Tag Archives: Neptune Hotel

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, First Hotel in Sri Lanka to be Net Metered

7 Dec

Aitken Spence Hotels’ first hotel property, Neptune Hotel, recently re-opened as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara. Leveraging on innovative strategies in the area of renewable energy the Hotel recently broke new ground by being the first hotel in the country to enter into a Net Metering Agreement using solar photovoltaic as the renewable energy source.
The Government of Sri Lanka approved the concept of Net Metering in August 2009. In early 2010, LECO was the first to announce the new procedure. Net Metering is a special metering and billing agreement entered between utility companies and their individual customers which facilitates the connection of small, renewable energy generating systems to the power grid.
Solar Photovoltaic Systems can be broadly connected either as an Off-Grid System (solar power used to charge batteries) or an On-Grid System (solar power fed directly to the grid). The system installed at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara is a unique design having both features integrated into a single system. During the day, the power produced from the solar panels is used to charge the batteries as well as feed power to the grid. This has been achieved by increasing the capacity of the solar panels so that excess power is generated, more than required to charge the batteries. Once the batteries are fully charged, excess generated power is fed to the grid via the netmeter. During the night, the charged batteries are used to power the hotel garden lighting. The annual savings from the system is 4,639 kWh, equivalent to a reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint by 3.4 Tonnes.

In addition, the hotel also has a solar hot water system for pre-heating the water before it is sent to the heat exchanger which acts as a storage for hot water. This reduces the furnace oil consumed by the boiler. The hotel will be saving 1,417 Liters of furnace oil annually thus mitigating its carbon footprint by 4.6 Tonnes.
The biogas plant uses kitchen garbage as the primary source for the production of biogas which is utilized in the herbal preparation unit of the ayurveda resort.

“It is encouraging that Aitken Spence Hotels has taken the initiative in implementing the first net metering installation in the LECO distribution network with renewable generation. We hope that other private establishments will follow suit and thus reduce the carbon burden on the environment”, said Dr. Narendra De Silva, Head of Engineering, Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt) Ltd
By adopting net metering, Heritance Hotels further reaffirms their commitment towards practicing sustainable tourism. “The installation of systems such as this help break our dependency on fossil fuels, add to the diversification of our current energy portfolio and most importantly helps lessen the environmental footprint associated with electricity generation and consumption. We all have worked extremely hard in order to maintain our existing sustainability practices while constantly coming up with new and innovative ways of enhancing the edge we have on the sustainability front, and we are delighted to be the first hotel in Sri Lanka to enter into a Net Metering agreement with the Lanka Electricity Company”, said Mr.Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President, Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.
Heritance Hotels and Resorts believe passionately in Sustainable Tourism and have been very active in engaging both guests and communities in promoting these ethics. “All forms of tourism potentially has an environmental, social and economical impact on a country, we at Aitken Spence Hotels take all necessary measures to negate any detrimental impact a guest may have on the environment while holidaying with us.”, said Mr.Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.
The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Its latest Heritance property, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, commenced operation in July 2011. It has joined the award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory.

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Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Geared to Commence its Sustainable Operations

22 Jul

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Geared to Commence its Sustainable Operations
Situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Hotels’ first hotel property, Neptune Hotel has re-opened as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara. The authentic ayurveda resort has joined the groups’ prestigious Heritance portfolio. The Heritance brand mission is aimed at travelers experiencing, connecting with, and learning from Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.
Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara is about learning to live, enjoying and appreciating every moment, and in doing so, creating a personal path to health and wellness. Nestled within acres of lush tropical gardens, this beach front property represents tranquility at its best with its luxurious accommodation and ayurveda treatment facilities along with traditional Sri Lankan charm and hospitality.
Located in a secluded world of beauty and serenity, the 64 luxurious rooms include 16 standard rooms, 36 deluxe rooms, 7 suites, & 5 corner suites. The accommodation is inspired by a harmonious blend of East meets West and offers privacy along with stunning views of the gardens and azure ocean.

“At Heritance Hotels, we believe that our natural environment is priceless and as responsible citizens of the world we have a responsibility to protect it. As in with the construction and operation of all our Heritance properties, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara too has been constructed with a strong, focused commitment towards reducing the environmental footprint associated with the development and operation of a hotel”, said Mr.Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President- Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Typically, energy costs are the second highest expenditure component of a hotel subsequent to the cost of human resources. As such Heritance Hotels has made a conscious effort to reduce its energy consumption. Lighting at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has been restricted to Light Emitting Diodes (LED) for garden lighting, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) in public areas and rooms and T5 fluorescent bulbs in the back of house areas. In doing so, the hotel is on par with current technologies in energy efficient lighting. For the external lighting alone, 200 LED ground lights have been installed resulting in an annual saving of 27,448 kWh when compared to conventional lighting. This is equivalent to a reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint by 21 Tonnes. This will result in a phenomenal achievement; the savings from this initiative can be used to power 25 average Sri Lankan households for an entire year.

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has leveraged innovative strategies in the area of renewable energy. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels have been installed in order to convert solar energy directly into electricity. PV cells are made up of two or more layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon, which when exposed to light, generates electricity. Solar Photovoltaic Systems can be broadly connected either as an off-grid system (solar power used to charge batteries) or and on-grid system (solar power fed directly to the grid). The 3.5 kW system installed at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has features of both off-grid as well as on-grid. During the day, the solar panels charge the batteries and feed any excess power generated to the grid via a net metering agreement. During the night, the batteries are used to power the garden lighting. The annual savings from the system is 4,639 kWh which is a reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint by 3.4 Tonnes; this significant saving is equivalent to a one ton household AC running for a period of a year.

The existing central hot water system which was used during the operations of Neptune Hotel utilizes a boiler for the production of steam which in turn produces hot water by means of a calorifier. The proposed solar hot water system which will be installed shortly will be used to increase (augment) the temperature of cold water supply being fed to the calorifier. This will in turn reduce the furnace oil consumption by the boiler. The hotel will be saving 1,417 Liters of furnace oil annually thus mitigating its carbon footprint by 4.6 Tonnes.

Heritance Hotels sustainable practices have ranged from simple, hands-on activities like planting trees to more sophisticated areas such as on-site generation of renewable energy. Plans are in place for setting up a biogas plant at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, the biogas plant will use kitchen garbage as the primary source for the production of biogas which will be utilized in the herbal preparation area of the wellness resort. The property will operate primarily as an Ayurveda resort and as such the wet garbage production will be comparatively low when compared to a traditional hotel operation. An estimated 100kg of waste will be produced per month, which if used for biogas production, will save 2,800 kg of LPG annually. All wet garbage produced by the hotel will be utilized and disposed. In addition, the slurry from the plant will be used in the hotel premises as manure and the excess, if any, will be distributed to neighboring villagers.

In addition to the biogas plant, the central cooling system at the resort will operate utilizing a screw type chiller which will consume 0.769 kilowatts per ton of refrigerant (kW/Tr). Additionally the secondary pumps will be controlled by variable speed drives, thus ensuring that the pumps are utilizing only the required power.

“We believe that sustainable tourism will enhance and protect the environment we operate in. By using resources such as energy and water wisely, minimizing waste, conserving ecosystems and biodiversity, and sourcing locally where ever possible, our hotels are reducing the negative impacts that contribute to climate change”, said Mr.Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Its latest Heritance property Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara commenced operations in July 2011. It has joined the award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory.

Susantha Gunawardana’s inspiring touch

16 Nov

Susantha

By Tamali Silva

At a quick glance Susantha Gunawardana looks average and ordinary, but alas! He’s anything but. The interesting interview I conducted with him gave me a whole new definition for ‘humble pie’, which he so convincingly stood for, and a profound re-assurance that there is still hope for aspiring individuals out there, for whom success in life is not offered on a silver platter.

Susantha Gunawardana is an inspiring individual with an extraordinary amount of optimism and the spear heading force behind the hospitality school based at Neptune Hotel, Beruwela. The school recently felicitated its inaugural batch of students comprising of 28 young hopefuls, all of whom are currently employed at Aitken Spence Hotels.

It was a project initiated to inspire a second generation of hoteliers, the majority of students being children of existing employees of Neptune hotel. Most employees have stood loyal to the hotel through its glory days and weathered its struggle to survive through the tsunami devastation.

So, in a sense, giving their children the opportunity to learn the hard and soft skills required to excel in the hospitality trade was a tribute to their years of loyal service rendered to the hotel.

Susantha clearly takes pride in his protégés so to speak, being the head lecturer for the school. He spoke of the time he first addressed his class of young apprentices, clad in cloths which they felt best fit the occasion, and some with unruly hair and unshaven beards. Clearly they had a long way to go before they became masters of social etiquette and successful service providers within the industry with impeccable style and discipline.

Susantha’s modest pride stems from a sense of achievement that after a year or comprehensive training, the unruly haircuts and mismatching cloths are a thing of the past. However, the transformation wasn’t merely superficial; the graduating batch is now equipped with the skills and winning attitude they need to inspire confidence in all their endeavors in the hospitality industry. They have cultivated such confidence within themselves to the extent that they have come to believe that, if teamed with hard work and determination, they can achieve wonders.

This was clearly evident at the talent show the graduating batch put together for their graduations ceremony. Susantha is clearly equivalent to a proud parent talking ever so passionately about this kid’s impressive achievements. He went on to describe how the students have practiced relentlessly for the concert and how they’ve put together their own costumes. He was clearly awed by the meticulous attention to details the students have paid in organizing a flawless event.

He wasn’t the only one in awe, as I too felt the event was so well done, after getting the opportunity to see some of the pictures of the ceremony. Starting from the aesthetic creativity entangled with the frangipani twisted together with ‘gok kola’ for garlands, to the concert acts worthy of real professionals, to bath topping students delivering the graduation speech with such pride clad in saree, gave me inspiration beyond words. In essence it’s a real life success story worthy of a standing ovation.

I salute you Susantha Gunawardana for inspiring undying confidence in these young hopefuls and showing them greater heights and a brighter future. My heart felt congratulations to the graduates, taking my leave with the words: “Never stop believing in yourselves and dreaming bigger each day!”

2007 – Ace Magazine Issue 4