following day, on 6 December, the Company was rewarded yet again at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018 held after a lapse of six years. Heritance Kandalama, a Hall of Fame winner at the Presidential Awards (which was rebranded as Sri Lanka Tourism Awards this year) after three consecutive wins, was applauded as the Winner of the ‘Best Hotel-Sustainable and Green Practices’. Company’s most awarded individual with three Culinary Olympic wins under his belt (and the only chef in the world to have received the honour) Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe was recognised for ‘The Most Outstanding Culinary Contribution’.

Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management Stasshani Jayawardena speaking on the recent wins, stated that the manifold recognition was a testament to the superior product and service offerings of the chain. “As a hospitality chain that is constantly looking at challenging the status quo and innovating our way forward, these awards further reinforce our role as a leader in the industry. Our Sri Lankan hotels have certainly carved a name for themselves both here and abroad, and we are truly privileged to be recognised in so many fields”.

“It is hard work and perseverance that has helped us succeed thus far, along with the sheer passion of the team and their dedication to serve. In working together, I believe, we will be able to add more to our successes whilst simultaneously, promoting our island home as a vibrant destination, catering to diverse needs and wants of the global traveller,” she added.

Earlier this year, Aitken Spence Hotels was recognised at the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) held in India with Sri Lankan and South Asia awards for Leading Eco Hotel/Resort; and Heritance Negombo and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara securing destination-specific awards as Leading Beach Hotel/Resort and Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort respectively. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara also won the Silver at the National Green Awards 2018.

Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 21 star-class properties, with 11 owned and managed properties in Sri Lanka, four in Maldives, four in Oman and one in India. The hotel chain will introduce the ‘Heritance’ brand of hotels to Maldives early next year with the opening of premium all-inclusive all-villa property, Heritance Aarah.

A perfectly crafted season with Aitken Spence Hotels

28 Nov

The magic of the month of December comes wrapped in a nip in the air, the familiar aromas of Christmas trees and gingerbread, the clatter of pans in the kitchen, in the deep red of mulled wine and the sparkles of décor that line every nook and corner. It is a time of rejoicing, of celebrating loved ones and happiness and the memories of a year gone by.

Amidst the beloved chaos of the season, Aitken Spence Hotels presents a carefully curated season for you – our treasured guests –  to make your holiday a special one. The hotels will unfold a spectacular season with exceptional culinary treats, generous gifting options, bespoke accommodation packages and an impressive heralding of a new year.

 

Heritance Negombo

Closest to Colombo, the bustling city of Negombo will be lit up in festive splendour with the array of events hosted at Heritance Negombo. A Goodie Hut featuring freshly baked cakes, cookies and seasonal treats that will open its gingerbread doors on 16 December at the Swiss Bakery at The Banyan, located across the hotel will set the tone for a tummy-full season. From 15-30 December, a festive afternoon tea session will be hosted at the See Lounge, promising an incredible start to the year.

Among the celebrations set for guests, one can enjoy a festive evening by the street at the Banyan and a celebratory dinner buffet at Bluetan on Christmas eve. On December 25th, guests can enjoy a sumptuous Christmas lunch buffet and a Santalicious dinner at Bluetan, and mini lunch buffet at Mad Dogs. Continuing the festivities, the hotel will host gourmet dinners from 26th to 30th of this month at the Bluetan.

To bid adieu to a year gone by, the hotel will host a new year’s feast at Mad Dog followed by a gala dinner at the Bluetan lawn. A new year’s bash is in store at the Rouge in Banyan to begin the year with a memorable celebration.

 

Heritance Kandalama

The eco-hotel, Heritance Kandalama has a bunch of exciting deals for the season including cocktail deals, seasonal high tea at the Sun Deck and rejuvenating treatments at the Coco spa.

The hotel will also host a goodie hut from 15th December onwards along with ‘gold hamper’, a seasonal basket of deliciousness. The hotel will host a Kiddies Fun Camp on the 24th  and 31st which would free the parents to have a relaxing time whilst the kids are kept busy with interactive activities.

Guests can enjoy a widespread gala dinner on Christmas Eve and both lunch and dinner buffets on Christmas Day at the Kanchana Lounge. A grand dinner spread also awaits those who choose to celebrate New Year at Kandalama.

 

Heritance Tea Factory

The hotel in the hills has a number of seasonal events planned for the month. A goodie hut along with a champagne toast at all outlets from the 20 onwards, seasonal concoction and cheese and wine promotions from 22nd onwards, are but a few! A six-course menu can be enjoyed on the eve of Christmas followed by a Christmas lunch for families to enjoy and a Christmas Day dinner buffet on the 25. The most awaited 31st Night Countdown Dinner shouldn’t be missed as well!

 

Heritance Ahungalla

Heritance Ahungalla celebrates the holiday season with Christmas carols and events to capture the best moments. The hotel caters to the youngsters this season with a Kids party on 22nd December at the Kiddies club and a Junior Chefs’ seasonal workshop on 23rd December at the Mirror Lounge. Guests can witness firework displays on Christmas eve and 31st night while enjoying the fabulous feasts. The hotel gives a celebration for everyone with a beach carnival for those looking for a fun evening by the beach and a cheese and wine evening for the ones looking for a relaxing time.

 

Turyaa Kalutara

Turyaa Kalutara will host an array of seasonal events from 15th December. A traditional Christmas Eve dinner buffet, an outstanding brunch on Christmas day and a Bye, Bye 2018 Sundown Cocktail evening by the beach. The new year will end with a gala dinner celebration at the North Wing Lobby.

 

Earl’s Regency

The most loved hotel in Kandy has a seasonal calendar that includes events for everyone! The goodie hut will be up and running from 20th onwards, alongside a seasonal high tea in the evenings. Guests can have an enjoyable time on the Christmas day at the lunch buffet and BBQ night. Regency Blitz 2018 will be held at the Regency ballroom on the last night of the year to complete the year in grand style!

 

Earl’s Regent

With Christmas high teas starting on 1st December, the hotel, known for its culinary prowess will offer seasonal treats for pre-order during the month, a sumptuous dinner buffet on Christmas eve and Christmas day festivities with a five-course lunch and an incredible dinner buffet. New Year’s eve is also set to be a memorable affair, if spent at the Regent!

 

Amethyst Resort, Passikudah

Amethyst Resort will host a special Christmas Eve dinner while the next day will feature a seasonal feast for lunch and a movie by the beach. Specialties for the season will include cocktail promotions, happy hour on 24th December and Christmas Mass in the morning of Christmas day. The end of a wonderful year will be celebrated at Amethyst Resort with an international gala dinner and a fireworks display!

 

Bandarawela Hotel

In the cool climate by the hills, the seasonal cheer will begin with a festive Sri Lankan and Western lunch buffet from the 20th to the 23rd of December and a traditional planter’s barbeque dinner on the 23rd. The hotel will host a special Santa’s Coffee Counter on 23rd, followed by a festive dinner buffet on 24th  a traditional breakfast, family lunch and carvery dinner buffet; treats for all three meals on 25th, Boxing day flambe dinner on 26th and a magical open-air BBQ and bonfire dinner on the 31st to welcome the new year.

 

Reservations

For reservations for any of the events mentioned or for stay inquiries, contact the Aitken Spence Hotels head office on 0112 308408.

Aitken Spence Hotels win big at South Asia Travel Awards 2018

28 Oct

Aitken Spence Hotels secured several awards at the recently held South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 in Mumbai, India.

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 recently at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace. With over 500 entries from Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan under 36 categories, the recognitions thus received further reiterates Aitken Spence’s lead in the region, as an innovative hospitality provider.

Among the wins are three Heritance properties from Sri Lanka with Heritance Kandalama winning both Sri Lankan and South Asia awards for Leading Eco Hotel/Resort; and Heritance Negombo and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara securing destination-specific awards as Leading Beach Hotel/Resort and Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort respectively. Group’s Indian property, Turyaa Chennai won Leading Design Hotel in South India. Adaaran Resorts, under which Aitken Spence currently manage properties in Maldives was accoladed as the Most Marketed Hotel Chain in South Asia. Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, won the Leading Dive Resort title for both Maldives and South Asia, while Adaaran Prestige Vadoo secured Leading All-Inclusive Resort – Maldives title.

Speaking of the recognition, Aitken Spence PLC Director and Head of Tourism and Leisure and Aitken Spence Hotels Management (Pvt) Ltd Chairman Stasshani Jayawardena said; “As a hospitality chain that promotes the local culture and heritage whilst contributing to the growth and development of the regional tourism industry, these awards further reinforces our role as a leader in the field.”

“Ever since we began our journey in the hospitality sector we have pioneered change, challenged the status quo and innovated our way forward. No matter where we are located, we have worked hard to offer our guests an experiential holiday that celebrates the locality. We are focused on where we want to be, and this has made our journey a successful one thus far; and we will strive to be better,” she said. She thanked the management teams, the hotel General Managers and the employees for their dedication which has undeniably been vital for the growth of the company.

Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 21 star-classed properties, with 11 owned and managed properties in Sri Lanka, four in Maldives, four in Oman and one in India. The hotel chain will introduce the ‘Heritance’ brand of hotels to Maldives next year with the opening of premium all-inclusive all-villa property, Heritance Aarah.

 

Heritance Kandalama

Leading Eco Hotel/ Resort – Asia Pacific

Leading Eco Hotel/ Resort – Sri Lanka

 

Heritance Negombo

Leading Beach Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

 

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara

Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

 

Turyaa Chennai

Leading Design Hotel – South India

 

Adaaran Resorts

Most Marketed Hotel Chain – South Asia

 

Adaaran Select Meedhupparu

Leading Dive Resort – South Asia

Leading Dive Resort – Maldives

 

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

Leading All Inclusive Resort – Maldives

Aitken Spence’s Turyaa Chennai, the best five-star deluxe in Tamil Nadu

25 Apr

Turyaa Chennai, owned and operated by the local hospitality chain Aitken Spence Hotels was conferred the ‘best five-star deluxe hotel’ in Tamil Nadu at the recently held Tamil Nadu Tourism Awards 2018.

The award ceremony, held with support from India Tourism, Government of India aims at identifying industry leaders who have actively promoted to maintain Tamil Nadu’s position as a premier tourism destination in India. In its third edition, this award is a testament to the quality and standards upheld by Turyaa Chennai who obtained the ‘five-star deluxe’ classification early last year. With this classification, Turyaa Chennai became one of five hotels in Chennai to have obtained this highly sought-after accreditation.

“We are pleased to have received this award, just a year after obtaining the five-star classification. The award is a reflection of the hard work and service excellence that is upheld by the team. Being the first Sri Lankan company to own and operate a five-star deluxe property in India, we are committed to spreading our unique message of hospitality through world-class offerings and service from the heart,” Aitken Spence Hotels Joint Managing Director Susith Jayawickrama said.

“Our hotel is ideal for local businessmen travelling to Chennai, or for local companies looking at MICE necessities in India,” he added, “With special business traveller packages, long stay packages and early bird offers, Turyaa Chennai is well positioned to lead the MICE industry in India.”

The 140-room property situated in the IT corridor of Chennai, just minutes away from the bustling city centre is perhaps the perfect amalgamation of business and leisure. Situated 20 minutes away from the international airport, the hotel is the ideal location for the business travellers, the ardent shopper or cultural holiday seeker.

Heritance Ayurveda receives ‘Best Partner’ certification from German operator at ITB

27 Mar

Aitken Spence Hotels’ wellness resort, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was commended for its product and service excellence by German health and wellness operator Neue Wege as the ‘Best Partner Ayurveda Resort 2018’ at the world’s leading travel trade show Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, better known as ITB 2018.

With Germany listed as a key market for Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, the recognition, awarded for the fifth consecutive year further promotes it as a forerunner in the niche wellness tourism front of Sri Lanka. The resort, offering a range of curated ayurvedic experiences conducted by qualified specialists is well-known in the international market for the superior services provided.

Set against the dazzling blues of Beruwala, the 64-roomed hotel is uniquely designed to offer holistic wellness treatments for guests. With the focus on mental, spiritual and physical balance, the resort offers specialised treatments inspired by traditional healing practices, organic food to detox and rejuvenate, alongside exceptional service.

Neue Wege is a German organisation that promotes health and mindfulness based travel. With over 400 travel offers in 20 countries around Europe and Asia, Neue Wege is among the first German tour operators to receive EU-sponsored CSR seal of approval for sustainable travel and has been certified since 2009.

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Recognized by Fit Reisen for Quality

23 Mar

Aitken Spence Hotels’ wellness resort Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was recently commended for their excellence in quality and standards by Fit Reisen Germany leading provider of health and wellness travel, with the Quality Certificate in the category of ‘ayurveda and yoga’. This is the fourth consecutive year the resort has received this recognition.

The certification which highlights the property as one of the highest quality and best rated hotels further confirms Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara’s position as the ultimate in spiritual, physical and mental harmony through customised healing rituals following the ancient traditions of Ayurveda.

The certification is awarded after a careful assessment process where Fit Reisen’s experts only accept and select partner hotels with strong service and quality orientation and a clear focus on spa and health. Customer reviews also play a vital role in this process.

The evaluation takes note of the state and cleanliness of the hotel, service staff, hotel room and atmosphere; taste, variety and balance of food and; health factors such as quality of treatment, pool, spa, treatment rooms, leisure activities and nature and surroundings.

An ayurvedic treatment destination, the 64-roomed property is located in Beruwala and caters to the niche segment of wellness-seekers. Uplifting treatments by professional ayurvedic specialists, extraordinary cuisine and outstanding hospitality is what guests checking-in at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara receive. Formally known as The Neptune Hotel Beruwala, the property underwent a complete refurbishment and commenced a journey as a wellness resort in late 2011. The resort also acts as a responsible tourism institution, uplifting indigenous arts & crafts of Sri Lanka and takes to the world a message on authentic healing through organic produce and holistic well-being.

With partners in over 50 countries, Fit Reisen has for over 40 years offered guests from around the world high quality travel, focused on health and well-being holidays.