Tag Archives: Heritance Ahungalla

27 youth complete Aitken Spence School of Hospitality training supported by Care International

27 Feb

DSC_9497
Twenty seven youth from Sri Lanka’s Southern province successfully completed their first section of hotel industry training by the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality. Commemorating the event, an award ceremony was held on the 13th of February 2015 for the handing of certificates. The training for the students were financially supported by CARE International while all resource personnel and logistical support for this endeavor was provided by Heritance Ahungalla.

As part of a joint initiative between CARE International and Aitken Spence School of Hospitality; the three-month training programme was aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for underprivileged youth. The course module designed as per ILO Certified Standards and incorporated by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management is registered with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission. The training will be followed with industry placement at the Aitken Spence Group of Hotels, thereby giving students the opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience.

Student K.L. Dimuthu Madushan received the award for the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ of the batch. Dimuthu also bagged the award for the ‘Best Student – Food and Beverage Services (Theory)’ while D.S.S.K Silva obtained the award for the ‘Best Student – Food and Beverage Services (practical)’ category. S. A. Nilushika Udayangini received the award for ‘English Language’.

To mark the occasion for the handing of certificates, Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone Assistant Vice President, Human Resources /Training & Development of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements, Mr. Refhan Razeen Executive General Manager- Heritance Ahungalla, Mr. Gregory Brady Country Director, CARE Sri Lanka, Ms. Lahari de Alwis CARE SL Private Sector Manager, Ms. Shivani Fernandez CARE SL Senior Programme Coordinator, Sujeewa Jayamanne Country Representative Diageo -Faculty and Resource Personnel were present together with the staff from both Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Heritance Ahungalla alongside with the students’ parents.

Elaborating on the benefits of the training; Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone, stated, “An opportunity has been provided for a new generation of people. The hospitality industry is important for the future of Sri Lanka and is one of the largest contributing employers to the economy. This sector provides opportunities globally and these students have now received the foundation for it. If one works with honesty, commitment, discipline together with a genuine desire to improve one’s self, then anything is achievable”.

Since its inception in 2007, a total of four hundred youth have benefited from the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality programme; with this being the 10th batch of students to successfully complete it. The initiative also placed special priority on encouraging female youth, in hope to boost and promote further female employ ability in the tourism sector.

Heritance Ahungalla Once Again Home to the Best Culinary Team in Sri Lanka

6 Aug

Sri Lanka’s premier beach resort Heritance Ahungalla, emerged as the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka after competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels at the 15th Culinary Art Competition held from the 2nd to the 5th of August. Heritance Hotels dominated the competition with Heritance Kandalama being adjudged the first runner up in the overall competition. Organized by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka, the culinary competition is part of the industry’s largest food and trade exhibition.

Maintaining its reputation for offering the best cuisine in the country, Aitken Spence Hotels won an unprecedented 150 medals including the prestigious award for the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka.

There were 25 categories for the medals and the Aitken Spence medal tally displayed the sheer dominance the resort chain’s chefs had over its competitors in the field. World acclaimed Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe – Group Skills Development Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who led the team along with Chef Lalith Gunesekera – Consultant Chef, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Chef Kasun Premachandra, Executive Chef, Heritance Ahungalla whose continuous training and motivation guided the participants, were jubilant along with the teams from Aitken Spence Hotels who collectively won 16 special awards out of a total of 29 special awards. The special awards included the following: Most Outstanding Chef – Chef Y.K.P De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Pastry Chef – Chef W.M.J.A Bandara, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice – Chef L.H.S.N.R De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Bartender Mixologist – H.D.S.N Jayasekera , Heritance Ahungalla, Best Beer Cocktail –H.D.S.N Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Nescafe Creative Coffee- S.P.S Fernando, Heritance Ahungalla, , Best Sunquick Mocktail- H.D.S.N Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Wedding Cake Structure – Chef S G Wijesundera – Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice Hot Cooking Live – Chef L.H.S.N.R De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Plated Appetizer – Chef T.M.P Peiris , Heritance Ahungalla, Best Sri Lankan Meal – Chef Krishna Kumar and Chef C J Kumarasinghe, Heritance Kandalama, Best Arrack Cocktail – N.H Jayasinghe, Hilltop Hotel, Best Regional Hotel- Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Hotel- Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Culinary Team 1st Runner – Heritance Kandalama and the prestigious Most Outstanding Culinary Team – Heritance Ahungalla.

“I am tremendously proud of the achievements of our team, walking away with 150 medals from a competition such as this is a tremendous achievement. We constantly strive to be the best and are firm believers of ensuring 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 on the sustainable development of our future generations”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka from their modest beginnings in 1988 has emerged as the premier professional body of culinary professionals in the hospitality trade.
A platform for recognizing true culinary talents, the competition symbolizes the pinnacle of excellence as hundreds of practitioners in the food & beverage industry in the country gathers to prove their mettle.

“Aitken Spence Hotels cater to a diverse market segment and are famed for its exquisite food and culinary art. Over a period of time the reputation gained in this specialisation has helped to position the chain of hotels as among the best in the region.
We recognize that our greatest asset is our staff at all levels who are loyal, dedicated and committed and work together as one team assisting and encouraging each other to be the best.” 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.

Most Outstanding Culinary Team – Heritance Ahungalla

Exterior shot of Heritance Ahungalla

Heritance Ahungalla Bags Gold at National Green Awards

5 Dec

Heritance AhungallaHeritance Hotels was once again in the spotlight when Heritance Ahungalla was presented with the Gold Award at the National Green Awards concluded recently at the BMICH. Heritance Ahungalla has successfully taken over the baton from Heritance Kandalama, no doubt one of the greenest hotels on the planet who was awarded the Gold Award in the Large Scale Hotel category in 2011.

Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurs, industrialists, and other stakeholders who contribute their share for environmental conservation and anti pollution were recognized for their excellence in green practice, strategy and products. Organized by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), The National Green Awards scheme was initiated in order to provide an alternative system to controlling pollution and greening the environment instead of the existing command and control approaches and education & awareness programmes. The main aim of the all island programme is to promote sustainable management of the environment in order to achieve a green country through a clean green environment.

Hon. President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion which was held for the second consecutive year. Forty nine awards were presented under 16 categories with environmentally-friendly organizations being selected by an expert panel of judges after a lengthy review of their performance.

Heritance Ahungalla, a hotel committed to sustainable practices has been recognized both locally and internationally for service excellence, culinary expertise as well as its sustainability initiatives. The Hotel was certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011 and was recognized as the first resort in the world to receive the certification. The Heritance Ahungalla Team consciously makes efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around its stunning property. To minimise social risk in the environment the hotel operates, Heritance Ahungalla offers internships that also helps to build community relations. The hotel donates generously to the local community particularly to help children and elder care programmes.

“We at Aitken Spence Hotels have set a perfect balance of practicing sustainable tourism while ensuring our commitment to service excellence is maintained. It is a tremendous achievement that all our properties in Sri Lanka have sustainability policies which are adhered to stringently which has resulted in all our local hotels including Hotel Hilltop and Bandarawela Hotel attaining the prestigious Earth Check Silver status. We will continue to drive our commitment towards a sustainable operation with a sustainability focus that transcends beyond mere operational to one that is strategic, we seek to create an organization-wide culture that in turn will inspire individuals to act as catalysts for global change”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.
Aitken Spence Hotels has set precedence to other hotels on how they too can be effective responsible tourism players by contributing in terms of conserving the natural environment, protecting bio diversity, empowering local communities, supporting livelihoods dependent on tourism, preserving local traditions, arts and crafts and mitigating climate change especially by using bio mass as renewable energy.

The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. The award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara.

Heritance Ahungalla unveils $35 million sapphire-studded cake

28 Mar

– The ten-layer “Pirate’s Fantasy” first shown to Sri Lankan and English cricketers –

Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Group’s premier hotels, has unveiled a $35 million sapphire studded cake, which the hotel hopes will be a serious contender for the “World’s most expensive cake” title this year.

Created by their celebrity Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, the ten-layered “Pirate’s Fantasy” comes studded with jewels and different flavours that will symbolise the hotel’s beach front property on the coastal fishing village of Ahungalla.

A replica of the “Pirate’s Fantasy” cake was unveiled on March 26 to a distinguished audience that included top cricketers from Sri Lanka and the visiting England team.

 Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, former skippers Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan and England’s Tim Bresnan, Ravi Bopara and Steven Flinn, were mesmerised as the sugar structure was unveiled atop a brass cannon gun.

“This signature cake, that symbolises the sea, is the first ever for a five-star beach resort, the jewel studded cake will be anyone’s fantasy. We are incredibly proud of Chef’s achievements,” said Refhan Razeen, General Manager, Heritance Ahungalla.

 Chef Kumarasinghe, or Chef DK as he is popularly known, is a celebrity in his own right, having won five individual gold medals at the Culinary Olympics in Germany and four golds at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg “The Pirate’s Fantasy, will undoubtedly be his unique masterpiece,” enthused Razeen.

 Chef DK has packed each cake layer with exotic ingredients like cinnamon, zucchini, purple yam, coconut chips, pistachio, rosemary, almond cookies, white chocolate, coconut meringue, baked cheese, sweet wine berry, pineapple, walnut, pumpkin and lemon.

For decorations he has dipped into a treasure trove of necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches pendents, tie pins, cuff links, nose and toe rings.

He ends his sugar craft, by studding the cake with ten different sapphire stones, crowning the top with the most expensive and the rarest one, a “Padmaraja” or the ‘King Sapphire”.

Commending Chef DK on his mouth watering sugar craft, Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene hailed it as a very innovative cake.

“Its a very unique design and concept,” said Jayawardena. “The looks matched the taste, which was an interesting collection of exotic flavours. It compliments the quality product and high standards maintained by Heritance Ahungalla.”

 Heritance Ahungalla have thrown in a few extras for customers who are tempted to tryout this masterpiece.

 Each purchase, allows the patron to entertain upto ten family and friends for a ten-course dinner hosted by the hotel.

The dinner will include ten kinds of award winning petites fours and the meal will end with the Pirate’s Fantasy.

 A professional photographer will be on hand to capture the memorable day, and the hotel will present the album of ten photographs to the buyer.

 “The unbelievably lucky person to be able to purchase this cake, will not only have the pleasure of owning this masterpiece, but will know the feeling of holding the crown jewels in one’s hand,” added Razeen.

A member of one of Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerates, the Aitken Spence PLC, Heritance Ahungalla is part of the Aitken Spence Hotels family.

 The Pirate’s Fantasy is the latest in the line-up of product offerings, the Aitken Spence Hotel chain is offering to pamper well-heeled clients who patronise their resorts in Sri Lanka.

A Geoffrey Bawa designed hotel, Heritance Ahungalla secured the Sri Lanka Tourism award for the best five-star resort recently. The hotel’s culinary team last year won a haul of 145 medals at the 2011 Culinary Arts competition organised by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka.

Aitken Spence, is currently 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.

Heritance Ahungalla, the First Sri Lankan Hotel to be ISO 50001 Certified

15 Dec


Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka’s leading five-star resort, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels was certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011. Heritance Ahungalla is the first hotel to receive ISO 50001:2011 certification in Sri Lanka. The certificate was presented to Mr. Malin Hapugoda, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels by Dr. Srilal de Silva, Chairman of Quality International Certification Services (QICS) at the hotel on 09th December 2011.

Dr. de Silva stated that Heritance Ahungalla staff had demonstrated their commitment to reduce energy and the need of sustainable development for today’s business with the implementation of ISO 50001. The owning company of Heritance Ahungalla, Aitken Spence Hotels, had initiated to introduce ISO 50001:2011 as a tool to reduce energy consumption, having recognized the ever escalating energy cost and the impact on global warming due to the efforts to generate more energy.

With the introduction of Energy Management System, Heritance Ahungalla will now be able to effectively manage energy consumption without compromising the guest comfort. It will also enable the hotel to meet the current and future mandatory energy efficiency targets and requirements of green house gas (GHG) emission reduction legislations.

The preliminary work was initiated in March 2011 based on BS EN 16001 standard, which is the British Standard on energy management systems. However it was reconfigured to suit the requirements of ISO 50001 which was released in June 2011. Dr De Silva stated that the certificate which was issued by QICS will be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) in the near future.

Mr. Refhan Razeen, General Manager of Heritance Ahungalla explaining the approaches made in developing the system stated the declaration of the energy policy was the first step taken to develop the system. This was followed by independent energy audits to identify areas which involve significant energy consumptions and energy objectives and targets were established to address these areas. The findings of energy audits were used to determine energy baselines for the development activities.

A Sustainable Development Committee was established with the representative of departments and this committee headed by Chief Engineer Jayantha Madanayake was responsible for developing the action plan to achieve the targets. The committee outlined the action plan adopted to achieve the targets stated that already the hotel had saved significant energy savings and reduction in operational cost is significant.

“We at Aitken Spence Hotels have been setting trends for energy reductions. Setting up the first gasifier in the hospitality industry at Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara to be the first net-metered hotel and now Heritance Ahungalla first ever hotel to be certified as its energy management system based on ISO 50001, are few of the milestones achieved. We always try to establish the best practices and set examples for the industry” said Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Mr. Malin Hapugoda the Managing Director of Aitken Spence while recognizing the services rendered by all staff at Heritance Ahungalla in developing the system stated that Aitken Spence Hotels will always be recognized for continual improvement of the energy management system in their hotels.

With the ever increasing energy cost and limitations of supplies especially in Sri Lanka, this step by Heritance Ahungalla is expected to bring in a significant saving of energy consumption as well as reduce cost of operations. The improved energy efficiency of the operations is expected to drive the company towards greater productivity and this will enable the hotel to be competitive while reducing its dependence on the national energy supply.

The hotel has already reduced the cost of energy significantly through their improved best practices and was awarded with the Bronze Flame in the Large Hotel Sector at the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2011.

Heritance Sweeps Top Resort Awards

1 Jun

Heritance Hotels and Resorts were the dominant winners at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards, held recently. Heritance Ahungalla, was awarded the Best 5-Star Resort in the island successfully taking over the baton from Heritance Kandalama who won the coveted award for the last three consecutive years, securing the resort a position in the prestigious Hall of Fame last year. Heritance Tea Factory emerged winners in the Best 4-Star Resort category for a second year, demonstrating the dominant position maintained by Heritance Hotels & Resorts in Sri Lanka, ,.  The Best Host Hotel for Eco Tourism was awarded to Heritance Kandalama, once again reaffirming the Heritance Hotels & Resorts’ fundamental commitment towards the environment wherever it operates.

 

The objective of this prestigious awards ceremony is to recognize and reward excellence among industry stakeholders of past and present and to encourage and ensure an even greater contribution in the future. The awards criteria is designed to motivate industry stakeholders to work towards the primary goal of sustainable development of the tourism industry.

 

“We are thrilled and honoured that our three Heritance properties have been recognized by the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards. This is a remarkable feat which we are very proud of, having all our properties being recognized as the country’s best will certainly invigorate our commitment of delivering exceptional experiences to our guests”, said Mr. B H R Sariffodeen, Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

With its endless pristine white beaches and ultramarine expanse of the Indian Ocean, Heritance Ahungalla is a creation of the legendary architect Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa. Heritance Tea Factory has been recognised by The Independent, UK as one of the ‘Top Five Factory Hotels in the World’ and as “one of the best 100 places to stay in the world” by the Sunday Times, UK. Heritance Kandalama has been routinesly recognized as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the world, setting industry benchmarks recognised and applied globally.

 

“Our employees represent the Company’s most important asset and, as such, are vital to its success.  It is only thorough the strength of our team that we have been able to win accolades such as the awards won at this years Sri Lanka Tourism Awards. We also have the added advantage of capitalizing on our presence in the region by utilizing our team resources available in our hotels in India, Oman and the Maldives. We have definitely reaped benefits by working together as a team, cooperating and supporting each other at all times”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

Aitken Spence Hotels’ premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Famed for its distinctive properties, exquisite food, culinary art and exceptional service, Heritance Hotels & Resorts has over a period of time gained the reputation of being one of the best hospitality chains in the region.

 

With an unrivalled portfolio of international award-winning resorts Aitken Spence chain boasts of exotic properties located in some of the key tourist locations. Barefoot at Havelock, India located on the “The Best Beach in Asia” as rated by the Time Magazine; Heritance Kandalama, Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel and “an icon of modern hotel design” as rated by the Observer UK; and Desert Nights Camp, Al Wasil, Oman, rated as one of the top ten desert retreats in the world are some of the properties operated by Aitken Spence Hotels.

 

7 Out of 10 Awards Won by Heritance Hotels & Resorts for Cleaner Production

5 Feb

The National Cleaner Production Awards 2010 took place on the 27th of January 2011. This event has been held for four consecutive years to recognize and appreciate environmentally friendly businesses in Sri Lanka. At this event Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory secured seven awards and a merit certificate out of ten recognitions for the service sector.

Gold and Silver Service Sector Awards were won by Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory respectively. Further to the main awards, Heritance Tea Factory received Excellence Awards for Energy, Water and Material utilization. Heritance Ahungalla received Excellence Awards for Water and Material Utilization and a Merit Certificate for Energy Utilization.

Heritance Ahungalla was represented by Mr. Refhan Razeen (General Manager ), Mr.Jayantha Madanayake (Chief Engineer) and Ravindra Kumara (Assistant Engineer / Environment Management Representative) . Heritance Tea Factory was represented by Roshanlal Perera (General Manager) and Amila Gamage, (Chief Engineer) and Environment Management Representative (EMR)

Heritance Hotels and Resorts is a premier brand of the Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts in Sri Lanka . The best practices followed by the Group for conservation and protection of the environment, have been recognized as global case studies on sustainable tourism. In addition to the portfolio of hotels in Sri Lanka, the company is also a rapidly growing regional player with an increasing portfolio of hotels under the brands of Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts, Heritance Hotels & Resorts and Adaaran Hotels & Resorts in India, Maldives and Oman.

To conclude, since Heritance Kandalama won the gold award in the service sector in the year 2009, Heritance Hotels & Resorts can now proudly state that all three Heritance Hotels have made their mark at this prestigious event. National Cleaner Production Awards is organized by the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC). All enterprises registered in Sri Lanka falling under the categories of large scale manufacturing organizations, medium & small scale manufacturing organizations, service organizations and public & other institutes are a part of this event. Awards are presented to progressive companies and service organizations that have voluntarily adopted cleaner production as a tool for increasing productivity while, minimizing waste and emissions at source rather than treating after it’s generated.

News Release 1-Feb-2011

Aitken Spence Hotels to Participate in the Culinary World Cup 2010

15 Nov

The 11th Salon International de la Gastronomie (International Gastronomy Show) – EXPOGAST 2010, organised by the Société des Foires Internationales de Luxembourg ‘Luxexpo’ in collaboration with the Vatel Club Luxembourg and the Amitié Gastronomique François Vatel will take place from November 20th to the 24th at the Centre d’Expositions et de Conférences des Foires Internationales – Luxexpo, in Luxembourg.
The EXPOGAST will host the Villeroy & Boch Culinary World Cup 2010 organised by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS). WACS is a non-profit association representing 10million chefs worldwide in over 93 countries. The Aitken Spence Hotels culinary team has been invited to team up with the Golden Horse Shoe Culinary team from Canada at this prestigious event.
A platform for recognizing true culinary talents, the competition symbolizes the pinnacle of excellence as hundreds of practitioners in the food & beverage industry worldwide gather to prove their mettle. It is a celebration of culinary talents from all over the world, with participation from almost 500 chefs from 45 teams and 22 countries and regions this year.
An international jury of 55 leading chefs has been appointed to ensure the smooth running of various competitions within the rules of culinary art.
Aitken Spence Hotels has had tremendous success in the World Culinary Cup in the past with its Group Skills Development Chef, Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe bringing glory and pride to Sri Lanka and to Aitken Spence by securing 9 gold medals in the “Culinary World Cup” and “Culinary Olympics” in 2004 and 2006 creating history as the 1st individual to win 9 gold medals at a World Cup competition. Chef Dimuthu’s accomplishments not only brings credit and fame to Sri Lanka, but also reflects on Aitken Spence Hotels, who have encouraged him and given him the opportunity to develop his talents, to innovate and to create.
“Our culinary team has been working tirelessly preparing for this esteemed event. We are confident that our team, led by Chef Dimuthu will be recognised for their talents at the Culinary World Cup 2010”, said Mr. Gemunu Goonawardena, Vice President, Aitken Spence Hotels.
The Culinary World Cup 2010 with its internationally renowned civilian teams, military teams and teams of young cooks highlights the international size and scale reached by this gastronomy show over the years. The 11th ‘EXPOGAST’ show looks set to exceed previous events both in terms of the quality of exhibitors and participants present as well as the ever increasing levels of interest expressed by the thousands of visitors in the culinary creations and products presented by the gastronomy and hotel industries over the five day event.
The Aitken Spence Hotels culinary team is set to participate in the World Cup led by Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe – Groups Development Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who will be participating in the event as the Team Coach and Team Manager. The participating team will comprise of: Chef Ramish Hassim – Corporate Chef of Heritance Hotels and Resorts, Sous Chef Gamini Karunathilika- Sous Chef, Heritance Hotels & Resorts , Chef Lalith Gunasekara – Consultant Chef, Heritance Hotels & Resort, Chef Pradeep Fonseka – Pastry Chef, Heritance Hotels & Resorts, Anil Gunawardena – Senior Kitchen Artist, Heritance Hotels & Resorts, Augustus Lowe – Specialist in Garde Monger preparations and Chef D.J Manjula- Senior Chef De Party at Heritance Hotels & Resorts.
Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels, located in strategic cities in the country, cater to a diverse market segment and are famed for its exquisite food and culinary art. Over a period of time the reputation gained in this specialisation has helped to position the chain of hotels as one the best in the region.

Media Release – 15 November 2010

David Stockwell – an affable Brit planning his 24th visit to Sri Lanka

7 Sep

David Stockwell, a 54-year-old, retired Brit, who first visited Sri Lanka in October 1997 fell so deeply in love with this resplendent island that he has so far visited the country 23 times. He is planning his record 24th visit at the end of September.

I met David when he came to Sri Lankan High Commission in London to obtain his visa because he plans to stay over for six weeks this time.

”My first trip to Sri Lanka in 1997 wasn’t planned, but an almost spur of the moment thing, I had some leave owing to me at work and had to use it by the year end. After browsing many different brochures, I came across a Sri Lankan one issued by Kuoni, liked what I saw, and thought that this could be nice”, he recalled.

Booked with Kuoni only about 3 weeks, this was to be a relaxing beach holiday, as no travels around the country were planned. The hotel I chose was The Triton at Ahungalla, now renamed Heritance Ahungalla, he said.

”Well, no guessing for what happened, I fell in love with this place, I had travelled all over the world in my lifetime, but nowhere I had been was like this. The people are so wonderful, and made me feel at home the moment I arrived at the hotel. I vowed I must return, and I did just that the following year, but this time I planned a longer trip and took a round tour before heading back to Ahungalla”, he recounted with a broad smile.

”I visited on my round tour were, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and down to Yala and on through Galle to Ahungalla. Of course, when I arrived back at The Triton, the staff recognized me right away and welcomed me back there with open arms and huge smiles. Now, how nice is that, nowhere I had ever travelled to anywhere in the world  had ever treated me like that!”

”I have now been to Sri Lanka 23 times, and in a few weeks will be my 24th visit to what has become my Second Home, and the staff at Heritance Ahungalla frequently remind me that this is indeed my Second Home, and that they are like an extended family to me”, Stockwell said.

”I now book the hotel directly with them, and book my own flights down too. Incidentally I always fly with SriLankan Airlines, and my holiday begins the moment I board the aircraft at Heathrow. Some members of the airline crew are also familiar faces too and recognize me when I fly with them. So nice”, he enthused.

He said he would recommend Sri Lanka to anyone, and one of the most often asked questions is, “Why do you got there so much?”. “My reply is always the same, “Go and find out”, of course many have, including my own family too, and all have the same opinion now as I do, What a beautiful  country and lovely people too.

”I  have visited Sri Lanka in good times and bad, during the troubles there, and was actually on my way home when the airport was attacked  back in 2001, yes this was a scary time, but even this did not deter me from returning to Sri Lanka”, the affable Brit smiled.

”I am very happy that the troubles in Sri Lanka are now over. The people have gone through some bad times, and now is the chance for them and the country to get back on its feet again, and it so nice to see so much effort to rebuild the tourism trade now”.

“I am now giving something back to Sri Lanka, I am a Destination Expert for Sri Lanka on the Trip Adviser website, in this role I can advise fellow travellers of the best things to see, places to go, hotels to stop at etc. This is all done in my free time without payment, and it is a privilege to do so”, he beamed.

07 September 2010 – As seen on Aitken Spence Hotels Blog.

Legend of Spin Celebrates Farewell at Heritance Ahungalla

2 Aug

Heritance Ahungalla had the pleasure of honouring the first man in the world to take eight hundred career wickets in Test cricket with a celebratory welcome back to Heritance Ahungalla where the team was staying along with the members of the Indian cricket team during the recently concluded Test match in Galle. As Murali emerged from the bus the hotel team members along with members of the cricket team and guests both local and foreign welcomed the star with much jubilation after which he was presented with the masterpiece cake created by the hotel’s celebrity chef, Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe.

Chef DK as he is fondly known, along with his team had created a forty kilogram cake depicting the legendary spin bowler’s hand in action.  Cricket lovers will be able to experience this culinary creation which will be available on order in various sizes and flavours. Chef DK also specialises in unique wedding cake creations for your special day  and the hotel also provides the additional service of coordinating transport of the cake to the venue.

A cocktail party to celebrate the tremendous achievement of our very own spin wizard was also hosted by the hotel where the Sri Lankan Cricket team along with their families helped celebrate this joyous occasion. The Heritance Ahungalla team along with both local and foreign guests at the hotel along were delighted to have been part of this historic event.

Media Release – 02 August 2010