From left: Melwa Hotels & Resorts Director P.P. Anandharaja and Hilton Vice President Operations Southeast Asia and India William Costley unveil the map of the proposed properties located at top tourist destinations
Pic by Damith Wickramasinghe
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
The local tourism scene will see the addition of a series of luxury properties within the next five years with the global hospitality giant, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, yesterday inking a deal with a local property developer to manage six top-notch leisure properties.
The hospitality giant singed the deal with Melwa Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of Melwire Group, a giant in the Sri Lankan steel industry and the owners of the Melwa brand. The total investment for the project is estimated at over US $ 100 million.
Adding a total of 784 rooms, the project will encompass three Hilton Hotels & Resort properties and also witness the debut of the award-winning ‘DoubleTree’ by Hilton.
The properties unveiled would be Hilton Kandy Resort (150 rooms), Hilton Yala Resort & Spa (42 rooms), Hilton Kosgoda Resort (200 rooms), DoubleTree by Hilton Nuwara Eliya (96 rooms), DoubleTree by Hilton Negombo (96 rooms) and DoubleTree by Hilton Colombo International Airport (200 rooms).
Of the lot, three of the properties are scheduled to open between 2020 and 2021.Addressing a ceremonial signing event in Colombo yesterday, Hilton Vice President Operations Southeast Asia and India William Costley stressed the locations were picked to ensure the properties are strategically located in the heart of tourist attractions, allowing leisure travellers to reap the full benefits of the “burgeoning” growth in the island nation’s tourism. Commenting on the partnership, Costley said Hilton is confident in working with a partner of experience and standing such as Melwa Hotels & Resorts to advance its footprint within Sri Lanka. Hilton currently manages The Hilton Colombo and Hilton Residencies, commonly known as JAIC Hilton.
Acknowledging the brand is keen on partaking in Sri Lanka’s tourism boom, Costley said, “The international arrivals are charting an impressive growth trajectory and the government launching a series of initiatives, such as road network expansion, to grow the sector, will certainly positively impact the six proposed hotels.”
Opining that tourism in Sri Lanka is still in its infancy, Costley said, Hilton has further plans in taking up more properties in the country as it is an “important market”.
Hilton has over 300 properties in the pipeline to open in the Asia Pacific alone in the next three to five years.