HOME | ADVERTISE | NEWSLETTER | BEST 100 CITY GUIDES | CONTACT US | ABOUT US | HELP
Colombo, Sri Lanka
by Sarah Bromley
Location: Perched on the west coast of Sri Lanka, over looking the Indian Ocean, Mount Lavinia Hotel boasts impressive views of golden sandy beaches and some of the most scenic sights over looking the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo. Situated 12km from the city centre of Colombo and five minutes away from Bandaranaike International Airport, the old colonial hotel has 226 rooms and proudly upholds its original charm and imperial elegance dating back to 1806. As you enter the grounds, you are greeted with an impressive fountain and doormen dressed in authentic old colonial style uniforms as you enter the grand reception. The hotel has it's own hair salon, a couple of jewellery shops, and an Ayurvedic spa and a bookshop for guests only. The hotel is bursting with a colourful romantic history where a British Governor fell in love with a local girl, yet due to social disapproval, the couple were forced to meet in secret via an underground tunnel between them. The tunnel can still be seen in the hotel today, and you will also find a statue of 'Lady' Lavinia in the middle of the fountain at the entrance.
History: Mount Lavinia's romantic history dates back to 1806 when British Governorr Sir Thomas Maitland came to the island and used the hotel as his weekend retreat. 'King Tom', as he was fondly know as, fell in love with a mestizo dancer named Lavinia, a girl of mixed Sinhalese and Portuguese blood. As it was highly unconventional for an unmarried British Officer to be seen associating with a local girl, the couple were forced to meet in secret. For five years, Lavinia would flit between the underground tunnel Sir Thomas had built that led from his wine cellar to a well opening in Lavinia's garden. The idyll ended in 1811 when Sir Thomas was called away to Malta due to social convention, never to return and meaning they would never see each other again. Mount Lavinia was then rebuilt by Sir Edward Barnes in 1824, before later becoming a wartime hospital during a Cholera epidemic in 1833; a Boarding House in the 1860's and officially becoming a hotel in 1877 where it was given the name 'The Mount Lavinia Grand Hotel'.
Rooms and Suites: Mount Lavinia has 214 charming bedrooms where the interiors reflect and relish the hotel's colonial charm, entwining modern and traditional elegance. The hotel consists of seventy-eight Standard Sea and Garden Wing Rooms, ninety-seven Deluxe Bay Wing Rooms and thirty nine Semi-Deluxe rooms along the Governor's wing. Guests can request to stay in the lavish Governor's suite. In keeping with the colonial theme, all bedrooms have a majestical four poster mahogany bed, a spacious and luxurious bathroom and WC. Bedrooms are equipped with modern amenities such as a mini bar, safe, satellite TV, telephone and air conditioning. Every room has it's own private balcony except the Governor's wing rooms - yet rest assured, all rooms offer spectacular views of either the azure sea or over the north of Colombo city.
Restaurants and Bars: Known for it's immaculate service and exquisite food, the hotel attracts the likes of the President and Government of Sri Lanka, as well as many celebrities and dignitaries. Here, you are spoilt with a choice of three restaurants and three bars, each serving exceptional international cuisine. The hotel regularly hosts cultural themed 'Slow Food' nights where exquisite home-made global delicacies are cooked with locally produced foods by a variety of global chefs. For elegant dining, The Governor's restaurant has an old Ceylonese charm, with impressively high vaulted ceilings, opulent chandeliers and views looking out of the large windows towards the ocean. For laid-back luxury, The Sea Food Cove restaurant offers candlelit tables set on the beach. Alternatively, dine on The Terrace to live music whislt the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. The Lobby Lounge and Bar offers an extensive range of the world's finest alcoholic beverages and you can find an array of tropical cocktails on the menu at The Beach Bar, set on the oceanfront.
and Spa: CocoSpa at the Mount Lavinia Hotel exceeds all expectations
of indulgence with it's natural views of mangroves and palms set against
the indigo Indian Ocean. From here, you can enjoy a range of pampering
to the sound of the nearby waves lapping at the shore. The hotel also has
impressive pool and open-air Jacuzzi situated above their private beach,
which is perfect for beach volleyball. The hotel also offers guests table
tennis and a range of water sports.
Room Rates (in US dollars):