Shangri-La Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital finest luxury hotel (REVIEW)

Less than a month from its opening, I had the privilege to experience the brand new Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, the second hotel of the chain in Sri Lanka after, last year it opened the spectacular seaside golf resort of Shangri-La Hambantota on the south coast of the country, firmly contributing to Sri Lanka’s positioning as a premium destination.

Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is the perfect stopover for travellers not only on the way to Hambantota but also Villingili in the Maldives (a one hour flight)

The city’s most highly anticipated hotel launch in nearly 30 years, Shangri-La Colombo is an impressive brand new modern tower building located on the prestigious Galle, right on the seaside shore of Colombo, in the heart of the city, an ideal location for both business and leisure guests.

The hotel boasts a state of the art Spa with an outdoor heated swimming pool, the largest pillar-less ballroom in the region, the largest executive lounge Colombo and a unique dining offering which includes Shangri-la’s signature Chinese Restaurant (Shang Palace), a retro-design steakhouse & grill, an all day dining restaurant and a Sri Lankan tapas-style bar overseen by famed Chef Darshan Munidasa from the Ministry of Crab.

Quality of the food is of the highest standard and so is customer service. At Shang Palace, I had an exquisite Chinese dinner with a tasting menu that included a refined Pekin Duck from a custom-made duck oven and a fantastic crab. The show kitchen and the sea-views make up for a one-of-a-kind experience. The Capital Bar & Grill is the Western cuisine dining venue of the hotel, resembles an American diner, with four ambiances – a buzzing and energetic bar with live jazz performances; “The White Room” for private dining; the vibrant “Blue Room” with a show kitchen; and alfresco dining on the breezy terrace.

Shangri-La Colombo features beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites – among the largest in the capital. Particular attention is paid to comfort, with a quiet AC, sound-proofing, high-speed wi-fi internet and a lavish bed. Make sure you opt for a Ocean-view room on a higher floor, the premium of the Horizon Club access being all worth it.

All suites benefit from a personal butler and access to the Horizon Club Lounge. The three, one-bedroom Specialty Suites overlook the Indian Ocean, while the Shangri-La Suite is the largest, at 210 square metres, with three bedrooms and unparalleled sea views. Long-stay residents can take advantage of 41 one or two-bedroom serviced apartments featuring a fully equipped kitchen and living room.

But probably the most impressive part of the hotel is the majestic marble lobby with giant crystal chandeliers and floor to ceiling panoramic views. Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful Afternoon Tea at the Sapphyr Lounge which serves a wide selection of local Ceylon tea, prepared by a dedicated Tea Sommelier.

The Spa is conceived as a sanctuary of well-being, with an array of Asian treatments, most of them featuring local products based on organic natural ingredients. I had an impeccable balancing treatment that combined a full body Jasmine wrap and a subtle blend of massage techniques. Spa rooms feature en-suite facilities such as shower. The ultimate relaxation is achieved with a swim in the outdoor pool, which has direct Ocean views.

Considering the hotel was opened for less than a month, the standard of service was very high. Sri Lankans have an innate inclination to provide genuine service – warm and welcoming. There is also a pride factor for many of the staff to be part of such an impressive project.

Watch here a video preview of an Oceanview Apartment 

Oliver Petcu in Colombo

Shangri-La Colombo