New Centara Sri Lankan Resort in a pristine undiscovered location, zooms to the top of trophy destination wish list
Calling all discerning trophy destination travelers, the newly-launched Centara Passikudah Resort and Spa, located on the pristine, undiscovered east coast of Sri Lanka, is now fully operational and r
Calling all discerning trophy destination travelers, the newly-launched Centara Passikudah Resort and Spa, located on the pristine, undiscovered east coast of Sri Lanka, is now fully operational and ready for its close-up.
The stunning new property located on the beach at Passikudah Bay, boasts a gorgeous stretch of coastline and is renowned for its calm, clear, shallow waters. The outer bay has an extensive coral reef and scattered coral communities within the bay, together forming one of the best known reef systems in the Indian Ocean. Move over the Maldives, Sri Lanka is back and ready to welcome savvy world travelers who expect the best of the best, in extraordinary surroundings.
We spoke with Centara’s Area General Manager, Alexandre Glauser, to learn more about the new chic Centara Passikudah Resort and Spa, which offers contemporary, sleek luxury in a world-class, highly-prized location.
eTN: What does this property mean for the Centara group in terms of being in Sri Lanka, and how did the soft opening go?
Alexandre Glauser: Centara Passikudah Resort and Spa is Centara’s first property in Sri Lanka. Since the end of the 30 year long conflict, Sri Lanka is now firmly back on the tourism map and Centara is certainly pleased to be one of the first international hotel companies to re-enter the country and contribute to the re-emergence of this unique Indian Ocean island nation. Our soft opening went very smoothly and we are ready to welcome the most discerning guests to our unique resort and location.
eTN: Which specific global markets are you targeting and marketing to?
AG: While the UK and continental Europe remain Sri Lanka’s key feeder markets, with Centara’s extensive network of sales office, coupled with our leadership position in Thailand, we also have the Asian market very well covered. Furthermore, the savvy travel trade in Australia is very familiar with Centara and we hope to tap this important market as well, even more so since a large Sri Lankan community lives down under.
eTN: Can you tell us about Sri Lanka overall as a destination and the location of the resort? Specifically, the beach you are located on, the village of Passikudah and its rich, undiscovered history.
AG: Sri Lanka is a truly extraordinary destination which offers everything within a relatively small territory. With eight UNESCO Heritage Sites, untouched natural wonders: national parks, mountains, dramatically varying terrain from thick rain forests in the west to dry savanna along the east coast with gorgeous beach destinations, there is something for every possible type of traveler.
Centara Passikudah is situated on the undiscovered east coast of Sri Lanka, a place which was off limits for the last 30 years because of the conflict.
Passikudah is a fishing village where a project of an integrated resort was initiated by the Sri Lankan government to offer job opportunities for locals and encourage economic development in this part of the country which was most affected by the conflict. In fact, 30 years ago this part of Sri Lanka was very famous for its beaches and had a booming tourism industry. Since peace has returned, it is now time to place Passikudah on the global map as a “must see” destination.
eTN: What was your personal journey as a hotelier to the position of Area General Manager for Centara?
AG: I’m Swiss and have been in the hotel industry for 18 years. I’ve been with Centara Hotels and Resorts for over 12 years and prior moving to Sri Lanka as Area General Manager, I was in charge of two properties in Phuket. Opening two properties in new markets is a rewarding challenge that I have enjoyed tremendously, Centara as a group are innovators with vision, it is a pleasure to be part of the team.
eTN: The design of the resort is genuinely stunning. Can you tell us about the materials, architecture and overall design?
AG: The holding company of the Centara Passikudah Resort selected a renowned, local architecture firm. The clean, sleek lines and minimalistic elegance is evident in all of the spaces. Guestrooms, with a minimum living space of 47 sq. m. feature a very comfortable residential ambiance.
eTN: Does the property have any introductory travel industry rates and consumer promotional rates?
AG: Yes, we do have special introductory industry rates and they are available on Centara’s own website www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cps and through our business partners.
eTN: Can you tell us about the food and beverage outlets, which we noted are already are garnering rave reviews on Trip Advisor. Who is the Executive Chef and what is his vision for the cuisine?
AG: Our Executive Chef, Meththa Ekanayake is a very talented and passionate Sri Lankan chef with an outstanding track record in top hotels in the Middle East and Sri Lanka. All of our food and beverage outlets feature high quality products presented with a distinct Sri Lankan focus. We are delighted our first guests have responded so enthusiastically to our cuisine and flavors, it is exciting for our team to deliver such remarkable food experiences in this location.
eTN: Please describe the type of guest who would enjoy the resort?
AG: Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa has only 125 rooms, but sits on a vast expanse of beach front offering intimacy for everyone. The resort can be enjoyed by families, we have a kids club with a wide range of activities and 40% of rooms feature two double beds sleeping up to 2 adults and two children. Honeymooners due to our remote, isolated beautiful beach location with a branch of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, will enjoy the romance of the resort. Conversely, more adventure driven travelers are able to enjoy diving, watersports, our rainforests and national parks, which are all on our doorstep.
eTN: What is the single aspect of the resort that sets you apart from other properties in Sri Lanka?
AG: I would say without a doubt our refreshing, original design and architecture, which is relatively new for Sri Lanka, combined with our highly honed service culture empowers our team members to use initiative and go the extra mile for our guests. Our Centara brand of Sri Lankan hospitality is extraordinary and we look forward to sharing that with our guests.
To learn more about the newly-launched Centara Passikudah Resort and Spa, please visit: http://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cps/cps_default.asp
Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 42 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 17 resorts in the Maldives, Vietnam, Shanghai, Bali Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius Indian Ocean, brings the present total to 59 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs. Centara operates 27 branches of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, together with its newly-launched value brand Cense by Spa Cenvaree, which provides core spa services for busy travelers. The company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the family-friendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens are taken care of. Centara Hotels & Resorts also operates two state-of-the-art convention centers in Bangkok, and two in northeastern Thailand, one being located in Udon Thani and the other in Khon Kaen. The latest Centara brand is named COSI Hotels, an economy brand designed for travelers who predominantly make their bookings via the Internet and who want comfort and convenience at the most friendly prices available, which is under development with the first property due to open in 2015.
For more information and reservations, please contact tel. +662 101 1234 ext. 1 or e-mail to [email protected]