Citrus Leisure PLC ceremoniously declared open its iconic five-star property Citrus Waskaduwa today. The hotel is the largest to be built anew in post-war Sri Lanka on a 9.5 acre land with 150-rooms set on an unspoilt, tranquil beach strip of half a kilometre, which promises a holiday experience like no other. Designed and constructed with elegance and “happiness moments” in mind, Citrus Waskaduwa is a perfect blend of luxury and new age minimalist style.
At an aesthetically pleasing event, the hotel was ceremonially opened by the Chief Guest President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while the Guest of Honour was Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa. The event was also graced by many other political and corporate dignitaries as well as colleagues, partners and friends of Citrus Leisure PLC.
Chairman of Citrus Leisure PLC, Prema Cooray commenting on the historic opening said: “The leisure industry is taking a lead in transforming Sri Lanka. We are a nation blessed with a multitude of resources, which when harnessed, can offer a destination unmatched in attractions. Although Citrus Leisure was the new kid on the block we are immensely proud to have proved our mettle by being the first leisure company to build and operate such a large hotel in the post-war era. We set out with a commitment to add 150 rooms and a plethora of luxury leisure facilities to this country’s offering. Today, we have delivered what we promised. This is only the second milestone in our journey of 3 short years. We are determined and geared to go places and contribute our best resources to the transformational initiatives of Sri Lanka.”
The property which was originally meant to be 4-star was recently upgraded and redefined with added luxury, enhanced facilities and new amenities to provide a high end hospitality offering. The 150-rooms are segmented into 140 Superior Rooms, 6 Deluxe Rooms, 1 Luxury Suite and 1 Presidential Suite with “pure indulgence to suit your every desire” being the central theme across the board. A uniqueness of this multi-storey hotel is that guests can take pleasure in a magnificent sea view from the private balcony of every room. Each room is also equipped with a king-size bed, 42-inch flat screen TV, a well-stocked mini-bar, Wi-Fi facilities and an open-sky bathroom. Guest services include laundry and 24 hour room service.
Also speaking on the occasion Director/CEO Citrus Leisure Chandana Talwatte noted: “Citrus is a brand built around an aura of fun, fulfilment and happiness. All our services converge to ensure our guests experience a holiday like no other. We began our foray into the leisure industry with the acquisition of a 40-roomed property in Hikkaduwa. Within two years, we have professionally transformed this hotel into an exciting 100-roomed hotel strategically located on the popular Hikka strip. Our greatest strength is our staff, who believe in the value of teamwork and shared responsibility. We are proud to have the best in the industry within our fold and stand confident that we can make a positive impact on the leisure sector of Sri Lanka.”
Situated just 37km from Colombo, Citrus Waskaduwa also features extensive banquet facilities, including one of the country’s biggest banquet halls ‘Mandarin Shore’ with the highest ceiling expanse on offer. The modern pillar-less banquet hall can cater to up to 500 guests while the smaller ‘Blue Orchard’ ballroom is equipped for 200 pax. For smaller, more intimate gatherings the ‘Sky Lime’ beach lounge is also a stunning setting. Equipped with one of the largest kitchens in the island, the banquet team at Waskaduwa has the capacity and capability to turn dream weddings into reality while also catering to the thriving MICE tourism market.
In terms of dining, guests at Citrus Waskaduwa will be spoilt for choice with four signature restaurants that serve gastronomic delights from home and away. The main restaurant ‘Lemon Sun’ caters to a truly inter-continental palette while ‘Aqua Peel’ offers guests the opportunity to indulge in the locality’s best seafood while taking a dip in the extensive pool. The ‘Mi Café’ will feature an à la carte menu for fine dining while the ‘Pips n’Sips’ coffee shop is open for those who prefer lighter meals.
Guests who have a passion for the great outdoors will have ample opportunity to enjoy one of the longest beachfronts with a half a kilometre stretch of sand and sea, guaranteeing a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. An additional ocean-facing plot of land of 80 perches adjoining the existing property has also been developed for an outdoor amphitheatre.
For those who prefer the indoors after a day in the sun, the ‘Pomelo Hi’ bar named after the native South Asian citrus fruit is one of the many places to relax at, within the extensive property. Armed with a distinctive drink, guests can also head over to the ‘Orange Tales’ reading lounge or the ‘Tangi Blue’ billiard room for an evening of tranquillity. The ‘Citron Senses’ Wellness Spa is also world class in its offerings, providing soothing relaxation and memorable bliss to guests on business or holiday.
Citrus Waskaduwa promises to be an oasis of relaxation and fun for both the business and leisure traveller. Its truly unique and multi-faceted offering will also make a significant impact to Sri Lanka’s objective of welcoming 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Citrus Waskaduwa by Citrus Leisure PLC looks forward to being a landmark on the South coast of Sri Lanka. A number of such hotel projects are earmarked for completion in the near future in other parts of the country as well, as key offerings of the Citrus chain of luxury hotels, offering ‘Happiness Moments’ of leisure travel.